jueves, 1 de noviembre de 2012

Unravelling The Legend Behind Homo Floresiensis

Wellingtonians are invited to come along to Te Papa on Saturday 1 December for the unique chance to see and hear about the remarkable discovery of a new human species, Homo floresiensis.

Discovered in a magnificent cathedral-like cave on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, the new species has been nicknamed the ‘hobbit’ as it stood just over one metre tall, had large feet, and was capable of undertaking complex activities.

Coinciding with celebrations for the world premiere of Peter Jackson’s film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Victoria University (together with Wellington City Council, Te Papa, and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia) is bringing two of the principal archaeologists involved in the discovery of the new human species to New Zealand for a one-off, free public event [...] scoop.co.nz/

Related: Hobbit banned as title of lecture on prehistoric 'hobbit'

Armenian cave to help puzzle out mystery of Homo sapiens' migration

The Armenian cave Aghitu-1 in Sisian will help puzzle out the mystery of migration of the Homo sapiens.

Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Pavel Avetisyan, told ArmInfo that some layers dating back to the Stone Age (the Upper Paleolithic) have been preserved in this area. The samples taken for analysis demonstrate that there were people here 25-27 thsd years ago. But the cave also has more ancient layers, which are still to be studied.

Thus, Aghitu-1 can give important information about the version that the Homo sapiens migrated from Africa 50 thsd years earlier that it was considered. Experts think that the first camps of the Homo sapiens, who migrated from Africa, were in the southern part of Arab Peninsula. Aghitu-1 will help understand whether the migration of ancient people to Asian Near East was via territory of modern Iran or not.

The excavation in Aghitu-1 cave is carried out under an Armenian-German project.


The biggest expansion of man in prehistory?

DNA sequencing of 36 complete Y chromosomes has uncovered a previously unknown period when the human population expanded rapidly. This population explosion occurred 40 to 50 thousand years ago, between the first expansion of modern humans out of Africa 60 to 70 thousand years ago and the Neolithic expansions of people in several parts of the world starting 10 thousand years ago.

This is the first time researchers have used the information from large-scale DNA sequencing to create an accurate family tree of the Y chromosome, from which the inferences about human population history could be made. Since the Y chromosome is found only in men, its history and evolution are easy to study and interpret.

This study also highlights how information generated by other genetic studies, in this case by the company Complete Genomics, can be used to investigate human genetic archaeology. The lengths between the branches and the length of each branch on the Y chromosome family tree provide insights into the evolution of the human population. The closer the branches are, the more rapidly the population was expanding and separating, most likely into different geographic areas. The longer the branch length, the greater the time that group of people have been separated from the other groups.

"We have always considered the expansion of humans out of Africa as being the largest population expansion of modern humans, but our research questions this theory," says Ms Wei Wei, first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the West China University of Medical Sciences. "The out-of-Africa expansion, which happened approximately 60,000 years ago, was extremely large in geographical terms with humans spreading around the globe. Now we've found a second wave of expansion that is much larger in terms of human population growth and occurred over a very short period, somewhere between 40,000 to 50,000 years ago." [...] phys.org/

Actualización 03-11-12. Un nuevo análisis de ADN revela una explosión demográfica, antes desconocida, hace entre 40.000 y 50.000 años
La secuenciación del ADN de 36 cromosomas "Y" completos ha descubierto un período previamente desconocido, cuando la población humana se expandió rápidamente. Esta explosión demográfica se produjo hace entre 40.000 ó 50.000 años, entre la primera expansión de los humanos modernos fuera de África, ocurrida hace entre 60.000 y 70.000 años y la expansión de las gentes del Neolítico en varias partes del mundo a partir de hace 10.000 años...