Africa

As of June 15, the World Health Organization had recorded a total of 2,103 confirmed monkeypox cases in 42 countries. Pictured: a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox virus particles (green) cultivated and purified from cell culture

History of Now

What You Need to Know About the History of Monkeypox

Mired in misconception, the poxvirus is endemic in certain African countries but was rarely reported in Europe and the U.S. until recently

A baby receives a mallaria vaccine from a nurse at the maternity ward of the Ewin Polyclinic in Ghana in 2019.

Why Did It Take 35 Years to Get a Malaria Vaccine?

The parasite’s complex biology played a role in the delay, but experts say there was also a lack of urgency and funding

The House of Slaves on Senegal’s Island of Gorée is one of 284 significant African coastal sites included in a recent assessment of climate risk.

Climate Change Threatens Important African Coastal Sites

Dozens of important cultural, social, and ecological places are already at risk from climate hazards.

This commemorative sculpture by an Edo artist is one of 29 objects the Smithsonian is proposing to repatriate to Nigeria. 

Why the Smithsonian Adopted a New Policy on Ethical Collecting

For more than a century, museum artifacts were acquired in ways we no longer find acceptable. How can we repair the damage?

A man receives a Covid-19 vaccine in Zimbabwe.

Covid-19

Should Traditional Vaccines Be Used in the Global Fight Against Covid?

Researcher Maria Elena Bottazzi says such vaccines may be key to protecting individuals in middle- and low-income countries

Lois Mailou Jones, The Green Door, 1981, watercolor over graphite on wove paper

These Artworks Reimagine the Legacy of the African Diaspora

A new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. showcases 130 works by artists from 24 countries

Lions spritzed with the hormone oxytocin stayed closer together.

Planet Positive

Can Spraying Lions With the 'Love Hormone' Help Them Live Together?

Researchers administered oxytocin to captive animals, and preliminary results showed the big cats were less hostile towards strangers

A typical Making the Road trip to South Africa includes a visit to Soweto, a township outside of Johannesburg that was the site of anti-apartheid organizing and violence for years.

Tourism Gets a Refresh in the Hands of Activists Seeking to Decolonize the Industry

Operators practicing 'solidarity tourism' push back against travel that can be environmentally and socially destructive

Votive offering found at the Sikait site

Did Ancient Nomads Seize Control of a Roman Emerald Mine in Egypt?

Recent excavations suggest the Blemmyes assumed power of the Sikait mining site between the fourth and sixth centuries C.E.

Africa was home to an estimated 5 million elephants a century ago, but today there are just 415,000 individuals left.

Elephant Tusk DNA Exposes Illegal Poaching Networks

The new study suggests a shift in major smuggling routes

Scientists studied more than 1,500 beads made from ostrich egg shells from across 31 sites in Africa, and found that they were nearly identitical in shape and size, suggesting an early form of social networking. 

New Research

A 50,000-Year-Old Fashion Statement Could Be One of the World's Oldest Social Networks

Nearly identical beads carved from ostrich eggshells, found over a large region of Africa, might have been a first in cool trends

Over the span of 15 months, scientists cataloged 76 instances of chimps using insects on their wounds and the wounds of others. 

Chimpanzees Appear to Use Insects to Treat Their Wounds

In a first, chimps in Gabon were seen applying insects to sores on themselves—and others, a possible show of empathy

Hippos may appear inactive, but a recent study shows that they’re listening closely to their surroundings.

A Hippo's Response to an Unknown Caller? A Blast of Poop and a Rowdy Holler

The lumbering animals respond calmly to their grunting and groaning friends, but a stranger's voice often prompted a loud, filthy territorial response

The remote Kibish Formation, in southern Ethiopia, features layered deposits more than 300 feet thick that have preserved many ancient human tools and remains. 

East Africa's Oldest Modern Human Fossil Is Way Older Than Previously Thought

Analysis of ash from a massive volcanic eruption places the famed Omo I fossil 36,000 years back in time

Richard Leakey's most notable find came in 1984 when he uncovered a near-complete Homo erectus skeleton dated about 1.5 million years ago. The skeleton dubbed Turkana Boy is 40 percent complete and is the most near-complete fossil skeleton of a human ancestor ever found.

Famed Paleoanthropologist and Wildlife Conservationist Richard Leakey Dies at 77

His team's discovery of early human skulls and skeletons cemented Africa as the cradle of humanity

From amazing firsts on Mars to the impacts of climate change on Earth, these science stories stood out as the most important of 2021

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2021

Thrilling discoveries, hurdles in the fight against Covid and advancements in space exploration defined the past year

New memorials provide a bare outline of the lives of two Black victims killed during the Holocaust.

New Memorials in Berlin Honor the Holocaust's Overlooked Black Victims

Two brass "stumbling stones" are among the first to memorialize the Afro-German people murdered by the Nazis

A high-necked polychrome pot, created sometime between 1100 and 1400 B.C.E., was among the more than 900 items returned to Mali.

The U.S. Returns More Than 900 Stolen Artifacts to Mali

American authorities seized the presumably looted objects, which were listed as replicas, in 2009

Rising water sent arachnids like the Arabian fat-tailed scorpion fleeing into local villages.

Scorpions Swept Into Egyptian Homes by Floods Sting More Than 500 People

Rising water following a rare storm in Aswan forced the arachnids out of their underground burrows in search of dry land

The room combines art that evokes imagined futures and artifacts from different contexts within the African diaspora.

The Met's New Period Room Envisions a Thriving Afrofuturist Community

The Manhattan museum's latest imagined space blends Black history and contemporary art

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