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Volume 555 Issue 7694, 1 March 2018

Programmes aimed at meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals need to be informed by data. In two papers in this week's issue, Simon Hay and his colleagues present high-resolution geospatial maps that offer a detailed view of two key components of human capital from 51 African nations: child growth failure and educational inequality. Using survey and census data from thousands of villages across the continent, the authors gathered information on adult educational attainment, and child age, height and weight. They then used Bayesian modelling to combine these data with factors such as local geography and climate in order to extrapolate to regions where information was lacking. The result is a series of maps that show changes in educational attainment and child growth failure between 2000 and 2015 at a resolution of 5 km × 5 km. Although nearly every nation showed certain regions of improvement, the authors conclude that there is not a single country on the continent on track to meet the sustainable development goal of ending all malnutrition by 2030, and that gender inequality in education persists in many regions. Cover image: Jasiek Krzysztofiak/Nature


  • Geospatial estimates of child growth failure in Africa provide a baseline for measuring progress and a precision public health platform to target interventions to those populations with the greatest need.

    • Aaron Osgood-Zimmerman
    • Anoushka I. Millear
    • Simon I. Hay
    Article Open Access


  • Local-level analyses show that, despite marked progress in educational attainment from 2000 to 2015 across Africa, substantial differences persist between locations and sexes that have widened in many countries.

    • Nicholas Graetz
    • Joseph Friedman
    • Simon I. Hay
    Article Open Access
  • A high-affinity complex of histone H1 and prothymosin-α reveals an unexpected interaction mechanism, where the large opposite net charge enables the two proteins to remain highly disordered even in the complex.

    • Alessandro Borgia
    • Madeleine B. Borgia
    • Benjamin Schuler
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