MachineMachine /stream - tagged with neanderthal en-us LifePress <![CDATA[Homo naledi: new species of ancient human discovered, claim scientists | Science | The Guardian]]>

Explorers happened upon the bones after squeezing through a fissure high up in the rear wall of the Rising Star cave, 50km from Johannesburg, before descending down a long, narrow chute to the chamber floor 40 metres beneath the surface.

Sat, 03 Oct 2015 10:38:16 -0700
<![CDATA[The Theological Questions Raised by the Homo Naledi Fossils - The Atlantic]]>

Earlier this month, scientists working in South Africa made an exciting announcement: They had discovered a new species of human ancestor.

Sat, 03 Oct 2015 10:38:04 -0700
<![CDATA[Was human evolution inevitable or a matter of luck? – Dan Falk – Aeon]]>

In the movie Sliding Doors (1998), a woman named Helen, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, rushes to catch a train on the London Underground, but just misses it, watching helplessly from the platform as the doors slide shut.

Sat, 04 Jul 2015 16:21:45 -0700
<![CDATA[Our Neanderthal Complex - Issue 24: Error - Nautilus]]>

In August 1856, limestone quarry workers blasting out the entrance to the Feldhofer grotto in the Neander Valley of west-central Germany found a set of skeletal remains.

Sat, 16 May 2015 09:45:29 -0700
<![CDATA[Our Inner Viruses: Forty Million Years In the Making – Phenomena]]>

Each year, billions of people get infected with viruses–with common ones like influenza and cold viruses, and rarer ones like polio and Ebola. The viruses don’t stay all that long inside of us.

Mon, 02 Feb 2015 11:13:43 -0800
<![CDATA[History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian]]>


Wed, 21 May 2014 13:29:33 -0700
<![CDATA[Neanderthal viruses in human DNA « This Is Jersey]]>

Ancient viruses inherited from Neanderthals have been found in modern human DNA. Scientists are investigating possible links between the “endogenous retroviruses”, which are hard-wired into DNA, and modern diseases such as Aids and cancer.

Wed, 20 Nov 2013 05:13:20 -0800
<![CDATA[From Neanderthal Skull to Neanderthal Brain? – Phenomena: Only Human]]>

The first draft of the Neanderthal genome, published in 2010, came with some titillating news. It showed that some 50,000 years ago, these ancient hominids interbred with the ancestors of many modern humans.

Tue, 19 Mar 2013 16:09:13 -0700
<![CDATA[Automated Caveman]]>

Automated Caveman

Mon, 25 Feb 2013 04:27:13 -0800
<![CDATA[Scientist wants human woman to give birth to a Neanderthal - Crave]]>

A scientist believes he's close to perfecting the necessary technology to clone a Neanderthal - all he needs is a human woman to gestate it.

Tue, 22 Jan 2013 15:44:00 -0800
<![CDATA[Neanderthals smart enough to copy humans]]>

Fossils and artefacts pulled from the Grotte du Renne cave in central France present anthropologists with a Pleistocene puzzle. Strewn among the remains of prehistoric mammals are the bones of Neanderthals, along with bladelets, bone points and body ornaments belonging to what archaeologists call the Châtelperronian culture. Such complex artefacts are often attributed to modern humans, but a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that Neanderthals created the objects in imitation of their Homo sapiens neighbors1.

How the Grotte du Renne deposit formed has important implications for how we view our extinct sister species. If Neanderthals left the assemblage, then they were capable of a degree of symbolic behaviour thought to be unique to humans.

The remains and artefacts were found together during excavations between 1949 and 1963, but they were not necessarily deposited at the same time. In 2010, Thomas Higham, an archaeologist at the University of

Mon, 31 Dec 2012 06:52:00 -0800
<![CDATA[Neanderthal vs. Homo sapiens: Who would win in a fight?]]>

team of archaeologists, paleoanthropologists, and paleoartists has created a more accurate Neanderthal reconstruction, based on a nearly complete skeleton discovered in France more than 100 years ago. The La Ferrassie Neanderthal man was short but stocky. If a modern man came nose-to-nose with a Neanderthal, could he take him in a fight? Possibly. A Neanderthal would have a clear power advantage over his Homo sapiens opponent. Many of the Neanderthals archaeologists have recovered had Popeye forearms, possibly the result of a life spent stabbing wooly mammoths and straight-tusked elephants to death and dismantling their carcasses. Neanderthals also developed strong trapezius, deltoid, and tricep muscles by dragging 50 pounds of meat 30 miles home to their families. A Neanderthal had a wider pelvis and lower center of gravity than Homo sapiens, which would have made him a powerful grappler. That doesn’t mean, however, that we would be an easy kill for our extinct relative. Homo sapiens

Mon, 31 Dec 2012 06:49:00 -0800
<![CDATA[After Life: The Science Of Decay (BBC Documentary)]]>

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Broadcast (2011) If you have ever wondered what would happen in your own home if you were taken away and everything inside was left to rot, the answer is revealed in this programme which explores the strange and surprising science of decay. For two months, a glass box containing a typical kitchen and garden was left to rot in full public view within Edinburgh Zoo. In this resulting documentary, Dr George McGavin and his team use time-lapse cameras and specialist photography to capture the extraordinary way in which moulds, microbes and insects are able to break down our everyday things and allow new life to emerge from old. Decay is something that many of us are repulsed by, but as the programme shows, it's a process that's vital in nature. And seen in close up, it has an unexpected and sometimes mesmerising beauty.

Wed, 29 Aug 2012 03:44:00 -0700
<![CDATA[Neanderthals Getting a Colourful Upgrade]]>

A chorus of smart, modern minds is rising over the hills of anthropology that the ancient Neanderthals of Europe weren't anywhere nearly as dumb, insufferable and unrecognizable as everyone thought all these years. At long last, these creatures who roamed the Continent for hundreds of thousands of years only to become extinct 30,000 years ago under the onslaught of modern humans from Africa are getting a major upgrade by the scientific community.

No more can we say that old Neanderthal -- prototype of shaggy man with absolutely zero smarts -- didn't know what he was doing. And no more can we deny it: They were not a little bit like us but a lot. As Professor David Frayer, Neanderthal expert at the University of Kansas, puts it, with not a little hint of told-you-so scientific glee, "Seemingly with every new journal issue, the gap between Neanderthal and modern human behavior closes."

Wed, 23 May 2012 09:44:15 -0700
<![CDATA[Should we clone Neanderthals?]]>

If Neanderthals ever walk the earth again, the primordial ooze from which they will rise is an emulsion of oil, water, and DNA capture beads engineered in the laboratory of 454 Life Sciences in Branford, Connecticut. Over the past 4 years those beads have been gathering tiny fragments of DNA from samples of dissolved organic materials, including pieces of Neanderthal bone. Genetic sequences have given paleoanthropologists a new line of evidence for testing ideas about the biology of our closest extinct relative.

The first studies of Neanderthal DNA focused on the genetic sequences of mitochondria, the microscopic organelles that convert food to energy within cells. In 2005, however, 454 began a collaborative project with the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, to sequence the full genetic code of a Neanderthal woman who died in Croatia’s Vindija cave 30,000 years ago. As the Neanderthal genome is painstakingly sequenced, the archaeologists and biologists who study it will be faced with an opportunity that seemed like science fiction just 10 years ago. They will be able to look at the genetic blueprint of humankind’s nearest relative and understand its biology as intimately as our own.

Wed, 04 Apr 2012 01:42:58 -0700
<![CDATA[What Happened Between the Neanderthals and Us?]]>

The question of what defines the human has, of course, been kicking around since Socrates, and probably a lot longer. If it has yet to be satisfactorily resolved, then this, Pääbo suspects, is because it has never been properly framed. “The challenge is to address the questions that are answerable,” he told me. Pääbo’s most ambitious project to date, which he has assembled an international consortium to assist him with, is an attempt to sequence the entire genome of the Neanderthal. The project is about halfway complete and has already yielded some unsettling results, including the news, announced by Pääbo last year, that modern humans, before doing in the Neanderthals, must have interbred with them. Once the Neanderthal genome is complete, scientists will be able to lay it gene by gene—indeed, base by base—against the human, and see where they diverge. At that point, Pääbo believes, an answer to the age-old question will finally be at hand. Neanderthals were very closely related to mo

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 14:56:05 -0800
<![CDATA[How We Won the Hominid Wars, and All the Others Died Out]]>

How did our species come to rule the planet? Rick Potts argues that environmental instability and disruption were decisive factors in the success of Homo sapiens: Alone among our primate tribe, we were able to cope with constant change and turn it to our advantage. Potts is director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program, curator of anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and curator of the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, which opened at that museum last year. He also leads excavations in the East African Rift Valley and codirects projects in China that compare early human behavior and environments in eastern Africa with those in eastern Asia. Here Potts explains the reasoning behind his controversial idea.

Sat, 25 Feb 2012 09:35:33 -0800
<![CDATA[The Hobbit who helped us find our origins]]>

Human beings have come to dominate our planet like no other creature before us. Today, our seven-billion-strong population inhabits most of the surface of the world, secure in its status as the only truly intelligent species on Earth.

Yet if we look even a little way back into the planet’s history, we come to a time – possibly as recently as 50,000 years ago – when there may have been as many as seven distinct types of human, from Africa to Europe to the wilds of Siberia and the remote islands of Indonesia. We, Homo sapiens, are the sole survivor of this menagerie – but for most of human history, we were not alone.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 01:20:14 -0800
<![CDATA[Neanderthal Neuroscience]]>

As scientists began to build a database of human DNA in the 1990s, it became possible to test these ideas with genes. In his talk, Paabo described how he and his colleagues managed to extract some fragments of DNA from a Neanderthal fossil–by coincidence, the very first Neanderthal discovered in 1857. The DNA was of a special sort. Along with the bulk of our genes, which are located in the nucleus of our cells, we also carry bits of DNA in jellybean-shaped structures called mitochondria. Since there are hundreds of mitochondria in each cell, it’s easier to grab fragments of mitochondrial DNA and assemble them into long sequences. Paabo and his colleagues used the mutations in the Neanderthal DNA, along with those in human and chimpanzee DNA, to draw a family tree.

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 02:09:18 -0800
<![CDATA[Ancient DNA reveals secrets of human history]]>

By comparing individual DNA letters in multiple modern human genomes with those in the Neanderthal genome, the date of that interbreeding has now been pinned down to 65,000–90,000 years ago. Montgomery Slatkin and Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas, theoretical geneticists from the University of California, Berkeley, presented the finding at the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution meeting in Kyoto, Japan, held on 26–30 July. Slatkin says that their result agrees with another study presented at the meeting that came from the group of David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, who was involved in sequencing both the Neanderthal and Denisova genomes. The dates also mesh with archaeological finds bookending early human migrations out of Africa to between about 50,000 and 100,000 years ago. Reich's team is now developing tools to find signs of more recent interbreeding that might have occurred after humans arrived in Asia and Europe.

Mon, 15 Aug 2011 02:45:39 -0700