Meet your ancestors in London museum euronews Featuring more than 200 specimens and objects, including specially commissioned lifelike models of a Neanderthal and a homo sapiens, the exhibition was masterminded by Britain's leading paleontologist...
Sky News Australia Half-Human, Half Ape Ancestor Walked Pigeon-Toed Discovery News The discovery of her species, Homo floresiensis, brought into question the belief that Homo sapiens was the only form of mankind for the past 30,000 years.
A previously unrecognized system that drains waste from the brain at a rapid clip has been discovered by neuroscientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The highly organized system acts like a series of pipes that piggyback on the brain’s blood vessels, sort of a shadow plumbing system that seems to serve much the same function in the brain as the lymph system does in the rest of the body – to drain away waste products.
Scientists have known that cerebrospinal fluid or CSF plays an important role cleansing brain tissue, carrying away waste products and carrying nutrients to brain tissue through a process known as diffusion. The newly discovered system circulates CSF to every corner of the brain much more efficiently, through what scientists call bulk flow or convection.
While the previously discovered system works more like a trickle, percolating CSF through brain tissue, the new system is under pressure, pushing large volumes of CSF through the brain each day to carry waste away more forcefully.
The glymphatic system is like a layer of piping that surrounds the brain’s existing blood vessels. The team found that glial cells called astrocytes use projections known as “end feet” to form a network of conduits around the outsides of arteries and veins inside the brain – similar to the way a canopy of tree branches along a well-wooded street might create a sort of channel above the roadway.
Those end feet are filled with structures known as water channels or aquaporins, which move CSF through the brain. The team found that CSF is pumped into the brain along the channels that surround arteries, then washes through brain tissue before collecting in channels around veins and draining from the brain.
Why Does It Matter If Homo sapiens Had Sex With Neanderthals? io9 Evidence has been piling up for a while that early humans in Europe had children with the Neanderthals who had been living there for probably 500 thousand years before humans arrived.
In the last two decades, the widespread application of genetic and genomic approaches has revealed a bacterial world astonishing in its ubiquity and diversity. This review examines how a growing knowledge of the vast range of animal–bacterial interactions, whether in shared ecosystems or intimate symbioses, is fundamentally altering our understanding of animal biology.
Specifically, we highlight recent technological and intellectual advances that have changed our thinking about five questions: how have bacteria facilitated the origin and evolution of animals; how do animals and bacteria affect each other’s genomes; how does normal animal development depend on bacterial partners; how is homeostasis maintained between animals and their symbionts; and how can ecological approaches deepen our understanding of the multiple levels of animal–bacterial interaction. As answers to these fundamental questions emerge, all biologists will be challenged to broaden their appreciation of these interactions and to include investigations of the relationships between and among bacteria and their animal partners as we seek a better understanding of the natural world.
Scientists using a "more reliable" form of radiocarbon dating have re-assessed fossils from the region and found them to be far older than anyone thought. The work appears in the journal PNAS.
Its results have implications for when and where we - modern humans - might have co-existed with our evolutionary "cousins", the Neanderthals.
"The picture emerging is of an overlapping period [in Europe] that could be of the order of perhaps 3,000-4,000 years - a period over which we have a mosaic of modern humans being present and then Neanderthals slowly ebbing away, and finally becoming extinct," explained co-author Prof Thomas Higham from the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit at the University of Oxford, UK.
"What our research contributes is that in southern Spain, Neanderthals don't hang on for another 4,000 years compared with the rest of Europe. And the hunch must be that they go extinct in the south of Spain at the same time as everywhere else," he told BBC News.
Though once thought to have been our ancestors, the Neanderthals are now considered an evolutionary dead end.
They first appear in the fossil record hundreds of thousand of years ago and, at their peak, dominated a wide range, spanning Britain and Iberia in the west to Israel in the south and Uzbekistan in the east. Our own species, Homo sapiens, evolved in Africa, and displaced the Neanderthals after entering Europe somewhere around the 45,000-year mark.
No-one can say for sure what, if any, active role modern humans had in the decline of Europe's Neanderthals.
What is clear though is that some mixing must have occurred somewhere at some point. This is evident from DNA studies that prove Neanderthals made a small but significant contribution to the genetics of many modern humans.
However, scientists think this interbreeding could have occurred outside Europe, in the eastern Mediterranean or Middle East region (the area archaeologists call the "Levant"), and quite probably even deeper in time - some 80,000-90,000 years or so ago.
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