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What herpes could tell us about ancient human migration

It isn’t likely anyone would ever call a cold sore a useful thing, but new research into the virus that causes them could tell us more about human’s early migration patterns.

See — there’s long been a theory that early humans migrated out of Africa. Genetic studies and fossil records have made this a commonly accepted theory within the scientific community. (Via National Geographic)

Enter the herpes simplex virus 1, which we commonly know as the virus that triggers cold sores. (Via CDC)

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin at Madison say they looked into 31 strains of the HSV-1 virus, which they collected from all over the world to study their evolutionary relationships.

The Las Vegas Guardian Express reports out of that investigation they found support for the “out of Africa” theory of human evolution.

As our ancestors spread eastward toward Asia, so the researchers say, the virus evolved with its human hosts. (Via PLOS ONE)

So — basically the scientists did a family tree of the virus. By the way — why study HSV-1?

According to the researchers it’s the perfect virus to study because it’s spread through close contact, families tend to have the same strains, and it’s rarely fatal. 

- See more at Newsy.com

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  • A grand jury indicted former DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson with theft Tuesday after he receiving about $3,000 in advances for government trips that he never took. Watson, 63, faces a single count of theft by conversion in DeKalb Superior Court, according to DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston’s office. Watson withdrew advance checks in January 2016 for conferences in Chicago and Savannah, but then he resigned from office in March 2016 to run for DeKalb Tax Commissioner. “The state alleges the expense money w as then converted to personal use and not repaid until approximately one year later, well after Watson’s resignation,” according to a press release from Boston’s office. “County policy requires any funds advanced for travel but not actually used for said travel be returned to the county immediately.” A warrant was issued for Watson’s arrest, and he’s expected to surrender to authorities, the release said. Watson didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment. Exclusive to subscribers: Read the full story on myAJC.com. MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT. The AJC's Mark Niesse keeps you updated on the latest happenings in DeKalb County government and politics. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories: Accused politicians try to undermine ethics oversight in Georgia DeKalb Sheriff Mann could retain office even if found guilty DeKalb police, firefighter pay raise plan revealed Never miss a minute of what's happening in DeKalb politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com. In other DeKalb news:
  • A man convicted of robbing Waffle House restaurants in Cobb and Gwinnett counties will spend the rest of his life in prison. >> Read more trending news Cobb County Superior Court Judge C. LaTain Kell handed down the sentence Friday after a jury convicted Robbin Haynes, 23, of armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony for the 2014 crime. Haynes and another man, Otis Lee Barnes, used a gun and large, orange bolt cutters to rob restaurant workers off Highway 92 near Sandy Plains Road on March 13, 2014. They got away with $400. That restaurant wasn’t the only one they hit. Investigators say the pair robbed two other Waffle House restaurants the same way. >> Related: Waffle House co-founder dies a month after business partner In a release sent to WSB-TV, Assistant District Attorney Lauryn Perry, who prosecuted the case, said, “Mr. Haynes committed three armed robberies in about 24 hours. The first occurred in Gwinnett County, the second one in Cobb County and the last one in Gwinnett County. He showed a lack of compassion for his victims and a streak of violence that the state believes is reflected in his sentence.” Haynes was previously convicted in Gwinnett County for the two related armed robberies there and was sentenced to life in prison. In addition to the life in prison sentence, the Cobb County judge also added a mandatory five years to serve in prison on the firearms charge. Haynes’ sentence will run concurrently with the sentence imposed in Gwinnett. Barnes, 25, pleaded guilty to charges in both counties. He was sentenced in Cobb County to 20 years, with 10 years to be served in prison.
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