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Science Bulletin

Tibetans Show Recent Evolution

To understand how the native people of the Tibetan plateau have adapted to their extreme low-oxygen environment, several research teams are comparing the genetic makeup of these mountain dwellers to that of the lowland Han Chinese. Chinese, British, and American researchers recently reported in the journals Science and PNAS that the two populations have strong differences in EPAS1, a gene involved in response to low oxygen. Scientists speculate that Tibetans have evolved a unique array of genetic adaptations in a relatively short period of evolutionary time, equipping them to thrive where most others cannot.

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Science Bulletin

Tuberculosis's Hidden Strategy

Tuberculosis can linger for years, but usually carries no symptoms. Scientists from the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in India suggest that this evasion tactic may involve stem cells.

Twitter Tracks Cholera Spread in Haiti

Science Bulletin

Twitter Tracks Cholera Spread in Haiti

In the early stages of an epidemic, access to information about emerging cases is critical for health care workers trying to control the spread of disease. A recent study analyzed data from Twitter to determine if posts to social networks could be useful in tracking contagion. Twitter updates from the first several months of a cholera epidemic in Haiti indicated a growth in cases that matched official reports. Data from informal sources show great potential as a complementary resource for the early containment of infectious diseases.
This latest Human Bulletin from the American Museum of Natural History's Science Bulletins program is on display in the Hall of Human Origins until June 8, 2012. 
Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Find out more about Science Bulletins at http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/.

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