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  • Dire Wolves Weren’t Actually Wolves, DNA Analysis Reveals

    01/15/2021 5:09:16 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 53 replies
    smithsonianmag.com ^ | January 15, 2021 8:00AM | Alex Fox
    When researchers sequenced the extinct predator’s genome, they found it wasn’t a wolf at all but instead a distinct lineage that split off from the rest of the canines some 5.7 million years ago, reports James Gorman for the New York Times. To reveal the dire wolf’s true evolutionary identity, researchers extracted DNA from five fossils between 13,000 and 50,000 years old and sequenced their genomes. The team ultimately recovered around a quarter of the nuclear genome and a full complement of mitochondrial DNA from the samples... Though the bones of the dire wolf are so similar to today’s gray...
  • Tasmanian tiger pups found to be extraordinary similar to wolf pups [ thylacine ]

    01/08/2021 7:45:08 AM PST · by Red Badger · 9 replies
    https://phys.org ^ | January 8, 2021 | by University Of Melbourne, University of Melbourne
    A Principal component analysis of ontogenetic cranial shape for each species included in the study. PC1 represents age-related shape change (left to right), whereas PC2 separates herbivorous and carnivorous taxa. The thylacine and wolf display parallel similarities throughout ontogeny, compared with other marsupials. B–D Subsampling of cranial shape into bone groups with shared embryonic tissue origins. The thylacine and wolf show shape overlap between bones of B FNP and D MES origin, but not in bones of C PA origin. Animal images were used under CC BY 4.0 open licence. ================================================================== Micro-CT scanning and digital reconstructions have been used to...
  • Now We Know Why Platypus Are So Weird - Their Genes Are Part Bird, Reptile, And Mammal

    01/08/2021 7:20:47 AM PST · by Red Badger · 32 replies
    https://www.sciencealert.com ^ | CARLY CASSELLA | 8 JANUARY 2021
    Platypus eating a worm. ============================================================== The first complete map of a platypus genome has just been released, and it's every bit as strange as you'd expect from a creature with 10 sex chromosomes, a pair of venomous spurs, a coat of fluorescent fur, and skin that 'sweats' milk. The duck-billed platypus is truly one of the oddest creatures on Earth. Along with the spiky echidna, these two Australian animals belong to a highly-specialised group of mammals, known as monotremes, which both lay eggs but also nurse their young with milk. The genes of both are relatively primitive and unchanged, revealing...
  • 31,000-year-old burial holds world's oldest known identical twins

    11/16/2020 11:10:37 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Live Science ^ | 12 November 2020 | Laura Geggel, Associate Editor
    To determine at what age the babies died, the researchers looked at each baby's top second incisor. The team paid special attention to the so-called "newborn line," a dark line in the tooth enamel that separates the enamel formed prenatally from that formed after birth, Teschler-Nicola said.Those newborn lines, as well the infants' skeletal development, suggested the twins were either full, or nearly full-term, babies. It appears that the infants' hunter-gatherer group buried the first twin, then reopened the grave when they buried his brother.This finding confirms the cultural-historical practice of reopening a grave for the purpose of reburial, which...
  • Who Was The The Mysterious Lady Of Bietikow And What Had She In Common With Ötzi Iceman?

    11/07/2020 5:29:26 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 20 replies
    Ancient Pages ^ | 11/6/2020 | Jan Bartek
    Lady of Bietikow lived during the Neolithic period. All that is left of the woman who died more than 5,000 years ago are bones and some clothing fragments, but researchers have still managed to piece together some details about her life. By learning more about the life of Lady of Bietikow, as she has been named, we gain information about what life was like in those days. Her remains were found near a village of the same name in northeastern Germany's Uckermark region during excavation works for wind turbines. Who Was The The Mysterious Lady Of Bietikow And What Had...
  • Albanian Neolithic Remains Evidence Oldest Known Case of Osteopetrosis

    11/06/2020 10:24:40 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    Explaining Albania ^ | October 24, 2020 | Alice Taylor
    German researchers have discovered the oldest known case of osteopetrosis or "stone bone" disease in the remains of a man from the Neolithic lacustrine settlement of Maliq in southeast Albania. Osteopetrosis is a rare disorder which manifests through the hardening and solidifying of bones, making them more susceptible to fracture. The study was conducted by palaeopathologist Julia Gresky of the German Archaeological Institute and colleagues. The researchers describe the area as having an important role in the Neolithisation of the Balkan region as it was home to some of the first agricultural economies in the area. The bones they found...
  • Neanderthals And Humans Were at War For Over 100,000 Years, Evidence Shows

    11/06/2020 9:22:33 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    (Fake) ScienceAlert ^ | November 3, 2020 | Nicholas R. Longrich, The Conversation
    Around 600,000 years ago, humanity split in two. One group stayed in Africa, evolving into us. The other struck out overland, into Asia, then Europe, becoming Homo neanderthalensis - the Neanderthals. They weren't our ancestors, but a sister species, evolving in parallel.
  • Early trauma influences metabolism across generations

    10/31/2020 7:19:37 PM PDT · by fluorescence · 33 replies
    University of Zurich via EurekAlert ^ | 15-Oct-2020 | Dr. Isabelle Mansuy
    People who live through traumatic experiences in childhood often suffer long-lasting consequences that affect their mental and physical health. But moreover, their children and grand-children can also be impacted as well. In this particular form of inheritance, sperm and egg cells pass on information to offspring not through their DNA sequence like classical genetic heredity, but rather via biological factors involving the epigenome that regulates genome activity. However, the big question is how the signals triggered by traumatic events become embedded in germ cells.“Our hypothesis was that circulating factors in blood play a role,” says Isabelle Mansuy, professor of neuroepigenetics...
  • At least five types of dog existed by the end of the Ice Age, 11,000 years ago

    10/30/2020 3:53:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    CNN ^ | October 30, 2020 | Amy Woodyatt,
    Now, a study published Friday in the journal Science has shown that the genetic diversity in modern dogs can be traced back to the end of the last Ice Age, linking Fido and Rex to ancient canine populations. Researchers studied DNA extracted from bones from ancient dogs for clues to evolutionary changes that occurred thousands of years ago, and found that just after the Ice Age, there were at least five types of dog with distinct genetic ancestries. They found that dog lineages have "mixed and combined," and are still present in the dogs of today. ... And while modern...
  • When Did We Become Fully Human? What Fossils and DNA Tell Us About the Evolution of Modern Intelligence

    10/29/2020 8:24:40 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 51 replies
    Singularity Hub ^ | 10/18/2020 | Nick Longrich
    When did something like us first appear on the planet? It turns out there’s remarkably little agreement on this question. Fossils and DNA suggest people looking like us, anatomically modern Homo sapiens, evolved around 300,000 years ago. Surprisingly, archaeology—tools, artifacts, cave art—suggest that complex technology and cultures, “behavioral modernity,” evolved more recently: 50,000 to 65,000 years ago. Some scientists interpret this as suggesting the earliest Homo sapiens weren’t entirely modern. Yet the different data tracks different things. Skulls and genes tell us about brains, artifacts about culture. Our brains probably became modern before our cultures.Key physical and cultural milestones in...
  • Homo erectus, not humans, may have invented the barbed bone point

    10/28/2020 11:11:16 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    Science News ^ | October 22, 2020 | Bruce Bower
    A set of 52 previously excavated but little-studied animal bones from East Africa's Olduvai Gorge includes the world's oldest known barbed bone point, an implement probably crafted by now-extinct Homo erectus at least 800,000 years ago, researchers say. Made from a piece of a large animal's rib, the artifact features three curved barbs and a carved tip, the team reports in the November Journal of Human Evolution. Among the Olduvai bones, biological anthropologist Michael Pante of Colorado State University in Fort Collins and colleagues identified five other tools from more than 800,000 years ago as probable choppers, hammering tools or...
  • Forensic genealogy leads to arrest in 1969 rape, murder of go-go dancer

    10/28/2020 2:49:20 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 8 replies
    New York Post ^ | 10/28 | Joshua Rhett Miller
    DNA evidence and forensic genealogy led to the arrest of a 75-year-old Pennsylvania man in the 1969 rape and murder of a go-go dancer who was found dead in her San Diego apartment, police said. John Sipos was arrested Saturday at his home in Schnecksville for the murder of 24-year-old Mary Scott, who was discovered lifeless after being strangled nearly 51 years ago in her apartment on Nov. 20, 1969, San Diego police announced Tuesday. Sipos was identified as a suspect by investigators using DNA evidence left at the crime scene and forensic genealogy. Authorities had previously “exhausted all leads”...
  • Skull that sat on fireplace mantel for years linked to missing person: authorities

    10/27/2020 4:37:33 PM PDT · by conservative98 · 54 replies
    NY Post ^ | October 27, 2020 | 5:30pm | Ben Feuerherd
    A sunglasses-wearing human skull that had been used for years to decorate a Tennessee fireplace mantel actually belonged to a man who had been missing since 2012, local authorities said. An unidentified person found the skull near the town of Gobey and put it on the mantel — where it sat for more than a year with sunglasses on, according to local District Attorney Russell Johnson. Someone eventually told the local sheriff’s office about the skull, and investigators pulled a DNA sample from it, Johnson said in a statement. The office matched DNA from the skull to family members of...
  • 'Europe's oldest battle' in Germany's Tollense Valley 3,250 years ago may actually have been a brutal MASSACRE of 1,400 Bronze Age merchants

    10/26/2020 8:51:18 AM PDT · by C19fan · 39 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | October 26, 2020 | Joe Pinkstone
    Fresh analysis of Europe's earliest known battle has thrown up the possibility the 1,400 people who died at the site, in Germany's Tollense Valley, were not warriors engaged in a brutal melee, but ambushed merchants who were ruthlessly slain. The identity of the assailants remains unknown but it is thought they surprised the entourage and killed their guards before looting and murdering them. Human remains at the site in North East Germany, near today's border with Poland and 80 miles north of Berlin, were first found in 1996.
  • Neandertal babies had stocky chests like their parents

    10/19/2020 1:55:38 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Science News ^ | October 7, 2020 | Bruce Bower
    Neandertal babies had chests shaped like short, deep barrels and spines that curved inward more than those of humans, a build that until now was known only for Neandertal adults, researchers say. Neandertals must have inherited those skeletal features rather than developing them as their bodies grew, says a team led by paleobiologist Daniel Garcia Martinez of the National Research Center on Human Evolution in Burgos, Spain. Stocky, big-brained hominids such as Neandertals needed chest cavities arranged in this way from birth to accommodate lungs large enough to meet their energy needs, the scientists contend October 7 in Science Advances....
  • DNA solves 1984 murder of Christine Jessop, suspect dead: Toronto police

    10/15/2020 2:35:27 PM PDT · by Kriggerel · 30 replies
    Global TV News ^ | October 15, 2020 | Jessica Patton
    Toronto police say DNA has helped to solve the 1984 murder of Christine Jessop, however, the suspect is now dead. Toronto Police Chief James Ramer identified Calvin Hoover as Jessop’s murderer. He was 28 at the time of the case and he died in 2015. Ramer said a DNA sample found on Jessop’s underwear was identified on Oct. 9 as belonging to Hoover.
  • Woke warriors outraged over Gal Gadot being cast as Cleopatra because she is not black are ridiculed for not knowing the Egyptian Queen was GREEK

    10/12/2020 4:59:31 AM PDT · by C19fan · 73 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | October 12, 2020 | Karen Ruiz
    Israeli actress Gal Gadot has been slammed on social media after she was cast to play Cleopatra in the upcoming historical epic about the iconic Egyptian queen. The 35-year-old on Sunday confirmed she will play the titular role in a new movie after Paramount Pictures won the rights to the film in a bidding war between Universal, Warner Bros., Apple and Netflix. The casting however, immediately drew outrage from confused social media users who wrongly assumed Cleopatra was black and North African.
  • The Palestinians' Most Dangerous Enemy Is Archaeology

    10/10/2020 11:11:05 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | October 7, 2020 | Stephen M. Flatow
    A 2,000-year-old mikvah (ritual bath) was recently uncovered in the Lower Galilee. Most people probably would never have heard about the discovery if not for the dramatic photos of the entire structure being carried by truck to a nearby kibbutz for preservation. The remarkable sight of a truck-borne mikvah, however, also makes one pause and reflect on the remarkable implications of the archeological find. It means that 2,000 years ago, the residents of the Lower Galilee were practicing the exact same religious rituals that Orthodox Jews throughout the world practice today. Those Galileans, in other words, were Jews. They weren't...
  • Asteroid Bennu Caries Organic Materials Consistent With Ingredients For Life

    10/09/2020 11:10:54 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 53 replies
    www.sciencealert.com ^ | 9 OCTOBER 2020 | MICHELLE STARR
    In just a few days, NASA is going to bounce its probe OSIRIS-REx off asteroid Bennu. The mission will collect a sample from the asteroid, and return it to Earth for closer study - one of the first missions of its kind. That return sample will help us to understand not just asteroids, but the earliest days of the Solar System's existence. However, that is not the sole mission of OSIRIS-REx. The probe arrived in Bennu orbit in December of 2018, and since that time has been using its suite of instruments to learn as much as it can about...
  • More Humans Are Growing an Extra Artery in Our Arms, Showing We're Still Evolving

    10/09/2020 11:03:16 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 100 replies
    www.sciencealert.com ^ | 9 OCTOBER 2020 | MIKE MCRAE
    Picturing how our species might appear in the far future often invites wild speculation over stand-out features such as height, brain size, and skin complexion. Yet subtle shifts in our anatomy today demonstrate how unpredictable evolution can be. Take something as mundane as an extra blood vessel in our arms, which going by current trends could be common place within just a few generations. Researchers from Flinders University and the University of Adelaide in Australia have noticed an artery that temporarily runs down the centre of our forearms while we're still in the womb isn't vanishing as often as it...