Actually sport it is a narrative
Started by Recusant, October 31, 2015, 01:52:11 AM
QuoteIn 2010, scientists discovered a new kind of human by sequencing DNA from a girl's pinky finger found in Denisova Cave in Siberia. Ever since, researchers have wondered when the girl lived, and if her people, called Denisovans, lingered in the cave or just passed through. But the elusive Denisovans left almost no fossil record—only that bit of bone and a handful of teeth—and they came from a site that was notoriously difficult to date.Now, state-of-the-art DNA analysis on the Denisovan molars and new dates on cave material show that Denisovans occupied the cave surprisingly early and came back repeatedly. The data suggest that the girl lived at least 50,000 years ago and that two other Denisovan individuals died in the cave at least 110,000 years ago and perhaps as early as 170,000 years ago, according to two talks here last week at the meeting of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution. Although the new age estimates have wide margins of error, they help solidify our murky view of Denisovans and provide "really convincing evidence of multiple occupations of the cave," says paleoanthropologist Fred Spoor of University College London. "You can seriously see it's a valid species."[Continues . . .]
QuoteOur study shows that fully modern morphologies were present in southern China 30,000-70,000 years earlier than in the Levant and Europe. Our data fill a chronological and geographical gap that is relevant for understanding when H. sapiens first appeared in southern Asia. The Daoxian teeth also support the hypothesis that during the same period, southern China was inhabited by more derived populations than central and northern China. This evidence is important for the study of dispersal routes of modern humans. Finally, our results are relevant to exploring the reasons for the relatively late entry of H. sapiens into Europe.[Continues . . .]
QuoteSignificanceDenisovans are a sister group of Neandertals that were identified on the basis of a nuclear genome sequence from a bone from Denisova Cave (Siberia). The only other Denisovan specimen described to date is a molar from the same site. We present here nuclear DNA sequences from this molar and a morphological description, as well as mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences from another molar from Denisova Cave, thus extending the number of Denisovan individuals known to three. The nuclear DNA sequence diversity among the Denisovans is higher than among Neandertals, but lower than among present-day humans. The mtDNA of one molar has accumulated fewer substitutions than the mtDNAs of the other two specimens, suggesting Denisovans were present in the region over several millennia.
QuoteOne of the most exciting pieces of evidence in the story is a hominin femur found in Muladong cave in south-west China, alongside other human and animal bones. It shows evidence of having been burned in a fire that was used for cooking other meat, and has marks consistent with it being butchered for consumption.It has also been broken in a way that is often used to access the bone marrow.Unusually, it had been painted with a red clay called ochre, something often associated with burial rituals. While many other bones were eaten in the cave, only the ones from human species were painted.It's hard to know if the bone was actually cannibalised by the H. sapiens whose remains have also been found in the area, Curnoe says, but all the evidence points towards that conclusion."We don't know it was cannibalism," he says. "We've got cut marks that would be consistent with butchering."But things got interesting when the team tried to identify the bone. "Our work shows clearly that the femur resembles archaic humans," Curnoe says. Yet the sediment the bone was found in dated to just 14,000 years ago.The shaft of the bone is very narrow and it has a thin outer layer, yet the walls are reinforced in areas of high strain. There is also a notch where muscle would have joined the bone, which is much larger than in anatomically modern humans, and it faces more towards the back of the bone (see photo, above)."These features suggest it walked differently," says Curnoe. And judging by the size of the bone, Curnoe estimates the adult human would have weighed about 50 kilograms – much smaller than other known Ice Age humans."When you put all the evidence together the femur comes out quite clearly resembling the early members of Homo," says Curnoe.If confirmed, says Petraglia, this would change our understanding of human evolution.[Continues . . .]
QuoteThe remains of Indonesia's hobbit-sized humans (L) and modern human (R) are displayed at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on November 5, 2004QuoteDiminutive humans that died out on an Indonesian island some 15,000 years ago were not Homo sapiens but a different species, according to a study published Monday that dives into a fierce anthropological debate.Fossils of Homo floresiensis—dubbed "the hobbits" due to their tiny stature—were discovered on the island of Flores in 2003.Controversy has raged ever since as to whether they are an unknown branch of early humans or specimens of modern man deformed by disease.The new study, based on an analysis of the skull bones, shows once and for all that the pint-sized people were not Homo sapiens, according to the researchers.Until now, academic studies have pointing in one direction or another—and scientific discourse has sometimes tipped over into acrimony.One school of thought holds that so-called Flores Man descended from the larger Homo erectus and became smaller over hundreds of generations.[. . .]But other researchers argue that H. floresiensis was in fact a modern human whose tiny size and small brain—no bigger than a grapefruit—was caused by a genetic disorder.[Continues . . .]
QuoteDiminutive humans that died out on an Indonesian island some 15,000 years ago were not Homo sapiens but a different species, according to a study published Monday that dives into a fierce anthropological debate.Fossils of Homo floresiensis—dubbed "the hobbits" due to their tiny stature—were discovered on the island of Flores in 2003.Controversy has raged ever since as to whether they are an unknown branch of early humans or specimens of modern man deformed by disease.The new study, based on an analysis of the skull bones, shows once and for all that the pint-sized people were not Homo sapiens, according to the researchers.Until now, academic studies have pointing in one direction or another—and scientific discourse has sometimes tipped over into acrimony.One school of thought holds that so-called Flores Man descended from the larger Homo erectus and became smaller over hundreds of generations.[. . .]But other researchers argue that H. floresiensis was in fact a modern human whose tiny size and small brain—no bigger than a grapefruit—was caused by a genetic disorder.[Continues . . .]
QuoteThe discovery of Homo floresiensis in 2003 caused a sensation because it seemed the creature could have been alive in the quite recent past.But a new analysis indicates the little hominin probably went extinct at least 50,000 years ago - not the 12,000 years ago initially thought to be the case.Researchers report their revised assessment in the journal Nature [go to the BBC page for a link that will take you to the full paper].Prof Bert Roberts, from the University of Wollongong, Australia, says the new dating actually resolves what had always been a head-scratcher: how it was possible for floresiensis to survive for 30,000 to 40,000 years after modern humans are believed to have passed through Indonesia."Well, it now seems we weren't living alongside this little species for very long, if at all. And once again it smells of modern humans having a role in the downfall of yet another species," he told BBC News."Every time modern humans arrived somewhere new, it tended to be bad news for the endemic fauna. Things would go pear-shaped pretty quickly."[Continues . . .]
QuoteAncient DNA has a way of uncovering complexity in seemingly simple stories of our past. Most famously, it has shown that modern humans didn't simply replace our archaic cousins as we spread across the world; we interbred with them along the way. Now, this method is adding nuance to the story of farming, long known to have originated in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. According to three teams who used new techniques to gain glimpses of the nuclear DNA of the world's very first farmers, farming was adopted not by one group of people, but by genetically distinct groups scattered across the region. "It was not one early population that sowed the seeds of farming in western Asia, but several adjacent populations that all had the good fortune to live in the zone where potential plant and animal domesticates were to be found and exploited," says archaeologist Colin Renfrew of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the work.The research—a paper published online in Science this week and two studies posted last month on the bioRxiv server—can't pin down whether agriculture spread quickly among diverse peoples or was independently invented more than once. But the diversity of the first farmers is "very surprising," says statistical geneticist Garrett Hellenthal of University College London, a co-author of the Science paper. "These early farmers who lived pretty close to each other were
completely different."[Continues . . .]
Quote from: Gloucester on July 19, 2016, 05:22:47 PMOne wonders how much travelling and trading went on between adjacent and nearby genetic groups? This could be responsible for culture spread between the groups over time periods too quick, in archaeological terns, to differentiate.
QuoteAn international group of scientists have analysed the DNA of 6,000 year old barley finding that it is remarkably similar to modern day varieties.They say it could also hold the key to introducing successful genetic variation.Due to the speed at which plants decompose, finding intact ancient plant DNA is extremely rare.The preserved ancient barley was excavated near the Dead Sea, the journal Nature Genetics reports.The arid environment conserved the biological integrity of the grains, the paper says.[Continues . . .]
Quote from: Icarus on July 20, 2016, 12:04:38 AMThough surely not the first agriculturists, the Sumerians are perhaps the early developers of commercial and governmental functions.
QuoteAn international team of researchers led by scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand's Evolutionary Studies Institute and the South African Centre for Excellence in PalaeoSciences today announced in two papers, published in the South African Journal of Science, the discovery of the most ancient evidence for cancer and bony tumors yet described in the human fossil record.The discovery of a foot bone dated to approximately 1.7 million years ago from the site of Swartkrans with definitive evidence of malignant cancer, pushes the oldest date for this disease back from recent times into deep prehistory. Although the exact species to which the foot bone belongs is unknown, it is clearly that of a hominin, or bipedal human relative.[. . .]Prof. Lee Berger, an author on both papers and leader of the Malapa project where the fossil vertebra was found adds "not only has there been an assumption that these sorts of cancers and tumors are diseases of modernity, which these fossils clearly demonstrate they are not, but that we as modern humans exhibit them as a consequence of living longer, yet this rare tumor is found in a young child. The history of these types of tumors and cancers is clearly more complex than previously thought."[Continues . . .]