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  • Human smarts got a surprisingly early start

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/...-newsletter-v2

    Even if early Homo populations simply followed migrating herds of prey across Asia without planning to travel far, those intrepid hunters would have had to adjust on the fly to novel habitats and climates along the way. That neat trick foreshadowed Olorgesailie people’s innovative aptitude by more than 1.7 million years.

    When naming the earliest species in the human genus, scientists have emphasized hands designed for toolmaking (H. habilis) and upright gaits (H. erectus). Based on the latest archaeological findings, a better title for those inventive pioneers may be Homo versatilis.
    Jo Bowyer
    Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

    Comment


    • The endocast of StW 573 (“Little Foot”) and hominin brain evolution

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...47248418302793
      Jo Bowyer
      Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
      "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

      Comment


    • Last hominin standing – charting our rise and the fall of our closest relatives

      https://aeon.co/videos/last-hominin-...ce867-69418129

      Watch the film.
      Jo Bowyer
      Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
      "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

      Comment


      • Researchers locate the body's largest cell receptor

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0103110615.htm



        Christian Brix Folsted Andersen points out that in an evolutionary context, there is something very mysterious about the receptor as it does not resemble anything seen previously.

        "At the same time, by comparing genes we can see that the receptor has the same structure as we find in insects and that it must have been evolved very early in evolution -- many millions of years ago and thus long before the origin of mammals," he says.

        Christian Brix Folsted Andersen's research is a continuation of his long-standing work together with Søren K. Moestrup into B12 transport. In 2010, this research led to new and pivotal knowledge about how the receptor specifically recognises B12 in the small intestine.

        "The research we're carrying out today is a continuation of decades of research into the vitamin B12. Indeed, twenty-five years ago we had no idea about what was going on the shadowy recesses of the intestines. Now the lights have been turned on and we can see how it all works in a way that none of us could have imagined," says Søren K. Moestrup.

        "Apart from obviously being very satisfying from a scientific viewpoint, it also opens completely new perspectives for medical treatment. For example, we now have in-depth knowledge about a receptor that could evidently be used to transport drugs into the kidneys and intestines," he says.
        Jo Bowyer
        Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
        "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

        Comment


        • DNA tool allows you to trace your ancient ancestry

          https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0114082850.htm



          "Ancient populations are much more diverse than modern ones," he said. "Their diversity was reduced over the years following events such as the Neolithic revolution and the Black Death.

          "Although we have many more people today they are all far more similar to each other than ancient people. In addition, the ancient data themselves are problematic due to the large amount of degraded DNA."

          To overcome these challenges, Dr Elhaik developed a specialised tool that identifies aAIMs by combining traditional methodology with a novel one that takes into account a mixture.

          "Ancient genomes typically consist of hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of markers. We demonstrated that only 13,000 markers are needed to make accurate population classifications for ancient genomes and while the field of ancient forensics does not exist yet, these aAIMs can help us get much closer to ancient people."

          He added: "Until now you couldn't test people for ancient DNA ancestry because commercial microarrays, such as the ones used for genetic genealogy, don't have a lot of markers relevant for paleogenomics -- people could not study their primeval origins.

          "This finding of aAIMs is like finding the fingerprints of ancient people. It allows testing of a small number of markers -- that can be found in a commonly available array -- and you can ask what part of your genome is from Roman Britons or Viking, or Chumash Indians, or ancient Israelites, etc.

          "We can ask any question we want about these ancient people as long as someone sequenced these ancient markers. So this paper brings the field of paleogenomics to the public."

          Researchers said to make the study's findings more accurate for identifying and classifying ancient people throughout the world, the framework and methods of the study should be applied again when more comprehensive ancient DNA databases are available.

          Jo Bowyer
          Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
          "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

          Comment


          • Artificial intelligence applied to the genome identifies an unknown human ancestor

            https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0116122650.htm

            Jo Bowyer
            Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
            "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

            Comment


            • All Too Human: The Price We Pay for Our Advanced Brains May Be a Greater Tendency to Disorders

              https://neurosciencenews.com/neurode...-brains-10610/



              The findings of this research provided support for the “washing machine” theory of brain evolution: The neural code in the “more evolved” pre-frontal cortex is more efficient than the amygdala, both in humans and monkeys. And the neural code of both areas in the human brain was more efficient than its monkey counterpart. But the higher the efficiency of a particular neural code, the less it was robust to errors. Paz likens the amygdala to the washing machine drum: “It’s not highly sophisticated, but it is less likely to fail – which is important to animals’ survival,” he says, adding: “The lower resistance of the human amygdala to errors may play a role in exaggerated survival-like responses in inappropriate contexts, such as those we see in PTSD and other anxiety disorders.”

              Pryluk: “Evolution works with trade-offs. There may be a zero-sum game between efficiency and robustness; and our complex, multidimensional brains have gained one at the price of the other.” Fried: “Comparing single-cell recordings from human and monkey brains is a large step forward toward answering the question of what makes the human brain unique.” Paz adds: “Why, on the one hand, do humans have such superior learning, cognitive and adaptive abilities and, on the other, this tendency to anxiety, depression and other mental diseases? We have shown that these may be two sides of the same coin.”
              Jo Bowyer
              Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
              "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

              Comment


              • Neanderthals: javelin athletes helped us show how effective they were at hunting with weapons

                https://theconversation.com/neandert...with%20weapons
                Jo Bowyer
                Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                Comment


                • Dogs may have helped ancient Middle Easterners hunt small game

                  https://www.sciencenews.org/article/...-newsletter-v2
                  Jo Bowyer
                  Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                  "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                  Comment


                  • Neanderthals were sprinters rather than distance runners, our study surprisingly suggests

                    https://theconversation.com/neandert...gly%20suggests
                    Jo Bowyer
                    Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                    Comment


                    • New dates narrow down when Denisovans and Neandertals crossed paths

                      https://www.sciencenews.org/article/...-newsletter-v2
                      Jo Bowyer
                      Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                      "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                      Comment


                      • A taste for fat may have made us human

                        https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0205161420.htm

                        The paper argues that our early ancestors acquired a taste for fat by eating marrow scavenged from the skeletal remains of large animals that had been killed and eaten by other predators. The argument challenges the widely held view among anthropologists that eating meat was the critical factor in setting the stage for the evolution of humans.

                        "Our ancestors likely began acquiring a taste for fat 4 million years ago, which explains why we crave it today," says Jessica Thompson, the paper's lead author and an anthropologist at Yale University. "The reservoirs of fat in the long bones of carcasses were a huge calorie package on a calorie-poor landscape. That could have been what gave an ancestral population the advantage it needed to set off the chain of human evolution."
                        Jo Bowyer
                        Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                        "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                        Comment


                        • How seeing snakes in the grass helped primates to evolve

                          https://aeon.co/ideas/how-seeing-sna...acc88-69418129
                          Jo Bowyer
                          Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                          "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                          Comment


                          • The spread of Europe’s giant stone monuments may trace back to one region

                            https://www.sciencenews.org/article/...-newsletter-v2

                            From simple rock arches to Stonehenge, tens of thousands of imposing stone structures dot Europe’s landscapes. The origins of these megaliths have long been controversial. A new study suggests that large rock constructions first appeared in France and spread across Europe in three waves.
                            Jo Bowyer
                            Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                            "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                            Comment


                            • How we discovered that Europeans used cattle 8,000 years ago

                              https://aeon.co/ideas/how-we-discove...c50a8-69418129

                              The use of animals for their renewable products greatly increased human capabilities in prehistory. Secondary products – or anything that can be gleaned from a domestic animal repeatedly over its lifetime – expanded the capabilities of ancient human societies. They helped to provide enough food and labour surplus to make possible the first ancient civilisations. Apart from their meat, bones and skin, animals gave ancient people vital goods such as their milk and wool. The ability to repeatedly harvest milk from an animal over its lifetime more than doubled the calories that it could contribute to the human diet. The ability to harvest wool from sheep allowed humans to grow a source of meat as well as warm and durable clothing. At some point in prehistory, humans learned that domesticated cattle could pull burdens far greater than humans alone could manage.
                              Jo Bowyer
                              Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                              "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                              Comment

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