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Scientific AmericanRichard Leakey Leads the Charge in Kenya's War on Elephant Poaching


In the world of science, Richard Leakey is as close to royalty by birth as one gets. The son of Louis and Mary Leakey, whose dramatic discoveries at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania helped establish Africa as the birthplace of humankind, Richard is best known for his excavation of a nearly complete 1.6 million-year-old skeleton of  “Turkana Boy”—a young Homo erectus male found near Lake Turkana in Kenya in 1984. In 1989 Leakey was appointed to head Kenya’s fledgling wildlife service, where he developed a reputation as an incorruptible if confrontational public servant. He resigned in 1994, alleging corruption among officials in the government of President Daniel arap Moi, and formed his own political party, Safina. 

Research News

Titanium Dioxide Exposure Increases Risk of Bacterial Infection

Titanium Dioxide Research Team

When human cells are exposed to titanium dioxide without the presence of UV light from the sun, the risk for bacterial infection more than doubles. This finding by a Stony Brook University-led research team, published early online in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology, raises concerns about exposure to titanium dioxide, a nanoparticle commonly used in millions of products worldwide ranging from cosmetics to toothpaste, gum, food coloring, and medicines.


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