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Sample records for human homo sapiens

  1. Spatial Construction Skills of Chimpanzees ("Pan Troglodytes") and Young Human Children ("Homo Sapiens Sapiens")

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poti, Patrizia; Hayashi, Misato; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro

    2009-01-01

    Spatial construction tasks are basic tests of visual-spatial processing. Two studies have assessed spatial construction skills in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and young children (Homo sapiens sapiens) with a block modelling task. Study 1a subjects were three young chimpanzees and five adult chimpanzees. Study 1b subjects were 30 human children…

  2. The Emergence of Homo sapiens.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rensberger, Boyce

    1980-01-01

    Describes chronologically the evolution of the human race on earth so as to refute Darwin's theory of descent from animals. Skull fragments from sites around the world suggest at least two possible routes toward the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens. (Author/SK)

  3. Spatial construction skills of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and young human children (Homo sapiens sapiens).

    PubMed

    Potì, Patrizia; Hayashi, Misato; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro

    2009-07-01

    Spatial construction tasks are basic tests of visual-spatial processing. Two studies have assessed spatial construction skills in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and young children (Homo sapiens sapiens) with a block modelling task. Study 1a subjects were three young chimpanzees and five adult chimpanzees. Study 1b subjects were 30 human children belonging to five age groups (24, 30, 36, 42, 48 months). Subjects were given three model constructions to reproduce: Line, Cross-Stack and Arch, which differed in type and number of spatial relations and dimensions, but required comparable configurational understanding. Subjects' constructions were rated for accuracy. Our results show that: (1) chimpanzees are relatively advanced in constructing in the vertical dimension; (2) Among chimpanzees only adults make accurate copies of constructions; (3) Chimpanzees do not develop in the direction of constructing in two dimensions as human children do starting from age 30 months. The pattern of development of construction skills in chimpanzees partially diverges from that of human children and indicates that spatial analysis and spatial representation are partially different in the two species. PMID:19635081

  4. Homo Sapiens, All Too Homo Sapiens: Wise Man, All Too Human

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ketcham, Amaris

    2015-01-01

    The emphasis on STEM education should not be interpreted as an omen of the death of humanities; art, literature, history, and philosophy can inform and enlighten STEM studies if the walls of academic silos are broken down and taught in combination. Where the physical universe collides with the fanciful and flawed human experience of life, there is…

  5. Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution.

    PubMed

    Zihlman, Adrienne L; Bolter, Debra R

    2015-06-16

    The human body has been shaped by natural selection during the past 4-5 million years. Fossils preserve bones and teeth but lack muscle, skin, fat, and organs. To understand the evolution of the human form, information about both soft and hard tissues of our ancestors is needed. Our closest living relatives of the genus Pan provide the best comparative model to those ancestors. Here, we present data on the body composition of 13 bonobos (Pan paniscus) measured during anatomical dissections and compare the data with Homo sapiens. These comparative data suggest that both females and males (i) increased body fat, (ii) decreased relative muscle mass, (iii) redistributed muscle mass to lower limbs, and (iv) decreased relative mass of skin during human evolution. Comparison of soft tissues between Pan and Homo provides new insights into the function and evolution of body composition. PMID:26034269

  6. Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution

    PubMed Central

    Zihlman, Adrienne L.; Bolter, Debra R.

    2015-01-01

    The human body has been shaped by natural selection during the past 4–5 million years. Fossils preserve bones and teeth but lack muscle, skin, fat, and organs. To understand the evolution of the human form, information about both soft and hard tissues of our ancestors is needed. Our closest living relatives of the genus Pan provide the best comparative model to those ancestors. Here, we present data on the body composition of 13 bonobos (Pan paniscus) measured during anatomical dissections and compare the data with Homo sapiens. These comparative data suggest that both females and males (i) increased body fat, (ii) decreased relative muscle mass, (iii) redistributed muscle mass to lower limbs, and (iv) decreased relative mass of skin during human evolution. Comparison of soft tissues between Pan and Homo provides new insights into the function and evolution of body composition. PMID:26034269

  7. Leukotriene signaling in the extinct human subspecies Homo denisovan and Homo neanderthalensis. Structural and functional comparison with Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Adel, Susan; Kakularam, Kumar Reddy; Horn, Thomas; Reddanna, Pallu; Kuhn, Hartmut; Heydeck, Dagmar

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian lipoxygenases (LOXs) have been implicated in cell differentiation and in the biosynthesis of pro- and anti-inflammatory lipid mediators. The initial draft sequence of the Homo neanderthalensis genome (coverage of 1.3-fold) suggested defective leukotriene signaling in this archaic human subspecies since expression of essential proteins appeared to be corrupted. Meanwhile high quality genomic sequence data became available for two extinct human subspecies (H. neanderthalensis, Homo denisovan) and completion of the human 1000 genome project provided a comprehensive database characterizing the genetic variability of the human genome. For this study we extracted the nucleotide sequences of selected eicosanoid relevant genes (ALOX5, ALOX15, ALOX12, ALOX15B, ALOX12B, ALOXE3, COX1, COX2, LTA4H, LTC4S, ALOX5AP, CYSLTR1, CYSLTR2, BLTR1, BLTR2) from the corresponding databases. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences in connection with site-directed mutagenesis studies and structural modeling suggested that the major enzymes and receptors of leukotriene signaling as well as the two cyclooxygenase isoforms were fully functional in these two extinct human subspecies. PMID:25447821

  8. Temporal coherence for pure tones in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and humans (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Neilans, Erikson G; Dent, Micheal L

    2015-02-01

    Auditory scene analysis has been suggested as a universal process that exists across all animals. Relative to humans, however, little work has been devoted to how animals perceptually isolate different sound sources. Frequency separation of sounds is arguably the most common parameter studied in auditory streaming, but it is not the only factor contributing to how the auditory scene is perceived. Researchers have found that in humans, even at large frequency separations, synchronous tones are heard as a single auditory stream, whereas asynchronous tones with the same frequency separations are perceived as 2 distinct sounds. These findings demonstrate how both the timing and frequency separation of sounds are important for auditory scene analysis. It is unclear how animals, such as budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), perceive synchronous and asynchronous sounds. In this study, budgerigars and humans (Homo sapiens) were tested on their perception of synchronous, asynchronous, and partially overlapping pure tones using the same psychophysical procedures. Species differences were found between budgerigars and humans in how partially overlapping sounds were perceived, with budgerigars more likely to segregate overlapping sounds and humans more apt to fuse the 2 sounds together. The results also illustrated that temporal cues are particularly important for stream segregation of overlapping sounds. Lastly, budgerigars were found to segregate partially overlapping sounds in a manner predicted by computational models of streaming, whereas humans were not. PMID:25419717

  9. End state copying by humans (Homo sapiens): implications for a comparative perspective on cumulative culture.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, Christine A; Schillinger, Kerstin; Evans, Cara L; Hopper, Lydia M

    2012-05-01

    It has been proposed that the uniqueness of human cumulative culture may be attributable to humans' greater orientation toward copying the process of behavior (imitation), as compared with the products (emulation), resulting in particularly high fidelity transmission. Following from previous work indicating that adult human participants can exhibit cumulative learning on the basis of product copying alone, we now investigate whether such learning involves high fidelity transmission. Eighty adult human (Homo sapiens) participants were presented with a task previously shown to elicit cumulative learning under experimental conditions, which involved building a tower from spaghetti and modeling clay. Each participant was shown two completed towers, ostensibly built by previous participants, but actually built to prespecified designs by the experimenter. This end state information was provided either in the form of photographs, or the presence of actual towers. High fidelity matching to these end states was apparent in both demonstration conditions, even for a design that was demonstrably suboptimal with regard to the goal of the task (maximizing tower height). We conclude that, although high fidelity transmission is likely to be implicated in cumulative culture, action copying is not always necessary for this to occur. Furthermore, since chimpanzees apparently copy behavioral processes and well as products, and also transmit behavior with high fidelity, the stark absence of unequivocal examples of cumulative culture in nonhumans may be attributable to factors other than imitative ability. PMID:22468937

  10. The origin and evolution of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Stringer, Chris

    2016-07-01

    If we restrict the use of Homo sapiens in the fossil record to specimens which share a significant number of derived features in the skeleton with extant H. sapiens, the origin of our species would be placed in the African late middle Pleistocene, based on fossils such as Omo Kibish 1, Herto 1 and 2, and the Levantine material from Skhul and Qafzeh. However, genetic data suggest that we and our sister species Homo neanderthalensis shared a last common ancestor in the middle Pleistocene approximately 400-700 ka, which is at least 200 000 years earlier than the species origin indicated from the fossils already mentioned. Thus, it is likely that the African fossil record will document early members of the sapiens lineage showing only some of the derived features of late members of the lineage. On that basis, I argue that human fossils such as those from Jebel Irhoud, Florisbad, Eliye Springs and Omo Kibish 2 do represent early members of the species, but variation across the African later middle Pleistocene/early Middle Stone Age fossils shows that there was not a simple linear progression towards later sapiens morphology, and there was chronological overlap between different 'archaic' and 'modern' morphs. Even in the late Pleistocene within and outside Africa, we find H. sapiens specimens which are clearly outside the range of Holocene members of the species, showing the complexity of recent human evolution. The impact on species recognition of late Pleistocene gene flow between the lineages of modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans is also discussed, and finally, I reconsider the nature of the middle Pleistocene ancestor of these lineages, based on recent morphological and genetic data.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298468

  11. Mechanisms of inferential order judgments in humans (Homo sapiens) and rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).

    PubMed

    Merritt, Dustin J; Terrace, Herbert S

    2011-05-01

    If A > B, and B > C, it follows logically that A > C. The process of reaching that conclusion is called transitive inference (TI). Several mechanisms have been offered to explain transitive performance. Scanning models claim that the list is scanned from the ends of the list inward until a match is found. Positional discrimination models claim that positional uncertainty accounts for accuracy and reaction time patterns. In Experiment 1, we trained rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and humans (Homo sapiens) on adjacent pairs (e.g., AB, BC, CD, DE, EF) and tested them with previously untrained nonadjacent pairs (e.g., BD). In Experiment 2, we trained a second list and tested with nonadjacent pairs selected between lists (e.g., B from List 1, D from List 2). We then introduced associative competition between adjacent items in Experiment 3 by training 2 items per position (e.g., B₁C₁, B₂C₂) before testing with untrained nonadjacent items. In all 3 experiments, humans and monkeys showed distance effects in which accuracy increased, and reaction time decreased, as the distance between items in each pair increased (e.g., BD vs. BE). In Experiment 4, we trained adjacent pairs with separate 9- and 5-item lists. We then tested with nonadjacent pairs selected between lists to determine whether list items were chosen according to their absolute position (e.g., D, 5-item list > E, 9-item list), or their relative position (e.g., D, 5-item list < E, 9-item list). Both monkeys' and humans' choices were most consistent with a relative positional organization. PMID:21341909

  12. Do humans ape? Or do apes human? Imitation and intention in humans (Homo sapiens) and other animals.

    PubMed

    Horowitz, Alexandra C

    2003-09-01

    A. Whiten, D. M. Custance, J.-C. Gomez, P. Teixidor, and K. A. Bard (1996) tested chimpanzees' (Pan troglodytes) and human children's (Homo sapiens) skills at imitation with a 2-action test on an "artificial fruit." Chimpanzees imitated to a restricted degree; children were more thoroughly imitative. Such results prompted some to assert that the difference in imitation indicates a difference in the subjects' understanding of the intentions of the demonstrator (M. Tomasello, 1996). In this experiment, 37 adult human subjects were tested with the artificial fruit. Far from being perfect imitators, the adults were less imitative than the children. These results cast doubt on the inference from imitative performance to an ability to understand others' intentions. The results also demonstrate how any test of imitation requires a control group and attention to the level of behavioral analysis. PMID:14498809

  13. What constitutes Homo sapiens? Morphology versus received wisdom.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Jeffrey

    2016-06-20

    Although Linnaeus coined Homo sapiens in 1735, it was Blumenbach forty years later who provided the first morphological definition of the species. Since humans were not then allowed to be ante-Diluvian, his effort applied to the genus, as well. After the Feldhofer Grotto Neanderthal disproved this creationist notion, and human-fossil hunting became legitimate, new specimens were allocated either to sapiens or new species within Homo, or even to new species within new genera. Yet as these taxonomic acts reflected the morphological differences between specimens, they failed to address the question: What constitutes H. sapiens? When in 1950 Mayr collapsed all human fossils into Homo, he not only denied humans a diverse evolutionary past, he also shifted the key to identifying its species from morphology to geological age - a practice most paleoanthropologists still follow. Thus, for example, H. erectus is the species that preceded H. sapiens, and H. sapiens is the species into which H. erectus morphed. In order to deal with a growing morass of morphologically dissimilar specimens, the non-taxonomic terms "archaic" (AS) and "anatomically modern" (AMS) were introduced to distinguish between the earlier and later versions of H. sapiens, thereby making the species impossible to define. In attempting to disentangle fact from scenario, I begin from the beginning, trying to delineate features that may be distinctive of extant humans (ES), and then turning to the fossils that have been included in the species. With the exception of Upper Paleolithic humans - e.g. from Cro-Magnon, Dolni Vestonice, Mladeč - I argue that many specimens regarded as AMS, and all those deemed AS, are not H. sapiens. The features these AMS do share with ES suggest the existence of a sapiens clade. Further, restudy of near-recent fossils, especially from southwestern China (∼11-14.5 ka), reinforces what discoveries such as H. floresiensis indicate: "If it's recent, it's not necessarily H. sapiens

  14. A genome-wide linkage scan for quantitative trait loci influencing the craniofacial complex in humans(Homo sapiens sapiens)

    PubMed Central

    Sherwood, Richard J.; Duren, Dana L.; Mahaney, Michael C.; Blangero, John; Dyer, Thomas D.; Cole, Shelley A.; Czerwinski, Stefan A.; Chumlea, Wm. Cameron; Siervogel, Roger M.; Choh, Audrey C.; Nahhas, Ramzi W.; Lee, Miryoung; Towne, Bradford

    2011-01-01

    The genetic architecture of the craniofacial complex has been the subject of intense scrutiny because of the high frequency of congenital malformations. Numerous animal models have been used to document the early development of the craniofacial complex, but few studies have focused directly on the genetic underpinnings of normal variation in the human craniofacial complex. The current study examines 80 quantitative traits derived from lateral cephalographs of 981 participants in the Fels Longitudinal Study, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. Quantitative genetic analyses were conducted using the SOLAR analytic platform, a maximum-likelihood variance components method that incorporates all familial information for parameter estimation. Heritability estimates were significant and of moderate to high magnitude for all craniofacial traits. Additionally, significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) were identified for 10 traits from the three developmental components (basicranium, splanchnocranium, and neurocranium) of the craniofacial complex. These QTL were found on chromosomes 3, 6, 11, 12, and 14. This study of the genetic architecture of the craniofacial complex elucidates fundamental information of the genetic architecture of the craniofacial complex in humans. PMID:21328561

  15. Homo Sapiens as Geological Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holloway, T.; Bedsworth, L. W.; Caldeira, K.; Rosenzweig, C.; Kelley, G.; Rosenzweig, C.; Caldeira, K.; Bedsworth, L. W.; Holloway, T.; Purdy, J. S.; Vince, G.; Syvitski, J. A.; Bondre, N. R.; Kelly, J.; Vince, G.; Seto, K. C.; Steffen, W.; Oreskes, N.

    2015-12-01

    In the 18th and 19th centuries, earth scientists came to understand the magnitude and power of geological and geophysical processes. In comparison, the activities of humans seemed paltry if not insignificant. With the development of radiometric dating in the 20th century, scientists realized that human history was but a miniscule part of Earth history. Metaphors to this effect abounded, and filled textbooks: If Earth history were a 24-hour day, human history would not occupy even the final second. If Earth history were a yardstick, the human portion would not even be visible to the naked eye. Generations of scientists were taught that one of the principal contributions of geology, qua science, was the demonstration of our insignificance. The Anthropocene concept disrupts this. To affirms its existence is to insist that human activities compete in scale and significance with other Earth processes, and may threaten to overwhelm them. It also inverts our relation to normative claims. For more than a century earth scientists and evolutionary biologists insisted that their theories were descriptive and not normative—that there was no moral conclusion to be drawn from either planetary or human evolution. Now, we confront the suggestion that there is a moral component to our new paradigm: we can scarcely claim that humans are disrupting the climate, destroying biodiversity, and acidifying the oceans without implying that there is something troubling about these developments. Thus, the Anthropocene concept suggests both a radical redefinition of the scope of Earth science, and a radical reconsideration of the place of normative judgments in scientific work.

  16. A comparison of tooth structure in Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens sapiens: a radiographic study.

    PubMed Central

    Zilberman, U; Smith, P

    1992-01-01

    Tooth components of 1st and 2nd erupted permanent molars were measured from standardised radiographs of Homo sapiens sapiens and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Enamel height was greater in Homo sapiens sapiens but pulp height and width and the height of the enamel to floor of the pulp chamber were greater in Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Dentine height, crown width and enamel width showed similar results in the two groups. Unerupted first molars were measured to analyse the influence of function on tooth components and the results obtained were always within the range measured for the erupted teeth. Discriminant analysis between groups, using tooth components, showed accuracy of 93% for identification of Homo sapiens sapiens and 94% for identification of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. The results support the hypothesis of a distinct evolutionary line for the Neanderthals. PMID:1487432

  17. Human species and mating systems: Neandertal-Homo sapiens reproductive isolation and the archaeological and fossil records.

    PubMed

    Overmann, Karenleigh; Coolidge, Frederick

    2013-01-01

    The present paper examined the assumption of strong reproductive isolation (RI) between Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens, as well as the question of what form it might have taken, using insights from the parallel case of chimpanzee–bonobo hybridization. RI from hybrid sterility or inviability was thought unlikely based on the short separation-to-introgression timeline. The forms of RI that typically develop in primates have relatively short timelines (especially for partial implementation); they generally preclude mating or influence hybrid survival and reproduction in certain contexts, and they have the potential to skew introgression directionality. These RI barriers are also consistent with some interpretations of the archaeological and fossil records, especially when behavioral, cognitive, morphological, and genetic differences between the two human species are taken into consideration. Differences potentially influencing patterns of survival and reproduction include interspecies violence, Neandertal xenophobia, provisioning behavior, and ontogenetic, morphological, and behavioral differences affecting matters such as kin and mate recognition, infanticide, and sexual selection. These factors may have skewed the occurrence of interbreeding or the survival and reproduction of hybrids in a way that might at least partially explain the pattern of introgression. PMID:24344097

  18. The evolution of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis miRNA targeting genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background As the evolution of miRNA genes has been found to be one of the important factors in formation of the modern type of man, we performed a comparative analysis of the evolution of miRNA genes in two archaic hominines, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova, and elucidated the expression of their target mRNAs in bain. Results A comparative analysis of the genomes of primates, including species in the genus Homo, identified a group of miRNA genes having fixed substitutions with important implications for the evolution of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova. The mRNAs targeted by miRNAs with mutations specific for Homo sapiens denisova exhibited enhanced expression during postnatal brain development in modern humans. By contrast, the expression of mRNAs targeted by miRNAs bearing variations specific for Homo sapiens neanderthalensis was shown to be enhanced in prenatal brain development. Conclusions Our results highlight the importance of changes in miRNA gene sequences in the course of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis evolution. The genetic alterations of miRNAs regulating the spatiotemporal expression of multiple genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain may contribute to the progressive evolution of brain function, which is consistent with the observations of fine technical and typological properties of tools and decorative items reported from archaeological Denisovan sites. The data also suggest that differential spatial-temporal regulation of gene products promoted by the subspecies-specific mutations in the miRNA genes might have occurred in the brains of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, potentially contributing to the cultural differences between these two archaic hominines. PMID:26693966

  19. Crystal Structure of Homo Sapiens Kynureninase†

    PubMed Central

    Lima, Santiago; Kristoforov, Roman; Momany, Cory; Phillips, Robert S.

    2008-01-01

    Kynureninase is a member of a large family of catalytically diverse but structurally homologous pyridoxal-5′-phosphate dependent enzymes known as the aspartate aminotransferase superfamily or α-family. The Homo sapiens and other eukaryotic constitutive kynureninases preferentially catalyze the hydrolytic cleavage of 3-hydroxy-L-kynurenine to produce 3-hydroxyanthranilate and L-alanine, while L-kynurenine is the substrate of many prokaryotic inducible kynureninases. The human enzyme was cloned with an N-terminal hexahistidine tag, expressed, and purified from a bacterial expression system using Ni-metal ion affinity chromatography. Kinetic characterization of the recombinant enzyme reveals classic Michaelis-Menten behavior, with a Km= 28.3 ± 1.9 μM, and a specific activity of 1.75 μmol min-1 mg-1 for 3-hydroxy-DL-kynurenine. Crystals of recombinant kynureninase were obtained that diffracted to 2.0 Å, and the atomic structure of the PLP-bound holoenzyme was solved by molecular replacement using the Pseudomonas fluorescens kynureninase structure (PDB accession 1qz9) as the phasing model. A structural superposition with the P. fluorescens kynureninase revealed that these two structures resemble the “open” and “closed” conformations of aspartate aminotransferase. The comparison illustrates the dynamic nature of these proteins’ small domains and reveals a role for Arg-434 similar to that in other AAT α-family members. Docking of 3-hydroxy-L-kynurenine into the human kynureninase active site suggests that Asn-333 and His-102 are involved in substrate binding and molecular discrimination between inducible and constitutive kynureninase substrates. PMID:17300176

  20. Copying results and copying actions in the process of social learning: chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and human children (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Call, Josep; Carpenter, Malinda; Tomasello, Michael

    2005-07-01

    There is currently much debate about the nature of social learning in chimpanzees. The main question is whether they can copy others' actions, as opposed to reproducing the environmental effects of these actions using their own preexisting behavioral strategies. In the current study, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and human children (Homo sapiens) were shown different demonstrations of how to open a tube-in both cases by a conspecific. In different experimental conditions, demonstrations consisted of (1) action only (the actions necessary to open the tube without actually opening it); (2) end state only (the open tube, without showing any actions); (3) both of these components (in a full demonstration); or (4) neither of these components (in a baseline condition). In the first three conditions subjects saw one of two different ways that the tube could open (break in middle; caps off ends). Subjects' behavior in each condition was assessed for how often they opened the tube, how often they opened it in the same location as the demonstrator, and how often they copied the demonstrator's actions or style of opening the tube. Whereas chimpanzees reproduced mainly the environmental results of the demonstrations (emulation), human children often reproduced the demonstrator's actions (imitation). Because the procedure used was similar in many ways to the procedure that Meltzoff (Dev Psych 31:1, 1995) used to study the understanding of others' unfulfilled intentions, the implications of these findings with regard to chimpanzees' understanding of others' intentions are also discussed. PMID:15490290

  1. Generalization of category knowledge and dimensional categorization in humans (Homo sapiens) and nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta).

    PubMed

    Smith, J David; Zakrzewski, Alexandria C; Johnston, Jennifer J R; Roeder, Jessica L; Boomer, Joseph; Ashby, F Gregory; Church, Barbara A

    2015-10-01

    A theoretical framework within neuroscience distinguishes humans' implicit and explicit systems for category learning. We used a perceptual-categorization paradigm to ask whether nonhumans share elements of these systems. Participants learned categories that foster implicit or explicit categorization in humans, because they had a multidimensional, information-integration (II) solution or a unidimensional, rule-based (RB) solution. Then humans and macaques generalized their category knowledge to new, untested regions of the stimulus space. II generalization was impaired, suggesting that II category learning is conditioned and constrained by stimulus generalization to its original, trained stimulus contexts. RB generalization was nearly seamless, suggesting that RB category knowledge in humans and monkeys has properties that grant it some independence from the original, trained stimulus contexts. These findings raise the questions of (a) how closely macaques' dimensional categorization verges on humans' explicit/declarative categorization, and (b) how far macaques' dimensional categorization has advanced beyond that in other vertebrate species. PMID:26167774

  2. Implicit and Explicit Category Learning by Macaques (Macaca mulatta) and Humans (Homo sapiens)

    PubMed Central

    Smith, J. David; Beran, Michael J.; Crossley, Matthew J.; Boomer, Joseph. T.; Ashby, F. Gregory

    2010-01-01

    An influential theoretical perspective differentiates in humans an explicit, rule-based system of category learning from an implicit system that slowly associates different regions of perceptual space with different response outputs. This perspective was extended for the first time to the category learning of nonhuman primates. Humans and macaques learned categories composed of sine-wave gratings that varied across trials in bar width and bar orientation. The categories had either a single-dimensional, rule-based solution or a two-dimensional, information-integration solution. Humans strongly dimensionalized the stimuli and learned the rule-based task far more quickly. Six macaques showed the same performance advantage in the rule-based task. In humans, rule-based category learning is linked to explicit cognition, consciousness, and to declarative reports about the contents of cognition. The present results demonstrate an empirical continuity between human and nonhuman primate cognition, suggesting that nonhuman primates may have some structural components of humans’ capacity for explicit cognition. PMID:20141317

  3. The Learning of Exclusive-Or Categories by Monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and Humans (Homo sapiens)

    PubMed Central

    Smith, J. David; Coutinho, Mariana V. C.; Couchman, Justin J.

    2012-01-01

    A central question in categorization research concerns the categories that animals and humans learn naturally and well. Here, the authors examined monkeys’ and humans’ learning of the important class of exclusive-or (XOR) categories. Both species exhibited—through a sustained level of ongoing errors—substantial difficulty learning XOR category tasks at three stimulus dimensionalities. Clearly, both species brought a linear-separability constraint to XOR category learning. This constraint illuminates the primate category-learning system from which that of humans arose, and it has theoretical implications concerning the evolution of cognitive systems for categorization. The present data also clarify the role of exemplar-specific processes in fully explaining XOR category learning, and suggest that humans sometimes overcome their linear-separability constraint through the use of language and verbalization. PMID:20718556

  4. Side biases in humans ( Homo sapiens): three ecological studies on hemispheric asymmetries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzoli, Daniele; Tommasi, Luca

    2009-09-01

    Hemispheric asymmetries and side biases have been studied in humans mostly in laboratory settings, and evidence obtained in naturalistic settings is scarce. We here report the results of three studies on human ear preference observed during social interactions in noisy environments, i.e., discotheques. In the first study, a spontaneous right-ear preference was observed during linguistic exchange between interacting individuals. This lateral bias was confirmed in a quasi-experimental study in which a confederate experimenter evoked an ear-orienting response in bystanders, under the pretext of approaching them with a whispered request. In the last study, subjects showed a greater proneness to meet an experimenter’s request when it was directly addressed to the right rather than the left ear. Our findings are in agreement both with laboratory studies on hemispheric lateralization for language and approach/avoidance behavior in humans and with animal research. The present work is one of the few studies demonstrating the natural expression of hemispheric asymmetries, showing their effect in everyday human behavior.

  5. Temporal coherence for complex signals in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and humans (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Neilans, Erikson G; Dent, Micheal L

    2015-05-01

    The auditory scene is filled with an array of overlapping acoustic signals, yet relatively little work has focused on how animals are able to perceptually isolate different sound sources necessary for survival. Much of the previous work on auditory scene analysis has investigated how sequential pure tone stimuli are perceived, but how temporally overlapping complex communication signals are segregated has been largely ignored. In this study, budgerigars and humans were tested using psychophysical procedures to measure their perception of synchronous, asynchronous, and partially overlapping complex signals, including bird calls and human vowels. Segregation thresholds for complex stimuli were significantly lower than those for pure tone stimuli in both humans and birds. Additionally, a species effect was discovered such that relative to humans, budgerigars required significantly less temporal separation between 2 sounds in order to segregate them. Overall, and similar to previous behavioral results investigating temporal coherence, the results from this experiment illustrate that temporal cues are particularly important for auditory scene analysis across multiple species and for both simple and complex acoustic signals. PMID:25822769

  6. Time preferences in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) and humans (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Genty, Emilie; Karpel, Heather; Silberberg, Alan

    2012-11-01

    Rosati et al. (Curr Biol 17(19):1663-1668, 2007) found in a self-control test in which choice was between a smaller, immediately delivered food and a larger, delayed food, that chimpanzees preferred the larger reward (self-control); humans, however, preferred the smaller reward (impulsivity). They attributed their results to a species difference in self-control. In Experiment 1, monkeys (long-tailed macaques) were exposed to a self-control task in two conditions: where the food was hidden under differently colored bowls and where it was visible. When these two conditions were compared, choice shifted from greater preference for the impulsive alternative in the hidden condition to greater preference for the self-control alternative in the visible condition. Additionally, in both conditions, preference shifted from self-control to impulsivity over sessions. These results were explained in terms of the reversed-contingency effect (a propensity to reach for more over less when rewards are visible) and not to a capacity for self-control. In Experiment 2, humans that demonstrated preference for more over less in choice preferred the impulsive alternative when choice to either alternative was followed by the same intertrial interval-a preference that accelerates trial rates relative to preference of the self-control alternative. When trial rates were equated so that neither choice accelerated session's end, humans demonstrated self-control. These results suggest that Rosati et al.'s demonstration of impulsivity in humans was due to participants' desire to minimize session time. PMID:22843198

  7. Processing advantages for consonance: A comparison between rats (Rattus norvegicus) and humans (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Crespo-Bojorque, Paola; Toro, Juan M

    2016-05-01

    Consonance is a salient perceptual feature in harmonic music associated with pleasantness. Besides being deeply rooted in how we experience music, research suggests consonant intervals are more easily processed than dissonant intervals. In the present work we explore from a comparative perspective if such processing advantage extends to more complex tasks such as the detection of abstract rules. We ran experiments on rule learning over consonant and dissonant intervals with nonhuman animals and human participants. Results show differences across species regarding the extent to which they benefit from differences in consonance. Animals learn abstract rules with the same ease independently of whether they are implemented over consonant intervals (Experiment 1), dissonant intervals (Experiment 2), or over a combination of them (Experiment 3). Humans, on the contrary, learn an abstract rule better when it is implemented over consonant (Experiment 4) than over dissonant intervals (Experiment 5). Moreover, their performance improves when there is a mapping between abstract categories defining a rule and consonant and dissonant intervals (Experiments 6 and 7). Results suggest that for humans, consonance might be used as a perceptual anchor for other cognitive processes as to facilitate the detection of abstract patterns. Lacking extensive experience with harmonic stimuli, nonhuman animals tested here do not seem to benefit from a processing advantage for consonant intervals. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27078078

  8. Timbre influences chord discrimination in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) but not humans (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Hoeschele, Marisa; Cook, Robert G; Guillette, Lauren M; Hahn, Allison H; Sturdy, Christopher B

    2014-11-01

    Timbre is an important attribute of sound both in music and nature. Previously, using an operant conditioning paradigm, we found that black-capped chickadees and humans show similar response patterns in discriminating triadic chords of the same timbre and transferred this discrimination to a novel key center (novel absolute pitch). The current study examined how varying the timbre of the chords influenced discrimination. Using a similar operant conditioning procedure, we trained humans (Experiment 1) and chickadees (Experiments 2 and 3) to discriminate a major chord from 6 other chord types that had semitone deviations from the major chord. The pattern of errors of the 2 species replicated our previous findings. We then tested participants with novel timbres. We found that humans readily transferred their discrimination to novel timbres, suggesting they were attending to triadic pitch relations. The chickadees failed to transfer to novel timbres, suggesting they were using a different strategy to perform the original chord discrimination. We conducted an acoustic analysis examining frequency ranges that are biologically relevant to chickadees. We found that the relative intensity within each chord of the frequencies used in black-capped chickadee song significantly correlated with chickadees' percent response during probe testing. In Experiment 3, we trained a new set of chickadees by including either expanded pitch or timbre training before testing. Although chickadees showed some transfer to novel chords following this expanded training, we found that neither type of expanded training helped the chickadees when probe tested with novel stimuli. PMID:25150964

  9. Adaptive sex ratio variation in pre-industrial human (Homo sapiens) populations?

    PubMed Central

    Lummaa, V; Merilä, J; Kause, A

    1998-01-01

    Sex allocation theory predicts that in a population with a biased operational sex ratio (OSR), parents will increase their fitness by adjusting the sex ratio of their progeny towards the rarer sex, until OSR has reached a level where the overproduction of either sex no longer increases a parent's probability of having grandchildren. Furthermore, in a monogamous mating system, a biased OSR is expected to lead to lowered mean fecundity among individuals of the more abundant sex. We studied the influence of OSR on the sex ratio of newborns and on the population birth rate using an extensive data set (n = 14,420 births) from pre-industrial (1775-1850) Finland. The overall effect of current OSR on sex ratio at birth was significant, and in the majority of the 21 parishes included in this study, more sons were produced when males were rarer than females. This suggests that humans adjusted the sex ratio of their offspring in response to the local OSR to maximize the reproductive success of their progeny. Birth rate and, presumably, also population growth rate increased when the sex ratio (males:females) among reproductive age classes approached equality. However, the strength of these patterns varied across the parishes, suggesting that factors other than OSR (e.g. socioeconomic or environmental factors may also have influenced the sex ratio at birth and the birth rate. PMID:9881467

  10. Sarcocystis heydorni, n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) with cattle (Bos taurus) and human (Homo sapiens) cycle.

    PubMed

    Dubey, Jitender P; van Wilpe, Erna; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Verma, Shiv Kumar; Fayer, Ronald

    2015-11-01

    Cattle (Bos taurus) are intermediate hosts for four species of Sarcocystis, namely Sarcocystis cruzi, Sarcocystis hirsuta, Sarcocystis hominis, and Sarcocystis rommeli. Of these four species, mature sarcocysts of S. cruzi are thin-walled (<1 μm), whereas S. hirsuta, S. hominis, and S. rommeli have thick walls (4 μm or more). Here, we describe a new species of Sarcocystis with thin-walled sarcocysts in cattle. Two newborn calves were fed with sporocysts from the feces of a human volunteer who had ingested raw beef. The calves were killed 111 and 222 days later. In addition to thick-walled sarcocysts of S. hominis, both calves were coinfected with a Sarcocystis species that had a thin-walled sarcocysts, distinct from S. cruzi. The sarcocysts were mature, microscopic, up to 80 μm wide, and up to 1060 μm long. By light microscopy, the sarcocyst wall was thin (<1 μm thick) and had minute protrusions. By transmission electron microscopy, the sarcocyst wall had short, conical villar protrusions (vp) that were up to 0.5 μm long and up to 0.5 μm wide, similar to type 29. The vp on the sarcocyst wall lacked microtubules but had six or more disc-shaped plaques. The ground substance layer was smooth, approximately 0.5 μm thick, and without microtubules. The bradyzoites were 8-11 μm long. The structure of the sarcocyst wall was distinct from any species of Sarcocystis reported from livestock. This unique species is named in honor of Dr. Alfred Otto Heydorn who provided the sporocysts. PMID:26243573

  11. The evolution and development of cranial form in Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Lieberman, Daniel E.; McBratney, Brandeis M.; Krovitz, Gail

    2002-01-01

    Despite much data, there is no unanimity over how to define Homo sapiens in the fossil record. Here, we examine cranial variation among Pleistocene and recent human fossils by using a model of cranial growth to identify unique derived features (autapomorphies) that reliably distinguish fossils attributed to “anatomically modern” H. sapiens (AMHS) from those attributed to various taxa of “archaic” Homo spp. (AH) and to test hypotheses about the changes in cranial development that underlie the origin of modern human cranial form. In terms of pattern, AMHS crania are uniquely characterized by two general structural autapomorphies: facial retraction and neurocranial globularity. Morphometric analysis of the ontogeny of these autapomorphies indicates that the developmental changes that led to modern human cranial form derive from a combination of shifts in cranial base angle, cranial fossae length and width, and facial length. These morphological changes, some of which may have occurred because of relative size increases in the temporal and possibly the frontal lobes, occur early in ontogeny, and their effects on facial retraction and neurocranial globularity discriminate AMHS from AH crania. The existence of these autapomorphies supports the hypothesis that AMHS is a distinct species from taxa of “archaic” Homo (e.g., Homo neanderthalensis). PMID:11805284

  12. Social learning in pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) and adult humans (Homo sapiens) on a two-action artificial fruit.

    PubMed

    Custance, Deborah; Prato-Previde, Emanuela; Spiezio, Caterina; Rigamonti, Marco M; Poli, Marco

    2006-08-01

    An artificial fruit (AF) was used to test for social learning in pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) and adult humans (Homo sapiens). A monkey demonstrator opened the AF, showing alternative methods to 2 groups of cage mates. Video films of the monkey demonstrations were presented to adult humans. Compared with chimpanzees and children, the macaques watched the demonstrations significantly less and in a much more sporadic manner. They also produced only very weak and transitory evidence of social learning. In contrast, the adult humans performed as one might expect of optimum imitators, even producing evidence of components of a "ratchet effect." PMID:16893268

  13. Taxonomic differences in deciduous upper second molar crown outlines of Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Shara E; Benazzi, Stefano; Souday, Caroline; Astorino, Claudia; Paul, Kathleen; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2014-07-01

    A significant number of Middle to Late Pleistocene sites contain primarily (and sometimes only) deciduous teeth (e.g., Grotta del Cavallo, Mezmaiskaya, Blombos). Not surprisingly, there has been a recent renewed interest in deciduous dental variation, especially in the context of distinguishing Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. Most studies of the deciduous dentition of fossil hominins have focused on standard metrical variation but morphological (non-metric and morphometric) variation also promises to shed light on long standing taxonomic questions. This study examines the taxonomic significance of the crown outline of the deciduous upper second molar through principal components analysis and linear discriminant analysis. We examine whether or not the crown shape of the upper deciduous second molar separates H. neanderthalensis from H. sapiens and explore whether it can be used to correctly assign individuals to taxa. It builds on previous studies by focusing on crown rather than cervical outline and by including a large sample of geographically diverse recent human populations. Our samples include 17 H. neanderthalensis, five early H. sapiens, and 12 Upper Paleolithic H. sapiens. In addition, we include two Homo erectus specimens in order to evaluate the polarity of crown shape differences observed between H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. Our results show that crown outline shape discriminates H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis quite well, but does not do well at distinguishing H. erectus from H. sapiens. We conclude that the crown outline shape observed in H. sapiens is a primitive retention and that the skewed shape observed in H. neanderthalensis is a derived condition. Finally, we explore the phylogenetic implications of the results for the H. erectus molars. PMID:24703186

  14. Atavisms in homo sapiens: a Bolkian heterodoxy revisited.

    PubMed

    Verhulst, J

    1996-03-01

    An atavism is the "..reappearance of a lost character (morphology or behaviour) typical of remote ancestors and not seen in the parents or recent ancestors of the organisms displaying the atavistic character" (Hall, 1984). In humans, hypertrichosis (extensive body hair), the presence of a tail and supernumerary nipples are often quoted as examples (Hall, 1995). However, Louis Bolk (1866-1930) explained these phenomena in another way. He considered human morphology as an unspecialized expression of the mammalian developmental pattern. The latter also encompasses potentialities for unilateral or propulsive development pathways (specializations) that usually remain latent in humans, but can become expressed in other species. According to Bolk, the appearance of so-called atavisms in human results from the occasional expression of these latencies in Homo sapiens; they do not recapitulate ancestral conditions. PMID:8693850

  15. Rethinking the dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa.

    PubMed

    Groucutt, Huw S; Petraglia, Michael D; Bailey, Geoff; Scerri, Eleanor M L; Parton, Ash; Clark-Balzan, Laine; Jennings, Richard P; Lewis, Laura; Blinkhorn, James; Drake, Nick A; Breeze, Paul S; Inglis, Robyn H; Devès, Maud H; Meredith-Williams, Matthew; Boivin, Nicole; Thomas, Mark G; Scally, Aylwyn

    2015-01-01

    Current fossil, genetic, and archeological data indicate that Homo sapiens originated in Africa in the late Middle Pleistocene. By the end of the Late Pleistocene, our species was distributed across every continent except Antarctica, setting the foundations for the subsequent demographic and cultural changes of the Holocene. The intervening processes remain intensely debated and a key theme in hominin evolutionary studies. We review archeological, fossil, environmental, and genetic data to evaluate the current state of knowledge on the dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa. The emerging picture of the dispersal process suggests dynamic behavioral variability, complex interactions between populations, and an intricate genetic and cultural legacy. This evolutionary and historical complexity challenges simple narratives and suggests that hybrid models and the testing of explicit hypotheses are required to understand the expansion of Homo sapiens into Eurasia. PMID:26267436

  16. The Watinglo mandible: a second terminal Pleistocene Homo sapiens fossil from tropical Sahul with a test on existing models for the human settlement of the region.

    PubMed

    Bulbeck, D; O'Connor, S

    2011-02-01

    This paper analyses a fossil human mandible, dated to circa 10ka, from Watinglo rockshelter on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. The fossil is metrically and morphologically similar to male mandibles of recent Melanesians and Australian Aborigines. It is distinguished from Kow Swamp and Coobool Creek male mandibles (Murray Valley, terminal Pleistocene) by being smaller and having different shape characteristics, as well as smaller teeth and a slower rate of tooth wear. It pairs with the Liang Lemdubu female (Late Glacial Maximum, Aru Islands) in suggesting that the morphology of the terminal Pleistocene inhabitants of tropical Sahul was gracile compared to their contemporaries within the southern Murray drainage. An explanatory scenario for this morphological contrast is developed in the context of the Homo sapiens early fossil record, Australasian mtDNA evidence, terminal Pleistocene climatic variation, and the possibility of multiple entry points into Sahul. PMID:21216399

  17. Transcription factor (TF)-like nuclear regulator, the 250-kDa form of Homo sapiens TFIIIB", is an essential component of human TFIIIC1 activity.

    PubMed

    Weser, Stephan; Gruber, Christin; Hafner, Heike M; Teichmann, Martin; Roeder, Robert G; Seifart, Klaus H; Meissner, Wolfgang

    2004-06-25

    The general human RNA polymerase III transcription factor (TF) IIIC1 has hitherto been ill defined with respect to the polypeptides required for reconstitution of its activity. Here we identify Homo sapiens TFIIIB" (HsBdp1) as an essential component of hTFIIIC1 and hTFIIIC1-like activities. Several forms of HsBdp1 are described. The 250-kDa form of HsBdp1, also designated the "transcription factor-like nuclear regulator," strictly co-eluted with TFIIIC1 activity over multiple chromatographic purification steps as revealed by Western blot with anti-HsBdp1 antibodies and by MALDI-TOF analysis. In addition, TFIIIC1 activity could be depleted from partially purified fractions with anti-HsBdp1 antibodies but not with control antibodies. Moreover, highly purified recombinant HsBdp1 could replace TFIIIC1 activity in reconstituted transcription of the VAI gene in vitro. Furthermore, smaller proteins of approximately 90-150 kDa that were recognized by anti-HsBdp1 antibodies co-eluted with TFIIIC1-like activity. Finally, cytoplasmic extracts from differentiated mouse F9 fibroblast cells that lacked TFIIIC1 activity could be made competent for transcription of the VA1 gene by the addition of TFIIIC1, TFIIIC1-like, or recombinant HsBdp1. These results suggest that HsBdp1 proteins represent essential components of TFIIIC1 and TFIIIC1-like activities. PMID:15096501

  18. Selection of Phototransduction Genes in Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Christopher, Mark; Scheetz, Todd E.; Mullins, Robert F.; Abràmoff, Michael D.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. We investigated the evidence of recent positive selection in the human phototransduction system at single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and gene level. Methods. SNP genotyping data from the International HapMap Project for European, Eastern Asian, and African populations was used to discover differences in haplotype length and allele frequency between these populations. Numeric selection metrics were computed for each SNP and aggregated into gene-level metrics to measure evidence of recent positive selection. The level of recent positive selection in phototransduction genes was evaluated and compared to a set of genes shown previously to be under recent selection, and a set of highly conserved genes as positive and negative controls, respectively. Results. Six of 20 phototransduction genes evaluated had gene-level selection metrics above the 90th percentile: RGS9, GNB1, RHO, PDE6G, GNAT1, and SLC24A1. The selection signal across these genes was found to be of similar magnitude to the positive control genes and much greater than the negative control genes. Conclusions. There is evidence for selective pressure in the genes involved in retinal phototransduction, and traces of this selective pressure can be demonstrated using SNP-level and gene-level metrics of allelic variation. We hypothesize that the selective pressure on these genes was related to their role in low light vision and retinal adaptation to ambient light changes. Uncovering the underlying genetics of evolutionary adaptations in phototransduction not only allows greater understanding of vision and visual diseases, but also the development of patient-specific diagnostic and intervention strategies. PMID:23868983

  19. Latest Homo erectus of Java: potential contemporaneity with Homo sapiens in southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Swisher, C C; Rink, W J; Antón, S C; Schwarcz, H P; Curtis, G H; Suprijo, A; Widiasmoro

    1996-12-13

    Hominid fossils from Ngandong and Sambungmacan, Central Java, are considered the most morphologically advanced representatives of Homo erectus. Electron spin resonance (ESR) and mass spectrometric U-series dating of fossil bovid teeth collected from the hominid-bearing levels at these sites gave mean ages of 27 +/- 2 to 53.3 +/- 4 thousand years ago; the range in ages reflects uncertainties in uranium migration histories. These ages are 20,000 to 400,000 years younger than previous age estimates for these hominids and indicate that H. erectus may have survived on Java at least 250,000 years longer than on the Asian mainland, and perhaps 1 million years longer than in Africa. The new ages raise the possibility that H. erectus overlapped in time with anatomically modern humans (H. sapiens) in Southeast Asia. PMID:8943192

  20. Ecospaces occupied by Homo erectus and Homo sapiens in insular Southeast Asia in the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertler, Christine; Haupt, Susanne; Volmer, Rebekka; Bruch, Angela

    2014-05-01

    Hominins migrated to the islands of the Sunda Shelf multiple times. At least two immigration events are evident, an early immigration of Homo erectus in the late Early Pleistocene and a second immigration of Homo sapiens during the Late Pleistocene. Regional environments changed considerably in the Pleistocene. Expansion patterns among hominins are at least co-determined by their ecologies and environmental change. We examine these expansion patterns on the basis of habitat reconstructions. Mammalian communities provide a geographically extensive record and permit to assess hominin ecospaces. Although chronological resolution is low, they represent the most complete record of habitat changes associated with hominin expansion patterns. In order to reconstruct and compare hominin ecospaces on a quantitative scale, we set up a reference sample consisting of mammalian communities of 117 national parks in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The diversity of such communities is assessed by ecological profiling of specialized herbivore taxa. Moreover, datasets on climate and vegetation correlate with the diversity structure of such specialized herbivore communities. Reconstructing the diversity structure of communities at key sites in Pleistocene Southeast Asia permits to infer features of the climatic and vegetation framework associated with different hominin taxa. Our results show that Homo erectus and Homo sapiens did not occupy similar ecospaces. The ecospace of Homo erectus is characterized by comparatively low diversity among frugivorous and folivorous taxa, while obligate grazers are part of the assemblages. Specialized herbivore communities with such a diversity structure occur at present in East Africa, while they are absent in Southeast Asia. In the reference sample, this type of ecospace corresponds to seasonal wetlands. Although Homo sapiens still inhabits this type of environment in Southeast Asia, his ecospace is wider. Homo sapiens is associated with

  1. Crystal structure of Homo sapiens protein LOC79017

    SciTech Connect

    Bae, Euiyoung; Bingman, Craig A.; Aceti, David J.; Phillips, Jr., George N.

    2010-02-08

    LOC79017 (MW 21.0 kDa, residues 1-188) was annotated as a hypothetical protein encoded by Homo sapiens chromosome 7 open reading frame 24. It was selected as a target by the Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics (CESG) because it did not share more than 30% sequence identity with any protein for which the three-dimensional structure is known. The biological function of the protein has not been established yet. Parts of LOC79017 were identified as members of uncharacterized Pfam families (residues 1-95 as PB006073 and residues 104-180 as PB031696). BLAST searches revealed homologues of LOC79017 in many eukaryotes, but none of them have been functionally characterized. Here, we report the crystal structure of H. sapiens protein LOC79017 (UniGene code Hs.530024, UniProt code O75223, CESG target number go.35223).

  2. Cashing out: The decisional flexibility of uncertainty responses in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and humans (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Zakrzewski, Alexandria C; Perdue, Bonnie M; Beran, Michael J; Church, Barbara A; Smith, J David

    2014-10-01

    Researchers are exploring whether animals share with humans something like a metacognitive capacity. Though some results point to human-animal continuities in this domain, they face the dominant criticism that animals' performances might be associative. A persistent problem is that animal-metacognition paradigms present static environments of risk and reward that may foster inflexible and conditioned responding. Those environments do not challenge animals to show the flexibility in their decision strategies that could indicate an antecedent capacity to metacognition. Accordingly, we tested macaques and humans on an uncertainty-monitoring paradigm in which risk changed dynamically. Participants classified stimuli of different difficulties while also choosing when to use a cashout response to collect the accumulated rewards that would be forfeit on a discrimination error. Macaques (Macaca mulatta) and humans flexibly adjusted their decision criteria to achieve appropriate protection against the cost of error that could differ depending on trial difficulty and the number of rewards at risk. In particular, monkeys widened their cashout-response region as their accumulated rewards increased, providing more protection against a more costly error. These findings demonstrate a new continuity between humans' and animals' uncertainty systems. They reveal a calibration by macaques of present risk to trial difficulty tolerated. They show that animals' uncertainty-monitoring and risk-management systems have substantial trial-by-trial flexibility. PMID:25546106

  3. Rules and Resemblance: Their Changing Balance in the Category Learning of Humans (Homo sapiens) and Monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

    PubMed Central

    Couchman, Justin J.; Coutinho, Mariana V. C.; Smith, J. David

    2010-01-01

    In an early dissociation between intentional and incidental category learning, Kemler Nelson (1984) gave participants a categorization task that could be performed by responding either to a single-dimensional rule or to overall family resemblance. Humans learning intentionally deliberately adopted rule-based strategies; humans learning incidentally adopted family-resemblance strategies. The present authors replicated Kemler Nelson’s human experiment and found a similar dissociation. They also extended her paradigm so as to evaluate the balance between rules and family-resemblance in determining the category decisions of rhesus monkeys. Monkeys heavily favored the family-resemblance strategy. Formal models showed that even after many sessions and thousands of trials, they spread attention across all stimulus dimensions rather than focus on a single, criterial dimension that could also produce perfect categorization. PMID:20384398

  4. Perceived differences between chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and human (Homo sapiens) facial expressions are related to emotional interpretation.

    PubMed

    Waller, Bridget M; Bard, Kim A; Vick, Sarah-Jane; Smith Pasqualini, Marcia C

    2007-11-01

    Human face perception is a finely tuned, specialized process. When comparing faces between species, therefore, it is essential to consider how people make these observational judgments. Comparing facial expressions may be particularly problematic, given that people tend to consider them categorically as emotional signals, which may affect how accurately specific details are processed. The bared-teeth display (BT), observed in most primates, has been proposed as a homologue of the human smile (J. A. R. A. M. van Hooff, 1972). In this study, judgments of similarity between BT displays of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and human smiles varied in relation to perceived emotional valence. When a chimpanzee BT was interpreted as fearful, observers tended to underestimate the magnitude of the relationship between certain features (the extent of lip corner raise) and human smiles. These judgments may reflect the combined effects of categorical emotional perception, configural face processing, and perceptual organization in mental imagery and may demonstrate the advantages of using standardized observational methods in comparative facial expression research. PMID:18085923

  5. Cashing Out: The Decisional Flexibility of Uncertainty Responses in Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta) and Humans (Homo sapiens)

    PubMed Central

    Zakrzewski, Alexandria C.; Perdue, Bonnie M.; Beran, Michael J.; Church, Barbara A.; Smith, J. David

    2014-01-01

    Researchers are exploring whether animals share with humans something like a metacognitive capacity. Though some results point to human-animal continuities in this domain, they face the dominant criticism that animals’ performances might be associative. A persistent problem is that animal-metacognition paradigms present static environments of risk and reward that may foster inflexible and conditioned responding. Those environments do not challenge animals to show the flexibility in their decision strategies that could indicate an antecedent capacity to metacognition. Accordingly, we tested macaques and humans on an uncertainty-monitoring paradigm in which risk changed dynamically. Participants classified stimuli of different difficulties while also choosing when to use a cashout response to collect the accumulated rewards that would be forfeit on a discrimination error. Macaques and humans flexibly adjusted their decision criteria to achieve appropriate protection against the cost of error that could differ depending on trial difficulty and the number of rewards at risk. In particular, monkeys widened their cashout-response region as their accumulated rewards increased, providing more protection against a more costly error. These findings demonstrate a new continuity between humans’ and animals’ uncertainty systems. They reveal a calibration by macaques of present risk to trial difficulty tolerated. They show that animals’ uncertainty-monitoring and risk-management systems have substantial trial-by-trial flexibility. PMID:25546106

  6. Can Chimpanzee Infants ("Pan Troglodytes") Form Categorical Representations in the Same Manner as Human Infants ("Homo Sapiens")?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murai, Chizuko; Kosugi, Daisuke; Tomonaga, Masaki; Tanaka, Masayuki; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro; Itakura, Shoji

    2005-01-01

    We directly compared chimpanzee infants and human infants for categorical representations of three global-like categories (mammals, furniture and vehicles), using the familiarization-novelty preference technique. Neither species received any training during the experiments. We used the time that participants spent looking at the stimulus object…

  7. Découverte d'un Homo sapiens archaïque à Oranjemund, NamibieDiscovery of an archaic Homo sapiens in Oranjemund, Namibia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senut, Brigitte; Pickford, Martin; Braga, José; Marais, Daan; Coppens, Yves

    2000-06-01

    The transition between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens in Africa is still a matter of debate due to the paucity of fossils and to the difficulty of estimating their chronologic age. The discovery of a well preserved skull-cap of archaic Homo sapiens (OMD 1'98) in Namibia on the banks of the Orange River enlarges the distribution of these archaic populations to southwestern Africa.

  8. Spatial working memory in immersive virtual reality foraging: path organization, traveling distance and search efficiency in humans (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    De Lillo, Carlo; Kirby, Melissa; James, Frances C

    2014-05-01

    Search and serial recall tasks were used in the present study to characterize the factors affecting the ability of humans to keep track of a set of spatial locations while traveling in an immersive virtual reality foraging environment. The first experiment required the exhaustive exploration of a set of locations following a procedure previously used with other primate and non-primate species to assess their sensitivity to the geometric arrangement of foraging sites. The second experiment assessed the dependency of search performance on search organization by requiring the participants to recall specific trajectories throughout the foraging space. In the third experiment, the distance between the foraging sites was manipulated in order to contrast the effects of organization and traveling distance on recall accuracy. The results show that humans benefit from the use of organized search patterns when attempting to monitor their travel though either a clustered "patchy" space or a matrix of locations. Their ability to recall a series of locations is dependent on whether the order in which they are explored conformed or did not conform to specific organization principles. Moreover, the relationship between search efficiency and search organization is not confounded by effects of traveling distance. These results indicate that in humans, organizational factors may play a large role in their ability to forage efficiently. The extent to which such dependency may pertain to other primates and could be accounted for by visual organization processes is discussed on the basis of previous studies focused on perceptual grouping, search, and serial recall in non-human species. PMID:24038208

  9. Can chimpanzee infants (Pan troglodytes) form categorical representations in the same manner as human infants (Homo sapiens)?

    PubMed

    Murai, Chizuko; Kosugi, Daisuke; Tomonaga, Masaki; Tanaka, Masayuki; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro; Itakura, Shoji

    2005-05-01

    We directly compared chimpanzee infants and human infants for categorical representations of three global-like categories (mammals, furniture and vehicles), using the familiarization-novelty preference technique. Neither species received any training during the experiments. We used the time that participants spent looking at the stimulus object while touching it as a measure. During the familiarization phase, participants were presented with four familiarization objects from one of three categories (e.g. mammals). Then, they were tested with a pair of novel objects, one was a familiar-category object and another was a novel-category object (e.g. vehicle) in the test phase. The chimpanzee infants did not show significant habituation, whereas human infants did. However, most important, both species showed significant novelty-preference in the test phase. This indicates that not only human infants, but also chimpanzee infants formed categorical representations of a global-like level. Implications for the shared origins and species-specificity of categorization abilities, and the cognitive operations underlying categorization, are discussed. PMID:15819756

  10. Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and the Denisova specimen: New insights on their evolutionary histories using whole-genome comparisons

    PubMed Central

    Paixão-Côrtes, Vanessa Rodrigues; Viscardi, Lucas Henrique; Salzano, Francisco Mauro; Hünemeier, Tábita; Bortolini, Maria Cátira

    2012-01-01

    After a brief review of the most recent findings in the study of human evolution, an extensive comparison of the complete genomes of our nearest relative, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), of extant Homo sapiens, archaic Homo neanderthalensis and the Denisova specimen were made. The focus was on non-synonymous mutations, which consequently had an impact on protein levels and these changes were classified according to degree of effect. A total of 10,447 non-synonymous substitutions were found in which the derived allele is fixed or nearly fixed in humans as compared to chimpanzee. Their most frequent location was on chromosome 21. Their presence was then searched in the two archaic genomes. Mutations in 381 genes would imply radical amino acid changes, with a fraction of these related to olfaction and other important physiological processes. Eight new alleles were identified in the Neanderthal and/or Denisova genetic pools. Four others, possibly affecting cognition, occured both in the sapiens and two other archaic genomes. The selective sweep that gave rise to Homo sapiens could, therefore, have initiated before the modern/archaic human divergence. PMID:23413113

  11. Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and the Denisova specimen: New insights on their evolutionary histories using whole-genome comparisons.

    PubMed

    Paixão-Côrtes, Vanessa Rodrigues; Viscardi, Lucas Henrique; Salzano, Francisco Mauro; Hünemeier, Tábita; Bortolini, Maria Cátira

    2012-12-01

    After a brief review of the most recent findings in the study of human evolution, an extensive comparison of the complete genomes of our nearest relative, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), of extant Homo sapiens, archaic Homo neanderthalensis and the Denisova specimen were made. The focus was on non-synonymous mutations, which consequently had an impact on protein levels and these changes were classified according to degree of effect. A total of 10,447 non-synonymous substitutions were found in which the derived allele is fixed or nearly fixed in humans as compared to chimpanzee. Their most frequent location was on chromosome 21. Their presence was then searched in the two archaic genomes. Mutations in 381 genes would imply radical amino acid changes, with a fraction of these related to olfaction and other important physiological processes. Eight new alleles were identified in the Neanderthal and/or Denisova genetic pools. Four others, possibly affecting cognition, occured both in the sapiens and two other archaic genomes. The selective sweep that gave rise to Homo sapiens could, therefore, have initiated before the modern/archaic human divergence. PMID:23413113

  12. Molecular biology of Homo sapiens: Abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Spring Harbor symposium on quantitative biology

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, J.D.; Siniscalco, M.

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Springs Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology. The topic for this meeting was the ''Molecular Biology of Homo sapiens.'' Sessions were entitled Human Gene Map, Human Cancer Genes, Genetic Diagnosis, Human Evolution, Drugs Made Off Human Genes, Receptors, and Gene Therapy. (DT)

  13. Bone strength and athletic ability in hominids: Ardipithecus ramidus to Homo sapiens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S. A.

    2013-03-01

    The ability of the femur to resist bending stresses is determined by its midlength cross-sectional geometry, its length and the elastic properties of the mineral part of the bone. The animal's athletic ability, determined by a ``bone strength index,'' is limited by this femoral bending strength in relation to the loads on the femur. This analysis is applied to the fossil record for Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Australopithecus afarensis and Ardipithecus ramidus. Evidence that the femoral bone strength index of modern Homo sapiens has weakened over the last 50,000 years is found.

  14. Identification of the ancestral haplotype for apolipoprotein B suggests an African origin of Homo sapiens sapiens and traces their subsequent migration to Europe and the Pacific

    SciTech Connect

    Rapacz, J.; Hasler-Rapacz, J.O. ); Chen, L.; Wu, Mingjiuan; Schumaker, V.N. ); Butler-Brunner, E.; Butler, R. )

    1991-02-15

    The probable ancestral haplotype for human apolipoprotein B (apoB) has been identified through immunological analysis of chimpanzee and gorilla serum and sequence analysis of their DNA. Moreover, the frequency of this ancestral apoB haplotype among different human populations provides strong support for the African origin of Homo sapiens sapiens and their subsequent migration from Africa to Europe and to the Pacific. The approach used here for the identification of the ancestral human apoB haplotype is likely to be applicable to many other genes.

  15. Identification of the ancestral haplotype for apolipoprotein B suggests an African origin of Homo sapiens sapiens and traces their subsequent migration to Europe and the Pacific.

    PubMed Central

    Rapacz, J; Chen, L; Butler-Brunner, E; Wu, M J; Hasler-Rapacz, J O; Butler, R; Schumaker, V N

    1991-01-01

    The probable ancestral haplotype for human apolipoprotein B (apoB) has been identified through immunological analysis of chimpanzee and gorilla serum and sequence analysis of their DNA. Moreover, the frequency of this ancestral apoB haplotype among different human populations provides strong support for the African origin of Homo sapiens sapiens and their subsequent migration from Africa to Europe and to the Pacific. The approach used here for the identification of the ancestral human apoB haplotype is likely to be applicable to many other genes. PMID:1996341

  16. Identification of the ancestral haplotype for apolipoprotein B suggests an African origin of Homo sapiens sapiens and traces their subsequent migration to Europe and the Pacific.

    PubMed

    Rapacz, J; Chen, L; Butler-Brunner, E; Wu, M J; Hasler-Rapacz, J O; Butler, R; Schumaker, V N

    1991-02-15

    The probable ancestral haplotype for human apolipoprotein B (apoB) has been identified through immunological analysis of chimpanzee and gorilla serum and sequence analysis of their DNA. Moreover, the frequency of this ancestral apoB haplotype among different human populations provides strong support for the African origin of Homo sapiens sapiens and their subsequent migration from Africa to Europe and to the Pacific. The approach used here for the identification of the ancestral human apoB haplotype is likely to be applicable to many other genes. PMID:1996341

  17. The dispersal of Homo sapiens across southern Asia: how early, how often, how complex?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dennell, Robin; Petraglia, Michael D.

    2012-07-01

    The timing and the paths of colonization of southern Asia by Homo sapiens are poorly known, though many population geneticists, paleoanthropologists, and archaeologists have contended that this process began with dispersal from East Africa, and occurred between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago. However, the evidence for this scenario is very weak, particularly the lack of human skeletal evidence between the Levant and Borneo before 40 ka, and other explanations are possible. Here we argue that environmental and archaeological information is increasingly indicating the likelihood that H. sapiens exited Africa much earlier than commonly thought, and may have colonized much of southern Asia well before 60,000 years ago. Additionally, we cannot exclude the possibility that several dispersal events occurred, from both North and East Africa, nor the likelihood that early populations of H. sapiens in southern Asia interbred with indigenous populations of Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo erectus. The population history of southern Asia during the Upper Pleistocene is likely far more complex than currently envisaged.

  18. Sky Luminaries in the Space Orienting Activity of Homo Sapiens in the Middle Palaeolithic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaurov, E. N.

    Data describing the beginnings of the space orienting activity of Homo sapiens is analysed and systematized: observation of the Pole and the recognition of Ursa Major were used as the basis of the determination of the points of the compass. Data and results from astronomy, history of astronomy, archaeology and palaeoanthropology were used for the reconstruction of the evolution of the space orienting activity of Homo sapiens.

  19. Bone strength and athletic ability in hominids: Ardipithecus ramidus to Homo sapiens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott

    2012-10-01

    A methodology for the evaluation of the athletic ability of animals based on the strength of their femur and their body mass is developed. The ability of the femur to resist bending stresses is determined by its midlength cross-sectional geometry, its length and the elastic properties of the mineral part of the bone. The animal's athletic ability, determined by a ``bone strength index,'' is limited by this femoral bending strength in relation to the loads on the femur. This analysis is applied to the fossil record for Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Australopithecus afarensis and Ardipithecus ramidus. Evidence that the femoral bone strength index of modern Homo sapiens has weakened over the last 50,000 years is found.

  20. Evaluating the transitional mosaic: frameworks of change from Neanderthals to Homo sapiens in eastern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, William; White, Dustin; Lewis, Mark; Stringer, Chris

    2015-06-01

    Defining varying spatial and temporal analytical scales is essential before evaluating the responses of late Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens to Abrupt Environmental Transitions (AETs) and environmental disasters for the period 130-25 ka. Recent advances in addressing the population histories and interactions (using both genetic and archaeological evidence) of Neanderthals and H. sapiens have encouraged consideration of more subtle dynamics of archaeological change. Descriptions of change based on methodologies pioneered some 160 years ago are no longer adequate to explain the patterning we now see in the record. New chronological results, using multiple dating methods, allow us to begin to unpick the spatial and temporal scales of change. Isochronic markers (such as specific volcanic eruptions) can be used to create temporal frameworks (lattices), and results from other dating techniques compared against them. A combination of chronological lattices and direct dating of diagnostic artefacts and human fossils permits us, for the first time, to have greater confidence in connecting human (recent hominin) species and their behavioural responses to environmental conditions, and in quantifying scales of change over time and space (time-transgression). The timing of innovations, particularly those in bone, antler and ivory, can be directly quantified and tested, and used to re-evaluate longstanding models of cultural change. This paper also uses these new chronologies to explore the ecologies of late Neanderthals and early H. sapiens: their population densities, mobilities, resources exploited and possible interactions. Environmental productivity estimates are used to generate new questions of potential population densities and mobilities, and thus the sensitivity of these groups to environmental perturbations. Scales and intensities of effect on environments from natural disasters and AETs (notably Heinrich Events and the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption) are defined

  1. Discovery of human posterior head 20 (hPH20) and homo sapiens sperm acrosome associated 1 (hSPACA1) immunocontraceptive epitopes and their effects on fertility in male and female mice.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xuemei; Liu, Xiaodong; Ren, Xiuhua; Li, Xuewu; Wang, Li; Zang, Weidong

    2016-03-01

    The key goals of immunocontraception research are to obtain full contraceptive effects using vaccines administered to both males and females. Current research concerning human anti-sperm contraceptive vaccines is focused on delineating infertility-related epitopes to avoid autoimmune disease. We constructed phage-display peptide libraries to select epitope peptides derived from human posterior head 20 (hPH20) and homo sapiens sperm acrosome associated 1 (hSPACA1) using sera collected from infertile women harbouring anti-sperm antibodies. Following five rounds of selection, positive colonies were reconfirmed for reactivity with the immunoinfertile sera. We biopanned and analysed the chemical properties of four epitope peptides, named P82, Sa6, Sa37 and Sa76. Synthetic peptides were made and coupled to either bovine serum albumin (BSA) or ovalbumin. We used the BSA-conjugated peptides to immunise BALB/c mice and examined the effects on fertility in female and male mice. The synthetic peptides generated a sperm-specific antibody response in female and male mice that caused a contraceptive state. The immunocontraceptive effect was reversible and, with the disappearance of peptide-specific antibodies, there was complete restoration of fertility. Vaccinations using P82, Sa6 and Sa76 peptides resulted in no apparent side effects. Thus, it is efficient and practical to identify epitope peptide candidates by phage display. These peptides may find clinical application in the specific diagnosis and treatment of male and female infertility and contraceptive vaccine development. PMID:25209425

  2. Development of the palatal size in Pan troglodytes, Hominids and Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Arnold, W H; Zoellner, A; Sebastian, T

    2004-12-01

    As the hard palate plays an important role in speech production it was the aim of this study whether similarities or dissimilarities in palatal size may allow conclusions about the ability to produce speech in the extant investigated species. The palatal size of Pan troglodytes, Homo sapiens, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus robustus, Australopithecus boisei, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis and Cro-Magnon has been investigated using euclidian distance matrix analysis (EDMA) and thin-plate-spline analysis. The results show that the palatal size of all australopithecine specimens and H. erectus is very similar to that of P toglodytes, whereas the palatal size of H. neanderthalensis more closely resembles that of H. sapiens. Postnatal development of palatal size in P troglodytes is different from that of H. sapiens. In P troglodytes not only the size of the palate changes but also the form. In H. sapiens there is little change in form, but a continuos uniform growth from infantile to adult specimens. From the results we conclude that in all australopithecine samples which have been investigated, the palatal size is similar to that of P troglodytes. Therefore, it is unlikely that austraopithecine individuals were capable of producing vowels and consonants. The palatal size of H. neandethalensis and Cro-Magnon is similar to that of H. sapiens which may indicate the possibility that they were capable of speech production. PMID:15646285

  3. The evolution of the anatomically modern or advanced Homo sapiens: time, place, process, affinities and variations.

    PubMed

    Raghavan, P; Pathmanathan, G; Talwar, I

    2009-06-01

    This paper surveys the opinions expressed in the recent literature on the origins of the anatomically- modern Homo sapiens, and reviews the evidence from cranial and dental morphology argued by proponents of opposing views to support their case. It also critically analyses problems facing the interpretation of the evidence in arriving at a definitive conclusion to the debate. PMID:19551306

  4. Gracility of the modern Homo sapiens skeleton is the result of decreased biomechanical loading

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Timothy M.; Shaw, Colin N.

    2015-01-01

    The postcranial skeleton of modern Homo sapiens is relatively gracile compared with other hominoids and earlier hominins. This gracility predisposes contemporary humans to osteoporosis and increased fracture risk. Explanations for this gracility include reduced levels of physical activity, the dissipation of load through enlarged joint surfaces, and selection for systemic physiological characteristics that differentiate modern humans from other primates. This study considered the skeletal remains of four behaviorally diverse recent human populations and a large sample of extant primates to assess variation in trabecular bone structure in the human hip joint. Proximal femur trabecular bone structure was quantified from microCT data for 229 individuals from 31 extant primate taxa and 59 individuals from four distinct archaeological human populations representing sedentary agriculturalists and mobile foragers. Analyses of mass-corrected trabecular bone variables reveal that the forager populations had significantly higher bone volume fraction, thicker trabeculae, and consequently lower relative bone surface area compared with the two agriculturalist groups. There were no significant differences between the agriculturalist and forager populations for trabecular spacing, number, or degree of anisotropy. These results reveal a correspondence between human behavior and bone structure in the proximal femur, indicating that more highly mobile human populations have trabecular bone structure similar to what would be expected for wild nonhuman primates of the same body mass. These results strongly emphasize the importance of physical activity and exercise for bone health and the attenuation of age-related bone loss. PMID:25535352

  5. Direct and indirect reputation formation in nonhuman great apes (Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, Pongo pygmaeus) and human children (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Esther; Keupp, Stefanie; Hare, Brian; Vaish, Amrisha; Tomasello, Michael

    2013-02-01

    Humans make decisions about when and with whom to cooperate based on their reputations. People either learn about others by direct interaction or by observing third-party interactions or gossip. An important question is whether other animal species, especially our closest living relatives, the nonhuman great apes, also form reputations of others. In Study 1, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, and 2.5-year-old human children experienced a nice experimenter who tried to give food/toys to the subject and a mean experimenter who interrupted the food/toy giving. In studies 2 and 3, nonhuman great apes and human children could only passively observe a similar interaction, in which a nice experimenter and a mean experimenter interacted with a third party. Orangutans and 2.5-year-old human children preferred to approach the nice experimenter rather than the mean one after having directly experienced their respective behaviors. Orangutans, chimpanzees, and 2.5-year-old human children also took into account experimenter actions toward third parties in forming reputations. These studies show that the human ability to form direct and indirect reputation judgment is already present in young children and shared with at least some of the other great apes. PMID:22746158

  6. Stereology of the Thyroid Gland in Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in Comparison with Human (Homo sapiens): Quantitative and Functional Implications

    PubMed Central

    Kot, Brian Chin Wing; Lau, Thomas Yue Huen; Cheng, Sammy Chi Him

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian thyroid gland maintains basal metabolism in tissues for optimal function. Determining thyroid volume is important in assessing growth and involution. Volume estimation is also important in stereological studies. Direct measurements of colloid volume and nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of the follicular cells may provide important information about thyroid gland function such as hormone storage and secretion, which helps understand the changes at morphological and functional levels. The present study determined the colloid volume using simple stereological principle and the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of 4 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and 2 human thyroid glands. In both dolphin and human thyroid glands, the size of the follicles tended to be quite variable. The distribution of large and small follicles within the thyroid gland was also found to be random in both the dolphin and human thyroid gland; however, the size of follicles appeared to decrease as a function of increasing age in the dolphin thyroid gland. The mean colloid volume of the dolphin thyroid gland and human thyroid gland was 1.22×105 µm3 and 7.02×105 µm3 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean colloid volume. The mean N/C ratio of the dolphin thyroid follicular epithelia and human follicular epithelia was 0.50 and 0.64 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean N/C ratio. This information contributes to understanding dolphin thyroid physiology and its structural adaptations to meet the physical demands of the aquatic environment, and aids with ultrasonography and corrective therapy in live subjects. PMID:23690927

  7. Hepatitis B virus and Homo sapiens proteome-wide analysis: A profusion of viral peptide overlaps in neuron-specific human proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ricco, Rosalia; Kanduc, Darja

    2010-01-01

    The primary amino acid sequence of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) proteome was searched for identity spots in the human proteome by using the Protein Information Resource database. We find that the HBV polyprotein shares sixty-five heptapeptides, one octapeptide, and one nonapeptide with the human proteins. The viral matches are disseminated among fundamental human proteins such as adhesion molecules, leukocyte differentiation antigens, enzymes, proteins associated with spermatogenesis, and transcription factors. As a datum of special interest, a number of peptide motifs are shared between the virus- and brain-specific antigens involved in neuronal protection. This study may help to evaluate the potential cross reactions and side effects of HBV antigen-based vaccines. PMID:20531967

  8. Co-evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Brites, Daniela; Gagneux, Sebastien

    2015-01-01

    The causative agent of human tuberculosis (TB), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is an obligate pathogen that evolved to exclusively persist in human populations. For M. tuberculosis to transmit from person to person, it has to cause pulmonary disease. Therefore, M. tuberculosis virulence has likely been a significant determinant of the association between M. tuberculosis and humans. Indeed, the evolutionary success of some M. tuberculosis genotypes seems at least partially attributable to their increased virulence. The latter possibly evolved as a consequence of human demographic expansions. If co-evolution occurred, humans would have counteracted to minimize the deleterious effects of M. tuberculosis virulence. The fact that human resistance to infection has a strong genetic basis is a likely consequence of such a counter-response. The genetic architecture underlying human resistance to M. tuberculosis remains largely elusive. However, interactions between human genetic polymorphisms and M. tuberculosis genotypes have been reported. Such interactions are consistent with local adaptation and allow for a better understanding of protective immunity in TB. Future ‘genome-to-genome’ studies, in which locally associated human and M. tuberculosis genotypes are interrogated in conjunction, will help identify new protective antigens for the development of better TB vaccines. PMID:25703549

  9. Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology: Volume 51, Molecular biology of Homo sapiens

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-01-01

    Thirteen years marked the time between the discovery of the double helix in 1953 and the elucidation of the genetic code in 1966. A similar interval has now passed since the development by Cohen and Boyer of a simple procedure for the cloning of selective DNA fragments. The scientific advances made possible by the subsequent modification and elaboration of these original cloning procedures now amaze, stimulate, and increasingly often overwhelm us. Facts that until recently were virtually unobtainable now flow forth almost effortlessly. Most excitingly, the frenetic pace of these new discoveries, instead of marking the impending end of a glorious moment of learning, give every indication of opening up scientific frontiers that will take hundreds if not thousands of years to explore thoroughly. This new era of enlightenment is nowhere more apparent than in our newfound ability to study ourselves at the molecular level. This volume is the first of two collections of papers submitted by the contributors to the Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology for 1986 - molecular biology of Homo sapiens. Contained in this collection are 80 papers grouped into sessions entitled Human Gene Map, Genetic Diagnosis, Human Evolution, and Drugs Made Off Human Genes.

  10. Transfer between local and global processing levels by pigeons (Columba livia) and humans (Homo sapiens) in exemplar- and rule-based categorization tasks.

    PubMed

    Aust, Ulrike; Braunöder, Elisabeth

    2015-02-01

    The present experiment investigated pigeons' and humans' processing styles-local or global-in an exemplar-based visual categorization task in which category membership of every stimulus had to be learned individually, and in a rule-based task in which category membership was defined by a perceptual rule. Group Intact was trained with the original pictures (providing both intact local and global information), Group Scrambled was trained with scrambled versions of the same pictures (impairing global information), and Group Blurred was trained with blurred versions (impairing local information). Subsequently, all subjects were tested for transfer to the 2 untrained presentation modes. Humans outperformed pigeons regarding learning speed and accuracy as well as transfer performance and showed good learning irrespective of group assignment, whereas the pigeons of Group Blurred needed longer to learn the training tasks than the pigeons of Groups Intact and Scrambled. Also, whereas humans generalized equally well to any novel presentation mode, pigeons' transfer from and to blurred stimuli was impaired. Both species showed faster learning and, for the most part, better transfer in the rule-based than in the exemplar-based task, but there was no evidence of the used processing mode depending on the type of task (exemplar- or rule-based). Whereas pigeons relied on local information throughout, humans did not show a preference for either processing level. Additional tests with grayscale versions of the training stimuli, with versions that were both blurred and scrambled, and with novel instances of the rule-based task confirmed and further extended these findings. PMID:25150965

  11. Looking Ahead? Computerized Maze Task Performance by Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta), Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus apella), and Human Children (Homo sapiens)

    PubMed Central

    Beran, Michael J.; Parrish, Audrey E.; Futch, Sara E.; Evans, Theodore A.; Perdue, Bonnie M.

    2015-01-01

    Human and nonhuman primates are not mentally constrained to the present. They can remember the past and – at least to an extent – anticipate the future. Anticipation of the future ranges from long-term prospection such as planning for retirement to more short-term future oriented cognition such as planning a route through a maze. Here we tested a great ape species (chimpanzees), an Old World monkey species (rhesus macaques) a New World monkey species (capuchin monkeys) and human children on a computerized maze task. All subjects had to move a cursor through a maze to reach a goal at the bottom of the screen. For best performance on the task, subjects had to “plan ahead” to the end of the maze to move the cursor in the correct direction, avoid traps, and reverse directions if necessary. Mazes varied in difficulty. Chimpanzees were better than both monkey species, and monkeys showed a particular deficit when moving away from the goal or changing directions was required. Children showed a similar pattern to monkeys regarding the effects of reversals and moves away from the goal, but their overall performance in terms of correct maze completion was similar to the chimpanzees. The results highlight similarities as well as differences in planning across species and the role that inhibitory control may play in future oriented cognition in primates. PMID:25798793

  12. Looking ahead? Computerized maze task performance by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella), and human children (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Beran, Michael J; Parrish, Audrey E; Futch, Sara E; Evans, Theodore A; Perdue, Bonnie M

    2015-05-01

    Human and nonhuman primates are not mentally constrained to the present. They can remember the past and-at least to an extent-anticipate the future. Anticipation of the future ranges from long-term prospection such as planning for retirement to more short-term future-oriented cognition such as planning a route through a maze. Here we tested a great ape species (chimpanzees), an Old World monkey species (rhesus macaques), a New World monkey species (capuchin monkeys), and human children on a computerized maze task. All subjects had to move a cursor through a maze to reach a goal at the bottom of the screen. For best performance on the task, subjects had to "plan ahead" to the end of the maze to move the cursor in the correct direction, avoid traps, and reverse directions if necessary. Mazes varied in difficulty. Chimpanzees were better than both monkey species, and monkeys showed a particular deficit when moving away from the goal or changing directions was required. Children showed a similar pattern to monkeys regarding the effects of reversals and moves away from the goal, but their overall performance in terms of correct maze completion was similar to the chimpanzees. The results highlight similarities as well as differences in planning across species and the role that inhibitory control may play in future-oriented cognition in primates. PMID:25798793

  13. Confronting JC virus and Homo sapiens biological signatures.

    PubMed

    Lucchese, Guglielmo

    2013-01-01

    The present report describes the peptide commonality between JC virus (JCV) and the human proteome at the heptamer level. In total, 53 viral heptapeptides occur in functionally important human proteins with potential consequences for host functions and JCV pathogenesis. A paradigmatic example of a crucial peptide match is the SGKTTLA sequence, shared by JCV LT antigen and human nicotinamide/nicotinic acid riboside kinase, an enzyme involved in myelination processes. In general, the JCV-versus-host heptapeptide overlap may result in a competition between viral sequences and identical motifs in host enzymic active sites, adhesive domains, regulatory signaling motifs, etc., thus interfering with essential reactions and posing disadvantages to the cell. Overall, this study provides a starting point for investigating the role of peptide commonality in host-pathogen interactions. PMID:23276955

  14. Two novel DXZ4-associated long noncoding RNAs show developmental changes in expression coincident with heterochromatin formation at the human (Homo sapiens) macrosatellite repeat.

    PubMed

    Figueroa, Debbie M; Darrow, Emily M; Chadwick, Brian P

    2015-12-01

    On the male X and female active X chromosome (Xa), the macrosatellite repeat (MSR) DXZ4 is packaged into constitutive heterochromatin characterized by CpG methylation and histone H3 tri-methylated at lysine-9 (H3K9me3). In contrast, DXZ4 on the female inactive X chromosome (Xi), is packaged into euchromatin, is bound by the architectural protein CCCTC-binding factor, and mediates Xi-specific long-range cis contact with similarly packaged tandem repeats on the Xi. In cancer, male DXZ4 can inappropriately revert to a Xi-like state and other MSRs have been reported to adopt alternate chromatin configurations in response to disease. Given this plasticity, we sought to identify factors that might control heterochromatin at DXZ4. In human embryonic stem cells, we found low levels of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine at DXZ4 and that this mark is lost upon differentiation as H3K9me3 is acquired. We identified two previously undescribed DXZ4 associated noncoding transcripts (DANT1 and DANT2) that are transcribed toward DXZ4 from promoters flanking the array. Each generates transcript isoforms that traverse the MSR. However, upon differentiation, enhancer of Zeste-2 silences DANT1, and DANT2 transcription terminates prior to entering DXZ4. These data support a model wherein DANT1 and/or DANT2 may function to regulate constitutive heterochromatin formation at this MSR. PMID:26188586

  15. Preliminary Study to Test the Feasibility of Sex Identification of Human (Homo sapiens) Bones Based on Differences in Elemental Profiles Determined by Handheld X-ray Fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Nganvongpanit, Korakot; Buddhachat, Kittisak; Brown, Janine L; Klinhom, Sarisa; Pitakarnnop, Tanita; Mahakkanukrauh, Pasuk

    2016-09-01

    Sex assignment of human remains is a crucial step in forensic anthropological studies. The aim of this study was to examine elemental differences between male and female bones using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and determine if elemental profiling could be used for sex discrimination. Cranium, humerus, and os coxae of 60 skeletons (30 male, 30 female) from the Chiang Mai University Skeletal Collection were scanned by XRF and differences in elemental profiles between male and female bones determined using discriminant analysis. In the cranium, three elements (S, Ca, Pb) were significantly higher in males and five elements (Si, Mn, Fe, Zn, Ag) plus light elements (atomic number lower than 12) were higher in females. In humerus and os coxae, nine elements were significantly higher in male and one element was higher in female samples. The accuracy rate for sex estimation was 60, 63, and 61 % for cranium, humerus, and os coxae, respectively, and 67 % when data for all three bones were combined. We conclude that there are sex differences in bone elemental profiles; however, the accuracy of XRF analyses for discriminating between male and female samples was low compared to standard morphometric and molecular methods. XRF could be used on small samples that cannot be sexed by traditional morphological methods, but more work is needed to increase the power of this technique for gender assignment. PMID:26821354

  16. Comparing the performances of apes (Gorilla gorilla, Pan troglodytes, Pongo pygmaeus) and human children (Homo sapiens) in the floating peanut task.

    PubMed

    Hanus, Daniel; Mendes, Natacha; Tennie, Claudio; Call, Josep

    2011-01-01

    Recently, Mendes et al. [1] described the use of a liquid tool (water) in captive orangutans. Here, we tested chimpanzees and gorillas for the first time with the same "floating peanut task." None of the subjects solved the task. In order to better understand the cognitive demands of the task, we further tested other populations of chimpanzees and orangutans with the variation of the peanut initially floating or not. Twenty percent of the chimpanzees but none of the orangutans were successful. Additional controls revealed that successful subjects added water only if it was necessary to obtain the nut. Another experiment was conducted to investigate the reason for the differences in performance between the unsuccessful (Experiment 1) and the successful (Experiment 2) chimpanzee populations. We found suggestive evidence for the view that functional fixedness might have impaired the chimpanzees' strategies in the first experiment. Finally, we tested how human children of different age classes perform in an analogous experimental setting. Within the oldest group (8 years), 58 percent of the children solved the problem, whereas in the youngest group (4 years), only 8 percent were able to find the solution. PMID:21687710

  17. Comparing the Performances of Apes (Gorilla gorilla, Pan troglodytes, Pongo pygmaeus) and Human Children (Homo sapiens) in the Floating Peanut Task

    PubMed Central

    Hanus, Daniel; Mendes, Natacha; Tennie, Claudio; Call, Josep

    2011-01-01

    Recently, Mendes et al. [1] described the use of a liquid tool (water) in captive orangutans. Here, we tested chimpanzees and gorillas for the first time with the same “floating peanut task.” None of the subjects solved the task. In order to better understand the cognitive demands of the task, we further tested other populations of chimpanzees and orangutans with the variation of the peanut initially floating or not. Twenty percent of the chimpanzees but none of the orangutans were successful. Additional controls revealed that successful subjects added water only if it was necessary to obtain the nut. Another experiment was conducted to investigate the reason for the differences in performance between the unsuccessful (Experiment 1) and the successful (Experiment 2) chimpanzee populations. We found suggestive evidence for the view that functional fixedness might have impaired the chimpanzees' strategies in the first experiment. Finally, we tested how human children of different age classes perform in an analogous experimental setting. Within the oldest group (8 years), 58 percent of the children solved the problem, whereas in the youngest group (4 years), only 8 percent were able to find the solution. PMID:21687710

  18. Transfer of spatial search between environments in human adults and young children (Homo sapiens): implications for representation of local geometry by spatial systems.

    PubMed

    Lew, Adina R; Usherwood, Barrie; Fragkioudaki, Frantzeska; Koukoumi, Varvara; Smith, Shamus P; Austen, Joe M; McGregor, Anthony

    2014-04-01

    Whether animals represent environmental geometry in a global and/or local way has been the subject of recent debate. We applied a transfer of search paradigm between rectangular- and kite-shaped arenas to examine the performance of human adults (using virtual environments) and children of 2.5-3.5 years (using real arenas). Adults showed robust transfer to a congruent corner in a kite-shaped arena, following training in a rectangular-shaped arena in two paradigms modeled on those used with rats and young children respectively. In contrast, the children showed no evidence of transfer of search, despite above chance performance in the rectangular arena, and above chance performance in a study where search occurred in the kite arena only. The pattern of findings suggests global aspects of environmental geometry may be used to re-establish heading, and that the matching of elements of local geometry in new global contexts may be an advanced developmental achievement. PMID:23532957

  19. Humans (Homo sapiens) judge the emotional content of piglet (Sus scrofa domestica) calls based on simple acoustic parameters, not personality, empathy, nor attitude toward animals.

    PubMed

    Maruščáková, Iva L; Linhart, Pavel; Ratcliffe, Victoria F; Tallet, Céline; Reby, David; Špinka, Marek

    2015-05-01

    The vocal expression of emotion is likely driven by shared physiological principles among species. However, which acoustic features promote decoding of emotional state and how the decoding is affected by their listener's psychology remain poorly understood. Here we tested how acoustic features of piglet vocalizations interact with psychological profiles of human listeners to affect judgments of emotional content of heterospecific vocalizations. We played back 48 piglet call sequences recorded in four different contexts (castration, isolation, reunion, nursing) to 60 listeners. Listeners judged the emotional intensity and valence of the recordings and were further asked to attribute a context of emission from four proposed contexts. Furthermore, listeners completed a series of questionnaires assessing their personality (NEO-FFI personality inventory), empathy [Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI)] and attitudes to animals (Animal Attitudes Scale). None of the listeners' psychological traits affected the judgments. On the contrary, acoustic properties of recordings had a substantial effect on ratings. Recordings were rated as more intense with increasing pitch (mean fundamental frequency) and increasing proportion of vocalized sound within each stimulus recording and more negative with increasing pitch and increasing duration of the calls within the recording. More complex acoustic properties (jitter, harmonic-to-noise ratio, and presence of subharmonics) did not seem to affect the judgments. The probability of correct context recognition correlated positively with the assessed emotion intensity for castration and reunion calls, and negatively for nursing calls. In conclusion, listeners judged emotions from pig calls using simple acoustic properties and the perceived emotional intensity might guide the identification of the context. PMID:25798794

  20. Variability in first Homo: Analysis of the ratio between the skulls KNM-ER 1470 and KNM-ER 1813 based on sexual dimorphism of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, S W Ferreira; Lorenzo, C

    2015-10-01

    The study of the skulls KNM-ER 1470 and KNM-ER 1813, considered the first members of the genus Homo, has raised some debates. While some of researchers maintain that there is only one species, another group argues that there are two species. On one hand these two fossils are still taxonomically undetermined, on the other hand they bring up another problem related to the existence of a genus with multiple species since its beginning, according to the last discoveries. In this paper, we have compared the size ratio between these fossils with ratios established in populations of Homo sapiens, in order to know if they fit into the human standard, considering intra-sexual and inter-sexual variation. Results help to establish whether these fossils correspond to different species or their differences could be related to sexual dimorphism within a single species. PMID:26092693

  1. Psychosis: a costly by-product of social brain evolution in Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Burns, Jonathan Kenneth

    2006-07-01

    The plethora of varied and often conflictual research evidence on the functional psychoses calls for a unifying explanatory framework. An evolutionary framework is appropriate in view of the paradoxical epidemiology of the disorders. Evolutionary models that rely on balanced polymorphism or group selection models are not supported by the evidence. Rather, a hypothesis is presented arguing that the spectrum of psychoses should be regarded as a costly by-product of social brain evolution in Homo sapiens. Under social selective pressures, hominid ancestors evolved a sophisticated neural network supporting social cognition and adaptive interpersonal behaviour--this is termed the 'social brain'. The functional psychoses (and schizophrenia in particular) are characterised by functional and structural deficits in these fronto-temporal and fronto-parietal circuits; hence the epithet 'social brain disorders' is fitting. I argue that accumulating evidence for an evolved social brain calls for a new philosophy of mind; a philosophy focussed on the social and interpersonal nature of human experience and derived from the philosophies of Fromm, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. Such a paradigm shift would aid modern neuroscience in finally abandoning Cartesian dualism and would guide psychiatry towards an integrated and 'socio-neurologically' embedded understanding of mental disorders. PMID:16516365

  2. Pair-bonding, romantic love, and evolution: the curious case of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Garth J O; Simpson, Jeffry A; Campbell, Lorne; Overall, Nickola C

    2015-01-01

    This article evaluates a thesis containing three interconnected propositions. First, romantic love is a "commitment device" for motivating pair-bonding in humans. Second, pair-bonding facilitated the idiosyncratic life history of hominins, helping to provide the massive investment required to rear children. Third, managing long-term pair bonds (along with family relationships) facilitated the evolution of social intelligence and cooperative skills. We evaluate this thesis by integrating evidence from a broad range of scientific disciplines. First, consistent with the claim that romantic love is an evolved commitment device, our review suggests that it is universal; suppresses mate-search mechanisms; has specific behavioral, hormonal, and neuropsychological signatures; and is linked to better health and survival. Second, we consider challenges to this thesis posed by the existence of arranged marriage, polygyny, divorce, and infidelity. Third, we show how the intimate relationship mind seems to be built to regulate and monitor relationships. Fourth, we review comparative evidence concerning links among mating systems, reproductive biology, and brain size. Finally, we discuss evidence regarding the evolutionary timing of shifts to pair-bonding in hominins. We conclude there is interdisciplinary support for the claim that romantic love and pair-bonding, along with alloparenting, played critical roles in the evolution of Homo sapiens. PMID:25910380

  3. Forearm articular proportions and the antebrachial index in Homo sapiens, Australopithecus afarensis and the great apes.

    PubMed

    Williams, Frank L'Engle; Cunningham, Deborah L; Amaral, Lia Q

    2015-12-01

    When hominin bipedality evolved, the forearms were free to adopt nonlocomotor tasks which may have resulted in changes to the articular surfaces of the ulna and the relative lengths of the forearm bones. Similarly, sex differences in forearm proportions may be more likely to emerge in bipeds than in the great apes given the locomotor constraints in Gorilla, Pan and Pongo. To test these assumptions, ulnar articular proportions and the antebrachial index (radius length/ulna length) in Homo sapiens (n=51), Gorilla gorilla (n=88), Pan troglodytes (n=49), Pongo pygmaeus (n=36) and Australopithecus afarensis A.L. 288-1 and A.L. 438-1 are compared. Intercept-adjusted ratios are used to control for size and minimize the effects of allometry. Canonical scores axes show that the proximally broad and elongated trochlear notch with respect to size in H. sapiens and A. afarensis is largely distinct from G. gorilla, P. troglodytes and P. pygmaeus. A cluster analysis of scaled ulnar articular dimensions groups H. sapiens males with A.L. 438-1 ulna length estimates, while one A.L. 288-1 ulna length estimate groups with Pan and another clusters most closely with H. sapiens, G. gorilla and A.L. 438-1. The relatively low antebrachial index characterizing H. sapiens and non-outlier estimates of A.L. 288-1 and A.L. 438-1 differs from those of the great apes. Unique sex differences in H. sapiens suggest a link between bipedality and forearm functional morphology. PMID:26256651

  4. Earliest evidence for the structure of Homo sapiens populations in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scerri, Eleanor M. L.; Drake, Nick A.; Jennings, Richard; Groucutt, Huw S.

    2014-10-01

    Understanding the structure and variation of Homo sapiens populations in Africa is critical for interpreting multiproxy evidence of their subsequent dispersals into Eurasia. However, there is no consensus on early H. sapiens demographic structure, or its effects on intra-African dispersals. Here, we show how a patchwork of ecological corridors and bottlenecks triggered a successive budding of populations across the Sahara. Using a temporally and spatially explicit palaeoenvironmental model, we found that the Sahara was not uniformly ameliorated between ∼130 and 75 thousand years ago (ka), as has been stated. Model integration with multivariate analyses of corresponding stone tools then revealed several spatially defined technological clusters which correlated with distinct palaeobiomes. Similarities between technological clusters were such that they decreased with distance except where connected by palaeohydrological networks. These results indicate that populations at the Eurasian gateway were strongly structured, which has implications for refining the demographic parameters of dispersals out of Africa.

  5. HS3D, A Dataset of Homo Sapiens Splice Regions, and its Extraction Procedure from a Major Public Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollastro, Pasquale; Rampone, Salvatore

    The aim of this work is to describe a cleaning procedure of GenBank data, producing material to train and to assess the prediction accuracy of computational approaches for gene characterization. A procedure (GenBank2HS3D) has been defined, producing a dataset (HS3D - Homo Sapiens Splice Sites Dataset) of Homo Sapiens Splice regions extracted from GenBank (Rel.123 at this time). It selects, from the complete GenBank Primate Division, entries of Human Nuclear DNA according with several assessed criteria; then it extracts exons and introns from these entries (actually 4523 + 3802). Donor and acceptor sites are then extracted as windows of 140 nucleotides around each splice site (3799 + 3799). After discarding windows not including canonical GT-AG junctions (65 + 74), including insufficient data (not enough material for a 140 nucleotide window) (686 + 589), including not AGCT bases (29 + 30), and redundant (218 + 226), the remaining windows (2796 + 2880) are reported in the dataset. Finally, windows of false splice sites are selected by searching canonical GT-AG pairs in not splicing positions (271 937 + 332 296). The false sites in a range +/- 60 from a true splice site are marked as proximal. HS3D, release 1.2 at this time, is available at the Web server of the University of Sannio: http://www.sci.unisannio.it/docenti/rampone/.

  6. Emergence of a Homo sapiens-specific gene family and chromosome 16p11.2 CNV susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Nuttle, Xander; Giannuzzi, Giuliana; Duyzend, Michael H; Schraiber, Joshua G; Narvaiza, Iñigo; Sudmant, Peter H; Penn, Osnat; Chiatante, Giorgia; Malig, Maika; Huddleston, John; Benner, Chris; Camponeschi, Francesca; Ciofi-Baffoni, Simone; Stessman, Holly A F; Marchetto, Maria C N; Denman, Laura; Harshman, Lana; Baker, Carl; Raja, Archana; Penewit, Kelsi; Janke, Nicolette; Tang, W Joyce; Ventura, Mario; Banci, Lucia; Antonacci, Francesca; Akey, Joshua M; Amemiya, Chris T; Gage, Fred H; Reymond, Alexandre; Eichler, Evan E

    2016-08-11

    Genetic differences that specify unique aspects of human evolution have typically been identified by comparative analyses between the genomes of humans and closely related primates, including more recently the genomes of archaic hominins. Not all regions of the genome, however, are equally amenable to such study. Recurrent copy number variation (CNV) at chromosome 16p11.2 accounts for approximately 1% of cases of autism and is mediated by a complex set of segmental duplications, many of which arose recently during human evolution. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of the locus and identify bolA family member 2 (BOLA2) as a gene duplicated exclusively in Homo sapiens. We estimate that a 95-kilobase-pair segment containing BOLA2 duplicated across the critical region approximately 282 thousand years ago (ka), one of the latest among a series of genomic changes that dramatically restructured the locus during hominid evolution. All humans examined carried one or more copies of the duplication, which nearly fixed early in the human lineage--a pattern unlikely to have arisen so rapidly in the absence of selection (P < 0.0097). We show that the duplication of BOLA2 led to a novel, human-specific in-frame fusion transcript and that BOLA2 copy number correlates with both RNA expression (r = 0.36) and protein level (r = 0.65), with the greatest expression difference between human and chimpanzee in experimentally derived stem cells. Analyses of 152 patients carrying a chromosome 16p11. rearrangement show that more than 96% of breakpoints occur within the H. sapiens-specific duplication. In summary, the duplicative transposition of BOLA2 at the root of the H. sapiens lineage about 282 ka simultaneously increased copy number of a gene associated with iron homeostasis and predisposed our species to recurrent rearrangements associated with disease. PMID:27487209

  7. Dental size reduction in Indonesian Homo erectus: Implications for the PU-198 premolar and the appearance of Homo sapiens on Java.

    PubMed

    Polanski, Joshua M; Marsh, Hannah E; Maddux, Scott D

    2016-01-01

    The recent recovery of a hominin maxillary third premolar, PU-198, within the faunal collections from Punung Cave (East Java) has led to assertions that Homo sapiens appeared on Java between 143,000 and 115,000 years ago. The taxonomic assignment of PU-198 to H. sapiens was based predominantly on the small size of the specimen, following an analysis which found little to no overlap in premolar size between Homo erectus and terminal Pleistocene/Holocene H. sapiens. Here, we re-evaluate the use of size in the taxonomic assignment of PU-198 in light of 1) new buccolingual and mesiodistal measurements taken on the fossil, 2) comparisons to a larger sample of H. erectus and H. sapiens maxillary third premolars, and 3) evidence of a diachronic trend in post-canine dental size reduction among Javan H. erectus. Our results demonstrate PU-198 to be slightly larger than previously suggested, reveal substantial overlap in premolar size between H. erectus and H. sapiens, and indicate a statistically significant reduction in premolar size between early and late Javan H. erectus. Our findings cast doubt on the assignment of PU-198 to H. sapiens, and accordingly, question the appearance of H. sapiens on Java between 143,000 and 115,000 years ago. PMID:26767959

  8. Before the Emergence of Homo sapiens: Overview on the Early-to-Middle Pleistocene Fossil Record (with a Proposal about Homo heidelbergensis at the subspecific level)

    PubMed Central

    Manzi, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

    The origin of H. sapiens has deep roots, which include two crucial nodes: (1) the emergence and diffusion of the last common ancestor of later Homo (in the Early Pleistocene) and (2) the tempo and mode of the appearance of distinct evolutionary lineages (in the Middle Pleistocene). The window between 1,000 and 500 thousand years before present appears of crucial importance, including the generation of a new and more encephalised kind of humanity, referred to by many authors as H. heidelbergensis. This species greatly diversified during the Middle Pleistocene up to the formation of new variants (i.e., incipient species) that, eventually, led to the allopatric speciation of H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. The special case furnished by the calvarium found near Ceprano (Italy), dated to 430–385 ka, offers the opportunity to investigate this matter from an original perspective. It is proposed to separate the hypodigm of a single, widespread, and polymorphic human taxon of the Middle Pleistocene into distinct subspecies (i.e., incipient species). The ancestral one should be H. heidelbergensis, including specimens such as Ceprano and the mandible from Mauer. PMID:21716742

  9. Similarity analysis between chromosomes of Homo sapiens and monkeys with correlation coefficient, rank correlation coefficient and cosine similarity measures.

    PubMed

    Someswara Rao, Chinta; Viswanadha Raju, S

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, we consider correlation coefficient, rank correlation coefficient and cosine similarity measures for evaluating similarity between Homo sapiens and monkeys. We used DNA chromosomes of genome wide genes to determine the correlation between the chromosomal content and evolutionary relationship. The similarity among the H. sapiens and monkeys is measured for a total of 210 chromosomes related to 10 species. The similarity measures of these different species show the relationship between the H. sapiens and monkey. This similarity will be helpful at theft identification, maternity identification, disease identification, etc. PMID:26981409

  10. From Homo Sapiens to Homo Cosmicus - Astronautics, Darwinism abd Historical Determinism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolkowsky, G.

    Since its inception in late-nineteenth century, astronautics has been viewed as a historical outcome of human evolution as well as a future driver thereof. The history of astronautics-related, evolutionary thought reveals a tension between the Darwinian notion of natural selection and that of homocosmic predestination - be it of dialectical materialistic or theological nature. One can detect the influence of this ideological diversity on the American and Soviet space programs.

  11. Normalization of Complete Genome Characteristics: Application to Evolution from Primitive Organisms to Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Sorimachi, Kenji; Okayasu, Teiji; Ohhira, Shuji

    2015-01-01

    Normalized nucleotide and amino acid contents of complete genome sequences can be visualized as radar charts. The shapes of these charts depict the characteristics of an organism’s genome. The normalized values calculated from the genome sequence theoretically exclude experimental errors. Further, because normalization is independent of both target size and kind, this procedure is applicable not only to single genes but also to whole genomes, which consist of a huge number of different genes. In this review, we discuss the applications of the normalization of the nucleotide and predicted amino acid contents of complete genomes to the investigation of genome structure and to evolutionary research from primitive organisms to Homo sapiens. Some of the results could never have been obtained from the analysis of individual nucleotide or amino acid sequences but were revealed only after the normalization of nucleotide and amino acid contents was applied to genome research. The discovery that genome structure was homogeneous was obtained only after normalization methods were applied to the nucleotide or predicted amino acid contents of genome sequences. Normalization procedures are also applicable to evolutionary research. Thus, normalization of the contents of whole genomes is a useful procedure that can help to characterize organisms. PMID:26085808

  12. Shape of the piriform aperture in Gorilla gorilla, Pan troglodytes, and modern Homo sapiens: characterization and polymorphism analysis.

    PubMed

    Schmittbuhl, M; Le Minor, J M; Allenbach, B; Schaaf, A

    1998-07-01

    By using new methodologies based on automatic image analysis, the shape of the piriform aperture was analyzed in Gorilla gorilla (33 males, 13 females), Pan troglodytes (35 males, 22 females), and modern Homo sapiens (30 males, 12 females). The determination of the piriform aperture index (breadth/height) allowed the authors to demonstrate a marked elongation of the aperture in Homo compared with Gorilla and Pan. Individual characterization of the shape was possible with great precision and without ambiguity by using Fourier analysis. An absolute, interspecific partition between Gorilla, Pan, and Homo resulted from the canonical discriminant analysis of the Fourier descriptors. However, a closeness of shape between some individuals in Pan and some in Gorilla and Homo was observed, demonstrating a morphological continuum of the shape of the piriform aperture in hominoids: Pan was in intermediate position between Gorilla and Homo. Interspecific differences between Homo and the group Pan-Gorilla were explained principally by the differences in elongation (amplitude of the second harmonic) and pentagonality (amplitude of the fifth harmonic) and by differences in orientation of quadrangularity (phase of the fourth harmonic). Differences in the shape of the piriform aperture between Pan and Gorilla were explained by differences in orientation of elongation (phase of the second harmonic) and by differences in the component of triangularity (amplitude of the third harmonic). In Gorilla and Pan, the little, elongated, and relatively trapezoidal piriform aperture seems to be a shared primitive feature (plesiomorphic), whereas an elongated piriform aperture seems to be a characteristic and derived feature (apomorphic) of modern Homo sapiens. PMID:9696146

  13. The mitogenome of a 35,000-year-old Homo sapiens from Europe supports a Palaeolithic back-migration to Africa.

    PubMed

    Hervella, M; Svensson, E M; Alberdi, A; Günther, T; Izagirre, N; Munters, A R; Alonso, S; Ioana, M; Ridiche, F; Soficaru, A; Jakobsson, M; Netea, M G; de-la-Rua, C

    2016-01-01

    After the dispersal of modern humans (Homo sapiens) Out of Africa, hominins with a similar morphology to that of present-day humans initiated the gradual demographic expansion into Eurasia. The mitogenome (33-fold coverage) of the Peştera Muierii 1 individual (PM1) from Romania (35 ky cal BP) we present in this article corresponds fully to Homo sapiens, whilst exhibiting a mosaic of morphological features related to both modern humans and Neandertals. We have identified the PM1 mitogenome as a basal haplogroup U6*, not previously found in any ancient or present-day humans. The derived U6 haplotypes are predominantly found in present-day North-Western African populations. Concomitantly, those found in Europe have been attributed to recent gene-flow from North Africa. The presence of the basal haplogroup U6* in South East Europe (Romania) at 35 ky BP confirms a Eurasian origin of the U6 mitochondrial lineage. Consequently, we propose that the PM1 lineage is an offshoot to South East Europe that can be traced to the Early Upper Paleolithic back migration from Western Asia to North Africa, during which the U6 lineage diversified, until the emergence of the present-day U6 African lineages. PMID:27195518

  14. The mitogenome of a 35,000-year-old Homo sapiens from Europe supports a Palaeolithic back-migration to Africa

    PubMed Central

    Hervella, M.; Svensson, E. M.; Alberdi, A.; Günther, T.; Izagirre, N.; Munters, A. R.; Alonso, S.; Ioana, M.; Ridiche, F.; Soficaru, A.; Jakobsson, M.; Netea, M. G.; de-la-Rua, C.

    2016-01-01

    After the dispersal of modern humans (Homo sapiens) Out of Africa, hominins with a similar morphology to that of present-day humans initiated the gradual demographic expansion into Eurasia. The mitogenome (33-fold coverage) of the Peştera Muierii 1 individual (PM1) from Romania (35 ky cal BP) we present in this article corresponds fully to Homo sapiens, whilst exhibiting a mosaic of morphological features related to both modern humans and Neandertals. We have identified the PM1 mitogenome as a basal haplogroup U6*, not previously found in any ancient or present-day humans. The derived U6 haplotypes are predominantly found in present-day North-Western African populations. Concomitantly, those found in Europe have been attributed to recent gene-flow from North Africa. The presence of the basal haplogroup U6* in South East Europe (Romania) at 35 ky BP confirms a Eurasian origin of the U6 mitochondrial lineage. Consequently, we propose that the PM1 lineage is an offshoot to South East Europe that can be traced to the Early Upper Paleolithic back migration from Western Asia to North Africa, during which the U6 lineage diversified, until the emergence of the present-day U6 African lineages. PMID:27195518

  15. The rhizome of Reclinomonas americana, Homo sapiens, Pediculus humanus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Mitochondria are thought to have evolved from eubacteria-like endosymbionts; however, the origin of the mitochondrion remains a subject of debate. In this study, we investigated the phenomenon of chimerism in mitochondria to shed light on the origin of these organelles by determining which species played a role in their formation. We used the mitochondria of four distinct organisms, Reclinomonas americana, Homo sapiens, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and multichromosome Pediculus humanus, and attempted to identify the origin of each mitochondrial gene. Results Our results suggest that the origin of mitochondrial genes is not limited to the Rickettsiales and that the creation of these genes did not occur in a single event, but through multiple successive events. Some of these events are very old and were followed by events that are more recent and occurred through the addition of elements originating from current species. The points in time that the elements were added and the parental species of each gene in the mitochondrial genome are different to the individual species. These data constitute strong evidence that mitochondria do not have a single common ancestor but likely have numerous ancestors, including proto-Rickettsiales, proto-Rhizobiales and proto-Alphaproteobacteria, as well as current alphaproteobacterial species. The analysis of the multichromosome P. humanus mitochondrion supports this mechanism. Conclusions The most plausible scenario of the origin of the mitochondrion is that ancestors of Rickettsiales and Rhizobiales merged in a proto-eukaryotic cell approximately one billion years ago. The fusion of the Rickettsiales and Rhizobiales cells was followed by gene loss, genomic rearrangements and the addition of alphaproteobacterial elements through ancient and more recent recombination events. Each gene of each of the four studied mitochondria has a different origin, while in some cases, multichromosomes may allow for enhanced gene exchange

  16. Transitions or turnovers? Climatically-forced extinctions of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals in the east Mediterranean Levant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shea, John J.

    2008-11-01

    The East Mediterranean Levant is a focal point for debate about evolutionary continuity among Late Pleistocene hominin populations. Changes in the Levantine Middle and Upper Palaeolithic archaeological records are almost invariably described in terms of adaptive shifts and behavioural transitions, rather than as changes in hominin populations. This paper examines evidence for hominin evolutionary continuity in the Levant between 130 and 25 ka. Two inflection points, one within the Middle Palaeolithic ca 75 ka and the other between the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic ca 45 ka, are examined in light of recently-discovered evidence for rapid climate change and environmental deterioration. It is proposed that both periods mark regional extinctions and turnovers of hominin populations. The first of these occurred among early Homo sapiens, the second among Neanderthals. Each event was followed by dispersal of hominin populations into the Levant from adjacent regions. Differences in Middle vs. Upper Palaeolithic Homo sapiens' long-term success in the Levant may reflect recently-evolved strategies for coping with rapid climate change and with colder arid habitats.

  17. Paleoneurology: neurodegenerative diseases are age-related diseases of specific brain regions recently developed by Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Ghika, J

    2008-11-01

    Bipedal locomotion and fine motility of hand and larynx of humans introduced musculoskeletal adaptations, new pyramidal, corticostriatal, corticobulbar, nigrostriatal, and cerebellar pathways and expansions of prefrontal, cingular, parieto-temporal and occipital cortices with derived new brain capabilities. All selectively degenerate in aged homo sapiens following 16 syndromic presentations: (1) Parkinsonism: nigrostriatal control for fast automatic movements of hand, larynx, bipedal posture and gait ("simian gait and hand"). (2) Frontal (highest level) gait disorders (lower body parkinsonism, gait apraxia, retropulsion): prefrontostriatal executive control of bipedal locomotion. (3) ataxia: new synergistic coordination of bipedal gait and fine motility. (4) Dyskinesias (chorea, dystonia, tremor...): intrusions of simian basal ganglia motor subroutines. (5) motoneuron diseases: new proximo-distal and bulbar motoneurones, preserving older ones (oculomotor, abdominal...). (6) Archaic reflexes: prefrontal disinhibition of old mother/tree-climbing-oriented reflexes (sucking, grasping, Babinski/triple retraction, gegenhalten), group alarms (laughter, crying, yawning, grunting...) or grooming (tremor=scratching). (7) Dysautonomia: contextual regulation (orthostatism...). (8) REM sleep disorders of new cortical functions. (9) Corticobasal syndrome: melokinetic control of hand prehension-manipulation and language (retrocession to simian patterns). (10) Frontal/temporal lobe degeneration: medial-orbitofrontal behavioural variant: self monitoring of internal needs and social context: apathy, loss of personal hygiene, stereotypia, disinhibition, loss of concern for consequences of acts, social rules, danger and empathy; dorsolateral executive variant: inadequacy to the context of action (goal, environmental changes...); progressive non-fluent aphasia: executive and praxic processing of speech; temporal variant: abstract concepts for speech, gestures and vision (semantic

  18. Azole affinity of sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51) enzymes from Candida albicans and Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Warrilow, Andrew G; Parker, Josie E; Kelly, Diane E; Kelly, Steven L

    2013-03-01

    Candida albicans CYP51 (CaCYP51) (Erg11), full-length Homo sapiens CYP51 (HsCYP51), and truncated Δ60HsCYP51 were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. CaCYP51 and both HsCYP51 enzymes bound lanosterol (K(s), 14 to 18 μM) and catalyzed the 14α-demethylation of lanosterol using Homo sapiens cytochrome P450 reductase and NADPH as redox partners. Both HsCYP51 enzymes bound clotrimazole, itraconazole, and ketoconazole tightly (dissociation constants [K(d)s], 42 to 131 nM) but bound fluconazole (K(d), ~30,500 nM) and voriconazole (K(d), ~2,300 nM) weakly, whereas CaCYP51 bound all five medical azole drugs tightly (K(d)s, 10 to 56 nM). Selectivity for CaCYP51 over HsCYP51 ranged from 2-fold (clotrimazole) to 540-fold (fluconazole) among the medical azoles. In contrast, selectivity for CaCYP51 over Δ60HsCYP51 with agricultural azoles ranged from 3-fold (tebuconazole) to 9-fold (propiconazole). Prothioconazole bound extremely weakly to CaCYP51 and Δ60HsCYP51, producing atypical type I UV-visible difference spectra (K(d)s, 6,100 and 910 nM, respectively), indicating that binding was not accomplished through direct coordination with the heme ferric ion. Prothioconazole-desthio (the intracellular derivative of prothioconazole) bound tightly to both CaCYP51 and Δ60HsCYP51 (K(d), ~40 nM). These differences in binding affinities were reflected in the observed 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) values, which were 9- to 2,000-fold higher for Δ60HsCYP51 than for CaCYP51, with the exception of tebuconazole, which strongly inhibited both CYP51 enzymes. In contrast, prothioconazole weakly inhibited CaCYP51 (IC(50), ~150 μM) and did not significantly inhibit Δ60HsCYP51. PMID:23274672

  19. Field-mapping and petrographic analysis of volcanoes surrounding the Lake Natron Homo sapiens footprint site, northern Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hewitt, S. M.; Zimmer, B.; Liutkus, C.; Carmichael, S. K.; McGinnis, K.

    2010-12-01

    The Lake Natron Homo sapiens footprint site is located in northern Tanzania along the East African Rift escarpment. The site is positioned south of Lake Natron within an ephemeral channel of the Engare Sero River. The hominid footprints are preserved in a tuff, which originated from one of the volcanic centers surrounding the site. Two large volcanoes in the surrounding region, including the active carbonatite producing Oldoinyo L’engai and the now extinct Kerimasi are possible sources. This area also contains over 30 smaller tuff cones and tuff rings that have been poorly mapped and not analyzed in detail. The site is significant as it is the oldest modern human trackway in East Africa and one of the largest collections of hominid footprints in the world. Determining the source of the footprinted volcanic ash requires detailed field mapping, and both petrographic and geochemical analyses. Extensive field-mapping of the region revealed multiple regional beds that stratigraphically overlay the footprinted layer. Age dating as well as geochemical analysis is being conducted to relate these beds to the footprinted layer. Field-mapping showed that the footprinted tuff is over 35 cm thick, suggesting a large, sustained eruption. The bulk of the tuff cones examined in the field visibly varied in composition to the footprinted tuff and, based on proximity to the footprint site, are too small to produce the requisite volume of ash. Field analysis of samples collected from Oldoinyo L’engai reveal the most similar mineral assemblages to the footprinted layer, and the large volcano provides a source substantial enough to create a thick ash bed 10 km north of the summit. Preliminary research reveals that the footprinted tuff is a phonolite, characterized by silica depletion and the presence of sanidine, augite, and annite with interstitial calcite. XRD analysis of samples collected from Oldoinyo L’engai reveal a nepheline-rich phonolite with zeolites (ie. phillipsite

  20. Terrestrial environmental changes around the Gulf of Aden over the last 210 kyr deduced from the sediment n-alkane record: Implications for the dispersal of Homo sapiens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isaji, Yuta; Kawahata, Hodaka; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Murayama, Masafumi; Tamaki, Kensaku

    2015-03-01

    We analyzed long-chain (C25-C36) n-alkanes and pollen grains in sediments from the Gulf of Aden covering the last 212 kyr to reconstruct the surrounding terrestrial environment, a critical region for the dispersal of Homo sapiens. Substantial increases in the flux of n-alkanes during 200-185, 120-95, and 70-50 ka were interpreted to indicate enhanced vegetation biomass in the Arabian Peninsula and the northern part of the Horn of Africa or increase in lithogenic material inputs. Periods of enhanced n-alkane flux occurred during or immediately after pluvial episodes, indicating that the increased precipitation may have induced substantially enhanced vegetation biomass, creating favorable conditions for Homo sapiens. Additionally, vegetation may have increased due to moderate precipitation unrecorded by speleothems or in accordance with the lowering of sea level, indicating that the dispersal might have been possible even after the shift to an arid environment indicated by the speleothems.

  1. Middle Stone Age (MSA) site distributions in eastern Africa and their relationship to Quaternary environmental change, refugia and the evolution of Homo sapiens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basell, Laura S.

    2008-12-01

    This paper considers the evolution of Homo sapiens in eastern Africa in relation to refugia and bottlenecks around ˜200 ka BP, at a macro scale. Middle Stone Age (MSA) lithics, site distributions and locations are analysed in relation to palaeovegetation maps of the last glacial/interglacial cycle, which are used as a proxy for earlier climate cycles. A "push and pull" model is then postulated for the spread of Homo sapiens out of refugia in eastern Africa, involving both volcanism (push) and habitat availability (pull). A date within OIS 5 is suggested for this expansion to other parts of the continent, and potentially further afield, contrary to a frequently proposed expansion within OIS 3.

  2. Comparative in vivo forefoot kinematics of Homo sapiens and Pan paniscus.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Nicole L; D'Août, Kristiaan; Richmond, Brian; Gordon, Adam; Aerts, Peter

    2010-12-01

    The human metatarsophalangeal joints play a key role in weight transmission and propulsion during bipedal gait, but at present, the identification of when a habitual, human-like metatarsi-fulcrimating mechanism first appeared in the fossil record is debated. Part of this debate can be attributed to the absence of certain detailed quantitative data distinguishing human and great ape forefoot form and function. The aim of this study is to quantitatively test previous observations that human metatarsophalangeal joints exhibit greater amounts of dorsal excursion (i.e., dorsiflexion) than those of Pan at the terminal stance phase of terrestrial locomotion. Video recordings were made in order to measure sagittal excursions of the medial metatarsophalangeal joints in habitually shod/unshod adult humans and adult bonobos (Pan paniscus). Results indicate that the human first and second metatarsophalangeal joints usually dorsiflex more than those of bonobos. When timing of maximum excursion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint is coupled with existing plantar pressure data, the unique role of the human forefoot as a key site of leverage and weight transmission is highlighted. These results support hypotheses that significant joint functional differences between great apes and humans during gait underlie taxonomic distinctions in trabecular bone architecture of the forefoot. PMID:20851457

  3. Structural modeling and docking studies of ribose 5-phosphate isomerase from Leishmania major and Homo sapiens: a comparative analysis for Leishmaniasis treatment.

    PubMed

    Capriles, Priscila V S Z; Baptista, Luiz Phillippe R; Guedes, Isabella A; Guimarães, Ana Carolina R; Custódio, Fabio L; Alves-Ferreira, Marcelo; Dardenne, Laurent E

    2015-02-01

    Leishmaniases are caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania and are considered the second-highest cause of death worldwide by parasitic infection. The drugs available for treatment in humans are becoming ineffective mainly due to parasite resistance; therefore, it is extremely important to develop a new chemotherapy against these parasites. A crucial aspect of drug design development is the identification and characterization of novel molecular targets. In this work, through an in silico comparative analysis between the genomes of Leishmania major and Homo sapiens, the enzyme ribose 5-phosphate isomerase (R5PI) was indicated as a promising molecular target. R5PI is an important enzyme that acts in the pentose phosphate pathway and catalyzes the interconversion of d-ribose-5-phosphate (R5P) and d-ribulose-5-phosphate (5RP). R5PI activity is found in two analogous groups of enzymes called RpiA (found in H. sapiens) and RpiB (found in L. major). Here, we present the first report of the three-dimensional (3D) structures and active sites of RpiB from L. major (LmRpiB) and RpiA from H. sapiens (HsRpiA). Three-dimensional models were constructed by applying a hybrid methodology that combines comparative and ab initio modeling techniques, and the active site was characterized based on docking studies of the substrates R5P (furanose and ring-opened forms) and 5RP. Our comparative analyses show that these proteins are structural analogs and that distinct residues participate in the interconversion of R5P and 5RP. We propose two distinct reaction mechanisms for the reversible isomerization of R5P to 5RP, which is catalyzed by LmRpiB and HsRpiA. We expect that the present results will be important in guiding future molecular modeling studies to develop new drugs that are specially designed to inhibit the parasitic form of the enzyme without significant effects on the human analog. PMID:25528729

  4. The elusive illusion: Do children (Homo sapiens) and capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) see the Solitaire illusion?

    PubMed

    Parrish, Audrey E; Agrillo, Christian; Perdue, Bonnie M; Beran, Michael J

    2016-02-01

    One approach to gaining a better understanding of how we perceive the world is to assess the errors that human and nonhuman animals make in perceptual processing. Developmental and comparative perspectives can contribute to identifying the mechanisms that underlie systematic perceptual errors often referred to as perceptual illusions. In the visual domain, some illusions appear to remain constant across the lifespan, whereas others change with age. From a comparative perspective, many of the illusions observed in humans appear to be shared with nonhuman primates. Numerosity illusions are a subset of visual illusions and occur when the spatial arrangement of stimuli within a set influences the perception of quantity. Previous research has found one such illusion that readily occurs in human adults, the Solitaire illusion. This illusion appears to be less robust in two monkey species, rhesus macaques and capuchin monkeys. We attempted to clarify the ontogeny of this illusion from a developmental and comparative perspective by testing human children and task-naïve capuchin monkeys in a computerized quantity judgment task. The overall performance of the monkeys suggested that they perceived the numerosity illusion, although there were large differences among individuals. Younger children performed similarly to the monkeys, whereas older children more consistently perceived the illusion. These findings suggest that human-unique perceptual experiences with the world might play an important role in the emergence of the Solitaire illusion in human adults, although other factors also may contribute. PMID:26513327

  5. Horizontal gene transfer events reshape the global landscape of arm race between viruses and homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Chen, Dong-Sheng; Wu, Yi-Quan; Zhang, Wei; Jiang, San-Jie; Chen, Shan-Ze

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) drives the evolution of recipient organism particularly if it provides a novel function which enhances the fitness or its adaption to the environment. Virus-host co-evolution is attractive for studying co-evolutionary processes, since viruses strictly replicate inside of the host cells and thus their evolution is inexorably tangled with host biology. HGT, as a mechanism of co-evolution between human and viruses, has been widely documented, however, the roles HGT play during the interaction between human and viruses are still in their infancy. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis on the genes horizontally transferred between viruses and their corresponding human hosts. Our study suggests that the HGT genes in human are predominantly enriched in immune related GO terms while viral HGT genes are tend to be encoded by viruses which promote the invasion of immune system of hosts. Based on our results, it gives us a hint about the evolution trajectory of HGT events. Overall, our study suggests that the HGT between human and viruses are highly relevant to immune interaction and probably reshaped the arm race between hosts and viruses. PMID:27270140

  6. Horizontal gene transfer events reshape the global landscape of arm race between viruses and homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Dong-Sheng; Wu, Yi-Quan; Zhang, Wei; Jiang, San-Jie; Chen, Shan-Ze

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) drives the evolution of recipient organism particularly if it provides a novel function which enhances the fitness or its adaption to the environment. Virus-host co-evolution is attractive for studying co-evolutionary processes, since viruses strictly replicate inside of the host cells and thus their evolution is inexorably tangled with host biology. HGT, as a mechanism of co-evolution between human and viruses, has been widely documented, however, the roles HGT play during the interaction between human and viruses are still in their infancy. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis on the genes horizontally transferred between viruses and their corresponding human hosts. Our study suggests that the HGT genes in human are predominantly enriched in immune related GO terms while viral HGT genes are tend to be encoded by viruses which promote the invasion of immune system of hosts. Based on our results, it gives us a hint about the evolution trajectory of HGT events. Overall, our study suggests that the HGT between human and viruses are highly relevant to immune interaction and probably reshaped the arm race between hosts and viruses. PMID:27270140

  7. Co-dispersal of the blood fluke Schistosoma japonicum and Homo sapiens in the Neolithic Age.

    PubMed

    Yin, Mingbo; Zheng, Hong-Xiang; Su, Jing; Feng, Zheng; McManus, Donald P; Zhou, Xiao-Nong; Jin, Li; Hu, Wei

    2015-01-01

    The global spread of human infectious diseases is of considerable public health and biomedical interest. Little is known about the relationship between the distribution of ancient parasites and that of their human hosts. Schistosoma japonicum is one of the three major species of schistosome blood flukes causing the disease of schistosomiasis in humans. The parasite is prevalent in East and Southeast Asia, including the People's Republic of China, the Philippines and Indonesia. We studied the co-expansion of S. japonicum and its human definitive host. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on complete mitochondrial genome sequences showed that S. japonicum radiated from the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River to the mountainous areas of China, Japan and Southeast Asia. In addition, the parasite experienced two population expansions during the Neolithic agriculture era, coinciding with human migration and population growth. The data indicate that the advent of rice planting likely played a key role in the spread of schistosomiasis in Asia. Moreover, the presence of different subspecies of Oncomelania hupensis intermediate host snails in different localities in Asia allowed S. japonicum to survive in new rice-planting areas, and concurrently drove the intraspecies divergence of the parasite. PMID:26686813

  8. Co-dispersal of the blood fluke Schistosoma japonicum and Homo sapiens in the Neolithic Age

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Mingbo; Zheng, Hong-Xiang; Su, Jing; Feng, Zheng; McManus, Donald P.; Zhou, Xiao-Nong; Jin, Li; Hu, Wei

    2015-01-01

    The global spread of human infectious diseases is of considerable public health and biomedical interest. Little is known about the relationship between the distribution of ancient parasites and that of their human hosts. Schistosoma japonicum is one of the three major species of schistosome blood flukes causing the disease of schistosomiasis in humans. The parasite is prevalent in East and Southeast Asia, including the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines and Indonesia. We studied the co-expansion of S. japonicum and its human definitive host. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on complete mitochondrial genome sequences showed that S. japonicum radiated from the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River to the mountainous areas of China, Japan and Southeast Asia. In addition, the parasite experienced two population expansions during the Neolithic agriculture era, coinciding with human migration and population growth. The data indicate that the advent of rice planting likely played a key role in the spread of schistosomiasis in Asia. Moreover, the presence of different subspecies of Oncomelania hupensis intermediate host snails in different localities in Asia allowed S. japonicum to survive in new rice-planting areas, and concurrently drove the intraspecies divergence of the parasite. PMID:26686813

  9. Should the study of Homo sapiens be part of cognitive science?

    PubMed

    Clark Barrett, H; Stich, Stephen; Laurence, Stephen

    2012-07-01

    Beller, Bender, and Medin argue that a reconciliation between anthropology and cognitive science seems unlikely. We disagree. In our view, Beller et al.'s view of the scope of what anthropology can offer cognitive science is too narrow. In focusing on anthropology's role in elucidating cultural particulars, they downplay the fact that anthropology can reveal both variation and universals in human cognition, and is in a unique position to do so relative to the other subfields of cognitive science. Indeed, without cross-cultural research, the universality of any aspect of human cognition cannot truly be established. Therefore, if the goal of cognitive science is to understand the cognitive capacities of our species as a whole, then it cannot do without anthropology. We briefly review a growing body of anthropological work aimed at answering questions about human cognition and offer suggestions for future work. PMID:22585760

  10. Mobile elements reveal small population size in the ancient ancestors of Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Huff, Chad D.; Xing, Jinchuan; Rogers, Alan R.; Witherspoon, David; Jorde, Lynn B.

    2010-01-01

    The genealogies of different genetic loci vary in depth. The deeper the genealogy, the greater the chance that it will include a rare event, such as the insertion of a mobile element. Therefore, the genealogy of a region that contains a mobile element is on average older than that of the rest of the genome. In a simple demographic model, the expected time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) is doubled if a rare insertion is present. We test this expectation by examining single nucleotide polymorphisms around polymorphic Alu insertions from two completely sequenced human genomes. The estimated TMRCA for regions containing a polymorphic insertion is two times larger than the genomic average (P < <10−30), as predicted. Because genealogies that contain polymorphic mobile elements are old, they are shaped largely by the forces of ancient population history and are insensitive to recent demographic events, such as bottlenecks and expansions. Remarkably, the information in just two human DNA sequences provides substantial information about ancient human population size. By comparing the likelihood of various demographic models, we estimate that the effective population size of human ancestors living before 1.2 million years ago was 18,500, and we can reject all models where the ancient effective population size was larger than 26,000. This result implies an unusually small population for a species spread across the entire Old World, particularly in light of the effective population sizes of chimpanzees (21,000) and gorillas (25,000), which each inhabit only one part of a single continent. PMID:20133859

  11. Developmental Changes in Morphology of the Middle and Posterior External Cranial Base in Modern Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Dalal, Deepal H.; Smith, Heather F.

    2015-01-01

    The basicranium has been described as phylogenetically informative, developmentally stable, and minimally affected by external factors and consequently plays an important role in cranial size and shape in subadult humans. Here basicranial variation of subadults from several modern human populations was investigated and the impact of genetic relatedness on basicranial morphological similarities was investigated. Three-dimensional landmark data were digitized from subadult basicrania from seven populations. Published molecular data on short tandem repeats were statistically compared to morphological data from three ontogenetic stages. Basicranial and temporal bone morphology both reflect genetic distances in childhood and adolescence (5–18 years), but not in infancy (<5 years). The occipital bone reflects genetic distances only in adolescence (13–18 years). The sphenoid bone does not reflect genetic distances at any ontogenetic stage but was the most diagnostic region evaluated, resulting in high rates of correct classification among populations. These results suggest that the ontogenetic processes driving basicranial development are complex and cannot be succinctly summarized across populations or basicranial regions. However, the fact that certain regions reflect genetic distances suggests that the morphology of these regions may be useful in reconstructing population history in specimens for which direct DNA evidence is unavailable, such as archaeological sites. PMID:26413515

  12. She more than he: gender bias supports the empathic nature of yawn contagion in Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Norscia, Ivan; Demuru, Elisa; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2016-01-01

    Psychological, clinical and neurobiological findings endorse that empathic abilities are more developed in women than in men. Because there is growing evidence that yawn contagion is an empathy-based phenomenon, we expect that the female bias in the empathic abilities reflects on a gender skew in the responsiveness to others’ yawns. We verified this assumption by applying a linear model on a dataset gathered during a 5 year period of naturalistic observations on humans. Gender, age and social bond were included in the analysis as fixed factors. The social bond and the receiver’s gender remained in the best model. The rates of contagion were significantly lower between acquaintances than between friends and family members, and significantly higher in women than in men. These results not only confirm that yawn contagion is sensitive to social closeness, but also that the phenomenon is affected by the same gender bias affecting empathy. The sex skew, also found in other non-human species, fits with the female social roles which are likely to require higher empathic abilities (e.g. parental care, group cohesion maintenance, social mediation). The fact that female influence in social dynamics also relies on face-to-face emotional exchange raises concerns on the negative repercussions of having women’s facial expressions forcibly concealed. PMID:26998318

  13. She more than he: gender bias supports the empathic nature of yawn contagion in Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Norscia, Ivan; Demuru, Elisa; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2016-02-01

    Psychological, clinical and neurobiological findings endorse that empathic abilities are more developed in women than in men. Because there is growing evidence that yawn contagion is an empathy-based phenomenon, we expect that the female bias in the empathic abilities reflects on a gender skew in the responsiveness to others' yawns. We verified this assumption by applying a linear model on a dataset gathered during a 5 year period of naturalistic observations on humans. Gender, age and social bond were included in the analysis as fixed factors. The social bond and the receiver's gender remained in the best model. The rates of contagion were significantly lower between acquaintances than between friends and family members, and significantly higher in women than in men. These results not only confirm that yawn contagion is sensitive to social closeness, but also that the phenomenon is affected by the same gender bias affecting empathy. The sex skew, also found in other non-human species, fits with the female social roles which are likely to require higher empathic abilities (e.g. parental care, group cohesion maintenance, social mediation). The fact that female influence in social dynamics also relies on face-to-face emotional exchange raises concerns on the negative repercussions of having women's facial expressions forcibly concealed. PMID:26998318

  14. From Sea Anemone to Homo Sapiens: The Evolution of the p53 Family of Genes

    SciTech Connect

    Levine, Arnold

    2009-09-14

    The human genome contains three transcription factors termed p53, p63 and p73 which are related orthologues. The function of the p53 protein is to respond to a wide variety of stresses which can disrupt the fidelity of DNA replication and cell division in somatic cells of the body. These stress signals, such as DNA damage, increase the mutation rate during DNA duplication and so an active p53 protein responds by eliminating clones of cells with mutations employing apoptosis, senescence or cell cycle arrest. In this way the p53 protein acts as a tumor suppressor preventing the mutations that can lead to cancers. The p63 and p73 proteins act in a similar fashion to protect the germ line cells in females (eggs). In addition the p63 protein plays a central role in the formation of epithelial cell layers and p73 plays a critical role in the formation of several structures in the central nervous system. Based upon their amino acid sequences and structural considerations the oldest organisms that contain an ancestor of the p53/p63/p73 gene are the sea anemone or hydra. The present day representatives of these animals contain a p63/p73 like ancestor gene and the protein functions in germ cells of this animal to enforce the fidelity of DNA replication after exposure to ultraviolet light. Thus the structure and functions of this gene family have been preserved for over one billion years of evolution. Other invertebrates such as the worm, the fly and the clam contain a very similar ancestor gene with a similar set of functions. The withdrawal of a food source from a worm results in the p63/p73 mediated apoptosis of the eggs so that new organisms will not be hatched into a poor environment. A similar response is thought to occur in humans. Thus this ancestor gene ensures the fidelity of the next generation of organisms. The first time a clearly distinct new p53 gene arises is in the cartilaginous fish and in the bony fish a separation of the p

  15. From Sea Anemone to Homo sapiens: The Evolution of the p53 Family of Genes

    SciTech Connect

    Levine, Arnold

    2009-09-14

    The human genome contains three transcription factors termed p53, p63 and p73 which are related orthologues. The function of the p53 protein is to respond to a wide variety of stresses which can disrupt the fidelity of DNA replication and cell division in somatic cells of the body. These stress signals, such as DNA damage, increase the mutation rate during DNA duplication and so an active p53 protein responds by eliminating clones of cells with mutations employing apoptosis, senescence or cell cycle arrest. In this way the p53 protein acts as a tumor suppressor preventing the mutations that can lead to cancers. The p63 and p73 proteins act in a similar fashion to protect the germ line cells in females (eggs). In addition the p63 protein plays a central role in the formation of epithelial cell layers and p73 plays a critical role in the formation of several structures in the central nervous system. Based upon their amino acid sequences and structural considerations the oldest organisms that contain an ancestor of the p53/p63/p73 gene are the sea anemone or hydra. The present day representatives of these animals contain a p63/p73 like ancestor gene and the protein functions in germ cells of this animal to enforce the fidelity of DNA replication after exposure to ultraviolet light. Thus the structure and functions of this gene family have been preserved for over one billion years of evolution. Other invertebrates such as the worm, the fly and the clam contain a very similar ancestor gene with a similar set of functions. The withdrawal of a food source from a worm results in the p63/p73 mediated apoptosis of the eggs so that new organisms will not be hatched into a poor environment. A similar response is thought to occur in humans. Thus this ancestor gene ensures the fidelity of the next generation of organisms. The first time a clearly distinct new p53 gene arises is in the cartilaginous fish and in the bony fish a separation of the p

  16. XMAn: a Homo sapiens mutated-peptide database for the MS analysis of cancerous cell states.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xu; Lazar, Iulia M

    2014-12-01

    To enable the identification of mutated peptide sequences in complex biological samples, in this work, two novel cancer- and disease-related protein databases with mutation information collected from several public resources such as COSMIC, IARC P53, OMIM, and UniProtKB were developed. In-house developed Perl scripts were used to search and process the data and to translate each gene-level mutation into a mutated peptide sequence. The cancer and disease mutation databases comprise a total of 872,125 and 27,148 peptide entries from 25 642 and 2913 proteins, respectively. A description line for each entry provides the parent protein ID and name, the cDNA- and protein-level mutation site and type, the originating database, and the disease or cancer tissue type and corresponding hits. The two databases are FASTA-formatted to enable data retrieval by commonly used tandem MS search engines. While the largest number of mutations were encountered for the amino acids A/D/E/G/L/P/R/S, the global mutation profiles replicate closely the outcome of the 1000 Genomes Project aimed at cataloguing natural mutations in the human population. The affected proteins were primarily involved in transcription regulation, splicing, protein synthesis/folding/binding, redox/energy production, adhesion/motility, and to some extent in DNA damage repair and signaling. The applicability of the database to identifying the presence of mutated peptides was investigated with MCF-7 breast cancer cell extracts. PMID:25211293

  17. Crystal structure of Homo sapiens PTD012 reveals a zinc-containing hydrolase fold.

    PubMed

    Manjasetty, Babu A; Büssow, Konrad; Fieber-Erdmann, Martin; Roske, Yvette; Gobom, Johan; Scheich, Christoph; Götz, Frank; Niesen, Frank H; Heinemann, Udo

    2006-04-01

    The human protein PTD012 is the longer product of an alternatively spliced gene and was described to be localized in the nucleus. The X-ray structure analysis at 1.7 A resolution of PTD012 through SAD phasing reveals a monomeric protein and a novel fold. The shorter splice form was also studied and appears to be unfolded and non-functional. The structure of PTD012 displays an alphabetabetaalpha four-layer topology. A metal ion residing between the central beta-sheets is partially coordinated by three histidine residues. X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) analysis identifies the PTD012-bound ion as Zn(2+). Tetrahedral coordination of the ion is completed by the carboxylate oxygen atom of an acetate molecule taken up from the crystallization buffer. The binding of Zn(2+) to PTD012 is reminiscent of zinc-containing enzymes such as carboxypeptidase, carbonic anhydrase, and beta-lactamase. Biochemical assays failed to demonstrate any of these enzyme activities in PTD012. However, PTD012 exhibits ester hydrolase activity on the substrate p-nitrophenyl acetate. PMID:16522806

  18. Causal knowledge and imitation/emulation switching in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Horner, Victoria; Whiten, Andrew

    2005-07-01

    This study explored whether the tendency of chimpanzees and children to use emulation or imitation to solve a tool-using task was a response to the availability of causal information. Young wild-born chimpanzees from an African sanctuary and 3- to 4-year-old children observed a human demonstrator use a tool to retrieve a reward from a puzzle-box. The demonstration involved both causally relevant and irrelevant actions, and the box was presented in each of two conditions: opaque and clear. In the opaque condition, causal information about the effect of the tool inside the box was not available, and hence it was impossible to differentiate between the relevant and irrelevant parts of the demonstration. However, in the clear condition causal information was available, and subjects could potentially determine which actions were necessary. When chimpanzees were presented with the opaque box, they reproduced both the relevant and irrelevant actions, thus imitating the overall structure of the task. When the box was presented in the clear condition they instead ignored the irrelevant actions in favour of a more efficient, emulative technique. These results suggest that emulation is the favoured strategy of chimpanzees when sufficient causal information is available. However, if such information is not available, chimpanzees are prone to employ a more comprehensive copy of an observed action. In contrast to the chimpanzees, children employed imitation to solve the task in both conditions, at the expense of efficiency. We suggest that the difference in performance of chimpanzees and children may be due to a greater susceptibility of children to cultural conventions, perhaps combined with a differential focus on the results, actions and goals of the demonstrator. PMID:15549502

  19. Crystal Structure of the Homo sapiens Kynureninase-3-Hydroxyhippuric Acid Inhibitor Complex: Insights into the Molecular Basis Of Kynureninase Substrate Specificity

    SciTech Connect

    Lima,Santiago; Kumar,Sunil; Gawandi,Vijay; Momany,Cory; Phillips,Robert S.

    2009-02-23

    Homo sapiens kynureninase is a pyridoxal-5'-phosphate dependent enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolytic cleavage of 3-hydroxykynurenine to yield 3-hydroxyanthranilate and L-alanine as part of the tryptophan catabolic pathway leading to the de novo biosynthesis of NAD{sup +}. This pathway results in quinolinate, an excitotoxin that is an NMDA receptor agonist. High levels of quinolinate have been correlated with the etiology of neurodegenerative disorders such as AIDS-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. We have synthesized a novel kynureninase inhibitor, 3-hydroxyhippurate, cocrystallized it with human kynureninase, and solved the atomic structure. On the basis of an analysis of the complex, we designed a series of His-102, Ser-332, and Asn-333 mutants. The H102W/N333T and H102W/S332G/N333T mutants showed complete reversal of substrate specificity between 3-hydroxykynurenine and L-kynurenine, thus defining the primary residues contributing to substrate specificity in kynureninases.

  20. Structural Exploration and Conformational Transitions in MDM2 upon DHFR Interaction from Homo sapiens: A Computational Outlook for Malignancy via Epigenetic Disruption

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Arundhati; Ray, Sujay

    2016-01-01

    Structural basis for exploration into MDM2 and MDM2-DHFR interaction plays a vital role in analyzing the obstruction in folate metabolism, nonsynthesis of purines, and further epigenetic regulation in Homo sapiens. Therefore, it leads to suppression of normal cellular behavior and malignancy. This has been earlier documented via yeast two-hybrid assays. So, with a novel outlook, this study explores the molecular level demonstration of the best satisfactory MDM2 model selection after performing manifold modeling techniques. Z-scores and other stereochemical features were estimated for comparison. Further, protein-protein docking was executed with MDM2 and the experimentally validated X-ray crystallographic DHFR. Residual disclosure from the best suited simulated protein complex disclosed 18 side chain and 3 ionic interactions to strongly accommodate MDM2 protein into the pocket-like zone in DHFR due to the positive environment by charged residues. Lysine residues from MDM2 played a predominant role. Moreover, evaluation from varied energy calculations, folding rate, and net area for solvent accessibility implied the active participation of MDM2 with DHFR. Fascinatingly, conformational transitions from coils to helices and β-sheets after interaction with DHFR affirm the conformational strength and firmer interaction of human MDM2-DHFR. Therefore, this probe instigates near-future clinical research and interactive computational investigations with mutations. PMID:27213086

  1. Carabelli's trait revisited: an examination of mesiolingual features at the enamel-dentine junction and enamel surface of Pan and Homo sapiens upper molars.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, Alejandra; Skinner, Matthew M; Bailey, Shara E; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2012-10-01

    Carabelli's trait is a morphological feature that frequently occurs on the mesiolingual aspect of Homo sapiens upper molars. Similar structures also referred to as Carabelli's trait have been reported in apes and fossil hominins. However, the morphological development and homology of these mesiolingual structures among hominoids are poorly understood. In this study, we employ micro-computed tomography to image the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) and outer enamel surface (OES) of Pan (n = 48) and H. sapiens (n = 52) upper molars. We investigate the developmental origin of mesiolingual features in these taxa and establish the relative contribution of the EDJ and enamel cap to feature expression. Results demonstrate that mesiolingual features of H. sapiens molars develop at the EDJ and are similarly expressed at the OES. Morphological variation at both surfaces in this taxon can satisfactorily be assessed using standards for Carabelli's trait developed by the Arizona State University Dental Anthropology System (ASUDAS). Relative to H. sapiens, Pan has an even greater degree of correspondence in feature expression between the EDJ and OES. Morphological manifestations in Pan molars are not necessarily limited to the protocone and are best characterized by a lingual cingulum that cannot be captured by the ASUDAS. Cusp-like structures, similar to those seen in marked Carabelli's trait expressions in H. sapiens, were not found in Pan. This study provides a foundation for further analyses on the evolutionary history of mesiolingual dental traits within the hominoid lineage. It also highlights the wealth of morphological data that can be obtained at the EDJ for understanding tooth development and for characterizing tooth crown variation in worn fossil teeth. PMID:22889682

  2. Human taxonomic diversity in the pleistocene: does Homo erectus represent multiple hominid species?

    PubMed

    Kramer, A

    1993-06-01

    Recently, nomina such as "Homo heidelbergensis" and "H. ergaster" have been resurrected to refer to fossil hominids that are perceived to be specifically distinct from Homo sapiens and Homo erectus. This results in a later human fossil record that is nearly as speciose as that documenting the earlier history of the family Hominidae. However, it is agreed that there remains only one extant hominid species: H. sapiens. Has human taxonomic diversity been significantly pruned over the last few hundred millennia, or have the number of taxa been seriously overestimated? To answer this question, the following null hypothesis is tested: polytypism was established relatively early and the species H. erectus can accommodate all spatio-temporal variation from ca. 1.7 to 0.5 Ma. A disproof of this hypothesis would suggest that modern human polytypism is a very recent phenomenon and that speciation throughout the course of human evolution was the norm and not the exception. Cranial variation in a taxonomically mixed sample of fossil hominids, and in a modern human sample, is analyzed with regard to the variation present in the fossils attributed to H. erectus. The data are examined using both univariate (coefficient of variation) and multivariate (determinant) analyses. Employing randomization methodology to offset the small size and non-normal distribution of the fossil samples, the CV and determinant results reveal a pattern and degree of variation in H. erectus that most closely approximates that of the single species H. sapiens. It is therefore concluded that the null hypothesis cannot be rejected. PMID:8317558

  3. Human evolution. Evolution of early Homo: an integrated biological perspective.

    PubMed

    Antón, Susan C; Potts, Richard; Aiello, Leslie C

    2014-07-01

    Integration of evidence over the past decade has revised understandings about the major adaptations underlying the origin and early evolution of the genus Homo. Many features associated with Homo sapiens, including our large linear bodies, elongated hind limbs, large energy-expensive brains, reduced sexual dimorphism, increased carnivory, and unique life history traits, were once thought to have evolved near the origin of the genus in response to heightened aridity and open habitats in Africa. However, recent analyses of fossil, archaeological, and environmental data indicate that such traits did not arise as a single package. Instead, some arose substantially earlier and some later than previously thought. From ~2.5 to 1.5 million years ago, three lineages of early Homo evolved in a context of habitat instability and fragmentation on seasonal, intergenerational, and evolutionary time scales. These contexts gave a selective advantage to traits, such as dietary flexibility and larger body size, that facilitated survival in shifting environments. PMID:24994657

  4. Learning from others' mistakes? limits on understanding a trap-tube task by young chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Horner, Victoria; Whiten, Andrew

    2007-02-01

    A trap-tube task was used to determine whether chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens) who observed a model's errors and successes could master the task in fewer trials than those who saw only successes. Two- to 7-year-old chimpanzees and 3- to 4-year-old children did not benefit from observing errors and found the task difficult. Two of the 6 chimpanzees developed a successful anticipatory strategy but showed no evidence of representing the core causal relations involved in trapping. Three- to 4-year-old children showed a similar limitation and tended to copy the actions of the demonstrator, irrespective of their causal relevance. Five- to 6-year-old children were able to master the task but did not appear to be influenced by social learning or benefit from observing errors. PMID:17324071

  5. AMS radiocarbon dating at Oxford and its contribution to issues of the extinction of Neanderthals and the spread of Homo sapiens sapiens across Eurasia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettitt, P. B.; Bronk Ramsey, C.; Hedges, R. E. M.; Hodgins, G. W. L.

    2000-10-01

    The Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit has participated in a number of projects central to the question of the evolutionary fate of the Neanderthals and the spread of our own species across Eurasia. This paper outlines some of the key issues in this field and reports on some dating projects which have refined our knowledge of these momentous events in human history.

  6. Utilization of Boron Compounds for the Modification of Suberoyl Anilide Hydroxamic Acid as Inhibitor of Histone Deacetylase Class II Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Bakri, Ridla; Parikesit, Arli Aditya; Satriyanto, Cipta Prio; Kerami, Djati; Tambunan, Usman Sumo Friend

    2014-01-01

    Histone deacetylase (HDAC) has a critical function in regulating gene expression. The inhibition of HDAC has developed as an interesting anticancer research area that targets biological processes such as cell cycle, apoptosis, and cell differentiation. In this study, an HDAC inhibitor that is available commercially, suberoyl anilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), has been modified to improve its efficacy and reduce the side effects of the compound. Hydrophobic cap and zinc-binding group of these compounds were substituted with boron-based compounds, whereas the linker region was substituted with p-aminobenzoic acid. The molecular docking analysis resulted in 8 ligands with ΔGbinding value more negative than the standards, SAHA and trichostatin A (TSA). That ligands were analyzed based on the nature of QSAR, pharmacological properties, and ADME-Tox. It is conducted to obtain a potent inhibitor of HDAC class II Homo sapiens. The screening process result gave one best ligand, Nova2 (513246-99-6), which was then further studied by molecular dynamics simulations. PMID:25214833

  7. Phylogenetic analysis of HERV-K LTR-like elements in primates: presence in some new world monkeys and evidence of recent parallel evolution in these species and in homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Kim, H S; Wadekar, R V; Takenaka, O; Hyun, B H; Crow, T J

    1999-01-01

    Solitary long terminal repeats (LTRs) of the human endogenous retroviruses K family (HERV-K) have been found to be coexpressed with sequences of closely located genes. We identified forty-three HERV-K LTR-like elements in primates (African great apes, two Old World monkeys, and two New World monkeys) and analyzed them along with human-specific HERV-K LTRs. We report detection of HERV-K LTR-like elements from New World monkeys, as represented by the squirrel monkey and the night monkey, for the first time. Analysis revealed a high degree of sequence homology with human-specific HERV-K LTRs. A phylogenetic tree obtained by the neighbor-joining method revealed that five sequence (SMS-1, 2, 5, 6, 7) from the squirrel monkey and three sequences (NM6-4, 5, 9) from the night monkey are more closely related to human-specific HERV-K LTRs than they are to those of apes (the chimpanzee and gorilla) and Old World monkeys (the African green monkey and rhesus monkey). The findings are consistent with the concept the HERV-K LTR-like elements have proliferated independently and recently in the genome of primates, and that such proliferation has been more recent in Homo sapiens and in these representatives of New World monkeys than in some Old World monkeys. PMID:10550675

  8. Describing the hexapeptide identity platform between the influenza A H5N1 and Homo sapiens proteomes.

    PubMed

    Kanduc, Darja

    2010-01-01

    We searched the primary sequence of influenza A H5N1 polyprotein for hexamer amino acid sequences shared with human proteins using the Protein International Resource database and the exact peptide matching analysis program. We find that the viral polyprotein shares numerous hexapeptides with the human proteome. The human proteins involved in the viral overlap are represented by antigens associated with basic cell functions such as proliferation, development, and differentiation. Of special importance, many human proteins that share peptide sequences with influenza A polyprotein are antigens such as reelin, neurexin I-α, myosin-IXa, Bardet-Biedl syndrome 10 protein, Williams syndrome transcription factor, disrupted in schizophrenia 1 protein, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 2 chromosomal region candidate gene 17 protein, fragile X mental retardation 2 protein, and jouberin. That is, the viral-vs-human overlap involves human proteins that, when altered, have been reported to be potentially associated with multiple neurological disorders that can include autism, epilepsy, obesity, dystonia, ataxia-telangiectasia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sensorineural deafness, sudden infant death syndrome, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and myelination. The present data are discussed as a possible molecular basis for understanding influenza A viral escape from immunosurveillance and for defining anti-influenza immune-therapeutic approaches devoid of collateral adverse events. PMID:20859452

  9. The status of Homo heidelbergensis (Schoetensack 1908).

    PubMed

    Stringer, Chris

    2012-05-01

    The species Homo heidelbergensis is central to many discussions about recent human evolution. For some workers, it was the last common ancestor for the subsequent species Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis; others regard it as only a European form, giving rise to the Neanderthals. Following the impact of recent genomic studies indicating hybridization between modern humans and both Neanderthals and "Denisovans", the status of these as separate taxa is now under discussion. Accordingly, clarifying the status of Homo heidelbergensis is fundamental to the debate about modern human origins. PMID:22718477

  10. Comparative study of enzyme activity and heme reactivity in Drosophila melanogaster and Homo sapiens cystathionine β-synthases.

    PubMed

    Su, Yang; Majtan, Tomas; Freeman, Katherine M; Linck, Rachel; Ponter, Sarah; Kraus, Jan P; Burstyn, Judith N

    2013-01-29

    Cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) is the first and rate-limiting enzyme in the transsulfuration pathway, which is critical for the synthesis of cysteine from methionine in eukaryotes. CBS uses coenzyme pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) for catalysis, and S-adenosylmethionine regulates the activity of human CBS, but not yeast CBS. Human and fruit fly CBS contain heme; however, the role for heme is not clear. This paper reports biochemical and spectroscopic characterization of CBS from fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster (DmCBS) and the CO/NO gas binding reactions of DmCBS and human CBS. Like CBS enzymes from lower organisms (e.g., yeast), DmCBS is intrinsically highly active and is not regulated by AdoMet. The DmCBS heme coordination environment, the reactivity, and the accompanying effects on enzyme activity are similar to those of human CBS. The DmCBS heme bears histidine and cysteine axial ligands, and the enzyme becomes inactive when the cysteine ligand is replaced. The Fe(II) heme in DmCBS is less stable than that in human CBS, undergoing more facile reoxidation and ligand exchange. In both CBS proteins, the overall stability of the protein is correlated with the heme oxidation state. Human and DmCBS Fe(II) hemes react relatively slowly with CO and NO, and the rate of the CO binding reaction is faster at low pH than at high pH. Together, the results suggest that heme incorporation and AdoMet regulation in CBS are not correlated, possibly providing two independent means for regulating the enzyme. PMID:23002992

  11. Comprehensive characterization of evolutionary conserved breakpoints in four New World Monkey karyotypes compared to Chlorocebus aethiops and Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Fan, Xiaobo; Supiwong, Weerayuth; Weise, Anja; Mrasek, Kristin; Kosyakova, Nadezda; Tanomtong, Alongkoad; Pinthong, Krit; Trifonov, Vladimir A; Cioffi, Marcelo de Bello; Grothmann, Pierre; Liehr, Thomas; Oliveira, Edivaldo H C de

    2015-11-01

    Comparative cytogenetic analysis in New World Monkeys (NWMs) using human multicolor banding (MCB) probe sets were not previously done. Here we report on an MCB based FISH-banding study complemented with selected locus-specific and heterochromatin specific probes in four NWMs and one Old World Monkey (OWM) species, i.e. in Alouatta caraya (ACA), Callithrix jacchus (CJA), Cebus apella (CAP), Saimiri sciureus (SSC), and Chlorocebus aethiops (CAE), respectively. 107 individual evolutionary conserved breakpoints (ECBs) among those species were identified and compared with those of other species in previous reports. Especially for chromosomal regions being syntenic to human chromosomes 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 16 previously cryptic rearrangements could be observed. 50.4% (54/107) NWM-ECBs were colocalized with those of OWMs, 62.6% (62/99) NWM-ECBs were related with those of Hylobates lar (HLA) and 66.3% (71/107) NWM-ECBs corresponded with those known from other mammalians. Furthermore, human fragile sites were aligned with the ECBs found in the five studied species and interestingly 66.3% ECBs colocalized with those fragile sites (FS). Overall, this study presents detailed chromosomal maps of one OWM and four NWM species. This data will be helpful to further investigation on chromosome evolution in NWM and hominoids in general and is prerequisite for correct interpretation of future sequencing based genomic studies in those species. PMID:27441227

  12. Structure of the C-terminal heme-binding domain of THAP domain containing protein 4 from Homo sapiens

    SciTech Connect

    Bianchetti, Christopher M.; Bingman, Craig A.; Phillips, Jr., George N.

    2012-03-15

    The thanatos (the Greek god of death)-associated protein (THAP) domain is a sequence-specific DNA-binding domain that contains a C2-CH (Cys-Xaa{sub 2-4}-Cys-Xaa{sub 35-50}-Cys-Xaa{sub 2}-His) zinc finger that is similar to the DNA domain of the P element transposase from Drosophila. THAP-containing proteins have been observed in the proteome of humans, pigs, cows, chickens, zebrafish, Drosophila, C. elegans, and Xenopus. To date, there are no known THAP domain proteins in plants, yeast, or bacteria. There are 12 identified human THAP domain-containing proteins (THAP0-11). In all human THAP protein, the THAP domain is located at the N-terminus and is {approx}90 residues in length. Although all of the human THAP-containing proteins have a homologous N-terminus, there is extensive variation in both the predicted structure and length of the remaining protein. Even though the exact function of these THAP proteins is not well defined, there is evidence that they play a role in cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle modulation, chromatin modification, and transcriptional regulation. THAP-containing proteins have also been implicated in a number of human disease states including heart disease, neurological defects, and several types of cancers. Human THAP4 is a 577-residue protein of unknown function that is proposed to bind DNA in a sequence-specific manner similar to THAP1 and has been found to be upregulated in response to heat shock. THAP4 is expressed in a relatively uniform manner in a broad range of tissues and appears to be upregulated in lymphoma cells and highly expressed in heart cells. The C-terminal domain of THAP4 (residues 415-577), designated here as cTHAP4, is evolutionarily conserved and is observed in all known THAP4 orthologs. Several single-domain proteins lacking a THAP domain are found in plants and bacteria and show significant levels of homology to cTHAP4. It appears that cTHAP4 belongs to a large class of proteins that have yet to be fully

  13. Gestalt principle use in college students, children with autism, toddlers (Homo sapiens), and cotton top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus).

    PubMed

    Neiworth, Julie J; Whillock, Katherine M; Kim, Seo Hyun; Greenberg, Julia R; Jones, Katherine B; Patel, Anushka R; Steefel-Moore, David L; Shaw, Allyson J; Rupert, Deborah D; Gauer, Jacqueline L; Kudura, Aisha G

    2014-05-01

    The use of Gestalt principles of proximity, similarity, and closure to recognize objects by configural superiority was examined in college students, low- and high-functioning children with autism, toddlers, and adult cotton top tamarin monkeys. At issue was whether the monkeys showed differences from humans in perceptual processing and whether they showed any similarities with clinical or developmental groups. The method required a pointing response to discriminate an odd item in a 4-item visual display. All subjects were trained to a high accuracy to point to the odd item before being tested with graphic stimuli that differentiated feature changes based on configural superiority. The results were that college students and high-functioning children with autism responded faster and more accurately to trials in which the odd item was easily noticed by the use of Gestalt principles and configural superiority. Toddlers also responded more accurately to the Gestalt trials, but without being faster at making the response. Low-functioning children with autism and tamarins showed no advantage to Gestalt trials but exhibited different processing styles. The implications of these findings to track the evolution of human perception and to develop a primate model for the perceptual deficits of autism are discussed. PMID:24491175

  14. Evolution of the α-Subunit of Na/K-ATPase from Paramecium to Homo sapiens: Invariance of Transmembrane Helix Topology.

    PubMed

    Morrill, Gene A; Kostellow, Adele B; Liu, Lijun; Gupta, Raj K; Askari, Amir

    2016-05-01

    Na/K-ATPase is a key plasma membrane enzyme involved in cell signaling, volume regulation, and maintenance of electrochemical gradients. The α-subunit, central to these functions, belongs to a large family of P-type ATPases. Differences in transmembrane (TM) helix topology, sequence homology, helix-helix contacts, cell signaling, and protein domains of Na/K-ATPase α-subunit were compared in fungi (Beauveria), unicellular organisms (Paramecia), primitive multicellular organisms (Hydra), and vertebrates (Xenopus, Homo sapiens), and correlated with evolution of physiological functions in the α-subunit. All α-subunits are of similar length, with groupings of four and six helices in the N- and C-terminal regions, respectively. Minimal homology was seen for protein domain patterns in Paramecium and Hydra, with high correlation between Hydra and vertebrates. Paramecium α-subunits display extensive disorder, with minimal helix contacts. Increases in helix contacts in Hydra approached vertebrates. Protein motifs known to be associated with membrane lipid rafts and cell signaling reveal significant positional shifts between Paramecium and Hydra vulgaris, indicating that regional membrane fluidity changes occur during evolution. Putative steroid binding sites overlapping TM-3 occurred in all species. Sites associated with G-protein-receptor stimulation occur both in vertebrates and amphibia but not in Hydra or Paramecia. The C-terminus moiety "KETYY," necessary for the Na(+) activation of pump phosphorylation, is not present in unicellular species indicating the absence of classical Na(+)/K(+)-pumps. The basic protein topology evolved earliest, followed by increases in protein domains and ordered helical arrays, correlated with appearance of α-subunit regions known to involve cell signaling, membrane recycling, and ion channel formation. PMID:26961431

  15. OSBP-related protein 8 (ORP8) interacts with Homo sapiens sperm associated antigen 5 (SPAG5) and mediates oxysterol interference of HepG2 cell cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Zhong, Wenbin; Zhou, You; Li, Jiwei; Mysore, Raghavendra; Luo, Wei; Li, Shiqian; Chang, Mau-Sun; Olkkonen, Vesa M.; Yan, Daoguang

    2014-04-01

    We earlier identified OSBP-related protein 8 (ORP8) as an endoplasmic reticulum/nuclear envelope oxysterol-binding protein implicated in cellular lipid homeostasis, migration, and organization of the microtubule cytoskeleton. Here, a yeast two-hybrid screen identified Homo sapiens sperm associated antigen 5 (SPAG5)/Astrin as interaction partner of ORP8. The putative interaction was further confirmed by pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation assays. ORP8 did not colocalize with kinetochore-associated SPAG5 in mitotic HepG2 or HuH7 cells, but overexpressed ORP8 was capable of recruiting SPAG5 onto endoplasmic reticulum membranes in interphase cells. In our experiments, 25-hydroxycholesterol (25OHC) retarded the HepG2 cell cycle, causing accumulation in G2/M phase; ORP8 overexpression resulted in the same phenotype. Importantly, ORP8 knock-down dramatically inhibited the oxysterol effect on HepG2 cell cycle, suggesting a mediating role of ORP8. Furthermore, knock-down of SPAG5 significantly reduced the effects of both ORP8 overexpression and 25OHC on the cell cycle, placing SPAG5 downstream of the two cell-cycle interfering factors. Taken together, the present results suggest that ORP8 may via SPAG5 mediate oxysterol interference of the HepG2 cell cycle. - Highlights: • The oxysterol-binding protein ORP8 was found to interact with the mitotic regulator SPAG5/Astrin. • Treatment of HepG2 cells with 25-hydroxycholesterol caused cell cycle retardation in G2/M. • ORP8 overexpression caused a similar G2/M accumulation, and ORP8 knock-down reversed the 25-hydroxycholesterol effect. • Reduction of cellular of SPAG5/Astrin reversed the cell cycle effects of both 25-hydroxycholesterol and ORP8 overexpression. • Our results suggest that ORP8 mediates via SPAG5/Astrin the oxysterol interference of HepG2 cell cycle.

  16. Structure of putative CutA1 from Homo sapiens determined at 2.05 Å resolution

    SciTech Connect

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin Matsuura, Yoshinori; Bagautdinova, Svetlana; Kunishima, Naoki; Yutani, Katsuhide

    2008-05-01

    The X-ray structure of human CutA1 was solved in space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 68.69, b = 88.84, c = 125.33 Å and six molecules per asymmetric unit. The structure of human brain CutA1 (HsCutA1) has been determined using diffraction data to 2.05 Å resolution. HsCutA1 has been implicated in the anchoring of acetylcholinesterase in neuronal cell membranes, while its bacterial homologue Escherichia coli CutA1 is involved in copper tolerance. Additionally, the structure of HsCutA1 bears similarity to that of the signal transduction protein PII, which is involved in regulation of nitrogen metabolism. Although several crystal structures of CutA1 from various sources with different rotation angles and degrees of interaction between trimer interfaces have been reported, the specific functional role of CutA1 is still unclear. In this study, the X-ray structure of HsCutA1 was determined in space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 68.69, b = 88.84, c = 125.33 Å and six molecules per asymmetric unit. HsCutA1 is a trimeric molecule with intertwined antiparallel β-strands; each subunit has a molecular weight of 14.6 kDa and contains 135 amino-acid residues. In order to obtain clues to the possible function of HsCutA1, its crystal structure was compared with those of other CutA1 and PII proteins.

  17. The solution structure of ZNF593 from Homo sapiens reveals a zinc finger in a predominately unstructured protein

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Paulette L.; Lytle, Betsy L.; Volkman, Brian F.; Peterson, Francis C.

    2008-01-01

    Here, we report the solution structure of ZNF593, a protein identified in a functional study as a negative modulator of the DNA-binding activity of the Oct-2 transcription factor. ZNF593 contains a classic C2H2 zinc finger domain flanked by about 40 disordered residues on each terminus. Although the protein contains a high degree of intrinsic disorder, the structure of the zinc finger domain was resolved by NMR spectroscopy without a need for N- or C-terminal truncations. The tertiary structure of the zinc finger domain is composed of a β-hairpin that positions the cysteine side chains for zinc coordination, followed by an atypical kinked α-helix containing the two histidine side chain ligands. The structural topology of ZNF593 is similar to a fragment of the double-stranded RNA-binding protein Zfa and the C-terminal zinc finger of MBP-1, a human enhancer binding protein. The structure presented here will provide a guide for future functional studies of how ZNF593 negatively modulates the DNA-binding activity of Oct-2, a POU domain-containing transcription factor. Our work illustrates the unique capacity of NMR spectroscopy for structural analysis of folded domains in a predominantly disordered protein. PMID:18287285

  18. Structure of putative CutA1 from Homo sapiens determined at 2.05 Å resolution

    PubMed Central

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin; Matsuura, Yoshinori; Bagautdinova, Svetlana; Kunishima, Naoki; Yutani, Katsuhide

    2008-01-01

    The structure of human brain CutA1 (HsCutA1) has been determined using diffraction data to 2.05 Å resolution. HsCutA1 has been implicated in the anchoring of acetylcholinesterase in neuronal cell membranes, while its bacterial homologue Escherichia coli CutA1 is involved in copper tolerance. Additionally, the structure of HsCutA1 bears similarity to that of the signal transduction protein PII, which is involved in regulation of nitrogen metabolism. Although several crystal structures of CutA1 from various sources with different rotation angles and degrees of interaction between trimer interfaces have been reported, the specific functional role of CutA1 is still unclear. In this study, the X-ray structure of HsCutA1 was determined in space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 68.69, b = 88.84, c = 125.33 Å and six molecules per asymmetric unit. HsCutA1 is a trimeric molecule with intertwined antiparallel β-strands; each subunit has a molecular weight of 14.6 kDa and contains 135 amino-acid residues. In order to obtain clues to the possible function of HsCutA1, its crystal structure was compared with those of other CutA1 and PII proteins. PMID:18453701

  19. Structure of putative CutA1 from Homo sapiens determined at 2.05 A resolution.

    PubMed

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin; Matsuura, Yoshinori; Bagautdinova, Svetlana; Kunishima, Naoki; Yutani, Katsuhide

    2008-05-01

    The structure of human brain CutA1 (HsCutA1) has been determined using diffraction data to 2.05 A resolution. HsCutA1 has been implicated in the anchoring of acetylcholinesterase in neuronal cell membranes, while its bacterial homologue Escherichia coli CutA1 is involved in copper tolerance. Additionally, the structure of HsCutA1 bears similarity to that of the signal transduction protein PII, which is involved in regulation of nitrogen metabolism. Although several crystal structures of CutA1 from various sources with different rotation angles and degrees of interaction between trimer interfaces have been reported, the specific functional role of CutA1 is still unclear. In this study, the X-ray structure of HsCutA1 was determined in space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 68.69, b = 88.84, c = 125.33 A and six molecules per asymmetric unit. HsCutA1 is a trimeric molecule with intertwined antiparallel beta-strands; each subunit has a molecular weight of 14.6 kDa and contains 135 amino-acid residues. In order to obtain clues to the possible function of HsCutA1, its crystal structure was compared with those of other CutA1 and PII proteins. PMID:18453701

  20. The brain of LB1, Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Falk, Dean; Hildebolt, Charles; Smith, Kirk; Morwood, M J; Sutikna, Thomas; Brown, Peter; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E Wayhu; Brunsden, Barry; Prior, Fred

    2005-04-01

    The brain of Homo floresiensis was assessed by comparing a virtual endocast from the type specimen (LB1) with endocasts from great apes, Homo erectus, Homo sapiens, a human pygmy, a human microcephalic, specimen number Sts 5 (Australopithecus africanus), and specimen number WT 17000 (Paranthropus aethiopicus). Morphometric, allometric, and shape data indicate that LB1 is not a microcephalic or pygmy. LB1's brain/body size ratio scales like that of an australopithecine, but its endocast shape resembles that of Homo erectus. LB1 has derived frontal and temporal lobes and a lunate sulcus in a derived position, which are consistent with capabilities for higher cognitive processing. PMID:15749690

  1. From hominins to humans: how sapiens became behaviourally modern

    PubMed Central

    Sterelny, Kim

    2011-01-01

    This paper contributes to a debate in the palaeoarchaeological community about the major time-lag between the origin of anatomically modern humans and the appearance of typically human cultural behaviour. Why did humans take so long—at least 100 000 years—to become ‘behaviourally modern’? The transition is often explained as a change in the intrinsic cognitive competence of modern humans: often in terms of a new capacity for symbolic thought, or the final perfection of language. These cognitive breakthrough models are not satisfactory, for they fail to explain the uneven palaeoanthropological record of human competence. Many supposed signature capacities appear (and then disappear) before the supposed cognitive breakthrough; many of the signature capacities disappear again after the breakthrough. So, instead of seeing behavioural modernity as a simple reflection of a new kind of mind, this paper presents a niche construction conceptual model of behavioural modernity. Humans became behaviourally modern when they could reliably transmit accumulated informational capital to the next generation, and transmit it with sufficient precision for innovations to be preserved and accumulated. In turn, the reliable accumulation of culture depends on the construction of learning environments, not just intrinsic cognitive machinery. I argue that the model is (i) evolutionarily plausible: the elements of the model can be assembled incrementally, without implausible selective scenarios; (ii) the model coheres with the broad palaeoarchaeological record; (iii) the model is anthropologically and ethnographically plausible; and (iv) the model is testable, though only in coarse, preliminary ways. PMID:21320896

  2. Homo habilis's humanness: Phillip Tobias as a philosopher.

    PubMed

    Corbey, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    A detailed, interdisciplinary reading of Phillip Tobias's publications on Homo habilis shows how a philosophical notion of "humanness" has structured his interpretation of the fossils attributed to this species. The role of this notion in his research and its backgrounds in philosophy, disciplinary history, and a widespread mid-20th-century climate of opinion are analyzed and discussed. PMID:23272596

  3. Origin and evolution of the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Wood, B

    1992-02-27

    It is remarkable that the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of the earliest known representatives of our own genus, Homo, remain obscure. Advances in techniques for absolute dating and reassessments of the fossils themselves have rendered untenable a simple unilineal model of human evolution, in which Homo habilis succeeded the australopithecines and then evolved via H. erectus into H. sapiens-but no clear alternative consensus has yet emerged. PMID:1538759

  4. Geometric variation of the frontal squama in the genus homo: frontal bulging and the origin of modern human morphology.

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano; Athreya, Sheela; de la Cuétara, José Manuel; Marks, Tarah

    2013-02-01

    The majority of studies of frontal bone morphology in paleoanthropology have analyzed the frontal squama and the browridge as a single unit, mixing information from different functional elements. Taking into account that the bulging of the frontal bone is often described as a species-specific trait of Homo sapiens, in this article we analyze variation in the midsagittal profile of the genus Homo, focusing on the frontal squama alone, using landmark-based superimpositions and principal components analysis. Our results demonstrate that anatomically modern humans are definitely separated from extinct human taxa on the basis of frontal bulging. However, there is minor overlap among these groups, indicating that it is necessary to exercise caution when using this trait alone to make taxonomic inferences on individual specimens. Early modern humans do not show differences with recent modern humans, and "transitional" individuals such as Jebel Irhoud 1, Maba, and Florisbad, show modern-like frontal squama morphology. The bulging of the frontal squama in modern humans may represent a structural consequence of more general cranial changes, or it could be a response to changes in the morphology of the underlying prefrontal brain elements. A subtle difference between Neandertals and the Afro-European Middle Pleistocene Homo sample is associated with flattening at bregma in the former group, a result that merits further investigation. PMID:23292748

  5. Sarcocystis heydorni, n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Protozoa) with cattle (Bos taurus) and human (Homo sapiens) cycle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cattle (Bos taurus) are intermediate hosts for four species of Sarcocystis, S. cruzi, S. hirsuta, S. hominis, and S. rommeli. Of these four species, mature sarcocysts of S. cruzi are thin-walled (< 1µm) whereas S. hirsuta, S. hominis, and S. rommeli have thick walls (4 µm or more). Here we describe ...

  6. Affinities of the Swartkrans early Homo mandibles.

    PubMed

    Curnoe, Darren

    2008-01-01

    The southern African early Homo assemblage continues to make important contributions to understanding the systematics, adaptations and evolutionary history of the human genus. However, the taxonomy of this sample is in a state of flux. This study examines the size and shape of the mandibular bodies of Swartkrans SK 15 and SK 45 comparing them with variation in two early Homo taxa (H. habilis sensu lato and H. sapiens erectus). The research aims to clarify their phenetic affinities and systematics through univariate statistics, inferential testing and multivariate analysis employing size (Log-transformed) and shape (Mosimann variables). Neither of them strongly resembles H. habilis sensu lato or H. sapiens erectus, rather, they probably sample a novel species of Homo not seen in East Africa. Moreover, there is considerable morphological variability within the Swartkrans sample and the possibility of more than one novel species being sampled at this site cannot be excluded. PMID:18402959

  7. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic investigations on a βγ-crystallin domain of absent in melanoma 1 (AIM1), a protein from Homo sapiens

    SciTech Connect

    Aravind, Penmatsa; Rajini, Bheemreddy; Sharma, Yogendra; Sankaranarayanan, Rajan

    2006-03-01

    The crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of AIM1g1, a βγ-crystallin domain of absent in melanoma (AIM1) protein from H. sapiens, is reported. AIM1g1 is a single βγ-crystallin domain from the protein absent in melanoma 1 (AIM1), which appears to play a role in the suppression of melanomas. This domain is known to bind calcium and its structure would help in identifying calcium-coordinating sites in vertebrate crystallins, which have hitherto been believed to have lost this ability during evolution. Crystallization of this domain was performed by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. Crystals diffracted to a maximum resolution of 1.86 Å and were found to belong to space group P6{sub 1} or P6{sub 5}, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 54.98, c = 59.73 Å. Solvent-content analysis indicated the presence of one monomer per asymmetric unit.

  8. Homo floresiensis: a cladistic analysis.

    PubMed

    Argue, D; Morwood, M J; Sutikna, T; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E W

    2009-11-01

    The announcement of a new species, Homo floresiensis, a primitive hominin that survived until relatively recent times is an enormous challenge to paradigms of human evolution. Until this announcement, the dominant paradigm stipulated that: 1) only more derived hominins had emerged from Africa, and 2) H. sapiens was the only hominin since the demise of Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis. Resistance to H. floresiensis has been intense, and debate centers on two sets of competing hypotheses: 1) that it is a primitive hominin, and 2) that it is a modern human, either a pygmoid form or a pathological individual. Despite a range of analytical techniques having been applied to the question, no resolution has been reached. Here, we use cladistic analysis, a tool that has not, until now, been applied to the problem, to establish the phylogenetic position of the species. Our results produce two equally parsimonious phylogenetic trees. The first suggests that H. floresiensis is an early hominin that emerged after Homo rudolfensis (1.86Ma) but before H. habilis (1.66Ma, or after 1.9Ma if the earlier chronology for H. habilis is retained). The second tree indicates H. floresiensis branched after Homo habilis. PMID:19628252

  9. Variation in enamel thickness within the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tanya M; Olejniczak, Anthony J; Zermeno, John P; Tafforeau, Paul; Skinner, Matthew M; Hoffmann, Almut; Radovčić, Jakov; Toussaint, Michel; Kruszynski, Robert; Menter, Colin; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Glasmacher, Ulrich A; Kullmer, Ottmar; Schrenk, Friedemann; Stringer, Chris; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2012-03-01

    Recent humans and their fossil relatives are classified as having thick molar enamel, one of very few dental traits that distinguish hominins from living African apes. However, little is known about enamel thickness in the earliest members of the genus Homo, and recent studies of later Homo report considerable intra- and inter-specific variation. In order to assess taxonomic, geographic, and temporal trends in enamel thickness, we applied micro-computed tomographic imaging to 150 fossil Homo teeth spanning two million years. Early Homo postcanine teeth from Africa and Asia show highly variable average and relative enamel thickness (AET and RET) values. Three molars from South Africa exceed Homo AET and RET ranges, resembling the hyper thick Paranthropus condition. Most later Homo groups (archaic European and north African Homo, and fossil and recent Homo sapiens) possess absolutely and relatively thick enamel across the entire dentition. In contrast, Neanderthals show relatively thin enamel in their incisors, canines, premolars, and molars, although incisor AET values are similar to H. sapiens. Comparisons of recent and fossil H. sapiens reveal that dental size reduction has led to a disproportionate decrease in coronal dentine compared with enamel (although both are reduced), leading to relatively thicker enamel in recent humans. General characterizations of hominins as having 'thick enamel' thus oversimplify a surprisingly variable craniodental trait with limited taxonomic utility within a genus. Moreover, estimates of dental attrition rates employed in paleodemographic reconstruction may be biased when this variation is not considered. Additional research is necessary to reconstruct hominin dietary ecology since thick enamel is not a prerequisite for hard-object feeding, and it is present in most later Homo species despite advances in technology and food processing. PMID:22361504

  10. The Advantage of Throwing the First Stone: How Understanding the Evolutionary Demands of Homo sapiens Is Helping Us Understand Carpal Motion

    PubMed Central

    Rohde, Rachel S.; Crisco, Joseph J.; Wolfe, Scott W.

    2012-01-01

    Unlike any other diarthrodial joint in the human body, the “wrist joint” is composed of numerous articulations between eight carpal bones, the distal radius, the distal ulna, and five metacarpal bones. The carpal bones articulate with each other as well as with the distal radius, distal ulna, and the metacarpal bases. Multiple theories explaining intercarpal motion have been proposed; however, controversy exists concerning the degree and direction of motion of the individual carpal bones within the two carpal rows during different planes of motion. Recent investigations have suggested that traditional explanations of carpal bone motion may not entirely account for carpal motion in all planes. Better understanding of the complexities of carpal motion through the use of advanced imaging techniques and simultaneous appreciation of human anatomic and functional evolution have led to the hypothesis that the “dart thrower’s motion” of the wrist is uniquely human. Carpal kinematic research and current developments in both orthopaedic surgery and anthropology underscore the importance of the dart thrower’s motion in human functional activities and the clinical implications of these concepts for orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation. PMID:20044492

  11. Expression and genetic variability of PCDH11Y, a gene specific to Homo sapiens and candidate for susceptibility to psychiatric disorders

    PubMed Central

    Durand, Christelle; Kappeler, Caroline; Betancur, Catalina; Delorme, Richard; Quach, Hélène; Goubran-Botros, Hany; Melke, Jonas; Nygren, Gudrun; Chabane, Nadia; Bellivier, Franck; Szoke, Andrei; Schurhoff, Franck; Rastam, Maria; Anckarsäter, Henrik; Gillberg, Christopher; Leboyer, Marion; Bourgeron, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    Synaptogenesis, the formation of functional synapses, is a crucial step for the development of the central nervous system. Among the genes involved in this process, cell adhesion molecules, such as protocadherins and neuroligins, are essential factors for the identification of the appropriate partner cell and the formation of synapses. In this work, we studied the expression and the genetic variability of two closely related members of the protocadherin family PCDH11X/Y, located on the X and the Y chromosome, respectively. PCDH11Y is one of the rare genes specific to the hominoid lineage, absent in other primates. Expression analysis indicated that transcripts of the PCDH11X/Y genes are mainly detected in the cortex of the human brain. Mutation screening of thirty individuals with autism identified two PCDH11Y polymorphic amino acid changes, F885V and K980N. These variations are in complete association, appeared during human evolution approximately 40000 years ago and represent informative polymorphisms to study Y chromosome variability in populations. We studied the frequency of these variants in males with autism spectrum disorders (n = 110), attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD; n = 61), bipolar disorder (n = 61), obsessive-compulsive disorder (n = 51) or schizophrenia (n = 61) and observed no significant differences when compared to geographically-matched control populations. These findings do not support the role of PCDH11Y, or more generally of a frequent specific Y chromosome, in the susceptibility to these neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:16331680

  12. Beyond the Pleistocene: Using Phylogeny and Constraint to Inform the Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eastwick, Paul W.

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary psychologists explore the adaptive function of traits and behaviors that characterize modern Homo sapiens. However, evolutionary psychologists have yet to incorporate the phylogenetic relationship between modern Homo sapiens and humans' hominid and pongid relatives (both living and extinct) into their theorizing. By considering the…

  13. Non-random distribution of homo-repeats: links with biological functions and human diseases.

    PubMed

    Lobanov, Michail Yu; Klus, Petr; Sokolovsky, Igor V; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Galzitskaya, Oxana V

    2016-01-01

    The biological function of multiple repetitions of single amino acids, or homo-repeats, is largely unknown, but their occurrence in proteins has been associated with more than 20 hereditary diseases. Analysing 122 bacterial and eukaryotic genomes, we observed that the number of proteins containing homo-repeats is significantly larger than expected from theoretical estimates. Analysis of statistical significance indicates that the minimal size of homo-repeats varies with amino acid type and proteome. In an attempt to characterize proteins harbouring long homo-repeats, we found that those containing polar or small amino acids S, P, H, E, D, K, Q and N are enriched in structural disorder as well as protein- and RNA-interactions. We observed that E, S, Q, G, L, P, D, A and H homo-repeats are strongly linked with occurrence in human diseases. Moreover, S, E, P, A, Q, D and T homo-repeats are significantly enriched in neuronal proteins associated with autism and other disorders. We release a webserver for further exploration of homo-repeats occurrence in human pathology at http://bioinfo.protres.ru/hradis/. PMID:27256590

  14. Non-random distribution of homo-repeats: links with biological functions and human diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lobanov, Michail Yu.; Klus, Petr; Sokolovsky, Igor V.; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Galzitskaya, Oxana V.

    2016-01-01

    The biological function of multiple repetitions of single amino acids, or homo-repeats, is largely unknown, but their occurrence in proteins has been associated with more than 20 hereditary diseases. Analysing 122 bacterial and eukaryotic genomes, we observed that the number of proteins containing homo-repeats is significantly larger than expected from theoretical estimates. Analysis of statistical significance indicates that the minimal size of homo-repeats varies with amino acid type and proteome. In an attempt to characterize proteins harbouring long homo-repeats, we found that those containing polar or small amino acids S, P, H, E, D, K, Q and N are enriched in structural disorder as well as protein- and RNA-interactions. We observed that E, S, Q, G, L, P, D, A and H homo-repeats are strongly linked with occurrence in human diseases. Moreover, S, E, P, A, Q, D and T homo-repeats are significantly enriched in neuronal proteins associated with autism and other disorders. We release a webserver for further exploration of homo-repeats occurrence in human pathology at http://bioinfo.protres.ru/hradis/. PMID:27256590

  15. OSL dating of the Aterian levels at Dar es-Soltan I (Rabat, Morocco) and implications for the dispersal of modern Homo sapiens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barton, R. N. E.; Bouzouggar, A.; Collcutt, S. N.; Schwenninger, J.-L.; Clark-Balzan, L.

    2009-09-01

    The Aterian is a distinctive Middle Palaeolithic industry which is very widely spread across North Africa. Its dating and significance have been debated for nearly a century. Renewed interest in the Aterian has arisen because of a recent proposal that its development and spread may be linked to the dispersal of anatomically modern humans. The industry contains technological innovations such as thin bifacially flaked lithic points and pedunculates as well as evidence for personal ornaments and use of red ochre. Such markers as shell beads are believed to be indicative of symbolic behaviour. Dar es-Soltan I on the Atlantic coast of Morocco contains a thick sequence of Aterian deposits that were thought to represent the later stages of development of this industry. New Optically Stimulated Luminescence dates and geomorphological study indicate a much older sequence and so far the earliest yet recorded ages for the Aterian. They suggest an appearance in the Maghreb region during MIS (Marine Isotope Stage) 5.

  16. All great ape species (Gorilla gorilla, Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Pongo abelii) and two-and-a-half-year-old children (Homo sapiens) discriminate appearance from reality.

    PubMed

    Karg, Katja; Schmelz, Martin; Call, Josep; Tomasello, Michael

    2014-11-01

    Nonhuman great apes and human children were tested for an understanding that appearance does not always correspond to reality. Subjects were 29 great apes (bonobos [Pan paniscus], chimpanzees [Pan troglodytes], gorillas [Gorilla gorilla], and orangutans [Pongo abelii]) and 24 2½-year-old children. In our task, we occluded portions of 1 large and 1 small food stick such that the size relations seemed reversed. Subjects could then choose which one they wanted. There was 1 control condition and 2 experimental conditions (administered within subjects). In the control condition subjects saw only the apparent stick sizes, whereas in the 2 experimental conditions they saw the true stick sizes as well (the difference between them being what the subjects saw first: the apparent or the real stick sizes). All great ape species and children successfully identified the bigger stick, despite its smaller appearance, in the experimental conditions, but not in the control. We discuss these results in relation to the understanding of object permanence and conservation, and exclude reversed reward contingency learning as an explanation. PMID:25150962

  17. Structural insight with mutational impact on tyrosinase and PKC-β interaction from Homo sapiens: Molecular modeling and docking studies for melanogenesis, albinism and increased risk for melanoma.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Arundhati; Ray, Sujay

    2016-10-30

    Human tyrosinase, is an important protein for biosynthetic pathway of melanin. It was studied to be phosphorylated and activated by protein kinase-C, β-subunit (PKC-β) through earlier experimentations with in vivo evidences. Documentation documents that mutation in two essentially vital serine residues in C-terminal end of tyrosinase leads to albinism. Due to the deficiency of protective shield like enzyme; melanin, albinos are at an increased peril for melanoma and other skin cancers. So, computational and residue-level insight including a mutational exploration with evolutionary importance into this mechanism lies obligatory for future pathological and therapeutic developments. Therefore, functional tertiary models of the relevant proteins were analyzed after satisfying their stereo-chemical features. Evolutionarily paramount residues for the activation of tyrosinase were perceived via multiple sequence alignment phenomena. Mutant-type tyrosinase protein (S98A and S102A) was thereby modeled, maintaining the wild-type proteins' functionality. Furthermore, this present comparative study discloses the variation in the stable residual participation (for mutant-type and wild-type tyrosinase-PKCβ complex). Mainly, an increased number of polar negatively charged residues from the wild-type tyrosinase participated with PKC-β, predominantly. Fascinatingly supported by evaluation of statistical significances, mutation even led to a destabilizing impact in tyrosinase accompanied by conformational switches with a helix-to-coil transition in the mutated protein. Even the allosteric sites in the protein got poorly hampered upon mutation leading to weaker tendency for binding partners to interact. PMID:27450914

  18. The place of Homo floresiensis in human evolution.

    PubMed

    Baab, Karen

    2016-06-20

    Two main evolutionary scenarios have been proposed to explain the presence of the small-bodied and small-brained Homo floresiensis species on the remote Indonesian island of Flores in the Late Pleistocene. According to these two scenarios, H. floresiensis was a dwarfed descendent of H. erectus or a late-surviving remnant of a older lineage, perhaps descended from H. habilis. Each scenario has interesting and important implications for hominin biogeography, body size evolution, brain evolution and morphological convergences. Careful evaluation reveals that only a small number of characters support each of these scenarios uniquely. H. floresiensis exhibits a cranial shape and many cranial characters that appear to be shared derived traits with H. erectus, but postcranial traits are more primitive and resemble those of early Homo or even australopiths. Mandibular and dental traits show a mix of derived and primitive features. Unfortunately, many traits cannot be used to assess these two hypotheses because their distribution in H. erectus, early Homo (e.g., H. habilis), or both is unknown. H. erectus ancestry implies evolutionary convergence on a postcranial configuration similar to australopiths and early Homo, which could be explained by a return to more climbing behaviors. Body size reduction as well as brain size reduction on a scale only rarely documented in mammals would also accompany the origin of H. floresiensis from a H. erectus ancestor. H. habilis ancestry implies parallel evolution of numerous cranial characters, as well as a few dentognathic traits. A pre-H. erectus ancestry also suggests an early migration to Southeast Asia that is as yet undocumented in mainland Asia, but minimal body and brain size reduction. PMID:26829572

  19. Commentary on Annett, Yeo et al., Klar, Saugstad and Orr: cerebral asymmetry, language and psychosis--the case for a Homo sapiens-specific sex-linked gene for brain growth.

    PubMed

    Crow, T J

    1999-10-19

    Annett, Yeo et al. and Klar have each proposed theories that relate the genetics of cerebral lateralization to predisposition to psychosis. These theories are considered in relation to the central paradox that psychosis is associated with a substantial biological disadvantage. Annett's heterozygote advantage hypothesis critically identified lateralization as a major determinant of ability, but it appears that what is inherited is degrees (as suggested by Yeo et al.) rather than (or as well as) direction of lateralization. Relative hand skill has been shown (Crow, T.J., Crow, L.R., Done, D.J., Leask, S.J., 1998. Relative hand skill predicts academic ability: global deficits at the point of hemispheric indecision. Neuropsychologia 36, 1275-1282.) to be a powerful predictor (interacting with sex) of academic ability but the greatest region of vulnerability (that includes reading disability and predisposition to psychosis) is close to the point of equal hand skill ('hemispheric indecision'). In contrast with Annett's single locus, Yeo's polygenic and Klar's strand-segregation hypotheses, each of which postulates an autosomal locus or loci, the hypothesis of a single gene for asymmetry located in a sex-specific region of homology on both X and Y chromosomes can account for sex differences, as observed in age of onset, and premorbid precursors of psychosis, as well as differences in the general population in relation to degrees of hand skill, verbal ability and cerebral asymmetry. The evolutionarily recent transposition to, and subsequent paracentric inversion in, the Y chromosome short arm of a 4-Mb block from Xq21.3 (the proximal long arm of the X) are candidates for speciation events in the lineage that led to Homo sapiens. A gene associated with a range of variation (that may be due to a high mutation site, or perhaps to epigenetic modification) on the Y that overlaps with, but differs quantitatively from, that on the X may explain the sex differences associated with

  20. Evolution of the Genus Homo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tattersall, Ian; Schwartz, Jeffrey H.

    2009-05-01

    Definition of the genus Homo is almost as fraught as the definition of Homo sapiens. We look at the evidence for “early Homo,” finding little morphological basis for extending our genus to any of the 2.5-1.6-myr-old fossil forms assigned to “early Homo” or Homo habilis/rudolfensis. We also point to heterogeneity among “early African Homo erectus,” and the lack of apomorphies linking these fossils to the Asian Homo erectus group, a cohesive regional clade that shows some internal variation, including brain size increase over time. The first truly cosmopolitan Homo species is Homo heidelbergensis, known from Africa, Europe, and China following 600 kyr ago. One species sympatric with it included the >500-kyr-old Sima de los Huesos fossils from Spain, clearly distinct from Homo heidelbergensis and the oldest hominids assignable to the clade additionally containing Homo neanderthalensis. This clade also shows evidence of brain size expansion with time; but although Homo neanderthalensis had a large brain, it left no unequivocal evidence of the symbolic consciousness that makes our species unique. Homo sapiens clearly originated in Africa, where it existed as a physical entity before it began (also in that continent) to show the first stirrings of symbolism. Most likely, the biological underpinnings of symbolic consciousness were exaptively acquired in the radical developmental reorganization that gave rise to the highly characteristic osteological structure of Homo sapiens, but lay fallow for tens of thousands of years before being “discovered” by a cultural stimulus, plausibly the invention of language.

  1. Homo floresiensis Contextualized: A Geometric Morphometric Comparative Analysis of Fossil and Pathological Human Samples

    PubMed Central

    Baab, Karen L.; McNulty, Kieran P.; Harvati, Katerina

    2013-01-01

    The origin of hominins found on the remote Indonesian island of Flores remains highly contentious. These specimens may represent a new hominin species, Homo floresiensis, descended from a local population of Homo erectus or from an earlier (pre-H. erectus) migration of a small-bodied and small-brained hominin out of Africa. Alternatively, some workers suggest that some or all of the specimens recovered from Liang Bua are pathological members of a small-bodied modern human population. Pathological conditions proposed to explain their documented anatomical features include microcephaly, myxoedematous endemic hypothyroidism (“cretinism”) and Laron syndrome (primary growth hormone insensitivity). This study evaluates evolutionary and pathological hypotheses through comparative analysis of cranial morphology. Geometric morphometric analyses of landmark data show that the sole Flores cranium (LB1) is clearly distinct from healthy modern humans and from those exhibiting hypothyroidism and Laron syndrome. Modern human microcephalic specimens converge, to some extent, on crania of extinct species of Homo. However in the features that distinguish these two groups, LB1 consistently groups with fossil hominins and is most similar to H. erectus. Our study provides further support for recognizing the Flores hominins as a distinct species, H. floresiensis, whose affinities lie with archaic Homo. PMID:23874886

  2. Homo floresiensis contextualized: a geometric morphometric comparative analysis of fossil and pathological human samples.

    PubMed

    Baab, Karen L; McNulty, Kieran P; Harvati, Katerina

    2013-01-01

    The origin of hominins found on the remote Indonesian island of Flores remains highly contentious. These specimens may represent a new hominin species, Homo floresiensis, descended from a local population of Homo erectus or from an earlier (pre-H. erectus) migration of a small-bodied and small-brained hominin out of Africa. Alternatively, some workers suggest that some or all of the specimens recovered from Liang Bua are pathological members of a small-bodied modern human population. Pathological conditions proposed to explain their documented anatomical features include microcephaly, myxoedematous endemic hypothyroidism ("cretinism") and Laron syndrome (primary growth hormone insensitivity). This study evaluates evolutionary and pathological hypotheses through comparative analysis of cranial morphology. Geometric morphometric analyses of landmark data show that the sole Flores cranium (LB1) is clearly distinct from healthy modern humans and from those exhibiting hypothyroidism and Laron syndrome. Modern human microcephalic specimens converge, to some extent, on crania of extinct species of Homo. However in the features that distinguish these two groups, LB1 consistently groups with fossil hominins and is most similar to H. erectus. Our study provides further support for recognizing the Flores hominins as a distinct species, H. floresiensis, whose affinities lie with archaic Homo. PMID:23874886

  3. Significance of some previously unrecognized apomorphies in the nasal region of Homo neanderthalensis.

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, J H; Tattersall, I

    1996-01-01

    For many years, the Neanderthals have been recognized as a distinctive extinct hominid group that occupied Europe and western Asia between about 200,000 and 30,000 years ago. It is still debated, however, whether these hominids belong in their own species, Homo neanderthalensis, or represent an extinct variant of Homo sapiens. Our ongoing studies indicate that the Neanderthals differ from modern humans in their skeletal anatomy in more ways than have been recognized up to now. The purpose of this contribution is to describe specializations of the Neanderthal internal nasal region that make them unique not only among hominids but possibly among terrestrial mammals in general as well. These features lend additional weight to the suggestion that Neanderthals are specifically distinct from Homo sapiens. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:8855270

  4. Further morphological evidence on South African earliest Homo lower postcanine dentition: Enamel thickness and enamel dentine junction.

    PubMed

    Pan, Lei; Dumoncel, Jean; de Beer, Frikkie; Hoffman, Jakobus; Thackeray, John Francis; Duployer, Benjamin; Tenailleau, Christophe; Braga, José

    2016-07-01

    The appearance of the earliest members of the genus Homo in South Africa represents a key event in human evolution. Although enamel thickness and enamel dentine junction (EDJ) morphology preserve important information about hominin systematics and dietary adaptation, these features have not been sufficiently studied with regard to early Homo. We used micro-CT to compare enamel thickness and EDJ morphology among the mandibular postcanine dentitions of South African early hominins (N = 30) and extant Homo sapiens (N = 26), with special reference to early members of the genus Homo. We found that South African early Homo shows a similar enamel thickness distribution pattern to modern humans, although three-dimensional average and relative enamel thicknesses do not distinguish australopiths, early Homo, and modern humans particularly well. Based on enamel thickness distributions, our study suggests that a dietary shift occurred between australopiths and the origin of the Homo lineage. We also observed that South African early Homo postcanine EDJ combined primitive traits seen in australopith molars with derived features observed in modern human premolars. Our results confirm that some dental morphological patterns in later Homo actually occurred early in the Homo lineage, and highlight the taxonomic value of premolar EDJ morphology in hominin species. PMID:27343773

  5. Allometric scaling of infraorbital surface topography in Homo.

    PubMed

    Maddux, Scott D; Franciscus, Robert G

    2009-02-01

    Infraorbital morphology is often included in phylogenetic and functional analyses of Homo. The inclusion of distinct infraorbital configurations, such as the "canine fossa" in Homo sapiens or the "inflated" maxilla in Neandertals, is generally based on either descriptive or qualitative assessments of this morphology, or simple linear chord and subtense measurements. However, the complex curvilinear surface of the infraorbital region has proven difficult to quantify through these traditional methods. In this study, we assess infraorbital shape and its potential allometric scaling in fossil Homo (n=18) and recent humans (n=110) with a geometric morphometric method well-suited for quantifying complex surface topographies. Our results indicate that important aspects of infraorbital shape are correlated with overall infraorbital size across Homo. Specifically, individuals with larger infraorbital areas tend to exhibit relatively flatter infraorbital surface topographies, taller and narrower infraorbital areas, sloped inferior orbital rims, anteroinferiorly oriented maxillary body facies, posteroinferiorly oriented maxillary processes of the zygomatic, and non-everted lateral nasal margins. In contrast, individuals with smaller infraorbital regions generally exhibit relatively depressed surface topographies, shorter and wider infraorbital areas, projecting inferior orbital rims, posteroinferiorly oriented maxillary body facies, anteroinferiorly oriented maxillary processes, and everted lateral nasal margins. These contrasts form a continuum and only appear dichotomized at the ends of the infraorbital size spectrum. In light of these results, we question the utility of incorporating traditionally polarized infraorbital morphologies in phylogenetic and functional analyses without due consideration of continuous infraorbital and facial size variation in Homo. We conclude that the essentially flat infraorbital surface topography of Neandertals is not unique and can be

  6. What do cranial bones of LB1 tell us about Homo floresiensis?

    PubMed

    Balzeau, Antoine; Charlier, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    Cranial vault thickness (CVT) of Liang Bua 1, the specimen that is proposed to be the holotype of Homo floresiensis, has not yet been described in detail and compared with samples of fossil hominins, anatomically modern humans or microcephalic skulls. In addition, a complete description from a forensic and pathological point of view has not yet been carried out. It is important to evaluate scientifically if features related to CVT bring new information concerning the possible pathological status of LB1, and if it helps to recognize affinities with any hominin species and particularly if the specimen could belong to the species Homo sapiens. Medical examination of the skull based on a micro-CT examination clearly brings to light the presence of a sincipital T (a non-metrical variant of normal anatomy), a scar from an old frontal trauma without any evident functional consequence, and a severe bilateral hyperostosis frontalis interna that may have modified the anterior morphology of the endocranium of LB1. We also show that LB1 displays characteristics, related to the distribution of bone thickness and arrangements of cranial structures, that are plesiomorphic traits for hominins, at least for Homo erectus s.l. relative to Homo neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. All the microcephalic skulls analyzed here share the derived condition of anatomically modern H. sapiens. Cranial vault thickness does not help to clarify the definition of the species H. floresiensis but it also does not support an attribution of LB1 to H. sapiens. We conclude that there is no support for the attribution of LB1 to H. sapiens as there is no evidence of systemic pathology and because it does not have any of the apomorphic traits of our species. PMID:27086053

  7. Comparison of inverse-dynamics musculo-skeletal models of AL 288-1 Australopithecus afarensis and KNM-WT 15000 Homo ergaster to modern humans, with implications for the evolution of bipedalism.

    PubMed

    Wang, Weijie; Crompton, Robin H; Carey, Tanya S; Günther, Michael M; Li, Yu; Savage, Russell; Sellers, Williams I

    2004-12-01

    Size and proportions of the postcranial skeleton differ markedly between Australopithecus afarensis and Homo ergaster, and between the latter and modern Homo sapiens. This study uses computer simulations of gait in models derived from the best-known skeletons of these species (AL 288-1, Australopithecus afarensis, 3.18 million year ago) and KNM-WT 15000 (Homo ergaster, 1.5-1.8 million year ago) compared to models of adult human males and females, to estimate the required muscle power during bipedal walking, and to compare this with those in modern humans. Skeletal measurements were carried out on a cast of KNM-WT 15000, but for AL 288-1 were taken from the literature. Muscle attachments were applied to the models based on their position relative to the bone in modern humans. Joint motions and moments from experiments on human walking were input into the models to calculate muscle stress and power. The models were tested in erect walking and 'bent-hip bent-knee' gait. Calculated muscle forces were verified against EMG activity phases from experimental data, with reference to reasonable activation/force delays. Calculated muscle powers are reasonably comparable to experimentally derived metabolic values from the literature, given likely values for muscle efficiency. The results show that: 1) if evaluated by the power expenditure per unit of mass (W/kg) in walking, AL 288-1 and KNM-WT 15000 would need similar power to modern humans; however, 2) with distance-specific parameters as the criteria, AL 288-1 would require to expend relatively more muscle power (W/kg.m(-1)) in comparison to modern humans. The results imply that in the evolution of bipedalism, body proportions, for example those of KNM-WT 15000, may have evolved to obtain an effective application of muscle power to bipedal walking over a long distance, or at high speed. PMID:15566947

  8. Post-cranial skeletons of hypothyroid cretins show a similar anatomical mosaic as Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Oxnard, Charles; Obendorf, Peter J; Kefford, Ben J

    2010-01-01

    Human remains, some as recent as 15 thousand years, from Liang Bua (LB) on the Indonesian island of Flores have been attributed to a new species, Homo floresiensis. The definition includes a mosaic of features, some like modern humans (hence derived: genus Homo), some like modern apes and australopithecines (hence primitive: not species sapiens), and some unique (hence new species: floresiensis). Conversely, because only modern humans (H. sapiens) are known in this region in the last 40 thousand years, these individuals have also been suggested to be genetic human dwarfs. Such dwarfs resemble small humans and do not show the mosaic combination of the most complete individuals, LB1 and LB6, so this idea has been largely dismissed. We have previously shown that some features of the cranium of hypothyroid cretins are like those of LB1. Here we examine cretin postcrania to see if they show anatomical mosaics like H. floresiensis. We find that hypothyroid cretins share at least 10 postcranial features with Homo floresiensis and unaffected humans not found in apes (or australopithecines when materials permit). They share with H. floresiensis, modern apes and australopithecines at least 11 postcranial features not found in unaffected humans. They share with H. floresiensis, at least 8 features not found in apes, australopithecines or unaffected humans. Sixteen features can be rendered metrically and multivariate analyses demonstrate that H. floresiensis co-locates with cretins, both being markedly separate from humans and chimpanzees (P<0.001: from analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) over all variables, ANOSIM, global R>0.999). We therefore conclude that LB1 and LB6, at least, are, most likely, endemic cretins from a population of unaffected Homo sapiens. This is consistent with recent hypothyroid endemic cretinism throughout Indonesia, including the nearby island of Bali. PMID:20885948

  9. Post-Cranial Skeletons of Hypothyroid Cretins Show a Similar Anatomical Mosaic as Homo floresiensis

    PubMed Central

    Oxnard, Charles; Obendorf, Peter J.; Kefford, Ben J.

    2010-01-01

    Human remains, some as recent as 15 thousand years, from Liang Bua (LB) on the Indonesian island of Flores have been attributed to a new species, Homo floresiensis. The definition includes a mosaic of features, some like modern humans (hence derived: genus Homo), some like modern apes and australopithecines (hence primitive: not species sapiens), and some unique (hence new species: floresiensis). Conversely, because only modern humans (H. sapiens) are known in this region in the last 40 thousand years, these individuals have also been suggested to be genetic human dwarfs. Such dwarfs resemble small humans and do not show the mosaic combination of the most complete individuals, LB1 and LB6, so this idea has been largely dismissed. We have previously shown that some features of the cranium of hypothyroid cretins are like those of LB1. Here we examine cretin postcrania to see if they show anatomical mosaics like H. floresiensis. We find that hypothyroid cretins share at least 10 postcranial features with Homo floresiensis and unaffected humans not found in apes (or australopithecines when materials permit). They share with H. floresiensis, modern apes and australopithecines at least 11 postcranial features not found in unaffected humans. They share with H. floresiensis, at least 8 features not found in apes, australopithecines or unaffected humans. Sixteen features can be rendered metrically and multivariate analyses demonstrate that H. floresiensis co-locates with cretins, both being markedly separate from humans and chimpanzees (P<0.001: from analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) over all variables, ANOSIM, global R>0.999). We therefore conclude that LB1 and LB6, at least, are, most likely, endemic cretins from a population of unaffected Homo sapiens. This is consistent with recent hypothyroid endemic cretinism throughout Indonesia, including the nearby island of Bali. PMID:20885948

  10. Geometric properties and comparative biomechanics of Homo floresiensis mandibles.

    PubMed

    Daegling, David J; Patel, Biren A; Jungers, William L

    2014-03-01

    The hypodigm of Homo floresiensis from the cave of Liang Bua on Flores Island in the archipelago of Indonesia includes two mandibles (LB1/2 and LB6/1). The morphology of their symphyses and corpora has been described as sharing similarities with both australopiths and early Homo despite their Late Pleistocene age. Although detailed morphological comparisons of these mandibles with those of modern and fossil hominin taxa have been made, a functional analysis in the context of masticatory biomechanics has yet to be performed. Utilizing data on cortical bone geometry from computed tomography scans, we compare the mechanical attributes of the LB1 and LB6 mandibles with samples of modern Homo, Pan, Pongo, and Gorilla, as well as fossil samples of Paranthropus robustus, Australopithecus africanus and South African early Homo. Structural stiffness measures were derived from the geometric data to provide relative measures of mandibular corpus strength under hypothesized masticatory loading regimes. These mechanical variables were evaluated relative to bone area, mandibular length and estimates of body size to assess their functional affinities and to test the hypothesis that the Liang Bua mandibles can be described as scaled-down variants of either early hominins or modern humans. Relative to modern hominoids, the H. floresiensis material appears to be relatively strong in terms of rigidity in torsion and transverse bending, but is relatively weak under parasagittal bending. Thus, they are 'robust' relative to modern humans (and comparable with australopiths) under some loads but not others. Neither LB1 nor LB6 can be described simply as 'miniaturized' versions of modern human jaws since mandible length is more or less equivalent in Homo sapiens and H. floresiensis. The mechanical attributes of the Liang Bua mandibles are consistent with previous inferences that masticatory loads were reduced relative to australopiths but remained elevated relative to modern Homo. PMID

  11. Phylogenetic rate shifts in feeding time during the evolution of Homo.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris; Nunn, Charles L; Machanda, Zarin; Wrangham, Richard W

    2011-08-30

    Unique among animals, humans eat a diet rich in cooked and nonthermally processed food. The ancestors of modern humans who invented food processing (including cooking) gained critical advantages in survival and fitness through increased caloric intake. However, the time and manner in which food processing became biologically significant are uncertain. Here, we assess the inferred evolutionary consequences of food processing in the human lineage by applying a Bayesian phylogenetic outlier test to a comparative dataset of feeding time in humans and nonhuman primates. We find that modern humans spend an order of magnitude less time feeding than predicted by phylogeny and body mass (4.7% vs. predicted 48% of daily activity). This result suggests that a substantial evolutionary rate change in feeding time occurred along the human branch after the human-chimpanzee split. Along this same branch, Homo erectus shows a marked reduction in molar size that is followed by a gradual, although erratic, decline in H. sapiens. We show that reduction in molar size in early Homo (H. habilis and H. rudolfensis) is explicable by phylogeny and body size alone. By contrast, the change in molar size to H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens cannot be explained by the rate of craniodental and body size evolution. Together, our results indicate that the behaviorally driven adaptations of food processing (reduced feeding time and molar size) originated after the evolution of Homo but before or concurrent with the evolution of H. erectus, which was around 1.9 Mya. PMID:21873223

  12. Human evolution.

    PubMed

    Wood, B

    1996-12-01

    The common ancestor of modern humans and the great apes is estimated to have lived between 5 and 8 Myrs ago, but the earliest evidence in the human, or hominid, fossil record is Ardipithecus ramidus, from a 4.5 Myr Ethiopian site. This genus was succeeded by Australopithecus, within which four species are presently recognised. All combine a relatively primitive postcranial skeleton, a dentition with expanded chewing teeth and a small brain. The most primitive species in our own genus, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, are little advanced over the australopithecines and with hindsight their inclusion in Homo may not be appropriate. The first species to share a substantial number of features with later Homo is Homo ergaster, or 'early African Homo erectus', which appears in the fossil record around 2.0 Myr. Outside Africa, fossil hominids appear as Homo erectus-like hominids, in mainland Asia and in Indonesia close to 2 Myr ago; the earliest good evidence of 'archaic Homo' in Europe is dated at between 600-700 Kyr before the present. Anatomically modern human, or Homo sapiens, fossils are seen first in the fossil record in Africa around 150 Kyr ago. Taken together with molecular evidence on the extent of DNA variation, this suggests that the transition from 'archaic' to 'modern' Homo may have taken place in Africa. PMID:8976151

  13. Craniometric ratios of microcephaly and LB1, Homo floresiensis, using MRI and endocasts

    PubMed Central

    Vannucci, Robert C.; Barron, Todd F.; Holloway, Ralph L.

    2011-01-01

    The designation of Homo floresiensis as a new species derived from an ancient population is controversial, because the type specimen, LB1, might represent a pathological microcephalic modern Homo sapiens. Accordingly, two specific craniometric ratios (relative frontal breadth and cerebellar protrusion) were ascertained in 21 microcephalic infants and children by using MRI. Data on 118 age-equivalent control (normocephalic) subjects were collected for comparative purposes. In addition, the same craniometric ratios were determined on the endocasts of 10 microcephalic individuals, 79 normal controls (anatomically modern humans), and 17 Homo erectus specimens. These ratios were then compared with those of two LB1 endocasts. The findings showed that the calculated cerebral/cerebellar ratios of the LB1 endocast [Falk D, et al. (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:2513–2518] fall outside the range of living normocephalic individuals. The ratios derived from two LB1 endocasts also fall largely outside the range of modern normal human and H. erectus endocasts and within the range of microcephalic endocasts. The findings support but do not prove the contention that LB1 represents a pathological microcephalic Homo sapiens rather than a new species, (i.e., H. floresiensis). PMID:21825126

  14. Homo economicus belief inhibits trust.

    PubMed

    Xin, Ziqiang; Liu, Guofang

    2013-01-01

    As a foundational concept in economics, the homo economicus assumption regards humans as rational and self-interested actors. In contrast, trust requires individuals to believe partners' benevolence and unselfishness. Thus, the homo economicus belief may inhibit trust. The present three experiments demonstrated that the direct exposure to homo economicus belief can weaken trust. And economic situations like profit calculation can also activate individuals' homo economicus belief and inhibit their trust. It seems that people's increasing homo economicus belief may serve as one cause of the worldwide decline of trust. PMID:24146907

  15. Homo Economicus Belief Inhibits Trust

    PubMed Central

    Xin, Ziqiang; Liu, Guofang

    2013-01-01

    As a foundational concept in economics, the homo economicus assumption regards humans as rational and self-interested actors. In contrast, trust requires individuals to believe partners’ benevolence and unselfishness. Thus, the homo economicus belief may inhibit trust. The present three experiments demonstrated that the direct exposure to homo economicus belief can weaken trust. And economic situations like profit calculation can also activate individuals’ homo economicus belief and inhibit their trust. It seems that people’s increasing homo economicus belief may serve as one cause of the worldwide decline of trust. PMID:24146907

  16. Evolution of M1 crown size and cusp proportions in the genus Homo

    PubMed Central

    Quam, Rolf; Bailey, Shara; Wood, Bernard

    2009-01-01

    Previous research into tooth crown dimensions and cusp proportions has proved to be a useful way to identify taxonomic differences in Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil hominins. The present study has identified changes in both M1 crown size and cusp proportions within the genus Homo, with M1 overall crown size reduction apparently occurring in two main stages. The first stage (a reduction of ca. 17%) is associated with the emergence of Homo ergaster and Homo erectus sensu stricto. The second stage (a reduction of ca. 10%) occurs in Homo sapiens, but the reduced modern human M1 tooth crown size was only attained in Upper Paleolithic times. The absolute sizes of the individual cusps are highly positively correlated with overall crown size and dental reduction produces a reduction in the absolute size of each of the cusps. Most of the individual cusps scale isometrically with crown size, but the paracone shows a negative allometric relationship, indicating that the reduction in paracone size is less than in the other M1 cusps. Thus, the phylogenetically oldest cusp in the upper molars also seems to be the most stable cusp (at least in the M1). The most striking change in M1 cusp proportions is a change in the relative size of the areas of the paracone and metacone. The combination of a small relative paracone and a large relative metacone generally characterizes specimens attributed to early Homo, and the presence of this character state in Australopithecus andParanthropus suggests it may represent the primitive condition for the later part of the hominin clade. In contrast, nearly all later Homo taxa, with the exception of Homo antecessor, show the opposite condition (i.e. a relatively large paracone and a relatively small metacone). This change in the relationship between the relative sizes of the paracone and metacone is related to an isometric reduction of the absolute size of the metacone. This metacone reduction occurs in the context of relative stability in the

  17. Evolution of M1 crown size and cusp proportions in the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Quam, Rolf; Bailey, Shara; Wood, Bernard

    2009-05-01

    Previous research into tooth crown dimensions and cusp proportions has proved to be a useful way to identify taxonomic differences in Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil hominins. The present study has identified changes in both M(1) crown size and cusp proportions within the genus Homo, with M(1) overall crown size reduction apparently occurring in two main stages. The first stage (a reduction of ca. 17%) is associated with the emergence of Homo ergaster and Homo erectus sensu stricto. The second stage (a reduction of ca. 10%) occurs in Homo sapiens, but the reduced modern human M(1) tooth crown size was only attained in Upper Paleolithic times. The absolute sizes of the individual cusps are highly positively correlated with overall crown size and dental reduction produces a reduction in the absolute size of each of the cusps. Most of the individual cusps scale isometrically with crown size, but the paracone shows a negative allometric relationship, indicating that the reduction in paracone size is less than in the other M(1) cusps. Thus, the phylogenetically oldest cusp in the upper molars also seems to be the most stable cusp (at least in the M(1)). The most striking change in M(1) cusp proportions is a change in the relative size of the areas of the paracone and metacone. The combination of a small relative paracone and a large relative metacone generally characterizes specimens attributed to early Homo, and the presence of this character state in Australopithecus and Paranthropus suggests it may represent the primitive condition for the later part of the hominin clade. In contrast, nearly all later Homo taxa, with the exception of Homo antecessor, show the opposite condition (i.e. a relatively large paracone and a relatively small metacone). This change in the relationship between the relative sizes of the paracone and metacone is related to an isometric reduction of the absolute size of the metacone. This metacone reduction occurs in the context of relative

  18. Phylogenetic rate shifts in feeding time during the evolution of Homo

    PubMed Central

    Organ, Chris; Nunn, Charles L.; Machanda, Zarin; Wrangham, Richard W.

    2011-01-01

    Unique among animals, humans eat a diet rich in cooked and nonthermally processed food. The ancestors of modern humans who invented food processing (including cooking) gained critical advantages in survival and fitness through increased caloric intake. However, the time and manner in which food processing became biologically significant are uncertain. Here, we assess the inferred evolutionary consequences of food processing in the human lineage by applying a Bayesian phylogenetic outlier test to a comparative dataset of feeding time in humans and nonhuman primates. We find that modern humans spend an order of magnitude less time feeding than predicted by phylogeny and body mass (4.7% vs. predicted 48% of daily activity). This result suggests that a substantial evolutionary rate change in feeding time occurred along the human branch after the human–chimpanzee split. Along this same branch, Homo erectus shows a marked reduction in molar size that is followed by a gradual, although erratic, decline in H. sapiens. We show that reduction in molar size in early Homo (H. habilis and H. rudolfensis) is explicable by phylogeny and body size alone. By contrast, the change in molar size to H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens cannot be explained by the rate of craniodental and body size evolution. Together, our results indicate that the behaviorally driven adaptations of food processing (reduced feeding time and molar size) originated after the evolution of Homo but before or concurrent with the evolution of H. erectus, which was around 1.9 Mya. PMID:21873223

  19. Nuclear receptors Homo sapiens Rev-erbβ and Drosophila melanogaster E75 are thiolate-ligated heme proteins, which undergo redox-mediated ligand switching and bind CO and NO

    PubMed Central

    Marvin, Katherine A.; Reinking, Jeffrey L.; Lee, Andrea J.; Pardee, Keith M.; Krause, Henry M.; Burstyn, Judith N.

    2009-01-01

    Nuclear receptors E75, which regulates development in D. melanogaster, and Rev-erbβ, which regulates circadian rhythm in humans, bind heme within their ligand binding domains (LBD). The heme-bound ligand binding domains of E75 and Rev-erbβ were studied using electronic absorption, MCD, resonance Raman and EPR spectroscopies. Both proteins undergo redox-dependent ligand switching and CO- and NO-induced ligand displacement. In the Fe(III) oxidation state, the nuclear receptor hemes are low-spin and 6-coordinate with cysteine(thiolate) as one of the two axial heme ligands. The sixth ligand is a neutral donor, presumably histidine. When the heme is reduced to the Fe(II) oxidation state, the cysteine(thiolate) is replaced by a different neutral donor ligand, whose identity is not known. CO binds to the Fe(II) heme in both E75(LBD) and Rev-erbβ(LBD) opposite a sixth neutral ligand, plausibly the same histidine that served as the sixth ligand in the Fe(III) state. NO binds to the heme of both proteins; however, the NO-heme is 5-coordinate in E75 and 6-coordinate in Rev-erbβ. These nuclear receptors exhibit coordination characteristics that are similar to other known redox and gas sensors, suggesting that E75 and Rev-erbβ may function in heme-, redox- or gas-regulated control of cellular function. PMID:19405475

  20. [The Paderborn calvaria--a diluvial Homo sapiens].

    PubMed

    Henke, W; Protsch, R R

    1978-02-01

    In the following work a morphognostic and morphometric analysis of a diluvial calvaria from Sande/Paderborn in Westfalia is presented. Besides the above, absolute dating by two methods (Radiocarbon- and Amino-acid-dating) was applied. The morphological comparison shows strong affinities to comparative material from the Upper Pleistocene like Cro-Magnon. The absolute dates support this morphological analysis. Both findings--morphological analysis and absolute dating--were done in separate analyses and will be documented separately in the following article. PMID:414655

  1. A "g" beyond "Homo Sapiens"? Some Hints and Suggestions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, James J.

    2007-01-01

    This article proposes that a complete account of cognitive evolution may have to accommodate a domain-general source of variance in mental abilities accounting for differences among primate taxa. Deaner, van Schaik, and Johnson [Deaner, R.O., van Schaik, C.P. and Johnson, V.E. (2006). Do some taxa have better domain-general cognition than others?…

  2. Homo sapiens und das 21. Jahrhundert - evolutionsbiologische Betrachtungen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oehler, Jochen

    Was meinen wir, wenn wir vom 21. Jahrhundert sprechen? Es ist ein Zeitraum, der sich durch die Festlegung des Menschen ergibt, die nach Christi Geburt verstrichene Zeit in Jahren zu zählen. Eine kulturelle Leistung, die primär auf der Fähigkeit beruht, das Phänomen Zeit a priori wahrnehmen zu können. Die Antizipation der Zeit ist in der Welt der Organismen ein weit verbreitetes Prinzip. Entsprechend existieren auf zellulären bis zu zentralnervösen Ebenen verschiedenste Mechanismen, die dies ermöglichen. So basiert die Zeitwahrnehmung des Menschen auf zentralnervösen Strukturen und Prozessen phylogenetisch älterer Hirnstrukturen, die ihrerseits die Körperfunktionen von der zellulären bis zur Verhaltensebene steuern und regeln und sie damit an exogene Zeitregime, wie z. B. den Tag-Nacht-Rhythmus (circadianer Rhythmus), anpassen. Die Chronobiologie weist nach, welch große adaptive Bedeutung zeitantizipierende Mechanismen für die Organismen haben, das heißt Fitness fördernd sind (Piechulla 1999; Spork 2004). Die für verschiedene Kulturen des Menschen maßgebliche Zeitrechnung basiert auf der quantitativen Erfassung kosmisch oder irdisch regelmäßig wiederkehrender Ereignisse.

  3. Brain size of Homo floresiensis and its evolutionary implications

    PubMed Central

    Kubo, Daisuke; Kono, Reiko T.; Kaifu, Yousuke

    2013-01-01

    The extremely small endocranial volume (ECV) of LB1, the type specimen of Homo floresiensis, poses a challenge in our understanding of human brain evolution. Some researchers hypothesize dramatic dwarfing of relative brain size from Homo erectus presumably without significant decrease in intellectual function, whereas others expect a lesser degree of brain diminution from a more primitive, small-brained form of hominin currently undocumented in eastern Asia. However, inconsistency in the published ECVs for LB1 (380–430 cc), unclear human intraspecific brain–body size scaling and other uncertainties have hampered elaborative modelling of its brain size reduction. In this study, we accurately determine the ECV of LB1 using high-resolution micro-CT scan. The ECV of LB1 thus measured, 426 cc, is larger than the commonly cited figure in previous studies (400 cc). Coupled with brain–body size correlation in Homo sapiens calculated based on a sample from 20 worldwide modern human populations, we construct new models of the brain size reduction in the evolution of H. floresiensis. The results show a more significant contribution of scaling effect than previously claimed. PMID:23595271

  4. Brain size of Homo floresiensis and its evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Daisuke; Kono, Reiko T; Kaifu, Yousuke

    2013-06-01

    The extremely small endocranial volume (ECV) of LB1, the type specimen of Homo floresiensis, poses a challenge in our understanding of human brain evolution. Some researchers hypothesize dramatic dwarfing of relative brain size from Homo erectus presumably without significant decrease in intellectual function, whereas others expect a lesser degree of brain diminution from a more primitive, small-brained form of hominin currently undocumented in eastern Asia. However, inconsistency in the published ECVs for LB1 (380-430 cc), unclear human intraspecific brain-body size scaling and other uncertainties have hampered elaborative modelling of its brain size reduction. In this study, we accurately determine the ECV of LB1 using high-resolution micro-CT scan. The ECV of LB1 thus measured, 426 cc, is larger than the commonly cited figure in previous studies (400 cc). Coupled with brain-body size correlation in Homo sapiens calculated based on a sample from 20 worldwide modern human populations, we construct new models of the brain size reduction in the evolution of H. floresiensis. The results show a more significant contribution of scaling effect than previously claimed. PMID:23595271

  5. The minerals and the light: Mineralogy and astronomy in the history of the homo sapiens sapiens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giovanna Giovine, Laura

    2016-04-01

    Since the end of the '90s, when the concept of competence was introduced in the education world, the debate on teaching assessment of competences is going on in the Italian school system. Nonetheless, first cycle and second cycle State Exams and national tests (INVALSI), yet have a focus on knowledge and skills. In the education field competence is defined as the capability to face requests and complex tasks effectively, using knowledge and skills acquired by study, research, observation and experience. The proposal formulated here is directed to turn disciplinary knowledge and skills to personal competences through educational and unitary teaching, in order to overcome the discontinuities between Primary school - Secondary school - Universities - the world of work. The ultimate goal is to preserve throughout the didactic course of teaching the wholeness and unitarily of personal competence of the student, who uses acquired disciplinary knowledge and skills in a personal fashion, neither mnemonic nor mechanical. The course of study may begin in the first class of lower secondary school and go on up to the fifth class of upper secondary school, with didactic laboratorial strategies and teaching strategies for competences, involving multiple disciplines. The recipients are the classes where a greater difficulty for students to integrate into the life of the School is registered, or the learned input-skills are of low or inadequate level, possibly with the presence of students with Special Educational Needs. In involved classes the collaboration and sharing of all teachers of the Class Council has been requested, in order to build an educational unitary course, centered on the concept of competence. Contents of the course: • The materials of the solid earth: minerals (physical and chemical properties, classification) • Percentages, graphics, angles, geometric solids, symmetry • Measurement units, speed and acceleration, mass and weight, pressure, energy, heat, temperature, density • States of matter: solid state and liquid state • The periodic table of elements, atoms and molecules • Mixtures Introduction to the course: • History informs sciences: newspapers and books dating back to the First World War are read in the classroom, mineral resources used in everyday life and the their mining locations, in cooperation with Geohistory and Italian teachers. • Discussion groups and "questioning" by the test "Is it useful to study the Mineralogy?" and input test with open-ended questions. • Experiments in the laboratory shared with Physics teacher: we observe a mineral (recognition, classification, chemical composition) • Theoretical lesson: natural sciences, physics and chemistry, with the support of the textbook and using material found by students in the Internet • Visit to the local museum with the teacher of Geometric Design or Art History or Technology or Geohistory • Brainstorming and project with support of LIM to view video-on lab and specific software • Experiments in the laboratory shared with the teacher of Mathematics: growing crystals (shape and symmetry, recognition and classification, chemical composition and structure of atoms) • Final report on experiments, possibly with research hypotheses.

  6. Skulls and Human Evolution: The Use of Casts of Anthropoid Skulls in Teaching Concepts of Human Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gipps, John

    1991-01-01

    Proposes the use of a series of 11 casts of fossil skulls as a method of teaching about the theory of human evolution. Students explore the questions of which skulls are "human" and which came first in Homo Sapien development, large brain or upright stance. (MDH)

  7. Reconstructed Homo habilis type OH 7 suggests deep-rooted species diversity in early Homo.

    PubMed

    Spoor, Fred; Gunz, Philipp; Neubauer, Simon; Stelzer, Stefanie; Scott, Nadia; Kwekason, Amandus; Dean, M Christopher

    2015-03-01

    Besides Homo erectus (sensu lato), the eastern African fossil record of early Homo has been interpreted as representing either a single variable species, Homo habilis, or two species. In the latter case, however, there is no consensus over the respective groupings, and which of the two includes OH 7, the 1.8-million-year-old H. habilis holotype. This partial skull and hand from Olduvai Gorge remains pivotal to evaluating the early evolution of the Homo lineage, and by priority names one or other of the two taxa. However, the distorted preservation of the diagnostically important OH 7 mandible has hindered attempts to compare this specimen with other fossils. Here we present a virtual reconstruction of the OH 7 mandible, and compare it to other early Homo fossils. The reconstructed mandible is remarkably primitive, with a long and narrow dental arcade more similar to Australopithecus afarensis than to the derived parabolic arcades of Homo sapiens or H. erectus. We find that this shape variability is not consistent with a single species of early Homo. Importantly, the jaw morphology of OH 7 is incompatible with fossils assigned to Homo rudolfensis and with the A.L. 666-1 Homo maxilla. The latter is morphologically more derived than OH 7 but 500,000 years older, suggesting that the H. habilis lineage originated before 2.3 million years ago, thus marking deep-rooted species diversity in the genus Homo. We also reconstructed the parietal bones of OH 7 and estimated its endocranial volume. At between 729 and 824 ml it is larger than any previously published value, and emphasizes the near-complete overlap in brain size among species of early Homo. Our results clarify the H. habilis hypodigm, but raise questions about its phylogenetic relationships. Differences between species of early Homo appear to be characterized more by gnathic diversity than by differences in brain size, which was highly variable within all taxa. PMID:25739632

  8. Filling the gap. Human cranial remains from Gombore II (Melka Kunture, Ethiopia; ca. 850 ka) and the origin of Homo heidelbergensis.

    PubMed

    Profico, Antonio; Di Vincenzo, Fabio; Gagliardi, Lorenza; Piperno, Marcello; Manzi, Giorgio

    2016-06-20

    African archaic humans dated to around 1,0 Ma share morphological affinities with Homo ergaster and appear distinct in cranio-dental morphology from those of the Middle Pleistocene that are referred to Homo heidelbergensis. This observation suggests a taxonomic and phylogenetic discontinuity in Africa that ranges across the Matuyama/Brunhes reversal (780 ka). Yet, the fossil record between roughly 900 and 600 ka is notoriously poor. In this context, the Early Stone Age site of Gombore II, in the Melka Kunture formation (Upper Awash, Ethiopia), provides a privileged case-study. In the Acheulean layer of Gombore II, somewhat more recent than 875 ±10 ka, two large cranial fragments were discovered in 1973 and 1975 respectively: a partial left parietal (Melka Kunture 1) and a right portion of the frontal bone (Melka Kunture 2), which probably belonged to the same cranium. We present here the first detailed description and computer-assisted reconstruction of the morphology of the cranial vault pertaining to these fossil fragments. Our analysis suggest that the human fossil specimen from Gombore II fills a phenetic gap between Homo ergaster and Homo heidelbergensis. This appears in agreement with the chronology of such a partial cranial vault, which therefore represents at present one of the best available candidates (if any) for the origin of Homo heidelbergensis in Africa. PMID:26583275

  9. Dental evidence for ontogenetic differences between modern humans and Neanderthals.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tanya M; Tafforeau, Paul; Reid, Donald J; Pouech, Joane; Lazzari, Vincent; Zermeno, John P; Guatelli-Steinberg, Debbie; Olejniczak, Anthony J; Hoffman, Almut; Radovcic, Jakov; Makaremi, Masrour; Toussaint, Michel; Stringer, Chris; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2010-12-01

    Humans have an unusual life history, with an early weaning age, long childhood, late first reproduction, short interbirth intervals, and long lifespan. In contrast, great apes wean later, reproduce earlier, and have longer intervals between births. Despite 80 y of speculation, the origins of these developmental patterns in Homo sapiens remain unknown. Because they record daily growth during formation, teeth provide important insights, revealing that australopithecines and early Homo had more rapid ontogenies than recent humans. Dental development in later Homo species has been intensely debated, most notably the issue of whether Neanderthals and H. sapiens differ. Here we apply synchrotron virtual histology to a geographically and temporally diverse sample of Middle Paleolithic juveniles, including Neanderthals, to assess tooth formation and calculate age at death from dental microstructure. We find that most Neanderthal tooth crowns grew more rapidly than modern human teeth, resulting in significantly faster dental maturation. In contrast, Middle Paleolithic H. sapiens juveniles show greater similarity to recent humans. These findings are consistent with recent cranial and molecular evidence for subtle developmental differences between Neanderthals and H. sapiens. When compared with earlier hominin taxa, both Neanderthals and H. sapiens have extended the duration of dental development. This period of dental immaturity is particularly prolonged in modern humans. PMID:21078988

  10. Thickened cranial vault and parasagittal keeling: correlated traits and autapomorphies of Homo erectus?

    PubMed

    Balzeau, Antoine

    2013-06-01

    Homo erectus sensu lato (s.l.) is a key species in the hominin fossil record for the study of human evolution, being one of the first species discovered and perhaps the most documented, but also because of its long temporal range and having dispersed out of Africa earlier than any other human species. Here I test two proposed autapomorphic traits of H. erectus, namely the increased thickness of the upper cranial vault and parasagittal keeling. The definition of these two anatomical features and their expression and variation among hominids are discussed. The results of this study indicate that the upper vault in Asian H. erectus is not absolutely thicker compared with fossil anatomically modern Homo sapiens, whereas Broken Hill and Petralona have values above the range of variation of H. erectus. Moreover, this anatomical region in Asian H. erectus is not significantly thicker compared with Pan paniscus. In addition, these results demonstrate that cranial vault thickness should not be used to make hypotheses regarding sexual attribution of fossil hominin specimens. I also show that the relation between relief on the external surface of the upper vault, parasagittal keeling and bregmatic eminence, and bone thickness is complex. In this context, the autapomorphic status of the two analysed traits in H. erectus may be rejected. Nevertheless, different patterns in the distribution of bone thickness on the upper vault were identified. Some individual variations are visible, but specificities are observable in samples of different species. The pattern of bone thickness distribution observed in Asian H. erectus, P. paniscus, possibly australopiths, and early Homo or Homo ergaster/erectus appears to be shared by these different species and would be a plesiomorphic trait among hominids. In contrast, two apomorphic states for this feature were identified for Neandertals and H. sapiens. PMID:23541383

  11. [The technological character of the human being].

    PubMed

    Del Barco Collazos, José Luis

    2009-01-01

    Technique is not accidental, but essential, to human being. It is the homo sapiens sapiens way of life. There is neither pretechnological human life nor a historic period without it. Human being is making tools and instruments since the very moment he is on earth. And so will he go on. Plough, airship and future apparatus are stages of the technical progress. The enormous human aptitude for making is due to the connexion between brain and hands. Technique ought be neither venerated nor feared but ruled. PMID:19507914

  12. Remains of Homo erectus from Bouri, Middle Awash, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Asfaw, Berhane; Gilbert, W Henry; Beyene, Yonas; Hart, William K; Renne, Paul R; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Vrba, Elisabeth S; White, Tim D

    2002-03-21

    The genesis, evolution and fate of Homo erectus have been explored palaeontologically since the taxon's recognition in the late nineteenth century. Current debate is focused on whether early representatives from Kenya and Georgia should be classified as a separate ancestral species ('H. ergaster'), and whether H. erectus was an exclusively Asian species lineage that went extinct. Lack of resolution of these issues has obscured the place of H. erectus in human evolution. A hominid calvaria and postcranial remains recently recovered from the Dakanihylo Member of the Bouri Formation, Middle Awash, Ethiopia, bear directly on these issues. These approximately 1.0-million-year (Myr)-old Pleistocene sediments contain abundant early Acheulean stone tools and a diverse vertebrate fauna that indicates a predominantly savannah environment. Here we report that the 'Daka' calvaria's metric and morphological attributes centre it firmly within H. erectus. Daka's resemblance to Asian counterparts indicates that the early African and Eurasian fossil hominids represent demes of a widespread palaeospecies. Daka's anatomical intermediacy between earlier and later African fossils provides evidence of evolutionary change. Its temporal and geographic position indicates that African H. erectus was the ancestor of Homo sapiens. PMID:11907576

  13. The Human Story: From Hominids to Homo Intelligens. A Curriculum Map for 5th Grade.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fluellen, Jerry E., Jr.

    A curriculum map for a year-long, fifth-grade, multidisciplinary project takes a performance view of understanding from Harvard University Project Zero's Research Center. Throughout the project and in each assessment of understanding, learners show what they know about human evolution. This guide to deep disciplinary understanding of the big idea…

  14. Homo erectus in Salkhit, Mongolia?

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Hee

    2015-08-01

    In 2006, a skullcap was discovered in Salkhit, Mongolia. The Salkhit skullcap has a mostly complete frontal, two partially complete parietals, and nasals. No chronometric dating has been published yet, and suggested dates range from early Middle Pleistocene to terminal Late Pleistocene. While no chronometric date has been published, the presence of archaic features has led to a potential affiliation with archaic hominin species. If it is indeed Homo erectus or archaic Homo sapiens, Salkhit implies a much earlier spread of hominins farther north and inland Asia than previously thought. In this paper, the nature of the archaic features in Salkhit is investigated. The Salkhit skullcap morphology and metrics were compared with Middle and Late Pleistocene hominin fossils from northeast Asia: Zhoukoudian Locality 1, Dali, and Zhoukoudian Upper Cave. Results show an interesting pattern: on one hand, the archaic features that Salkhit shares with the Zhoukoudian Locality 1 sample also are shared with other later hominins; on the other hand, Salkhit is different from the Middle Pleistocene materials in the same way later hominins differ from the Middle Pleistocene sample, in having a broader frontal and thinner supraorbital region. This may reflect encephalization and gracilization, a modernization trend found in many places. It is concluded that the archaic features observed in Salkhit are regionally predominant features rather than diagnostic features of an archaic species. PMID:25813423

  15. Modern human origins: progress and prospects.

    PubMed Central

    Stringer, Chris

    2002-01-01

    The question of the mode of origin of modern humans (Homo sapiens) has dominated palaeoanthropological debate over the last decade. This review discusses the main models proposed to explain modern human origins, and examines relevant fossil evidence from Eurasia, Africa and Australasia. Archaeological and genetic data are also discussed, as well as problems with the concept of 'modernity' itself. It is concluded that a recent African origin can be supported for H. sapiens, morphologically, behaviourally and genetically, but that more evidence will be needed, both from Africa and elsewhere, before an absolute African origin for our species and its behavioural characteristics can be established and explained. PMID:12028792

  16. Age and biostratigraphic significance of the Punung Rainforest Fauna, East Java, Indonesia, and implications for Pongo and Homo.

    PubMed

    Westaway, K E; Morwood, M J; Roberts, R G; Rokus, A D; Zhao, J-x; Storm, P; Aziz, F; van den Bergh, G; Hadi, P; Jatmiko; de Vos, J

    2007-12-01

    The Punung Fauna is a key component in the biostratigraphic sequence of Java. It represents the most significant faunal turnover on the island in the last 1.5 million years, when Stegodon and other archaic mammal species characteristic of earlier Faunal stages were replaced by a fully modern fauna that included rainforest-dependent species such as Pongo pygmaeus (orangutan). Here, we report the first numerical ages for the Punung Fauna obtained by luminescence and uranium-series dating of the fossil-bearing deposits and associated flowstones. The Punung Fauna contained in the dated breccia is of early Last Interglacial age (between 128+/-15 and 118+/-3 ka). This result has implications for the age of the preceding Ngandong Fauna, including Homo erectus remains found in the Ngandong Terrace, and for the timing of Homo sapiens arrival in Southeast Asia, in view of claims for a modern human tooth associated with the Punung breccia. PMID:17706269

  17. The Four Canonical TPR Subunits of Human APC/C Form Related Homo-Dimeric Structures and Stack in Parallel to Form a TPR Suprahelix☆

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ziguo; Chang, Leifu; Yang, Jing; Conin, Nora; Kulkarni, Kiran; Barford, David

    2013-01-01

    The anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C) is a large E3 RING-cullin ubiquitin ligase composed of between 14 and 15 individual proteins. A striking feature of the APC/C is that only four proteins are involved in directly recognizing target proteins and catalyzing the assembly of a polyubiquitin chain. All other subunits, which account for > 80% of the mass of the APC/C, provide scaffolding functions. A major proportion of these scaffolding subunits are structurally related. In metazoans, there are four canonical tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) proteins that form homo-dimers (Apc3/Cdc27, Apc6/Cdc16, Apc7 and Apc8/Cdc23). Here, we describe the crystal structure of the N-terminal homo-dimerization domain of Schizosaccharomyces pombe Cdc23 (Cdc23Nterm). Cdc23Nterm is composed of seven contiguous TPR motifs that self-associate through a related mechanism to those of Cdc16 and Cdc27. Using the Cdc23Nterm structure, we generated a model of full-length Cdc23. The resultant “V”-shaped molecule docks into the Cdc23-assigned density of the human APC/C structure determined using negative stain electron microscopy (EM). Based on sequence conservation, we propose that Apc7 forms a homo-dimeric structure equivalent to those of Cdc16, Cdc23 and Cdc27. The model is consistent with the Apc7-assigned density of the human APC/C EM structure. The four canonical homo-dimeric TPR proteins of human APC/C stack in parallel on one side of the complex. Remarkably, the uniform relative packing of neighboring TPR proteins generates a novel left-handed suprahelical TPR assembly. This finding has implications for understanding the assembly of other TPR-containing multimeric complexes. PMID:23583778

  18. A bivariate approach to the variation of the parietal curvature in the genus homo.

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano; De La Cuétara, José Manuel; Holloway, Ralph

    2011-09-01

    The parietal bones approximately cover the extension of the underlying parietal lobes. Although the boundaries of these two anatomical elements do not coincide, during morphogenesis the growth of the parietal bones is largely induced by the pressure exerted by the parietal lobes. Modern humans display larger parietal chords and arcs compared with non-modern human species. However, the variation of these variables have not been analyzed before according to the covariation with the general endocranial diameters. When the curvature of the parietal bones is regressed onto the main neurocranial distances, modern humans show larger relative values, suggesting not only an absolute enlargement but a definite allometric change. Taking into account the morphogenetic relationships with the parietal lobes, these results further support previous hypotheses suggesting a relative enlargement of these cortical areas in Homo sapiens, by using simple and reliable homologous neurocranial arcs. PMID:21809464

  19. Human orexin/hypocretin receptors form constitutive homo- and heteromeric complexes with each other and with human CB{sub 1} cannabinoid receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Jäntti, Maria H.; Mandrika, Ilona; Kukkonen, Jyrki P.

    2014-03-07

    Highlights: • OX{sub 1} and OX{sub 2} orexin and CB{sub 1} cannabinoid receptor dimerization was investigated. • Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer method was used. • All receptors readily formed constitutive homo- and heteromeric complexes. - Abstract: Human OX{sub 1} orexin receptors have been shown to homodimerize and they have also been suggested to heterodimerize with CB{sub 1} cannabinoid receptors. The latter has been suggested to be important for orexin receptor responses and trafficking. In this study, we wanted to assess the ability of the other combinations of receptors to also form similar complexes. Vectors for expression of human OX{sub 1}, OX{sub 2} and CB{sub 1} receptors, C-terminally fused with either Renilla luciferase or GFP{sup 2} green fluorescent protein variant, were generated. The constructs were transiently expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, and constitutive dimerization between the receptors was assessed by bioluminescence energy transfer (BRET). Orexin receptor subtypes readily formed homo- and hetero(di)mers, as suggested by significant BRET signals. CB{sub 1} receptors formed homodimers, and they also heterodimerized with both orexin receptors. Interestingly, BRET efficiency was higher for homodimers than for almost all heterodimers. This is likely to be due to the geometry of the interaction; the putatively symmetric dimers may place the C-termini in a more suitable orientation in homomers. Fusion of luciferase to an orexin receptor and GFP{sup 2} to CB{sub 1} produced more effective BRET than the opposite fusions, also suggesting differences in geometry. Similar was seen for the OX{sub 1}–OX{sub 2} interaction. In conclusion, orexin receptors have a significant propensity to make homo- and heterodi-/oligomeric complexes. However, it is unclear whether this affects their signaling. As orexin receptors efficiently signal via endocannabinoid production to CB{sub 1} receptors, dimerization could be an effective way

  20. Human orexin/hypocretin receptors form constitutive homo- and heteromeric complexes with each other and with human CB1 cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Jäntti, Maria H; Mandrika, Ilona; Kukkonen, Jyrki P

    2014-03-01

    Human OX1 orexin receptors have been shown to homodimerize and they have also been suggested to heterodimerize with CB1 cannabinoid receptors. The latter has been suggested to be important for orexin receptor responses and trafficking. In this study, we wanted to assess the ability of the other combinations of receptors to also form similar complexes. Vectors for expression of human OX1, OX2 and CB1 receptors, C-terminally fused with either Renilla luciferase or GFP(2) green fluorescent protein variant, were generated. The constructs were transiently expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, and constitutive dimerization between the receptors was assessed by bioluminescence energy transfer (BRET). Orexin receptor subtypes readily formed homo- and hetero(di)mers, as suggested by significant BRET signals. CB1 receptors formed homodimers, and they also heterodimerized with both orexin receptors. Interestingly, BRET efficiency was higher for homodimers than for almost all heterodimers. This is likely to be due to the geometry of the interaction; the putatively symmetric dimers may place the C-termini in a more suitable orientation in homomers. Fusion of luciferase to an orexin receptor and GFP(2) to CB1 produced more effective BRET than the opposite fusions, also suggesting differences in geometry. Similar was seen for the OX1-OX2 interaction. In conclusion, orexin receptors have a significant propensity to make homo- and heterodi-/oligomeric complexes. However, it is unclear whether this affects their signaling. As orexin receptors efficiently signal via endocannabinoid production to CB1 receptors, dimerization could be an effective way of forming signal complexes with optimal cannabinoid concentrations available for cannabinoid receptors. PMID:24530395

  1. Hominin interbreeding and the evolution of human variation.

    PubMed

    Ko, Kwang Hyun

    2016-12-01

    Mitochondrial Eve confirms the "out of Africa" theory, but the evidence also supports interbreeding between Homo sapiens and other hominins: Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Homo heidelbergensis. This article explains how interbreeding between early H. sapiens and archaic hominins occurred. The availability of edible insects in East Asia aided the spread of the unaggressive, highly cooperative Neanderthals, who interbred with H. sapiens in Asia, resulting in a higher admixture of Neanderthal DNA in East Asian populations. Geographical variation in degree of interbreeding between H. sapiens and Neanderthals likely contributed to neurological and behavioral differences in modern humans. Similarly, people with Denisovan genetic admixture were better able to dwell in mountainous regions, allowing their genetic legacy to cross the Himalayas and persist in Southeast Asian and Oceanian H. sapiens. In the Sub-Saharan region, unaffected by Denisovan or Neanderthal interbreeding, H. sapiens interbred with H. heidelbergensis, because high humidity militated against fire-making and allowed the survival of these non-fire-making hominins. PMID:27429943

  2. In search of Homo economicus.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Toshio; Li, Yang; Takagishi, Haruto; Matsumoto, Yoshie; Kiyonari, Toko

    2014-09-01

    Homo economicus, a model for humans in neoclassical economics, is a rational maximizer of self-interest. However, many social scientists regard such a person as a mere imaginary creature. We found that 31 of 446 residents of relatively wealthy Tokyo suburbs met the behavioral definition of Homo economicus. In several rounds of economic games, participants whose behavior was consistent with this model always apportioned the money endowed by the experimenter to themselves, leaving no share for their partners. These participants had high IQs and a deliberative decision style. An additional 39 participants showed a similar disregard for other people's welfare, although they were slightly more altruistic than those in the Homo economicus group. The psychological composition of these quasi-Homo economicus participants was distinct from that of participants in the Homo economicus group. Although participants in the latter group behaved selfishly on the basis of rational calculations, those in the former group made selfish choices impulsively. The implications of these findings concerning the two types of extreme noncooperators are discussed. PMID:25037961

  3. A bivariate approach to the widening of the frontal lobes in the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano; Holloway, Ralph L

    2010-02-01

    Within the genus Homo, the most encephalized taxa (Neandertals and modern humans) show relatively wider frontal lobes than either Homo erectus or australopithecines. The present analysis considers whether these changes are associated with a single size-based or allometric pattern (positive allometry of the width of the anterior endocranial fossa) or with a more specific and non-allometric pattern. The relationship between hemispheric length, maximum endocranial width, and frontal width at Broca's area was investigated in extant and extinct humans. Our results do not support positive allometry for the frontal lobe's width in relation to the main endocranial diameters within modern humans (Homo sapiens). Also, the correlation between frontal width and hemispheric length is lower than the correlation between frontal width and parieto-temporal width. When compared with the australopithecines, the genus Homo could have experienced a non-allometric widening of the brain at the temporo-parietal areas, which is most evident in Neandertals. Modern humans and Neandertals also display a non-allometric widening of the anterior endocranial fossa at the Broca's cap when compared with early hominids, again more prominent in the latter group. Taking into account the contrast between the intra-specific patterns and the between-species differences, the relative widening of the anterior fossa can be interpreted as a definite evolutionary character instead of a passive consequence of brain size increase. This expansion is most likely associated with correspondent increments of the underlying neural mass, or at least with a geometrical reallocation of the frontal cortical volumes. Although different structural changes of the cranial architecture can be related to such variations, the widening of the frontal areas is nonetheless particularly interesting when some neural functions (like language or working memory, decision processing, etc.) and related fronto-parietal cortico

  4. Morphological variation in Homo erectus and the origins of developmental plasticity.

    PubMed

    Antón, Susan C; Taboada, Hannah G; Middleton, Emily R; Rainwater, Christopher W; Taylor, Andrea B; Turner, Trudy R; Turnquist, Jean E; Weinstein, Karen J; Williams, Scott A

    2016-07-01

    Homo erectus was the first hominin to exhibit extensive range expansion. This extraordinary departure from Africa, especially into more temperate climates of Eurasia, has been variously related to technological, energetic and foraging shifts. The temporal and regional anatomical variation in H. erectus suggests that a high level of developmental plasticity, a key factor in the ability of H. sapiens to occupy a variety of habitats, may also have been present in H. erectus. Developmental plasticity, the ability to modify development in response to environmental conditions, results in differences in size, shape and dimorphism across populations that relate in part to levels of resource sufficiency and extrinsic mortality. These differences predict not only regional variations but also overall smaller adult sizes and lower levels of dimorphism in instances of resource scarcity and high predator load. We consider the metric variation in 35 human and non-human primate 'populations' from known environmental contexts and 14 time- and space-restricted paleodemes of H. erectus and other fossil Homo Human and non-human primates exhibit more similar patterns of variation than expected, with plasticity evident, but in differing patterns by sex across populations. The fossil samples show less evidence of variation than expected, although H. erectus varies more than Neandertals.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298467

  5. Small-Bodied Humans from Palau, Micronesia

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Lee R.; Churchill, Steven E.; De Klerk, Bonita; Quinn, Rhonda L.

    2008-01-01

    Newly discovered fossil assemblages of small bodied Homo sapiens from Palau, Micronesia possess characters thought to be taxonomically primitive for the genus Homo. Background Recent surface collection and test excavation in limestone caves in the rock islands of Palau, Micronesia, has produced a sizeable sample of human skeletal remains dating roughly between 940-2890 cal ybp. Principle Findings Preliminary analysis indicates that this material is important for two reasons. First, individuals from the older time horizons are small in body size even relative to “pygmoid” populations from Southeast Asia and Indonesia, and thus may represent a marked case of human insular dwarfism. Second, while possessing a number of derived features that align them with Homo sapiens, the human remains from Palau also exhibit several skeletal traits that are considered to be primitive for the genus Homo. Significance These features may be previously unrecognized developmental correlates of small body size and, if so, they may have important implications for interpreting the taxonomic affinities of fossil specimens of Homo. PMID:18347737

  6. The many mysteries of Homo naledi

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    More than 1500 fossils from the Rising Star cave system in South Africa have been assigned to a new human species, Homo naledi, which displays a unique combination of primitive and derived traits throughout the skeleton. PMID:26354290

  7. The many mysteries of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Stringer, Chris

    2015-01-01

    More than 1500 fossils from the Rising Star cave system in South Africa have been assigned to a new human species, Homo naledi, which displays a unique combination of primitive and derived traits throughout the skeleton. PMID:26354290

  8. The foot of Homo naledi

    PubMed Central

    Harcourt-Smith, W. E. H.; Throckmorton, Z.; Congdon, K. A.; Zipfel, B.; Deane, A. S.; Drapeau, M. S. M.; Churchill, S. E.; Berger, L. R.; DeSilva, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Modern humans are characterized by a highly specialized foot that reflects our obligate bipedalism. Our understanding of hominin foot evolution is, although, hindered by a paucity of well-associated remains. Here we describe the foot of Homo naledi from Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, using 107 pedal elements, including one nearly-complete adult foot. The H. naledi foot is predominantly modern human-like in morphology and inferred function, with an adducted hallux, an elongated tarsus, and derived ankle and calcaneocuboid joints. In combination, these features indicate a foot well adapted for striding bipedalism. However, the H. naledi foot differs from modern humans in having more curved proximal pedal phalanges, and features suggestive of a reduced medial longitudinal arch. Within the context of primitive features found elsewhere in the skeleton, these findings suggest a unique locomotor repertoire for H. naledi, thus providing further evidence of locomotor diversity within both the hominin clade and the genus Homo. PMID:26439101

  9. The foot of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Harcourt-Smith, W E H; Throckmorton, Z; Congdon, K A; Zipfel, B; Deane, A S; Drapeau, M S M; Churchill, S E; Berger, L R; DeSilva, J M

    2015-01-01

    Modern humans are characterized by a highly specialized foot that reflects our obligate bipedalism. Our understanding of hominin foot evolution is, although, hindered by a paucity of well-associated remains. Here we describe the foot of Homo naledi from Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, using 107 pedal elements, including one nearly-complete adult foot. The H. naledi foot is predominantly modern human-like in morphology and inferred function, with an adducted hallux, an elongated tarsus, and derived ankle and calcaneocuboid joints. In combination, these features indicate a foot well adapted for striding bipedalism. However, the H. naledi foot differs from modern humans in having more curved proximal pedal phalanges, and features suggestive of a reduced medial longitudinal arch. Within the context of primitive features found elsewhere in the skeleton, these findings suggest a unique locomotor repertoire for H. naledi, thus providing further evidence of locomotor diversity within both the hominin clade and the genus Homo. PMID:26439101

  10. On the Ethology of Female Homo Sapiens Sapiens at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whittle, Christopher

    This study is a followup to the author's earlier study of the learning differences exhibited by museum exhibit visitors and seeks to discern the effects of the pathological cultural problems identified by other researchers in a science education setting. The setting for this followup study was the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.…

  11. Five years of Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Leslie C

    2010-06-01

    Since Homo floresiensis was first described in October 2004 there has been a lively debate over its status. Is it a late surviving species of early Homo or merely a modern individual afflicted with disordered growth and one of the many syndromes resulting in microchephaly? Recently the discovery team has published a series of articles providing detailed descriptions of the hominin material, its geomorphological context, and the associated archaeology and faunal material (Morwood and Jungers: J Hum Evol 57 (2009) 437-648). In addition, other researchers have put forward new hypotheses for possible pathologies including Laron's Syndrome and Myxoedematous Endemic (ME) Cretinism. Here I review this new information and conclude that the evidence supports the hypothesis that Homo floresiensis is a late-surviving species of early Homo with its closest morphological affinities to early African pre-erectus/ergaster hominins. Although this hypothesis requires fundamental paradigm changes in our understanding of human evolution, it provides a more economical explanation for H. floresiensis than do the alternatives. None of the current explanations for microcephaly and disordered growth account for the range of features observed in H. floresiensis. Neither do they provide explanations for why a pathological condition in modern humans would mimic so closely the morphology observed in earlier hominins. This conclusion is based on the current evidence for H. floresiensis and on the particular pathological explanations that have appeared in the literature. There is no doubt that controversy over H. floresiensis will continue until new and conclusive evidence is available to settle the debate one way or another. PMID:20229502

  12. Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Berger, Lee R; Hawks, John; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Delezene, Lucas K; Kivell, Tracy L; Garvin, Heather M; Williams, Scott A; DeSilva, Jeremy M; Skinner, Matthew M; Musiba, Charles M; Cameron, Noel; Holliday, Trenton W; Harcourt-Smith, William; Ackermann, Rebecca R; Bastir, Markus; Bogin, Barry; Bolter, Debra; Brophy, Juliet; Cofran, Zachary D; Congdon, Kimberly A; Deane, Andrew S; Dembo, Mana; Drapeau, Michelle; Elliott, Marina C; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Garcia-Martinez, Daniel; Green, David J; Gurtov, Alia; Irish, Joel D; Kruger, Ashley; Laird, Myra F; Marchi, Damiano; Meyer, Marc R; Nalla, Shahed; Negash, Enquye W; Orr, Caley M; Radovcic, Davorka; Schroeder, Lauren; Scott, Jill E; Throckmorton, Zachary; Tocheri, Matthew W; VanSickle, Caroline; Walker, Christopher S; Wei, Pianpian; Zipfel, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    Homo naledi is a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. This species is characterized by body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations but a small endocranial volume similar to australopiths. Cranial morphology of H. naledi is unique, but most similar to early Homo species including Homo erectus, Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis. While primitive, the dentition is generally small and simple in occlusal morphology. H. naledi has humanlike manipulatory adaptations of the hand and wrist. It also exhibits a humanlike foot and lower limb. These humanlike aspects are contrasted in the postcrania with a more primitive or australopith-like trunk, shoulder, pelvis and proximal femur. Representing at least 15 individuals with most skeletal elements repeated multiple times, this is the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa. PMID:26354291

  13. The first archaic Homo from Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chun-Hsiang; Kaifu, Yousuke; Takai, Masanaru; Kono, Reiko T; Grün, Rainer; Matsu'ura, Shuji; Kinsley, Les; Lin, Liang-Kong

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies of an increasing number of hominin fossils highlight regional and chronological diversities of archaic Homo in the Pleistocene of eastern Asia. However, such a realization is still based on limited geographical occurrences mainly from Indonesia, China and Russian Altai. Here we describe a newly discovered archaic Homo mandible from Taiwan (Penghu 1), which further increases the diversity of Pleistocene Asian hominins. Penghu 1 revealed an unexpectedly late survival (younger than 450 but most likely 190-10 thousand years ago) of robust, apparently primitive dentognathic morphology in the periphery of the continent, which is unknown among the penecontemporaneous fossil records from other regions of Asia except for the mid-Middle Pleistocene Homo from Hexian, Eastern China. Such patterns of geographic trait distribution cannot be simply explained by clinal geographic variation of Homo erectus between northern China and Java, and suggests survival of multiple evolutionary lineages among archaic hominins before the arrival of modern humans in the region. PMID:25625212

  14. The first archaic Homo from Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chun-Hsiang; Kaifu, Yousuke; Takai, Masanaru; Kono, Reiko T.; Grün, Rainer; Matsu’ura, Shuji; Kinsley, Les; Lin, Liang-Kong

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies of an increasing number of hominin fossils highlight regional and chronological diversities of archaic Homo in the Pleistocene of eastern Asia. However, such a realization is still based on limited geographical occurrences mainly from Indonesia, China and Russian Altai. Here we describe a newly discovered archaic Homo mandible from Taiwan (Penghu 1), which further increases the diversity of Pleistocene Asian hominins. Penghu 1 revealed an unexpectedly late survival (younger than 450 but most likely 190–10 thousand years ago) of robust, apparently primitive dentognathic morphology in the periphery of the continent, which is unknown among the penecontemporaneous fossil records from other regions of Asia except for the mid-Middle Pleistocene Homo from Hexian, Eastern China. Such patterns of geographic trait distribution cannot be simply explained by clinal geographic variation of Homo erectus between northern China and Java, and suggests survival of multiple evolutionary lineages among archaic hominins before the arrival of modern humans in the region. PMID:25625212

  15. [Mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms shared between modern humans and neanderthals: adaptive convergence or evidence for interspecific hybridization?].

    PubMed

    2013-09-01

    An analysis of the variability of the nucleotide sequences in the mitochondrial genome of modern humans, neanderthals, Denisovans, and other primates has shown that there are shared polymorphisms at positions 2758 and 7146 between modern Homo sapiens (in phylogenetic cluster L2'3'4'5'6) and Homo neanderthalensis (in the group of European neanderthals younger than 48000 years). It is suggested that the convergence may be due to adaptive changes in the mitochondrial genomes of modern humans and neanderthals or interspecific hybridization associated with mtDNA recombination. PMID:25508911

  16. [Mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms shared between modern humans and neanderthals: adaptive convergence or evidence for interspecific hybridization?].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A

    2013-09-01

    An analysis of the variability of the nucleotide sequences in the mitochondrial genome of modern humans, neanderthals, Denisovans, and other primates has shown that there are shared polymorphisms at positions 2758 and 7146 between modern Homo sapiens (in phylogenetic cluster L2'3'4'5'6) and Homo neanderthalensis (in the group of European neanderthals younger than 48000 years). It is suggested that the convergence may be due to adaptive changes in the mitochondrial genomes of modern humans and neanderthals or interspecific hybridization associated with mtDNA recombination. PMID:25486780

  17. Early stone technology on Flores and its implications for Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Brumm, Adam; Aziz, Fachroel; van den Bergh, Gert D; Morwood, Michael J; Moore, Mark W; Kurniawan, Iwan; Hobbs, Douglas R; Fullagar, Richard

    2006-06-01

    In the Soa Basin of central Flores, eastern Indonesia, stratified archaeological sites, including Mata Menge, Boa Lesa and Kobatuwa (Fig. 1), contain stone artefacts associated with the fossilized remains of Stegodon florensis, Komodo dragon, rat and various other taxa. These sites have been dated to 840-700 kyr bp (thousand years before present). The authenticity of the Soa Basin artefacts and their provenance have been demonstrated by previous work, but to quell lingering doubts, here we describe the context, attributes and production modes of 507 artefacts excavated at Mata Menge. We also note specific similarities, and apparent technological continuity, between the Mata Menge stone artefacts and those excavated from Late Pleistocene levels at Liang Bua cave, 50 km to the west. The latter artefacts, dated to between 95-74 and 12 kyr ago, are associated with the remains of a dwarfed descendent of S. florensis, Komodo dragon, rat and a small-bodied hominin species, Homo floresiensis, which had a brain size of about 400 cubic centimetres. The Mata Menge evidence negates claims that stone artefacts associated with H. floresiensis are so complex that they must have been made by modern humans (Homo sapiens). PMID:16738657

  18. Homo-trimeric Structure of the Type IVb Minor Pilin CofB Suggests Mechanism of CFA/III Pilus Assembly in Human Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Kawahara, Kazuki; Oki, Hiroya; Fukakusa, Shunsuke; Yoshida, Takuya; Imai, Tomoya; Maruno, Takahiro; Kobayashi, Yuji; Motooka, Daisuke; Iida, Tetsuya; Ohkubo, Tadayasu; Nakamura, Shota

    2016-03-27

    In gram-negative bacteria, the assembly of type IV pilus (T4P) and the evolutionally related pseudopilus of type II secretion system involves specialized structural proteins called pilins and pseudopilins, respectively, and is dynamically regulated to promote bacterial pathogenesis. Previous studies have suggested that a structural "tip"-like hetero-complex formed through the interaction of at least three minor (pseudo) pilins plays an important role in this process, while some members of the pathogenic type IVb subfamily are known to have only one such minor pilin subunit whose function is still unknown. Here, we determined the crystal structure of the type IVb minor pilin CofB of colonization factor antigen/III from human enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli at 1.88-Å resolution. The crystal structure, in conjunction with physicochemical analysis in solution, reveals a symmetrical homo-trimeric arrangement distinct from the hetero-complexes of minor (pseudo) pilins observed in other T4P and type II secretion systems. Each CofB monomer adopts a unique three-domain architecture, in which the C-terminal β-sheet-rich lectin domain can effectively initiate trimer association of its pilin-like N-terminal domain through extensive hydrophobic interactions followed by domain swapping at the central hinge-like domain. Deletion of cofB produces a phenotype with no detectable pili formation on the cell surface, while molecular modeling indicates that the characteristic homo-trimeric structure of CofB is well situated at the pilus tip of colonization factor antigen/III formed by the major pilin CofA, suggesting a role for the minor pilin in the efficient initiation of T4P assembly. PMID:26876601

  19. Tempo and mode in human evolution.

    PubMed Central

    McHenry, H M

    1994-01-01

    The quickening pace of paleontological discovery is matched by rapid developments in geochronology. These new data show that the pattern of morphological change in the hominid lineage was mosaic. Adaptations essential to bipedalism appeared early, but some locomotor features changed much later. Relative to the highly derived postcrania of the earliest hominids, the craniodental complex was quite primitive (i.e., like the reconstructed last common ancestor with the African great apes). The pattern of craniodental change among successively younger species of Hominidae implies extensive parallel evolution between at least two lineages in features related to mastication. Relative brain size increased slightly among successively younger species of Australopithecus, expanded significantly with the appearance of Homo, but within early Homo remained at about half the size of Homo sapiens for almost a million years. Many apparent trends in human evolution may actually be due to the accumulation of relatively rapid shifts in successive species. PMID:8041697

  20. The hypoglossal canal and the origin of human vocal behavior.

    PubMed

    Kay, R F; Cartmill, M; Balow, M

    1998-04-28

    The mammalian hypoglossal canal transmits the nerve that supplies the muscles of the tongue. This canal is absolutely and relatively larger in modern humans than it is in the African apes (Pan and Gorilla). We hypothesize that the human tongue is supplied more richly with motor nerves than are those of living apes and propose that canal size in fossil hominids may provide an indication about the motor coordination of the tongue and reflect the evolution of speech and language. Canals of gracile Australopithecus, and possibly Homo habilis, fall within the range of extant Pan and are significantly smaller than those of modern Homo. The canals of Neanderthals and an early "modern" Homo sapiens (Skhul 5), as well as of African and European middle Pleistocene Homo (Kabwe and Swanscombe), fall within the range of extant Homo and are significantly larger than those of Pan troglodytes. These anatomical findings suggest that the vocal capabilities of Neanderthals were the same as those of humans today. Furthermore, the vocal abilities of Australopithecus were not advanced significantly over those of chimpanzees whereas those of Homo may have been essentially modern by at least 400,000 years ago. Thus, human vocal abilities may have appeared much earlier in time than the first archaeological evidence for symbolic behavior. PMID:9560291

  1. Geochronology and geochemistry of volcanic glasses associated with early Homo sapiens in Ethiopia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, L. E.; Renne, P. R.; Woldegabriel, G.; White, T. D.

    2005-12-01

    In past work at hominid sites in Ethiopia, 40Ar/39Ar dating was used to constrain obsidian from the base of the Upper Herto Member of the Bouri Formation to 160 ± 2 ka. An overlying vitric tuff was then geochemically correlated to one from the Konso region of Ethiopia, which is constrained to be older than 154 ± 7 ka, thus leaving only 6 ± 7 ky between eruption and deposition of the fossils and artifacts at Herto. To continue these studies, we have collected and are currently analyzing obsidian and associated volcanic ashes from Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeological and paleontological sites in the Middle Awash, Ethiopia. Distinctive geochemical signatures among most obsidian fragments collected (n=20 per site) suggest that obsidian was being derived from a variety of sources. By comparing our geochemical data with that from known obsidian deposits in Ethiopia and elsewhere in East Africa, we hope to determine the source localities for the obsidian and thus gauge the extent of trade networks during the MSA. Thus, by characterizing obsidian using both 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and trace element geochemistry, will make it possible to temporally refine the stratigraphy and prehistory at hominid sites, which in turn improves understanding of hominid behavior and evolution.

  2. Frequency-dependent performance and handedness in professional baseball players (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Clotfelter, Ethan D

    2008-02-01

    I used data on handedness and pitching and hitting performance in annual cohorts of professional baseball players (1957-2005) to test the hypothesis that handedness among pitchers was subject to negative frequency-dependent selection. As predicted by this hypothesis, right-handed pitchers were more successful (i.e., opposing batters hit more poorly against them) when they were relatively rare in the population. Contrary to the predictions of this hypothesis, however, left-handed pitchers were more successful when they were relatively common. Both right- and left-handed batters performed better in years dominated by right-handed pitchers, despite the fact that right-handed batters perform relatively poorly against right-handed pitchers. I suggest that batters form cognitive representations based on pitcher handedness, and that these representations are strengthened by repeated exposure or priming. When the pitcher handedness polymorphism is more balanced (e.g., 67% right-handed, 33% left-handed), these cognitive representations are less effective, which leads to decreased batting averages and improved performance by all pitchers. Furthermore, these cognitive representations are likely to be more critical to the success of right-handed hitters, who have reduced visuomotor skills relative to left-handed hitters. PMID:18298283

  3. Comment on "Ongoing adaptive evolution of ASPM, a brain size determinant in Homo sapiens".

    PubMed

    Yu, Fuli; Hill, R Sean; Schaffner, Stephen F; Sabeti, Pardis C; Wang, Eric T; Mignault, Andre A; Ferland, Russell J; Moyzis, Robert K; Walsh, Christopher A; Reich, David

    2007-04-20

    Mekel-Bobrov et al. (Reports, 9 September 2005, p. 1720) suggested that ASPM, a gene associated with microcephaly, underwent natural selection within the last 500 to 14,100 years. Their analyses based on comparison with computer simulations indicated that ASPM had an unusual pattern of variation. However, when we compare ASPM empirically to a large number of other loci, its variation is not unusual and does not support selection. PMID:17446375

  4. CRYPTOSPORIDIUM HOMINIS N. SP (APICOMPLEXA : CRYPTOSPORIDIIDAE) FROM HOMO SAPIENS. (R826138)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  5. Public Information Use in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and Children (Homo sapiens)

    PubMed Central

    Vale, Gill L.; Flynn, Emma G.; Lambeth, Susan P.; Schapiro, Steven J.; Kendal, Rachel L.

    2014-01-01

    The discernment of resource quality is pertinent to many daily decisions faced by animals. Public information is a critical information source that promotes quality assessments, attained by monitoring others’ performance. Here we provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) use public information to guide resource selection. Thirty-two chimpanzees were presented with two simultaneous video demonstrations depicting a conspecific acquiring resources at a fast (resource-rich) or slow (resource-poor) rate. Subsequently, subjects selected the resource-rich site above chance expectation. As a comparison, we report evidence of public information use in young children. Investigation of public information use in primates is pertinent, as it can enhance foraging success and potentially facilitate payoff-biased social learning. PMID:24060244

  6. Finding genes on the X chromosome by which homo may have become sapiens

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, G.

    1996-06-01

    The map of the X chromosome is now littered, from one telomere to the other, with genes for mental handicap, alone or in combination with other features. In this issue of the journal, report such an entity from the Scottish Highlands, which they give the catchy title of {open_quotes}PPM-X syndrome,{close_quotes} denoting the association of pyramidal tract signs, psychosis, and macroorchidism with mental handicap (XLMR). They have localized this to Xq28 and discuss other genes in the same area, which include L1CAM (associated with MASA [mental retardation, aphasia, shuffling gait, and adducted thumbs] and X-linked hydrocephalus) and two genes for nonspecific XLMR-MRX3 and MRX25. It is also the localization of the gene for G6PD deficiency, which, in earlier studies, had demonstrated linkage to bipolar affective disorders, although this has been questioned in more recent studies. There may well be other families with this pattern of abnormalities who have remained undescribed because depression is so often not diagnosed in those with moderate mental handicap. The occurrence, in this family, of mental handicap with a bipolar disorder may be the chance association of two common disorders, or it may a significant association; at this stage, one cannot judge. 8 refs.

  7. Recent origin of low trabecular bone density in modern humans.

    PubMed

    Chirchir, Habiba; Kivell, Tracy L; Ruff, Christopher B; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Carlson, Kristian J; Zipfel, Bernhard; Richmond, Brian G

    2015-01-13

    Humans are unique, compared with our closest living relatives (chimpanzees) and early fossil hominins, in having an enlarged body size and lower limb joint surfaces in combination with a relatively gracile skeleton (i.e., lower bone mass for our body size). Some analyses have observed that in at least a few anatomical regions modern humans today appear to have relatively low trabecular density, but little is known about how that density varies throughout the human skeleton and across species or how and when the present trabecular patterns emerged over the course of human evolution. Here, we test the hypotheses that (i) recent modern humans have low trabecular density throughout the upper and lower limbs compared with other primate taxa and (ii) the reduction in trabecular density first occurred in early Homo erectus, consistent with the shift toward a modern human locomotor anatomy, or more recently in concert with diaphyseal gracilization in Holocene humans. We used peripheral quantitative CT and microtomography to measure trabecular bone of limb epiphyses (long bone articular ends) in modern humans and chimpanzees and in fossil hominins attributed to Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus robustus/early Homo from Swartkrans, Homo neanderthalensis, and early Homo sapiens. Results show that only recent modern humans have low trabecular density throughout the limb joints. Extinct hominins, including pre-Holocene Homo sapiens, retain the high levels seen in nonhuman primates. Thus, the low trabecular density of the recent modern human skeleton evolved late in our evolutionary history, potentially resulting from increased sedentism and reliance on technological and cultural innovations. PMID:25535354

  8. Recent origin of low trabecular bone density in modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Chirchir, Habiba; Kivell, Tracy L.; Ruff, Christopher B.; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Carlson, Kristian J.; Zipfel, Bernhard; Richmond, Brian G.

    2015-01-01

    Humans are unique, compared with our closest living relatives (chimpanzees) and early fossil hominins, in having an enlarged body size and lower limb joint surfaces in combination with a relatively gracile skeleton (i.e., lower bone mass for our body size). Some analyses have observed that in at least a few anatomical regions modern humans today appear to have relatively low trabecular density, but little is known about how that density varies throughout the human skeleton and across species or how and when the present trabecular patterns emerged over the course of human evolution. Here, we test the hypotheses that (i) recent modern humans have low trabecular density throughout the upper and lower limbs compared with other primate taxa and (ii) the reduction in trabecular density first occurred in early Homo erectus, consistent with the shift toward a modern human locomotor anatomy, or more recently in concert with diaphyseal gracilization in Holocene humans. We used peripheral quantitative CT and microtomography to measure trabecular bone of limb epiphyses (long bone articular ends) in modern humans and chimpanzees and in fossil hominins attributed to Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus robustus/early Homo from Swartkrans, Homo neanderthalensis, and early Homo sapiens. Results show that only recent modern humans have low trabecular density throughout the limb joints. Extinct hominins, including pre-Holocene Homo sapiens, retain the high levels seen in nonhuman primates. Thus, the low trabecular density of the recent modern human skeleton evolved late in our evolutionary history, potentially resulting from increased sedentism and reliance on technological and cultural innovations. PMID:25535354

  9. The hand of Homo naledi

    PubMed Central

    Kivell, Tracy L.; Deane, Andrew S.; Tocheri, Matthew W.; Orr, Caley M.; Schmid, Peter; Hawks, John; Berger, Lee R.; Churchill, Steven E.

    2015-01-01

    A nearly complete right hand of an adult hominin was recovered from the Rising Star cave system, South Africa. Based on associated hominin material, the bones of this hand are attributed to Homo naledi. This hand reveals a long, robust thumb and derived wrist morphology that is shared with Neandertals and modern humans, and considered adaptive for intensified manual manipulation. However, the finger bones are longer and more curved than in most australopiths, indicating frequent use of the hand during life for strong grasping during locomotor climbing and suspension. These markedly curved digits in combination with an otherwise human-like wrist and palm indicate a significant degree of climbing, despite the derived nature of many aspects of the hand and other regions of the postcranial skeleton in H. naledi. PMID:26441219

  10. The hand of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Kivell, Tracy L; Deane, Andrew S; Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Schmid, Peter; Hawks, John; Berger, Lee R; Churchill, Steven E

    2015-01-01

    A nearly complete right hand of an adult hominin was recovered from the Rising Star cave system, South Africa. Based on associated hominin material, the bones of this hand are attributed to Homo naledi. This hand reveals a long, robust thumb and derived wrist morphology that is shared with Neandertals and modern humans, and considered adaptive for intensified manual manipulation. However, the finger bones are longer and more curved than in most australopiths, indicating frequent use of the hand during life for strong grasping during locomotor climbing and suspension. These markedly curved digits in combination with an otherwise human-like wrist and palm indicate a significant degree of climbing, despite the derived nature of many aspects of the hand and other regions of the postcranial skeleton in H. naledi. PMID:26441219

  11. Craniofacial morphology of Homo floresiensis: description, taxonomic affinities, and evolutionary implication.

    PubMed

    Kaifu, Yousuke; Baba, Hisao; Sutikna, Thomas; Morwood, Michael J; Kubo, Daisuke; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Jatmiko; Awe, Rokhus Due; Djubiantono, Tony

    2011-12-01

    This paper describes in detail the external morphology of LB1/1, the nearly complete and only known cranium of Homo floresiensis. Comparisons were made with a large sample of early groups of the genus Homo to assess primitive, derived, and unique craniofacial traits of LB1 and discuss its evolution. Principal cranial shape differences between H. floresiensis and Homo sapiens are also explored metrically. The LB1 specimen exhibits a marked reductive trend in its facial skeleton, which is comparable to the H. sapiens condition and is probably associated with reduced masticatory stresses. However, LB1 is craniometrically different from H. sapiens showing an extremely small overall cranial size, and the combination of a primitive low and anteriorly narrow vault shape, a relatively prognathic face, a rounded oval foramen that is greatly separated anteriorly from the carotid canal/jugular foramen, and a unique, tall orbital shape. Whereas the neurocranium of LB1 is as small as that of some Homo habilis specimens, it exhibits laterally expanded parietals, a weak suprameatal crest, a moderately flexed occipital, a marked facial reduction, and many other derived features that characterize post-habilis Homo. Other craniofacial characteristics of LB1 include, for example, a relatively narrow frontal squama with flattened right and left sides, a marked frontal keel, posteriorly divergent temporal lines, a posteriorly flexed anteromedial corner of the mandibular fossa, a bulbous lateral end of the supraorbital torus, and a forward protruding maxillary body with a distinct infraorbital sulcus. LB1 is most similar to early Javanese Homo erectus from Sangiran and Trinil in these and other aspects. We conclude that the craniofacial morphology of LB1 is consistent with the hypothesis that H. floresiensis evolved from early Javanese H. erectus with dramatic island dwarfism. However, further field discoveries of early hominin skeletal remains from Flores and detailed analyses of the

  12. New evidence for a 67,000-year-old human presence at Callao Cave, Luzon, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Mijares, Armand Salvador; Détroit, Florent; Piper, Philip; Grün, Rainer; Bellwood, Peter; Aubert, Maxime; Champion, Guillaume; Cuevas, Nida; De Leon, Alexandra; Dizon, Eusebio

    2010-07-01

    Documentation of early human migrations through Island Southeast Asia and Wallacea en route to Australia has always been problematic due to a lack of well-dated human skeletal remains. The best known modern humans are from Niah Cave in Borneo (40-42ka), and from Tabon Cave on the island of Palawan, southwest Philippines (47+/-11ka). The discovery of Homo floresiensis on the island of Flores in eastern Indonesia has also highlighted the possibilities of identifying new hominin species on islands in the region. Here, we report the discovery of a human third metatarsal from Callao Cave in northern Luzon. Direct dating of the specimen using U-series ablation has provided a minimum age estimate of 66.7+/-1ka, making it the oldest known human fossil in the Philippines. Its morphological features, as well as size and shape characteristics, indicate that the Callao metatarsal definitely belongs to the genus Homo. Morphometric analysis of the Callao metatarsal indicates that it has a gracile structure, close to that observed in other small-bodied Homo sapiens. Interestingly, the Callao metatarsal also falls within the morphological and size ranges of Homo habilis and H. floresiensis. Identifying whether the metatarsal represents the earliest record of H. sapiens so far recorded anywhere east of Wallace's Line requires further archaeological research, but its presence on the isolated island of Luzon over 65,000 years ago further demonstrates the abilities of humans to make open ocean crossings in the Late Pleistocene. PMID:20569967

  13. Transapical implantation of the SAPIEN 3 valve.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Henrique B; Doyle, Daniel; Nombela-Franco, Luis; Urena, Marina; Allende, Ricardo; De Larochellière, Robert; Rodés-Cabau, Josep; Dumont, Eric

    2013-09-01

    We report two cases of high-risk aortic stenosis treated with the SAPIEN 3 valve. This is the first procedure performed with this type of valve through the transapical approach. This new balloon-expandable valve incorporates a lower profile cobalt-chromium stent and an additional outer skirt to enhance paravalvular sealing. The procedure was performed without complications and no paravalvular leak was detected in control echocardiogram at follow-up. PMID:23869469

  14. The Sambungmacan 3 Homo erectus calvaria: a comparative morphometric and morphological analysis.

    PubMed

    Delson, E; Harvati, K; Reddy, D; Marcus, L F; Mowbray, K; Sawyer, G J; Jacob, T; Márquez, S

    2001-04-01

    The Sambungmacan (Sm) 3 calvaria, discovered on Java in 1977, was illegally removed from Indonesia in 1998 and appeared in New York City in early 1999 at the Maxilla & Mandible, Ltd. natural history shop. Here we undertake an analysis of its phylogenetic and systematic position using geometric morphometrics and comparative morphology. The coordinates of points in the sagittal plane from glabella to opisthion were resampled to yield "lines" of 50 semi-landmarks. Coordinates of glabella, bregma, lambda, inion, and opisthion were also collected and analyzed separately. Casts of Homo erectus fossils from Indonesia, China, and Kenya and of "archaic H. sapiens" from Kabwe and Petralona, as well as 10 modern human crania, were used as the primary comparative sample. The modern humans were well separated from the fossils in a graphical superimposition of Procrustes-aligned semi-landmarks as well as in principal component and canonical discriminant analyses. In all of these, Sm 3 falls intermediate between the fossil and modern groups. Morphological comparisons of Sm 3 with a selection of Homo erectus fossils revealed its greatest similarity to specimens from Ngandong and the Sm 1 calvaria. Compared to all other H. erectus, Sm 3 was distinctive in its more vertical supratoral plane, less anteriorly projecting glabella and less sharply angled occiput. In these features it was somewhat similar to modern humans. It is not yet possible to determine if this similarity implies an evolutionary relationship or (more likely) individual or local populational variation. Several features of Sm 3 (small size, gracile supraorbital torus and lack of angular torus, and position in principal component analysis) suggest that it was a female. The use of geometric morphometrics provides a means to statistically test the shapes of such fossils in a manner not easily duplicated by other methods. The intermediate position of Sm 3 between fossil and modern samples in several different subanalyses

  15. Limb length and locomotor biomechanics in the genus Homo: an experimental study.

    PubMed

    Gruss, Laura Tobias

    2007-09-01

    The striking variation in limb proportions within the genus Homo during the Pleistocene has important implications for understanding biomechanics in the later evolution of human bipedalism, because longer limbs and limb segments may increase bending moments about bones and joints. This research tested the hypothesis that long lower limbs and tibiae bring about increases in A-P bending forces on the lower limb during the stance phase of human walking. High-speed 3-D video data, force plates, and motion analysis software were used to analyze the walking gait of 27 modern human subjects. Limb length, as well as absolute and relative tibia length, were tested for associations with a number of kinetic and kinematic variables. Results show that individuals with longer limbs do incur greater bending moments along the lower limb during the first half of stance phase. During the second half of stance, individuals moderate bending moments through a complex of compensatory mechanisms, including keeping the knee in a more extended position. Neither absolute nor relative tibia length had any effect on the kinetic or kinematic variables tested. If these patterns apply to fossil Homo, groups with relatively long limbs (e.g. H. ergaster or early H. sapiens) may have experienced elevated bending forces along the lower limb during walking compared to those with relatively shorter limbs (e.g. the Neandertals). These increased forces could have led to greater reinforcement of joints and diaphyses. These results must be considered when formulating explanations for variation in limb morphology among Pleistocene hominins. PMID:17568443

  16. African Homo erectus: Old radiometric ages and young Oldowan assemblages in the middle Awash Valley, Ethiopia

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, J.D.; White, T.D.; Selassie, Y.H. ); Heinzelin, J. de ); Schick, K.D. ); Hart, W.K. ); WoldeGabriel, G. ); Walter, R.C. ); Suwa, G. ); Asfaw, B. )

    1994-06-24

    Fossils and artifacts recovered from the middle Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar depression sample the Middle Pleistocene transition from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens. Ar/Ar ages, biostratigraphy, and tephrachronology from this area indicate that the Pleistocene Bodo hominid cranium and newer specimens are approximately 0.6 million years old. Only Oldowan chopper and flake assemblages are present in the lower stratigraphic units but Acheulean bifacial artifacts are consistently prevalent and widespread in directly overlying deposits. This technological transition is related to a shift in sedimentary regime, supporting the hypothesis that Middle Pleistocene Oldowan assemblages represent a behavioral facies of the Acheulean industrial complex.

  17. Fossil Homo femur from Berg Aukas, northern Namibia.

    PubMed

    Grine, F E; Jungers, W L; Tobias, P V; Pearson, O M

    1995-06-01

    The proximal half of a hominid femur was recovered from deep within a paleokarst feature at the Berg Aukas mine, northern Namibia. The femur is fully mineralized, but it is not possible to place it in geochronological context. It has a very large head, an exceptionally thick diaphyseal cortex, and a very low collodiaphyseal angle, which serve to differentiate it from Holocene homologues. The femur is not attributable to Australopithecus, Paranthropus, or early Homo (i.e., H. habilis sensu lato). Homo erectus femora have a relatively longer and AP flatter neck, and a shaft that exhibits less pilaster than the Berg Aukas specimen. Berg Aukas also differs from early modern femora in several features, including diaphyseal cortical thickness and the degree of subtrochanteric AP flattening. The massive diaphyseal cortex of Berg Aukas finds its closest similarity within archaic H. sapiens (e.g., Castel di Guido) and H. erectus (e.g., KNM-ER 736) samples. It has more cortical bone at midshaft than any other specimen, although relative cortical thickness and the asymmetry of its cross-sectional disposition at this level are comparable with those of other Pleistocene femora. The closest morphological comparisons with Berg Aukas are in archaic (i.e., Middle Pleistocene) H. sapiens and Neandertal samples. PMID:7653506

  18. Paleoanthropology: Homo erectus and the limits of a paleontological species.

    PubMed

    Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2014-01-20

    The bushy nature of the human evolutionary tree in the past 3 million years is widely accepted. Yet, a spectacular new fossil of early Homo has prompted some paleoanthropologists to prune our family tree. PMID:24456983

  19. Evolved developmental homeostasis disturbed in LB1 from Flores, Indonesia, denotes Down syndrome and not diagnostic traits of the invalid species Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Henneberg, Maciej; Eckhardt, Robert B; Chavanaves, Sakdapong; Hsü, Kenneth J

    2014-08-19

    Human skeletons from Liang Bua Cave, Flores, Indonesia, are coeval with only Homo sapiens populations worldwide and no other previously known hominins. We report here for the first time to our knowledge the occipitofrontal circumference of specimen LB1. This datum makes it possible to link the 430-mL endocranial volume of LB1 reported by us previously, later confirmed independently by other investigators, not only with other human skeletal samples past and present but also with a large body of clinical data routinely collected on patients with developmental disorders. Our analyses show that the brain size of LB1 is in the range predicted for an individual with Down syndrome (DS) in a normal small-bodied population from the geographic region that includes Flores. Among additional diagnostic signs of DS and other skeletal dysplasiae are abnormally short femora combined with disproportionate flat feet. Liang Bua Cave femora, known only for LB1, match interlimb proportions for DS. Predictions based on corrected LB1 femur lengths show a stature normal for other H. sapiens populations in the region. PMID:25092311

  20. Evolved developmental homeostasis disturbed in LB1 from Flores, Indonesia, denotes Down syndrome and not diagnostic traits of the invalid species Homo floresiensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henneberg, Maciej; Eckhardt, Robert B.; Chavanaves, Sakdapong; Hsü, Kenneth J.

    2014-08-01

    Human skeletons from Liang Bua Cave, Flores, Indonesia, are coeval with only Homo sapiens populations worldwide and no other previously known hominins. We report here for the first time to our knowledge the occipitofrontal circumference of specimen LB1. This datum makes it possible to link the 430-mL endocranial volume of LB1 reported by us previously, later confirmed independently by other investigators, not only with other human skeletal samples past and present but also with a large body of clinical data routinely collected on patients with developmental disorders. Our analyses show that the brain size of LB1 is in the range predicted for an individual with Down syndrome (DS) in a normal small-bodied population from the geographic region that includes Flores. Among additional diagnostic signs of DS and other skeletal dysplasiae are abnormally short femora combined with disproportionate flat feet. Liang Bua Cave femora, known only for LB1, match interlimb proportions for DS. Predictions based on corrected LB1 femur lengths show a stature normal for other H. sapiens populations in the region.

  1. Evolved developmental homeostasis disturbed in LB1 from Flores, Indonesia, denotes Down syndrome and not diagnostic traits of the invalid species Homo floresiensis

    PubMed Central

    Henneberg, Maciej; Eckhardt, Robert B.; Chavanaves, Sakdapong; Hsü, Kenneth J.

    2014-01-01

    Human skeletons from Liang Bua Cave, Flores, Indonesia, are coeval with only Homo sapiens populations worldwide and no other previously known hominins. We report here for the first time to our knowledge the occipitofrontal circumference of specimen LB1. This datum makes it possible to link the 430-mL endocranial volume of LB1 reported by us previously, later confirmed independently by other investigators, not only with other human skeletal samples past and present but also with a large body of clinical data routinely collected on patients with developmental disorders. Our analyses show that the brain size of LB1 is in the range predicted for an individual with Down syndrome (DS) in a normal small-bodied population from the geographic region that includes Flores. Among additional diagnostic signs of DS and other skeletal dysplasiae are abnormally short femora combined with disproportionate flat feet. Liang Bua Cave femora, known only for LB1, match interlimb proportions for DS. Predictions based on corrected LB1 femur lengths show a stature normal for other H. sapiens populations in the region. PMID:25092311

  2. Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Lee R; Hawks, John; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Delezene, Lucas K; Kivell, Tracy L; Garvin, Heather M; Williams, Scott A; DeSilva, Jeremy M; Skinner, Matthew M; Musiba, Charles M; Cameron, Noel; Holliday, Trenton W; Harcourt-Smith, William; Ackermann, Rebecca R; Bastir, Markus; Bogin, Barry; Bolter, Debra; Brophy, Juliet; Cofran, Zachary D; Congdon, Kimberly A; Deane, Andrew S; Dembo, Mana; Drapeau, Michelle; Elliott, Marina C; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Garcia-Martinez, Daniel; Green, David J; Gurtov, Alia; Irish, Joel D; Kruger, Ashley; Laird, Myra F; Marchi, Damiano; Meyer, Marc R; Nalla, Shahed; Negash, Enquye W; Orr, Caley M; Radovcic, Davorka; Schroeder, Lauren; Scott, Jill E; Throckmorton, Zachary; Tocheri, Matthew W; VanSickle, Caroline; Walker, Christopher S; Wei, Pianpian; Zipfel, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    Homo naledi is a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. This species is characterized by body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations but a small endocranial volume similar to australopiths. Cranial morphology of H. naledi is unique, but most similar to early Homo species including Homo erectus, Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis. While primitive, the dentition is generally small and simple in occlusal morphology. H. naledi has humanlike manipulatory adaptations of the hand and wrist. It also exhibits a humanlike foot and lower limb. These humanlike aspects are contrasted in the postcrania with a more primitive or australopith-like trunk, shoulder, pelvis and proximal femur. Representing at least 15 individuals with most skeletal elements repeated multiple times, this is the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09560.001 PMID:26354291

  3. The Ethics of Using Transgenic Non-Human Primates to Study What Makes Us Human

    PubMed Central

    Coors, Marilyn E.; Glover, Jacqueline J.; Juengst, Eric T.; Sikela, James M.

    2010-01-01

    An ongoing flood of comparative genomic data is identifying human lineage specific (HLS) sequences of unknown function, and there is strong interest in investigating their functional effects. Transgenic apes, our closest evolutionary relative, have the highest potential to express HLS sequences as they are expressed in Homo sapiens and likewise experience harm from such transgenic research. These harms render the conduct of this research ethically unacceptable in apes, justifying regulatory barriers between these species and all other non-human primates for transgenic research. PMID:20717156

  4. Postnatal temporal bone ontogeny in Pan, Gorilla, and Homo, and the implications for temporal bone ontogeny in Australopithecus afarensis.

    PubMed

    Terhune, Claire E; Kimbel, William H; Lockwood, Charles A

    2013-08-01

    Assessments of temporal bone morphology have played an important role in taxonomic and phylogenetic evaluations of fossil taxa, and recent three-dimensional analyses of this region have supported the utility of the temporal bone for testing taxonomic and phylogenetic hypotheses. But while clinical analyses have examined aspects of temporal bone ontogeny in humans, the ontogeny of the temporal bone in non-human taxa is less well documented. This study examines ontogenetic allometry of the temporal bone in order to address several research questions related to the pattern and trajectory of temporal bone shape change during ontogeny in the African apes and humans. We further apply these data to a preliminary analysis of temporal bone ontogeny in Australopithecus afarensis. Three-dimensional landmarks were digitized on an ontogenetic series of specimens of Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, Pan paniscus, and Gorilla gorilla. Data were analyzed using geometric morphometric methods, and shape changes throughout ontogeny in relation to size were compared. Results of these analyses indicate that, despite broadly similar patterns, African apes and humans show marked differences in development of the mandibular fossa and tympanic portions of the temporal bone. These findings indicate divergent, rather than parallel, postnatal ontogenetic allometric trajectories for temporal bone shape in these taxa. The pattern of temporal bone shape change with size exhibited by A. afarensis showed some affinities to that of humans, but was most similar to extant African apes, particularly Gorilla. PMID:23868175

  5. The evolutionary relationships and age of Homo naledi: An assessment using dated Bayesian phylogenetic methods.

    PubMed

    Dembo, Mana; Radovčić, Davorka; Garvin, Heather M; Laird, Myra F; Schroeder, Lauren; Scott, Jill E; Brophy, Juliet; Ackermann, Rebecca R; Musiba, Chares M; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Mooers, Arne Ø; Collard, Mark

    2016-08-01

    Homo naledi is a recently discovered species of fossil hominin from South Africa. A considerable amount is already known about H. naledi but some important questions remain unanswered. Here we report a study that addressed two of them: "Where does H. naledi fit in the hominin evolutionary tree?" and "How old is it?" We used a large supermatrix of craniodental characters for both early and late hominin species and Bayesian phylogenetic techniques to carry out three analyses. First, we performed a dated Bayesian analysis to generate estimates of the evolutionary relationships of fossil hominins including H. naledi. Then we employed Bayes factor tests to compare the strength of support for hypotheses about the relationships of H. naledi suggested by the best-estimate trees. Lastly, we carried out a resampling analysis to assess the accuracy of the age estimate for H. naledi yielded by the dated Bayesian analysis. The analyses strongly supported the hypothesis that H. naledi forms a clade with the other Homo species and Australopithecus sediba. The analyses were more ambiguous regarding the position of H. naledi within the (Homo, Au. sediba) clade. A number of hypotheses were rejected, but several others were not. Based on the available craniodental data, Homo antecessor, Asian Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Homo floresiensis, Homo sapiens, and Au. sediba could all be the sister taxon of H. naledi. According to the dated Bayesian analysis, the most likely age for H. naledi is 912 ka. This age estimate was supported by the resampling analysis. Our findings have a number of implications. Most notably, they support the assignment of the new specimens to Homo, cast doubt on the claim that H. naledi is simply a variant of H. erectus, and suggest H. naledi is younger than has been previously proposed. PMID:27457542

  6. Endurance running and the evolution of Homo.

    PubMed

    Bramble, Dennis M; Lieberman, Daniel E

    2004-11-18

    Striding bipedalism is a key derived behaviour of hominids that possibly originated soon after the divergence of the chimpanzee and human lineages. Although bipedal gaits include walking and running, running is generally considered to have played no major role in human evolution because humans, like apes, are poor sprinters compared to most quadrupeds. Here we assess how well humans perform at sustained long-distance running, and review the physiological and anatomical bases of endurance running capabilities in humans and other mammals. Judged by several criteria, humans perform remarkably well at endurance running, thanks to a diverse array of features, many of which leave traces in the skeleton. The fossil evidence of these features suggests that endurance running is a derived capability of the genus Homo, originating about 2 million years ago, and may have been instrumental in the evolution of the human body form. PMID:15549097

  7. The earliest unequivocally modern humans in southern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wu; Martinón-Torres, María; Cai, Yan-jun; Xing, Song; Tong, Hao-wen; Pei, Shu-wen; Sier, Mark Jan; Wu, Xiao-hong; Edwards, R Lawrence; Cheng, Hai; Li, Yi-yuan; Yang, Xiong-xin; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Wu, Xiu-jie

    2015-10-29

    The hominin record from southern Asia for the early Late Pleistocene epoch is scarce. Well-dated and well-preserved fossils older than ∼45,000 years that can be unequivocally attributed to Homo sapiens are lacking. Here we present evidence from the newly excavated Fuyan Cave in Daoxian (southern China). This site has provided 47 human teeth dated to more than 80,000 years old, and with an inferred maximum age of 120,000 years. The morphological and metric assessment of this sample supports its unequivocal assignment to H. sapiens. The Daoxian sample is more derived than any other anatomically modern humans, resembling middle-to-late Late Pleistocene specimens and even contemporary humans. Our study shows that fully modern morphologies were present in southern China 30,000-70,000 years earlier than in the Levant and Europe. Our data fill a chronological and geographical gap that is relevant for understanding when H. sapiens first appeared in southern Asia. The Daoxian teeth also support the hypothesis that during the same period, southern China was inhabited by more derived populations than central and northern China. This evidence is important for the study of dispersal routes of modern humans. Finally, our results are relevant to exploring the reasons for the relatively late entry of H. sapiens into Europe. Some studies have investigated how the competition with H. sapiens may have caused Neanderthals' extinction (see ref. 8 and references therein). Notably, although fully modern humans were already present in southern China at least as early as ∼80,000 years ago, there is no evidence that they entered Europe before ∼45,000 years ago. This could indicate that H. neanderthalensis was indeed an additional ecological barrier for modern humans, who could only enter Europe when the demise of Neanderthals had already started. PMID:26466566

  8. Morphological variation in great ape and modern human mandibles.

    PubMed

    Humphrey, L T; Dean, M C; Stringer, C B

    1999-11-01

    Adult mandibles of 317 modern humans and 91 great apes were selected that showed no pathology. Adult mandibles of Pan troglodytes troglodytes, Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus and Gorilla gorilla gorilla and from 2 modern human populations (Zulu and Europeans from Spitalfields) were reliably sexed. Thirteen measurements were defined and included mandibular height, length and breadth in representative positions. Univariate statistical techniques and multivariate (principal component analysis and discriminant analysis) statistical techniques were used to investigate interspecific variability and sexual dimorphism in human and great ape mandibles, and intraspecific variability among the modern human mandibles. Analysis of interspecific differences revealed some pairs of variables with a tight linear relationship and others where Homo and the great apes pulled apart from one another due to shape differences. Homo and Pan are least sexually dimorphic in the mandible, Pan less so than Homo sapiens, but both the magnitude of sexual dimorphism and the distribution of sexually dimorphic measurements varied both among and between modern humans and great apes. Intraspecific variation among the 10 populations of modern humans was less than that generally reported in studies of crania (74.3% of mandibles were correctly classified into 1 of 10 populations using discriminant functions based on 13 variables as compared with 93% of crania from 17 populations based on 70 variables in one extensive study of crania). A subrecent European population (Poundbury) emerged as more different from a recent European population (Spitalfields) than other more diverse modern populations were from each other, suggesting considerable morphological plasticity in the mandible through time. This study forms a sound basis on which to explore mandibular variation in Neanderthals, early Homo sapiens and other more ancient fossil hominids. PMID:10634689

  9. Spinal cord evolution in early Homo.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Marc R; Haeusler, Martin

    2015-11-01

    The discovery at Nariokotome of the Homo erectus skeleton KNM-WT 15000, with a narrow spinal canal, seemed to show that this relatively large-brained hominin retained the primitive spinal cord size of African apes and that brain size expansion preceded postcranial neurological evolution. Here we compare the size and shape of the KNM-WT 15000 spinal canal with modern and fossil taxa including H. erectus from Dmanisi, Homo antecessor, the European middle Pleistocene hominins from Sima de los Huesos, and Pan troglodytes. In terms of shape and absolute and relative size of the spinal canal, we find all of the Dmanisi and most of the vertebrae of KNM-WT 15000 are within the human range of variation except for the C7, T2, and T3 of KNM-WT 15000, which are constricted, suggesting spinal stenosis. While additional fossils might definitively indicate whether H. erectus had evolved a human-like enlarged spinal canal, the evidence from the Dmanisi spinal canal and the unaffected levels of KNM-WT 15000 show that unlike Australopithecus, H. erectus had a spinal canal size and shape equivalent to that of modern humans. Subadult status is unlikely to affect our results, as spinal canal growth is complete in both individuals. We contest the notion that vertebrae yield information about respiratory control or language evolution, but suggest that, like H. antecessor and European middle Pleistocene hominins from Sima de los Huesos, early Homo possessed a postcranial neurological endowment roughly commensurate to modern humans, with implications for neurological, structural, and vascular improvements over Pan and Australopithecus. PMID:26553817

  10. Cladistic analysis of early Homo crania from Swartkrans and Sterkfontein, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Smith, Heather F; Grine, Frederick E

    2008-05-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of early Pleistocene Homo crania from the South African sites of Swartkrans and Sterkfontein were investigated through cladistic analyses of 99 morphological characters. The Swartkrans Member 1 specimen SK 847 and the Stw 53 cranium from Sterkfontein Member 5A were treated as separate operational taxonomic units (OTUs), distinct from the three species of early Homo-H. erectus, H. habilis, and H. rudolfensis-that are recognized from the Plio-Pleistocene deposits of East Africa. The cladistic analyses differed in the treatment of the South African OTUs (separate Swartkrans and Sterkfontein OTUs vs. a single Swartkrans+Sterkfontein OTU). PAUP 4.0 was used to construct cladograms and address hypotheses about relationships. In the analysis that treated the South African specimens as a single OTU, the position of that OTU was stable as a separate branch on the Homo clade between H. rudolfensis and [H. habilis+(H. erectus+H. sapiens)]. When SK 847 and Stw 53 were treated as separate OTUs, the majority of most parsimonious trees indicated that they were positioned in similar positions as the combined South African Homo OTU; that is, as separate branches between H. rudolfensis and [H. habilis+(H. erectus+H. sapiens)], with the Swartkrans OTU generally occupying a more derived position. The position of the Sterkfontein OTU was more stable than that of the Swartkrans OTU, which was found in several other positions among the minimum length trees. Running the analyses with only those characters preserved by SK 847 and Stw 53 resulted in similar topologies for minimum length trees, although the positions of Stw 53, SK 847, and H. habilis exchanged places in some trees. In no case was an exclusive sister relationship between either South African OTU and a particular species of Homo supported statistically. Both South African OTUs differ from H. habilis in the fewest number of cladistic characters. PMID:18289640

  11. [Mutation process in the protein-coding genes of human mitochondrial genome in context of evolution of the genus].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A

    2013-01-01

    The human mitochondrial genome, although it has a small size, is characterized by high level of variation, non-uniformly distributed in groups of nucleotide positions that differ in the degree of variability. Considering the mutation process in human mtDNA relative to the mitochondrial genomes of the genus Homo-neandertals, denisova hominin and other primate species, it appears that more than half (56.5%) variable positions in the human mtDNA protein-coding genes are characterized by back (reverse) mutations to the pre-H. sapiens state of mitochondrial genome. It has been found that hypervariable nucleotide positions show a minimal proportion of specific to H. sapiens mutations, and, conversely, a high proportion of mutations (both nucleotide and amino acid substitutions), leading to the loss of Homo-specific variants of polymorphisms. Most often, polymorphisms specific to H. sapiens arise in result of single forward mutations and disappear mainly due to multiple back mutations, including those in the mutational "hotspots". PMID:25509854

  12. Dental microwear and diets of African early Homo.

    PubMed

    Ungar, Peter S; Grine, Frederick E; Teaford, Mark F; El Zaatari, Sireen

    2006-01-01

    Conventional wisdom ties the origin and early evolution of the genus Homo to environmental changes that occurred near the end of the Pliocene. The basic idea is that changing habitats led to new diets emphasizing savanna resources, such as herd mammals or underground storage organs. Fossil teeth provide the most direct evidence available for evaluating this theory. In this paper, we present a comprehensive study of dental microwear in Plio-Pleistocene Homo from Africa. We examined all available cheek teeth from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa and found 18 that preserved antemortem microwear. Microwear features were measured and compared for these specimens and a baseline series of five extant primate species (Cebus apella, Gorilla gorilla, Lophocebus albigena, Pan troglodytes, and Papio ursinus) and two protohistoric human foraging groups (Aleut and Arikara) with documented differences in diet and subsistence strategies. Results confirmed that dental microwear reflects diet, such that hard-object specialists tend to have more large microwear pits, whereas tough food eaters usually have more striations and smaller microwear features. Early Homo specimens clustered with baseline groups that do not prefer fracture resistant foods. Still, Homo erectus and individuals from Swartkrans Member 1 had more small pits than Homo habilis and specimens from Sterkfontein Member 5C. These results suggest that none of the early Homo groups specialized on very hard or tough foods, but that H. erectus and Swartkrans Member 1 individuals ate, at least occasionally, more brittle or tough items than other fossil hominins studied. PMID:16226788

  13. Energetic consequences of being a Homo erectus female.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Leslie C; Key, Cathy

    2002-01-01

    Body size is one of the most important characteristics of any animal because it affects a range of behavioral, ecological, and physiological traits including energy requirements, choice of food, reproductive strategies, predation risk, range size, and locomotor style. This article focuses on the implications of being large bodied for Homo erectus females, estimated to have been over 50% heavier than average australopithecine females. The energy requirements of these hominins are modeled using data on activity patterns, body mass, and life history from living primates. Particular attention is given to the inferred energetic costs of reproduction for Homo erectus females based on chimpanzee and human reproductive scheduling. Daily energy requirements during gestation and lactation would have been significantly higher for Homo erectus females, as would total energetic cost per offspring if the australopithecines and Homo erectus had similar reproductive schedules (gestation and lactation lengths and interbirth intervals). Shortening the interbirth interval could considerably reduce the costs per offspring to Homo erectus and have the added advantage of increasing reproductive output. The mother would, however, incur additional daily costs of caring for the dependent offspring. If Homo erectus females adopted this reproductive strategy, it would necessarily imply a revolution in the way in which females obtained and utilized energy to support their increased energetic requirements. This transformation is likely to have occurred on several levels involving cooperative economic division of labor, locomotor energetics, menopause, organ size, and other physiological mechanisms for reducing the energetic load on females. PMID:12203811

  14. Hominid mandibular corpus shape variation and its utility for recognizing species diversity within fossil Homo.

    PubMed

    Lague, Michael R; Collard, Nicole J; Richmond, Brian G; Wood, Bernard A

    2008-12-01

    Mandibular corpora are well represented in the hominin fossil record, yet few studies have rigorously assessed the utility of mandibular corpus morphology for species recognition, particularly with respect to the linear dimensions that are most commonly available. In this study, we explored the extent to which commonly preserved mandibular corpus morphology can be used to: (i) discriminate among extant hominid taxa and (ii) support species designations among fossil specimens assigned to the genus Homo. In the first part of the study, discriminant analysis was used to test for significant differences in mandibular corpus shape at different taxonomic levels (genus, species and subspecies) among extant hominid taxa (i.e. Homo, Pan, Gorilla, Pongo). In the second part of the study, we examined shape variation among fossil mandibles assigned to Homo (including H. habilis sensu stricto, H. rudolfensis, early African H. erectus/H. ergaster, late African H. erectus, Asian H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens). A novel randomization procedure designed for small samples (and using group 'distinctness values') was used to determine whether shape variation among the fossils is consistent with conventional taxonomy (or alternatively, whether a priori taxonomic groupings are completely random with respect to mandibular morphology). The randomization of 'distinctness values' was also used on the extant samples to assess the ability of the test to recognize known taxa. The discriminant analysis results demonstrated that, even for a relatively modest set of traditional mandibular corpus measurements, we can detect significant differences among extant hominids at the genus and species levels, and, in some cases, also at the subspecies level. Although the randomization of 'distinctness values' test is more conservative than discriminant analysis (based on comparisons with extant specimens), we were able to detect at least four distinct groups among the

  15. Human origins: Out of Africa

    PubMed Central

    Tattersall, Ian

    2009-01-01

    Our species, Homo sapiens, is highly autapomorphic (uniquely derived) among hominids in the structure of its skull and postcranial skeleton. It is also sharply distinguished from other organisms by its unique symbolic mode of cognition. The fossil and archaeological records combine to show fairly clearly that our physical and cognitive attributes both first appeared in Africa, but at different times. Essentially modern bony conformation was established in that continent by the 200–150 Ka range (a dating in good agreement with dates for the origin of H. sapiens derived from modern molecular diversity). The event concerned was apparently short-term because it is essentially unanticipated in the fossil record. In contrast, the first convincing stirrings of symbolic behavior are not currently detectable until (possibly well) after 100 Ka. The radical reorganization of gene expression that underwrote the distinctive physical appearance of H. sapiens was probably also responsible for the neural substrate that permits symbolic cognition. This exaptively acquired potential lay unexploited until it was “discovered” via a cultural stimulus, plausibly the invention of language. Modern humans appear to have definitively exited Africa to populate the rest of the globe only after both their physical and cognitive peculiarities had been acquired within that continent. PMID:19805256

  16. Body proportions of Homo habilis reviewed.

    PubMed

    Haeusler, Martin; McHenry, Henry M

    2004-04-01

    The ratio of fore- to hindlimb size plays an important role in our understanding of human evolution. Although Homo habilis was relatively modern craniodentally, its body proportions are commonly believed to have been more apelike than in the earlier Australopithecus afarensis. The evidence for this, however, rests, on two fragmentary skeletons, OH 62 and KNM-ER 3735. The upper limb of the better-preserved OH 62 from Olduvai Gorge is long and slender, but its hindlimb is represented mainly by the proximal portion of a thin femur of uncertain length. The present analysis shows that upper-to-lower limb shaft proportions of both OH 62 and AL 288-1 (A. afarensis) fall in the modern human range of variation, although OH 62 also falls inside that of chimpanzees due to their overlap in small individuals. Despite being more fragmentary, the larger-bodied KNM-ER 3735 lies outside the chimpanzee range and close to the human mean. Because the differences between any of the three individuals are compatible with the range of variation seen in extant hominoid groups, it is not legitimate to infer more primitive upper-to-lower limb shaft proportions for either H. habilis or A. afarensis. Femur length of OH 62 can only be estimated by comparison. Its closest match in size and morphology is with the gracile OH 34 specimen, which therefore provides a better analogue for the reconstruction of OH 62 than the stocky AL 288-1 femur that is traditionally used. OH 34's slender proportions are hardly due to abrasion, but match those of a modern human of that body-size, suggesting that the relative length of OH 62's leg may have been human-like. Brachial proportions, however, remained primitive. Long legs may imply long distance terrestrial travel. Perhaps this adaptation evolved early in the genus Homo, with H. habilis providing an early representative of this important change. PMID:15066379

  17. Three new human skulls from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain.

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, J L; Martínez, I; Gracia, A; Carretero, J M; Carbonell, E

    1993-04-01

    Three important fossil hominids were found in July 1992 in the Middle Pleistocene cave site called Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Northern Spain). One is a complete calvaria (cranium 4), the second a virtually complete cranium (cranium 5), the third represents a more fragmentary cranium of an immature individual (cranium 6). There is a large difference in size between the two adult specimens (for example endocranial volume 1,125 cm3 versus 1,390 cm3). The Atapuerca human remains are dated to > 300,000 years. The Atapuerca cranial sample fits within the 'archaic Homo sapiens' group, but is well differentiated from the Asian Homo erectus group. The extensive Atapuerca human collection is the most complete sample of Middle Pleistocene humans yet discovered from one site, and appears to document an early stage in Neanderthal evolution. PMID:8464493

  18. From Australopithecus to Homo: the transition that wasn't.

    PubMed

    Kimbel, William H; Villmoare, Brian

    2016-07-01

    Although the transition from Australopithecus to Homo is usually thought of as a momentous transformation, the fossil record bearing on the origin and earliest evolution of Homo is virtually undocumented. As a result, the poles of the transition are frequently attached to taxa (e.g. A. afarensis, at ca 3.0 Ma versus H. habilis or H. erectus, at ca 2.0-1.7 Ma) in which substantial adaptive differences have accumulated over significant spans of independent evolution. Such comparisons, in which temporally remote and adaptively divergent species are used to identify a 'transition', lend credence to the idea that genera should be conceived at once as monophyletic clades and adaptively unified grades. However, when the problem is recast in terms of lineages, rather than taxa per se, the adaptive criterion becomes a problem of subjectively privileging 'key' characteristics from what is typically a stepwise pattern of acquisition of novel characters beginning in the basal representatives of a clade. This is the pattern inferred for species usually included in early Homo, including H. erectus, which has often been cast in the role as earliest humanlike hominin. A fresh look at brain size, hand morphology and earliest technology suggests that a number of key Homo attributes may already be present in generalized species of Australopithecus, and that adaptive distinctions in Homo are simply amplifications or extensions of ancient hominin trends.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298460

  19. Homo erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving.

    PubMed

    Joordens, Josephine C A; d'Errico, Francesco; Wesselingh, Frank P; Munro, Stephen; de Vos, John; Wallinga, Jakob; Ankjærgaard, Christina; Reimann, Tony; Wijbrans, Jan R; Kuiper, Klaudia F; Mücher, Herman J; Coqueugniot, Hélène; Prié, Vincent; Joosten, Ineke; van Os, Bertil; Schulp, Anne S; Panuel, Michel; van der Haas, Victoria; Lustenhouwer, Wim; Reijmer, John J G; Roebroeks, Wil

    2015-02-12

    The manufacture of geometric engravings is generally interpreted as indicative of modern cognition and behaviour. Key questions in the debate on the origin of such behaviour are whether this innovation is restricted to Homo sapiens, and whether it has a uniquely African origin. Here we report on a fossil freshwater shell assemblage from the Hauptknochenschicht ('main bone layer') of Trinil (Java, Indonesia), the type locality of Homo erectus discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891 (refs 2 and 3). In the Dubois collection (in the Naturalis museum, Leiden, The Netherlands) we found evidence for freshwater shellfish consumption by hominins, one unambiguous shell tool, and a shell with a geometric engraving. We dated sediment contained in the shells with (40)Ar/(39)Ar and luminescence dating methods, obtaining a maximum age of 0.54 ± 0.10 million years and a minimum age of 0.43 ± 0.05 million years. This implies that the Trinil Hauptknochenschicht is younger than previously estimated. Together, our data indicate that the engraving was made by Homo erectus, and that it is considerably older than the oldest geometric engravings described so far. Although it is at present not possible to assess the function or meaning of the engraved shell, this discovery suggests that engraving abstract patterns was in the realm of Asian Homo erectus cognition and neuromotor control. PMID:25470048

  20. A tentative framework for the acquisition of language and modern human cognition.

    PubMed

    Tattersall, Ian

    2016-06-20

    Modern human beings process information symbolically, rearranging mental symbols to envision multiple potential realities. They also express the ideas they form using structured articulate language. No other living creature does either of these things. Yet it is evident that we are descended from a non-symbolic and non-linguistic ancestor. How did this astonishing transformation occur? Scrutiny of the fossil and archaeological records reveals that the transition to symbolic reasoning happened very late in hominid history - indeed, within the tenure of anatomically recognizable Homo sapiens. It was evidently not simply a passive result of the increase in brain size that typified multiple lineages of the genus Homo over the Pleistocene. Instead, a brain exaptively capable of complex symbolic manipulation and language acquisition was acquired in the major developmental reorganization that gave rise to the anatomically distinctive species Homo sapiens. The new capacity it conferred was later recruited through the action of a cultural stimulus, most plausibly the spontaneous invention of language. PMID:27014833

  1. The Homo floresiensis cranium (LB1): Size, scaling, and early Homo affinities

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Adam D.; Nevell, Lisa; Wood, Bernard

    2008-01-01

    The skeletal remains of a diminutive small-brained hominin found in Late Pleistocene cave deposits on the island of Flores, Indonesia were assigned to a new species, Homo floresiensis [Brown P, et al. (2004) A new small-bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia. Nature 431: 1055–1061]. A dramatically different interpretation is that this material belongs not to a novel hominin taxon but to a population of small-bodied modern humans affected, or unaffected, by microcephaly. The debate has primarily focused on the size and shape of the endocranial cavity of the type specimen, LB1, with less attention being paid to the morphological evidence provided by the rest of the LB1 cranium and postcranium, and no study thus far has addressed the problem of how scaling would affect shape comparisons between a diminutive cranium like LB1 and the much larger crania of modern humans. We show that whether or not the effects of its small cranial size are accounted for, the external cranial morphology of the LB1 cranium cannot be accommodated within a large global sample of normal modern human crania. Instead, the shape of LB1, which is shown by multivariate analysis to differ significantly from that of modern humans, is similar to that of Homo erectus sensu lato, and, to a lesser extent, Homo habilis. Our results are consistent with hypotheses that suggest the Liang Bua specimens represent a diminutive population closely related to either early H. erectus s. l. from East Africa and/or Dmanisi or to H. habilis. PMID:18356300

  2. The Homo floresiensis cranium (LB1): size, scaling, and early Homo affinities.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Adam D; Nevell, Lisa; Wood, Bernard

    2008-03-25

    The skeletal remains of a diminutive small-brained hominin found in Late Pleistocene cave deposits on the island of Flores, Indonesia were assigned to a new species, Homo floresiensis [Brown P, et al. (2004) A new small-bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia. Nature 431: 1055-1061]. A dramatically different interpretation is that this material belongs not to a novel hominin taxon but to a population of small-bodied modern humans affected, or unaffected, by microcephaly. The debate has primarily focused on the size and shape of the endocranial cavity of the type specimen, LB1, with less attention being paid to the morphological evidence provided by the rest of the LB1 cranium and postcranium, and no study thus far has addressed the problem of how scaling would affect shape comparisons between a diminutive cranium like LB1 and the much larger crania of modern humans. We show that whether or not the effects of its small cranial size are accounted for, the external cranial morphology of the LB1 cranium cannot be accommodated within a large global sample of normal modern human crania. Instead, the shape of LB1, which is shown by multivariate analysis to differ significantly from that of modern humans, is similar to that of Homo erectus sensu lato, and, to a lesser extent, Homo habilis. Our results are consistent with hypotheses that suggest the Liang Bua specimens represent a diminutive population closely related to either early H. erectus s. l. from East Africa and/or Dmanisi or to H. habilis. PMID:18356300

  3. Expertise acquisition as sustained learning in humans and other animals: commonalities across species.

    PubMed

    Helton, William S

    2008-01-01

    Expertise acquisition may be a universal attribute of animals. In this study data on foraging efficiency, or expertise, was compared for four species: honeybees (Apis mellifera), oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and humans (Homo sapiens). Polynomial regression models were constructed to investigate the relationship between age and foraging efficiency. There was a similar expertise-acquisition function between age and foraging efficiency across species, best described by a quadratic equation. The peak of performance was reached, in all cases, before the average age of death but well after reaching physical maturity and the percentage of lifespan devoted to the skill was more than 10% of the species-typical lifespan. PMID:17534675

  4. Stature estimation from complete long bones in the Middle Pleistocene humans from the Sima de los Huesos, Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain).

    PubMed

    Carretero, José-Miguel; Rodríguez, Laura; García-González, Rebeca; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Lorenzo, Carlos; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Gracia, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf

    2012-02-01

    Systematic excavations at the site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain) have allowed us to reconstruct 27 complete long bones of the human species Homo heidelbergensis. The SH sample is used here, together with a sample of 39 complete Homo neanderthalensis long bones and 17 complete early Homo sapiens (Skhul/Qafzeh) long bones, to compare the stature of these three different human species. Stature is estimated for each bone using race- and sex-independent regression formulae, yielding an average stature for each bone within each taxon. The mean length of each long bone from SH is significantly greater (p < 0.05) than the corresponding mean values in the Neandertal sample. The stature has been calculated for male and female specimens separately, averaging both means to calculate a general mean. This general mean stature for the entire sample of long bones is 163.6 cm for the SH hominins, 160.6 cm for Neandertals and 177.4 cm for early modern humans. Despite some overlap in the ranges of variation, all mean values in the SH sample (whether considering isolated bones, the upper or lower limb, males or females or more complete individuals) are larger than those of Neandertals. Given the strong relationship between long bone length and stature, we conclude that SH hominins represent a slightly taller population or species than the Neandertals. However, compared with living European Mediterranean populations, neither the Sima de los Huesos hominins nor the Neandertals should be considered 'short' people. In fact, the average stature within the genus Homo seems to have changed little over the course of the last two million years, since the appearance of Homo ergaster in East Africa. It is only with the emergence of H. sapiens, whose earliest representatives were 'very tall', that a significant increase in stature can be documented. PMID:22196156

  5. The Path of Human Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feibel, C. S.

    2004-12-01

    A complex series of evolutionary steps, contingent upon a dynamic environmental context and a long biological heritage, have led to the ascent of Homo sapiens as a dominant component of the modern biosphere. In a field where missing links still abound and new discoveries regularly overturn theoretical paradigms, our understanding of the path of human evolution has made tremendous advances in recent years. Two major trends characterize the development of the hominin clade subsequent to its origins with the advent of upright bipedalism in the Late Miocene of Africa. One is a diversification into two prominent morphological branches, each with a series of 'twigs' representing evolutionary experimentation at the species or subspecies level. The second important trend, which in its earliest manifestations cannot clearly be ascribed to one or the other branch, is the behavioral complexity of an increasing reliance on technology to expand upon limited inherent morphological specializations and to buffer the organism from its environment. This technological dependence is directly associated with the expansion of hominin range outside Africa by the genus Homo, and is accelerated in the sole extant form Homo sapiens through the last 100 Ka. There are interesting correlates between the evolutionary and behavioral patterns seen in the hominin clade and environmental dynamics of the Neogene. In particular, the tempo of morphological and behavioral innovation may be tracking major events in Neogene climatic development as well as reflecting intervals of variability or stability. Major improvements in analytical techniques, coupled with important new collections and a growing body of contextual data are now making possible the integration of global, regional and local environmental archives with an improved biological understanding of the hominin clade to address questions of coincidence and causality.

  6. Human basal body basics.

    PubMed

    Vertii, Anastassiia; Hung, Hui-Fang; Hehnly, Heidi; Doxsey, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    In human cells, the basal body (BB) core comprises a ninefold microtubule-triplet cylindrical structure. Distal and subdistal appendages are located at the distal end of BB, where they play indispensable roles in cilium formation and function. Most cells that arrest in the G0 stage of the cell cycle initiate BB docking at the plasma membrane followed by BB-mediated growth of a solitary primary cilium, a structure required for sensing the extracellular environment and cell signaling. In addition to the primary cilium, motile cilia are present in specialized cells, such as sperm and airway epithelium. Mutations that affect BB function result in cilia dysfunction. This can generate syndromic disorders, collectively called ciliopathies, for which there are no effective treatments. In this review, we focus on the features and functions of BBs and centrosomes in Homo sapiens. PMID:26981235

  7. Hominid mandibular corpus shape variation and its utility for recognizing species diversity within fossil Homo

    PubMed Central

    Lague, Michael R; Collard, Nicole J; Richmond, Brian G; Wood, Bernard A

    2008-01-01

    Mandibular corpora are well represented in the hominin fossil record, yet few studies have rigorously assessed the utility of mandibular corpus morphology for species recognition, particularly with respect to the linear dimensions that are most commonly available. In this study, we explored the extent to which commonly preserved mandibular corpus morphology can be used to: (i) discriminate among extant hominid taxa and (ii) support species designations among fossil specimens assigned to the genus Homo. In the first part of the study, discriminant analysis was used to test for significant differences in mandibular corpus shape at different taxonomic levels (genus, species and subspecies) among extant hominid taxa (i.e. Homo, Pan, Gorilla, Pongo). In the second part of the study, we examined shape variation among fossil mandibles assigned to Homo(including H. habilis sensu stricto, H. rudolfensis, early African H. erectus/H. ergaster, late African H. erectus, Asian H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens). A novel randomization procedure designed for small samples (and using group ‘distinctness values’) was used to determine whether shape variation among the fossils is consistent with conventional taxonomy (or alternatively, whether a priori taxonomic groupings are completely random with respect to mandibular morphology). The randomization of ‘distinctness values’ was also used on the extant samples to assess the ability of the test to recognize known taxa. The discriminant analysis results demonstrated that, even for a relatively modest set of traditional mandibular corpus measurements, we can detect significant differences among extant hominids at the genus and species levels, and, in some cases, also at the subspecies level. Although the randomization of ‘distinctness values’ test is more conservative than discriminant analysis (based on comparisons with extant specimens), we were able to detect at least four distinct groups

  8. Human evolution: taxonomy and paleobiology

    PubMed Central

    WOOD, BERNARD; RICHMOND, BRIAN G.

    2000-01-01

    This review begins by setting out the context and the scope of human evolution. Several classes of evidence, morphological, molecular, and genetic, support a particularly close relationship between modern humans and the species within the genus Pan, the chimpanzee. Thus human evolution is the study of the lineage, or clade, comprising species more closely related to modern humans than to chimpanzees. Its stem species is the so-called ‘common hominin ancestor’, and its only extant member is Homo sapiens. This clade contains all the species more closely-related to modern humans than to any other living primate. Until recently, these species were all subsumed into a family, Hominidae, but this group is now more usually recognised as a tribe, the Hominini. The rest of the review sets out the formal nomenclature, history of discovery, and information about the characteristic morphology, and its behavioural implications, of the species presently included in the human clade. The taxa are considered within their assigned genera, beginning with the most primitive and finishing with Homo. Within genera, species are presented in order of geological age. The entries conclude with a list of the more important items of fossil evidence, and a summary of relevant taxonomic issues. PMID:10999270

  9. Neanderthal brain size at birth provides insights into the evolution of human life history

    PubMed Central

    Ponce de León, Marcia S.; Golovanova, Lubov; Doronichev, Vladimir; Romanova, Galina; Akazawa, Takeru; Kondo, Osamu; Ishida, Hajime; Zollikofer, Christoph P. E.

    2008-01-01

    From birth to adulthood, the human brain expands by a factor of 3.3, compared with 2.5 in chimpanzees [DeSilva J and Lesnik J (2006) Chimpanzee neonatal brain size: Implications for brain growth in Homo erectus. J Hum Evol 51: 207–212]. How the required extra amount of human brain growth is achieved and what its implications are for human life history and cognitive development are still a matter of debate. Likewise, because comparative fossil evidence is scarce, when and how the modern human pattern of brain growth arose during evolution is largely unknown. Virtual reconstructions of a Neanderthal neonate from Mezmaiskaya Cave (Russia) and of two Neanderthal infant skeletons from Dederiyeh Cave (Syria) now provide new comparative insights: Neanderthal brain size at birth was similar to that in recent Homo sapiens and most likely subject to similar obstetric constraints. Neanderthal brain growth rates during early infancy were higher, however. This pattern of growth resulted in larger adult brain sizes but not in earlier completion of brain growth. Because large brains growing at high rates require large, late-maturing, mothers [Leigh SR and Blomquist GE (2007) in Campbell CJ et al. Primates in perspective; pp 396–407], it is likely that Neanderthal life history was similarly slow, or even slower-paced, than in recent H. sapiens. PMID:18779579

  10. Quantitative three-dimensional shape analysis of the proximal hallucial metatarsal articular surface in Homo, Pan, Gorilla, and Hylobates.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Daniel J; Broadfield, Douglas; Proctor, Kristopher

    2008-02-01

    Multidimensional morphometrics is used to compare the proximal articular surface of the first metatarsal between Homo, Pan, Gorilla, Hylobates, and the hominin fossils A.L. 333-54 (A. afarensis), SKX 5017 (P. robustus), and OH 8 (H. habilis). Statistically significant differences in articular surface morphology exist between H. sapiens and the apes, and between ape groups. Ape groups are characterized by greater surface depth, an obliquely curved articular surface through the dorso-lateral and medio-plantar regions, and a wider medio-lateral surface relative to the dorso-plantar height. The OH 8 articular surface is indistinguishable from H. sapiens, while A.L. 333-54 and SKX 5017 more closely resemble the apes. P. robustus and A. afarensis exhibit ape-like oblique curvature of the articular surface. PMID:18046775

  11. Birth of 'human-specific' genes during primate evolution.

    PubMed

    Nahon, Jean-Louis

    2003-07-01

    Humans and other Anthropoids share very similar chromosome structure and genomic sequence as seen in the 98.5% homology at the DNA level between us and Great Apes. However, anatomical and behavioral traits distinguish Homo sapiens from his closest relatives. I review here several recent studies that address the issue by using different approaches: large-scale sequence comparison (first release) between human and chimpanzee, characterization of recent segmental duplications in the human genome and analysis of exemplary gene families. As a major breakthrough in the field, the heretical concept of 'human-specific' genes has recently received some supporting data. In addition, specific chromosomal regions have been mapped that display all the features of 'gene nurseries' and could have played a major role in gene innovation and speciation during primate evolution. A model is proposed that integrates all known molecular mechanisms that can create new genes in the human lineage. PMID:12868609

  12. Biomechanics of the hip and birth in early Homo.

    PubMed

    Ruff, C B

    1995-12-01

    A complex of traits in the femur and pelvis of Homo erectus and early "erectus-like" specimens has been described, but never satisfactorily explained. Here the functional relationships between pelvic and femoral structure in humans are explored using both theoretical biomechanical models and empirical tests within modern samples of diverse body form (Pecos Amerindians, East Africans). Results indicate that a long femoral neck increases mediolateral bending of the femoral diaphysis and decreases gluteal abductor and hip joint reaction forces. Increasing biacetabular breadth along with femoral neck length further increases M-L bending of the femoral shaft and maintains abductor and joint reaction forces at near "normal" levels. When compared to modern humans, Homo erectus and early "erectus-like" specimens are characterized by a long femoral neck and greatly increased M-L relative to A-P bending strength of the femoral shaft, coupled with no decrease in hip joint size and a probable increase in abductor force relative to body size. All of this strongly suggests that biacetabular breadth as well as femoral neck length was relatively large in early Homo. Several features preserved in early Homo partial hip bones also indicate that the true (lower) pelvis was very M-L broad, as well as A-P narrow. This is similar to the lower pelvic shape of australopithecines and suggests that nonrotational birth, in which the newborn's head is oriented transversely through the pelvic outlet, characterized early Homo as well as Australopithecus. Because M-L breadth of the pelvis is constrained by other factors, this may have limited increases in cranial capacity within Homo until rotational birth was established during the late Middle Pleistocene. During or after the transition to rotational birth biacetabular breadth decreased, reducing the body weight moment arm about the hip and allowing femoral neck length (abductor moment arm) to also decrease, both of which reduced M-L bending of

  13. Evaluation of the Edwards Lifesciences SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve.

    PubMed

    Minha, Sa'ar; Waksman, Ron

    2014-11-01

    Severe aortic stenosis is a common valvular disease and is associated with both morbidity and mortality. Surgical aortic valve replacement was the only available therapeutic option until technological advances allowed for the development of a transcatheter heart valve system. The first available THV was the Edwards SAPIEN. The merits of this system in terms of safety and efficacy were explored in the pivotal Placement of AoRTic TraNscathetER (PARTNER) randomized trial whose results then led to the approval of this device for commercial use in the US. The valve is now indicated for inoperable patients and may be considered an alternative for surgery for high-risk patients. Two successive models, the XT and more recently the S3, were developed with the intent to improve procedural outcomes. In this article, the SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve family is described in terms of technology, scientific data and future directions. PMID:25109297

  14. The craniomandibular mechanics of being human

    PubMed Central

    Wroe, Stephen; Ferrara, Toni L.; McHenry, Colin R.; Curnoe, Darren; Chamoli, Uphar

    2010-01-01

    Diminished bite force has been considered a defining feature of modern Homo sapiens, an interpretation inferred from the application of two-dimensional lever mechanics and the relative gracility of the human masticatory musculature and skull. This conclusion has various implications with regard to the evolution of human feeding behaviour. However, human dental anatomy suggests a capacity to withstand high loads and two-dimensional lever models greatly simplify muscle architecture, yielding less accurate results than three-dimensional modelling using multiple lines of action. Here, to our knowledge, in the most comprehensive three-dimensional finite element analysis performed to date for any taxon, we ask whether the traditional view that the bite of H. sapiens is weak and the skull too gracile to sustain high bite forces is supported. We further introduce a new method for reconstructing incomplete fossil material. Our findings show that the human masticatory apparatus is highly efficient, capable of producing a relatively powerful bite using low muscle forces. Thus, relative to other members of the superfamily Hominoidea, humans can achieve relatively high bite forces, while overall stresses are reduced. Our findings resolve apparently discordant lines of evidence, i.e. the presence of teeth well adapted to sustain high loads within a lightweight cranium and mandible. PMID:20554545

  15. Homo floresiensis and the evolution of the hominin shoulder.

    PubMed

    Larson, Susan G; Jungers, William L; Morwood, Michael J; Sutikna, Thomas; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Due, Rokus Awe; Djubiantono, Tony

    2007-12-01

    The holotype of Homo floresiensis, diminutive hominins with tiny brains living until 12,000 years ago on the island of Flores, is a partial skeleton (LB1) that includes a partial clavicle (LB1/5) and a nearly complete right humerus (LB1/50). Although the humerus appears fairly modern in most regards, it is remarkable in displaying only 110 degrees of humeral torsion, well below modern human average values. Assuming a modern human shoulder configuration, such a low degree of humeral torsion would result in a lateral set to the elbow. Such an elbow joint would function more nearly in a frontal than in a sagittal plane, and this is certainly not what anyone would have predicted for a tool-making Pleistocene hominin. We argue that Homo floresiensis probably did not have a modern human shoulder configuration: the clavicle was relatively short, and we suggest that the scapula was more protracted, resulting in a glenoid fossa that faced anteriorly rather than laterally. A posteriorly directed humeral head was therefore appropriate for maintaining a normally functioning elbow joint. Similar morphology in the Homo erectus Nariokotome boy (KNM-WT 15000) suggests that this shoulder configuration may represent a transitional stage in pectoral girdle evolution in the human lineage. PMID:17692894

  16. How We Got Here: Evolutionary Changes in Skull Shape in Humans & Their Ancestors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Rebecca M.

    2012-01-01

    This activity uses inquiry to investigate how large changes in shape can evolve from small changes in the timing of development. Students measure skull shape in fetal, infant, juvenile, and adult chimpanzees and compare them to adult skulls of "Homo sapiens," "Homo erectus," and "Australopithecus afarensis." They conclude by re-interpreting their…

  17. The Age of the 20 Meter Solo River Terrace, Java, Indonesia and the Survival of Homo erectus in Asia

    PubMed Central

    Indriati, Etty; Swisher, Carl C.; Lepre, Christopher; Quinn, Rhonda L.; Suriyanto, Rusyad A.; Hascaryo, Agus T.; Grün, Rainer; Feibel, Craig S.; Pobiner, Briana L.; Aubert, Maxime; Lees, Wendy; Antón, Susan C.

    2011-01-01

    Homo erectus was the first human lineage to disperse widely throughout the Old World, the only hominin in Asia through much of the Pleistocene, and was likely ancestral to H. sapiens. The demise of this taxon remains obscure because of uncertainties regarding the geological age of its youngest populations. In 1996, some of us co-published electron spin resonance (ESR) and uranium series (U-series) results indicating an age as young as 35–50 ka for the late H. erectus sites of Ngandong and Sambungmacan and the faunal site of Jigar (Indonesia). If correct, these ages favor an African origin for recent humans who would overlap with H. erectus in time and space. Here, we report 40Ar/39Ar incremental heating analyses and new ESR/U-series age estimates from the “20 m terrace" at Ngandong and Jigar. Both data sets are internally consistent and provide no evidence for reworking, yet they are inconsistent with one another. The 40Ar/39Ar analyses give an average age of 546±12 ka (sd±5 se) for both sites, the first reliable radiometric indications of a middle Pleistocene component for the terrace. Given the technical accuracy and consistency of the analyses, the argon ages represent either the actual age or the maximum age for the terrace and are significantly older than previous estimates. Most of the ESR/U-series results are older as well, but the oldest that meets all modeling criteria is 143 ka+20/−17. Most samples indicated leaching of uranium and likely represent either the actual or the minimum age of the terrace. Given known sources of error, the U-series results could be consistent with a middle Pleistocene age. However, the ESR and 40Ar/39Ar ages preclude one another. Regardless, the age of the sites and hominins is at least bracketed between these estimates and is older than currently accepted. PMID:21738710

  18. Climatic influences on the evolution of early Homo?

    PubMed

    Antón, Susan C

    2007-01-01

    The nature of the human fossil record is less than ideal for the generation of precise correlations between environmental variables and patterns of evolution in specific lineages. Nonetheless, a critical look at what can and cannot be said from individual fossil morphology and the correlation of specific environmental proxies with specific hominin fossils may lead to a greater understanding of the degree of certainty with which we should embrace environmental hypotheses for the evolution of Homo. Climate shifts have been implicated in both the origin of the genus and its dispersal from Africa. Here, I consider three areas in which a climatic influence has been posited to explain evolutionary shifts in the genus Homo: the origin and dispersal of the genus from Africa; geography, climate and body size in early Homo, and the influence of climate-induced sea level rise on morphological isolation in H. erectus. Each of the data sets is far from ideal, and interpretations of each of the data sets are fraught with issues of equifinality. Of the three hypotheses discussed, the clearest link is seen between latitudinal variation (and presumably temperature) and body size in H. erectus. Similarly, climate-induced sea level change seems a reasonable isolating mechanism to explain the pattern of cranial variation in later Asian H. erectus, but the distribution could also reflect incompletely sampled clinal variation. Alternatively, only equivocal support is found for the influence of climate on the differentiation of H. erectus from H. habilis (as proxied by body/brain size scaling), and therefore the dispersal of the genus Homo cannot be as clearly linked to changes in body size and shape as it has been in the past. These preliminary data suggest that an emphasis on understanding local adaptation before looking at global (and specific) level change is critical to elucidating the importance of climatic factors on the evolution of the genus Homo. PMID:17855788

  19. Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dirks, Paul H G M; Berger, Lee R; Roberts, Eric M; Kramers, Jan D; Hawks, John; Randolph-Quinney, Patrick S; Elliott, Marina; Musiba, Charles M; Churchill, Steven E; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Schmid, Peter; Backwell, Lucinda R; Belyanin, Georgy A; Boshoff, Pedro; Hunter, K Lindsay; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Gurtov, Alia; Harrison, James du G; Hunter, Rick; Kruger, Ashley; Morris, Hannah; Makhubela, Tebogo V; Peixotto, Becca; Tucker, Steven

    2015-01-01

    We describe the physical context of the Dinaledi Chamber within the Rising Star cave, South Africa, which contains the fossils of Homo naledi. Approximately 1550 specimens of hominin remains have been recovered from at least 15 individuals, representing a small portion of the total fossil content. Macro-vertebrate fossils are exclusively H. naledi, and occur within clay-rich sediments derived from in situ weathering, and exogenous clay and silt, which entered the chamber through fractures that prevented passage of coarser-grained material. The chamber was always in the dark zone, and not accessible to non-hominins. Bone taphonomy indicates that hominin individuals reached the chamber complete, with disarticulation occurring during/after deposition. Hominins accumulated over time as older laminated mudstone units and sediment along the cave floor were eroded. Preliminary evidence is consistent with deliberate body disposal in a single location, by a hominin species other than Homo sapiens, at an as-yet unknown date. PMID:26354289

  20. India at the cross-roads of human evolution.

    PubMed

    Patnaik, R; Chauhan, P

    2009-11-01

    pointing towards Indian subcontinent as a possible migration corridor between these regions. The only definite pre-Homo sapiens fossil hominin remains come from the Central Narmada Valley and are thought to be of Middle to late Pleistocene age, and the cranium has been shown to be closely linked to archaic Homo sapiens/H. heidelbergensis of Europe. Around approximately 74,000 yrs ago, a super volcanic eruption in Sumatra caused the deposition of Youngest Toba Tephra, that covered large parts of the Indian peninsula. Just around this time anatomically-and-behaviorally modern humans or Homo sapiens possibly arrived into India as evidenced by the so called Middle and Upper Palaeolithic assemblages and associated symbolic evidence. The available genetic data reveals that the gene pool to which modern Indians races belong was extremely diverse and had variable mixed links with both European and Asian populations. PMID:20009268

  1. Human versus animal: contrasting decomposition dynamics of mammalian analogues in experimental taphonomy.

    PubMed

    Stokes, Kathryn L; Forbes, Shari L; Tibbett, Mark

    2013-05-01

    Taphonomic studies regularly employ animal analogues for human decomposition due to ethical restrictions relating to the use of human tissue. However, the validity of using animal analogues in soil decomposition studies is still questioned. This study compared the decomposition of skeletal muscle tissues (SMTs) from human (Homo sapiens), pork (Sus scrofa), beef (Bos taurus), and lamb (Ovis aries) interred in soil microcosms. Fixed interval samples were collected from the SMT for microbial activity and mass tissue loss determination; samples were also taken from the underlying soil for pH, electrical conductivity, and nutrient (potassium, phosphate, ammonium, and nitrate) analysis. The overall patterns of nutrient fluxes and chemical changes in nonhuman SMT and the underlying soil followed that of human SMT. Ovine tissue was the most similar to human tissue in many of the measured parameters. Although no single analogue was a precise predictor of human decomposition in soil, all models offered close approximations in decomposition dynamics. PMID:23550805

  2. The spread of modern humans in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Hoffecker, John F.

    2009-01-01

    The earliest credible evidence of Homo sapiens in Europe is an archaeological proxy in the form of several artifact assemblages (Bohunician) found in South-Central and possibly Eastern Europe, dating to ≤48,000 calibrated radiocarbon years before present (cal BP). They are similar to assemblages probably made by modern humans in the Levant (Emiran) at an earlier date and apparently represent a population movement into the Balkans during a warm climate interval [Greenland Interstadial 12 (GI 12)]. A second population movement may be represented by a diverse set of artifact assemblages (sometimes termed Proto-Aurignacian) found in the Balkans, parts of Southwest Europe, and probably in Eastern Europe, and dating to several brief interstadials (GI 11–GI 9) that preceded the beginning of cold Heinrich Event 4 (HE4) (≈40,000 cal BP). They are similar to contemporaneous assemblages made by modern humans in the Levant (Ahmarian). The earliest known human skeletal remains in Europe that may be unequivocally assigned to H. sapiens (Peçstera cu Oase, Romania) date to this time period (≈42,000 cal BP) but are not associated with artifacts. After the Campanian Ignimbrite volcanic eruption (40,000 cal BP) and the beginning of HE4, artifact assemblages assigned to the classic Aurignacian, an industry associated with modern human skeletal remains that seems to have developed in Europe, spread throughout the continent. PMID:19571003

  3. Functional morphology of the first cervical vertebra in humans and nonhuman primates.

    PubMed

    Manfreda, Evelyn; Mitteroecker, Philipp; Bookstein, Fred L; Schaefer, Katrin

    2006-09-01

    The cervical vertebral column bears or balances the weight of the head supported by the nuchal muscles that partly originate from the cervical vertebrae. The position of the head relative to the vertebral column, and consequently locomotion and posture behavior, could thus be associated with the form of the cervical vertebrae. In spite of this assumption and some empirical indications along these lines, primate vertebral morphologies have been reported to be very similar and not clearly related to locomotion. We therefore study the relationship between the morphology of the first cervical vertebra, the atlas, and the locomotion pattern within primates using a geometric morphometric approach. Our analysis is based on a total of 116 vertebrae of adult Homo sapiens, Gorilla gorilla, Pan troglodytes, Pongo pygmaeus, Hylobates lar, Macaca mulatta, Papio hamadryas, Ateles geoffroyi, and Alouatta palliata. On each atlas, 56 landmarks were digitized and superimposed by Procrustes registration. The resulting shape variables were analyzed by principal component analysis, multivariate regression, and partial least-squares analysis. We found that the nine primate species differ clearly in their atlas morphology and that allometric shape change is distinct between the nonhuman primates and Homo sapiens. We could further identify morphological features that relate to the species' locomotion pattern. Human atlas shape, however, cannot be predicted by an extrapolation of the nonhuman primate model. This implies that either the primate atlas is generalized enough to allow bipedal locomotion or else the human atlas morphology is a unique adaptation different from that in the more orthograde nonhuman primates. PMID:16955497

  4. The Homo Energeticus: maturity, inheritance, identity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Arthur

    2013-03-01

    In this letter, modern society’s intimate bond to the convenience and reliability of delivered energy services results in a form of identification I call the Homo Energeticus. The Homo Energeticus relies upon a mature system of services for achieving an equivalency of status and prestige that is historically similar to the morality of a noble class. I describe the uniqueness of this identity by its imperative for acquiring experience through an invisibility of energy expenditures. In this way, the Homo Energeticus cultivates a highly individualized life whose ambience of perfection, while created personally, is only successful insofar as it conceals energy expenditures in labor and supply.

  5. Facial ontogeny in Neanderthals and modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Bastir, Markus; O'Higgins, Paul; Rosas, Antonio

    2007-01-01

    One hundred and fifty years after the discovery of Neanderthals, it is held that this morphologically and genetically distinct human species does not differ from modern Homo sapiens in its craniofacial ontogenetic trajectory after the early post-natal period. This is striking given the evident morphological differences between these species, since it implies that all of the major differences are established by the early post-natal period and carried into adulthood through identical trajectories, despite the extent to which mechanical and spatial factors are thought to influence craniofacial ontogeny. Here, we present statistical and morphological analyses demonstrating that the spatio-temporal processes responsible for craniofacial ontogenetic transformations differ. The findings emphasize that pre-natal as well as post-natal ontogeny are both important in establishing the cranial morphological differences between adult Neanderthals and modern humans. PMID:17311777

  6. Is Homo heidelbergensis a distinct species? New insight on the Mauer mandible.

    PubMed

    Mounier, Aurélien; Marchal, François; Condemi, Silvana

    2009-03-01

    The discovery of new fossils in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and the recognition of a greater diversity in the middle Pleistocene fossil record, has led to a reconsideration of the species Homo heidelbergensis. This nomen, formulated by Schoetensack in 1908 to describe the Mauer jaw (Germany), was almost forgotten during most of the past century. Numerous fossils have been attributed to it but no consensus has arisen concerning their classification. The holotype anatomical traits are still poorly understood, and numerous fossils with no mandibular remains have been placed in the taxon. Some researchers propose H. heidelbergensis as an Afro-European taxon that is ancestral to both modern humans and Neandertals whereas others think it is a strictly European species that is part of the Neandertal lineage. We focus on the validity of H. heidelbergensis, using the traditional basis of species recognition: anatomical description. We provide a comparative morphological analysis using 47 anatomical traits of 36 Pleistocene fossils from Africa, Asia, and Europe and 35 extant human mandibles. We re-examine the mandibular features of Mauer and discuss the specimen's inclusion in H. heidelbergensis, as well as alternative evolutionary theories. To lend objectivity to specimen grouping, we use multiple correspondence analysis associated with hierarchical classification that creates clusters corresponding to phenetic similarities between jaws. Our phenetic and comparative morphological analyses support the validity of H. heidelbergensis as a taxon. A set of morphological features can be statistically identified for the definition of the species. Some traits can be used to delimit H. heidelbergensis in an evolutionary framework (e.g., foramina mentale posteriorly positioned, horizontal retromolar surface). Those traits are also present on African (e.g., Tighenif) and European (e.g., Sima de los Huesos) specimens that show a close relationship with the Mauer mandible. Therefore, the

  7. "Small size" in the Philippine human fossil record: is it meaningful for a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the negritos?

    PubMed

    Détroit, Florent; Corny, Julien; Dizon, Eusebio Z; Mijares, Armand S

    2013-01-01

    "Pygmy populations" are recognized in several places over the world, especially in Western Africa and in Southeast Asia (Philippine "negritos," for instance). Broadly defined as "small-bodied Homo sapiens" (compared with neighboring populations), their origins and the nature of the processes involved in the maintenance of their phenotype over time are highly debated. Major results have been recently obtained from population genetics on present-day negrito populations, but their evolutionary history remains largely unresolved. We present and discuss the Upper Pleistocene human remains recovered from Tabon Cave and Callao Cave in the Philippines, which are potentially highly relevant to these research questions. Human fossils have been recovered in large numbers from Tabon Cave (Palawan Island) but mainly from reworked and mixed sediments from several archaeological layers. We review and synthesize the long and meticulous collaborative work done on the archives left from the 1960s excavations and on the field. The results demonstrate the long history of human occupations in the cave, since at least ~30,000 BP. The examination of the Tabon human remains shows a large variability: large and robust for one part of the sample, and small and gracile for the other part. The latter would fit quite comfortably within the range of variation of Philippine negritos. Farther north, on Luzon Island, the human third metatarsal recently recovered from Callao Cave and dated to ~66,000 BP is now the oldest direct evidence of human presence in the Philippines. Previous data show that, compared with H. sapiens (including Philippine negritos), this bone presents a very small size and several unusual morphological characteristics. We present a new analytical approach using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics for comparing the Callao fossil to a wide array of extant Asian mammals, including nonhuman primates and H. sapiens. The results demonstrate that the shape of the Callao

  8. Evolution and dispersal of the genus Homo: A landscape approach.

    PubMed

    Winder, Isabelle C; Devès, Maud H; King, Geoffrey C P; Bailey, Geoffrey N; Inglis, Robyn H; Meredith-Williams, Matthew

    2015-10-01

    The notion of the physical landscape as an arena of ecological interaction and human evolution is a powerful one, but its implementation at larger geographical and temporal scales is hampered by the challenges of reconstructing physical landscape settings in the geologically active regions where the earliest evidence is concentrated. We argue that the inherently dynamic nature of these unstable landscapes has made them important agents of biological change, creating complex topographies capable of selecting for, stimulating, obstructing or accelerating the latent and emerging properties of the human evolutionary trajectory. We use this approach, drawing on the concepts and methods of active tectonics, to develop a new perspective on the origins and dispersal of the Homo genus. We show how complex topography provides an easy evolutionary pathway to full terrestrialisation in the African context, and would have further equipped members of the genus Homo with a suite of adaptive characteristics that facilitated wide-ranging dispersal across ecological and climatic boundaries into Europe and Asia by following pathways of complex topography. We compare this hypothesis with alternative explanations for hominin dispersal, and evaluate it by mapping the distribution of topographic features at varying scales, and comparing the distribution of early Homo sites with the resulting maps and with other environmental variables. PMID:26235482

  9. A new skull of early Homo from Dmanisi, Georgia.

    PubMed

    Vekua, Abesalom; Lordkipanidze, David; Rightmire, G Philip; Agusti, Jordi; Ferring, Reid; Maisuradze, Givi; Mouskhelishvili, Alexander; Nioradze, Medea; De Leon, Marcia Ponce; Tappen, Martha; Tvalchrelidze, Merab; Zollikofer, Christoph

    2002-07-01

    Another hominid skull has been recovered at Dmanisi (Republic of Georgia) from the same strata in which hominid remains have been reported previously. The Dmanisi site dated to approximately 1.75 million years ago has now produced craniofacial portions of several hominid individuals, along with many well-preserved animal fossils and quantities of stone artifacts. Although there are certain anatomical differences among the Dmanisi specimens, the hominids do not clearly represent more than one taxon. We assign the new skull provisionally to Homo erectus (=ergaster). The Dmanisi specimens are the most primitive and small-brained fossils to be grouped with this species or any taxon linked unequivocally with genus Homo and also the ones most similar to the presumed habilis-like stem. We suggest that the ancestors of the Dmanisi population dispersed from Africa before the emergence of humans identified broadly with the H. erectus grade. PMID:12098694

  10. Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Experience with SAPIEN 3.

    PubMed

    Ohno, Y; Tamburino, C; Barbanti, M

    2015-06-01

    Based on randomized trials with first generation devices, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVI) has been included into the treatment strategy for high-risk and inoperable patients with severe aortic stenosis. Procedural complications remain a concern with TAVI, including stroke, vascular complications, paravalvular leak (PVL) and conduction disturbances. Addressing these limitations will support TAVI use in lower risk populations. This review discussed features and most recent clinical evidence of the new balloon-expandable THV (SAPIEN 3, Edwards Lifescience, Irvine, CA, USA). PMID:25900559

  11. Out of Africa: modern human origins special feature: the spread of modern humans in Europe.

    PubMed

    Hoffecker, John F

    2009-09-22

    The earliest credible evidence of Homo sapiens in Europe is an archaeological proxy in the form of several artifact assemblages (Bohunician) found in South-Central and possibly Eastern Europe, dating to < or =48,000 calibrated radiocarbon years before present (cal BP). They are similar to assemblages probably made by modern humans in the Levant (Emiran) at an earlier date and apparently represent a population movement into the Balkans during a warm climate interval [Greenland Interstadial 12 (GI 12)]. A second population movement may be represented by a diverse set of artifact assemblages (sometimes termed Proto-Aurignacian) found in the Balkans, parts of Southwest Europe, and probably in Eastern Europe, and dating to several brief interstadials (GI 11-GI 9) that preceded the beginning of cold Heinrich Event 4 (HE4) (approximately 40,000 cal BP). They are similar to contemporaneous assemblages made by modern humans in the Levant (Ahmarian). The earliest known human skeletal remains in Europe that may be unequivocally assigned to H. sapiens (Peçstera cu Oase, Romania) date to this time period (approximately 42,000 cal BP) but are not associated with artifacts. After the Campanian Ignimbrite volcanic eruption (40,000 cal BP) and the beginning of HE4, artifact assemblages assigned to the classic Aurignacian, an industry associated with modern human skeletal remains that seems to have developed in Europe, spread throughout the continent. PMID:19571003

  12. Nutrigenetics in the light of human evolution.

    PubMed

    Verginelli, Fabio; Aru, Federica; Battista, Pasquale; Mariani-Costantini, Renato

    2009-01-01

    Bio-cultural adaptations to new foods played a key role in human evolution. The fossil record and sequence differences between human and chimpanzee genes point to a major dietary shift at the stem of human evolution. The earliest representatives of the human lineage diverged from the ancestors of chimpanzees because of their better adaptation to hard and abrasive foods. Bipedalism and modifications of the hand, which allowed tool manufacture and use, impacted on dietary flexibility, facilitating access to foods of animal origin. This promoted major anatomic, physiologic and metabolic adaptations. Encephalization, which requires high-quality diet, characterizes the evolutionary sequence that, through the Homo ergaster/erectus stages, led to our species, Homo sapiens, which originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago. At the end of the Ice Age, climatic changes and human impact determined a major food crisis, which triggered the agricultural revolution. This affected nutrition and health, with rapid evolutionary adaptations through the selection of genetic variants that allowed better utilization of new foods, different in relation to geography and culture. Today population growth, globalization and economic pressure powerfully affect diets worldwide. We must take into account our evolutionary past to meet the present nutritional challenges. PMID:19690436

  13. The moral status of a human fetus: a response to Lee.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Stephen

    2004-01-01

    It is an undeniable empirical fact that a human fetus is a member of the species homo sapiens from the moment of conception. There is thus an important sense in which it is a human being in itself, and not simply part of a pregnant woman's body, despite what defenders of abortion on demand might want us to think. It is also reasonable to suppose that all human beings, and thus human fetuses, are persons, with all that entails, but this is a metaphysical presupposition as opposed to an empirical fact, and is thus contentious. It is argued, however, that this should be of little comfort to the defenders of abortion, because the mere fact that human fetuses have an inherent tendency to become persons is sufficient reason to confer a moral status upon them, which renders abortion morally problematic at best. PMID:15675036

  14. Morphological and population genomic evidence that human faces have evolved to signal individual identity

    PubMed Central

    Nachman, Michael W

    2014-01-01

    Facial recognition plays a key role in human interactions, and there has been great interest in understanding the evolution of human abilities for individual recognition and tracking social relationships. Individual recognition requires sufficient cognitive abilities and phenotypic diversity within a population for discrimination to be possible. Despite the importance of facial recognition in humans, the evolution of facial identity has received little attention. Here we demonstrate that faces evolved to signal individual identity under negative frequency-dependent selection. Faces show elevated phenotypic variation and lower between-trait correlations compared to other traits. Regions surrounding face-associated SNPs show elevated diversity consistent with frequency-dependent selection. Genetic variation maintained by identity signaling tends to be shared across populations and, for some loci, predates the origin of Homo sapiens. Studies of human social evolution tend to emphasize cognitive adaptations but we show that social evolution has shaped patterns of human phenotypic and genetic diversity as well. PMID:25226282

  15. Geometric morphometric analysis of the crown morphology of the lower first premolar of hominins, with special attention to Pleistocene Homo.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Prado, Leyre; Sarmiento, Susana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2008-10-01

    This article is the third of a series that explores hominin dental crown morphology by means of geometric morphometrics. After the analysis of the lower second premolar and the upper first molar crown shapes, we apply the same technique to lower first premolar morphology. Our results show a clear distinction between the morphology seen in earlier hominin taxa such as Australopithecus and African early Homo, as well as Asian H. erectus, and more recent groups such as European H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens. The morphology of the earlier hominins includes an asymmetrical outline, a conspicuous talonid, and an occlusal polygon that tends to be large. The morphology of the recent hominins includes a symmetrical outline and a reduced or absent talonid. Within this later group, premolars belonging to H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis tend to possess a small and mesiolingually-displaced occlusal polygon, whereas H. sapiens specimens usually present expanded and centered occlusal polygons in an almost circular outline. The morphological differences among Paranthropus, Australopithecus, and African early Homo as studied here are small and evolutionarily less significant compared to the differences between the earlier and later homin taxa. In contrast to the lower second premolar and the upper first molar crown, the inclusion of a larger hominin sample of lower first premolars reveals a large allometric component. PMID:18639917

  16. Human eating behaviour in an evolutionary ecological context.

    PubMed

    Ulijaszek, Stanley J

    2002-11-01

    Present-day human eating behaviour in industrialised society is characterised by the consumption of high-energy-density diets and often unstructured feeding patterns, largely uncoupled from seasonal cycles of food availability. Broadly similar patterns of feeding are found among advantaged groups in economically-emerging and developing nations. Such patterns of feeding are consistent with the evolutionary ecological understanding of feeding behaviour of hominids ancestral to humans, in that human feeding adaptations are likely to have arisen in the context of resource seasonality in which diet choice for energy-dense and palatable foods would have been selected by way of foraging strategies for the maximisation of energy intake. One hallmark trait of human feeding behaviour, complex control of food availability, emerged with Homo erectus (1.9 x 10(6)-200000 years ago), who carried out this process by either increased meat eating or by cooking, or both. Another key trait of human eating behaviour is the symbolic use of food, which emerged with modern Homo sapiens (100000 years ago to the present) between 25000 and 12000 years ago. From this and subsequent social and economic transformations, including the origins of agriculture, humans have come to use food in increasingly elaborate symbolic ways, such that human eating has become increasingly structured socially and culturally in many different ways. PMID:12691181

  17. [The genetics and the dignity of the human being].

    PubMed

    Jouve de Barreda, Nicolás

    2013-01-01

    The biological elements of man are not sufficient to confront the bioethical questions around the person concept, but are necessary to accurately define the properties of the human beings and the theological, philosophical and legal aspects that are attributable to each person. The human being is a singular being. Indeed, the coexistence of two dimensions of different nature, material and spiritual, is the most important difference between the man and the rest of living beings. Moreover, in man appears a new characteristic, unique between the living beings, the ethical component. The values and guidelines of the moral and ethical behavior of the human being must be considered of natural origin since they have contributed to the success and survival of the species. The man is not only Homo sapiens but also Homo moralis. The recognition of fault, self-control, solidarity, love, generosity, altruism and honesty, among others, are innate qualities in the human beings. The unit of the human species demands the respect and the consideration of the same dignity for all its members, but only for its members. The philosophical anthropology emphasizes the singularity of each human being, each person. This agrees totally with the data of the science, which emphasize the individual and singular genetic identity of each human being. PMID:23745822

  18. The living fossil of human judgment.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Michael

    2014-06-01

    Although the biases and anomalies characterizing psychometric data should serve as conclusive evidence of systematic flaws in scientific methodology, these problems are usually ignored, which reduces empirical psychology to the closed system of its error theory. However, psychometric scores are ambiguous, and response-shifts and fluctuating validities point to fundamental differences in what the measuring-apparatus questionnaire records and how the measuring-apparatus person judges. Therefore, empirical methods fail when psychology requires evidence-based knowledge about cognitive processes and phenomena. Correcting these flaws requires a reassessment of basic scientific premises and careful consideration of Homo sapiens' biosemiotic heuristics. Based on comprehensive biopsychosocial, data, the author reconstructs the evolutionary axioms of self-referenced cognitions and reveals what is usually obscured by the axioms of normal science. He substantiates the need for a paradigm shift toward basic bio-cultural principles and an evolutionary understanding of human thinking and behavior. PMID:24615167

  19. Relative limb strength and locomotion in Homo habilis.

    PubMed

    Ruff, Christopher

    2009-01-01

    The Homo habilis OH 62 partial skeleton has played an important, although controversial role in interpretations of early Homo locomotor behavior. Past interpretive problems stemmed from uncertain bone length estimates and comparisons using external bone breadth proportions, which do not clearly distinguish between modern humans and apes. Here, true cross-sectional bone strength measurements of the OH 62 femur and humerus are compared with those of modern humans and chimpanzees, as well as two early H. erectus specimens-KNM-WT 15000 and KNM-ER 1808. The comparative sections include two locations in the femur and two in the humerus in order to encompass the range of possible section positions in the OH 62 specimens. For each combination of section locations, femoral to humeral strength proportions of OH 62 fall below the 95% confidence interval of modern humans, and for most comparisons, within the 95% confidence interval of chimpanzees. In contrast, the two H. erectus specimens both fall within or even above the modern human distributions. This indicates that load distribution between the limbs, and by implication, locomotor behavior, was significantly different in H. habilis from that of H. erectus and modern humans. When considered with other postcranial evidence, the most likely interpretation is that H. habilis, although bipedal when terrestrial, still engaged in frequent arboreal behavior, while H. erectus was a completely committed terrestrial biped. This adds to the evidence that H. habilis (sensu stricto) and H. erectus represent ecologically distinct, parallel lineages during the early Pleistocene. PMID:18711733

  20. Adult Neandertal clavicles from the El Sidrón site (Asturias, Spain) in the context of Homo pectoral girdle evolution.

    PubMed

    Rosas, Antonio; Rodriguez-Perez, Francisco Javier; Bastir, Markus; Estalrrich, Almudena; Huguet, Rosa; García-Tabernero, Antonio; Pastor, Juan Francisco; de la Rasilla, Marco

    2016-06-01

    We undertook a three-dimensional geometric morphometric (3DGM) analysis on 12 new Neandertal clavicle specimens from the El Sidrón site (Spain), dated to 49,000 years ago. The 3DGM methods were applied in a comparative framework in order to improve our understanding of trait polarity in features related to Homo pectoral girdle evolution, using other Neandertals, Homo sapiens, Pan, ATD6-50 (Homo antecessor), and KNM-WT 15000 (Homo ergaster/erectus) in the reference collection. Twenty-nine homologous landmarks were measured for each clavicle. Variation and morphological similarities were assessed through principal component analysis, conducted separately for the complete clavicle and the diaphysis. On average, Neandertal clavicles had significantly larger muscular entheses, double dorsal curvature, clavicle torsion, and cranial orientation of the acromial end than non-Neandertal clavicles; the El Sidrón clavicles fit this pattern. Variation within the samples was large, with extensive overlap between Homo species; only chimpanzee specimens clearly differed from the other specimens in morphometric terms. Taken together, our morphometric analyses are consistent with the following phylogenetic sequence. The primitive condition of the clavicle is manifest in the cranial orientation of both the acromial and sternal ends. The derived condition expressed in the H. sapiens + Neandertal clade is defined by caudal rotation of both the sternal and acromial ends, but with variation in the number of acromia remaining in a certain cranial orientation. Finally, the autapomorphic Neandertal condition is defined by secondarily acquired primitive cranial re-orientation of the acromial end, which varies from individual to individual. These results suggest that the pace of phylogenetic change in the pectoral girdle does not seem to follow that of other postcranial skeletal features. PMID:27260174

  1. Recent African origin of modern humans revealed by complete sequences of hominoid mitochondrial DNAs.

    PubMed Central

    Horai, S; Hayasaka, K; Kondo, R; Tsugane, K; Takahata, N

    1995-01-01

    We analyzed the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of three humans (African, European, and Japanese), three African apes (common and pygmy chimpanzees, and gorilla), and one orangutan in an attempt to estimate most accurately the substitution rates and divergence times of hominoid mtDNAs. Nonsynonymous substitutions and substitutions in RNA genes have accumulated with an approximately clock-like regularity. From these substitutions and under the assumption that the orangutan and African apes diverged 13 million years ago, we obtained a divergence time for humans and chimpanzees of 4.9 million years. This divergence time permitted calibration of the synonymous substitution rate (3.89 x 10(-8)/site per year). To obtain the substitution rate in the displacement (D)-loop region, we compared the three human mtDNAs and measured the relative abundance of substitutions in the D-loop region and at synonymous sites. The estimated substitution rate in the D-loop region was 7.00 x 10(-8)/site per year. Using both synonymous and D-loop substitutions, we inferred the age of the last common ancestor of the human mtDNAs as 143,000 +/- 18,000 years. The shallow ancestry of human mtDNAs, together with the observation that the African sequence is the most diverged among humans, strongly supports the recent African origin of modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens. PMID:7530363

  2. Human evolution: humanistic selection and looking to the future.

    PubMed

    Krsiak, Miloslav

    2006-10-01

    Cultural evolution has predominated over biological evolution in modern man (Homo sapiens sapiens). Cultural evolution differs from biological evolution not only by inheritance of acquired characteristics but also, as is proposed in the present essay, by another kind of selection mechanism. Whereas selection in biological evolution is executed according to a criterion of reproductive success (the natural selection), selection in cultural evolution appears to be carried out according to human and humanistic criteria (success or fitness in meeting human needs, interests and humanistic values--"humanistic selection"). Many humanistic needs or values do not seem to be prerequisite for reproductive success, yet some of them (e.g. a need for freedom) seem to be inborn. Innateness, humanistic selection (decisive at a community level) and hierarchy of some human needs, interests and values appear to give cultural evolution a generally upward trend although long periods of stagnation or even regression may occur. Modern humans appear to be still at the early stage of their cultural evolution. A further cultural evolution of man appears to be, in contrast to biological evolution, predictable (with an optimistic outlook) and testable. The problem is that the hopeful result of this test will probably be known only in the fairly remote future provided that this species will not become extinct before that. PMID:17159825

  3. On Some Issues of Human-Animal Studies: An Introduction.

    PubMed

    Métraux, Alexandre

    2016-03-01

    Animals are "in" - since prehistoric times when humans (or their ancient ancestors) were hunting animals, and when they fabricated the Paleolithic dog as well as the Paleolithic cat. In less general terms, animals are "in" since they received names and were listed, observed, mummified, turned into totems, and, later on, dissected, tortured under laboratory conditions, trained as experimental subjects or "purified" as model organisms. And they are massively "in" again, but now from overtly legal and moral points of view, at least since the last two decades of the twentieth century. This is to say that modern members of the species Homo sapiens have always been connected to animals of the most various kinds - from the human flea (Pulex irritans) and the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) to marine mammals, such as dolphins and whales, from horses to parrots, from scallops to worms, and so on. PMID:26903370

  4. Patterns of dental development in Homo, Australopithecus, Pan, and Gorilla.

    PubMed

    Smith, B H

    1994-07-01

    Smith ([1986] Nature 323:327-330) distinguished patterns of development of teeth of juvenile fossil hominids as being "more like humans" or "more like apes" based on statistical similarity to group standards. Here, this central tendency discrimination (CTD) is tested for its ability to recognize ape and human patterns of dental development in 789 subadult hominoids. Tooth development of a modern human sample (665 black southern Africans) was scored entirely by an outside investigator; pongid and fossil hominid samples (59 Pan, 50 Gorilla, and 14 fossil hominids) were scored by the author. The claim of Lampl et al. ([1993] Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 90:113-127) that Smith's 1986 method succeeds in only 8% of human cases was not sustained. Figures for overall success of classification (87% humans, 68% apes) mask important effects of teeth sampled and age class. For humans, the power of CTD varied between 53% and 92% depending on the number and kind of teeth available--nearly that of a coin toss when data described only two nearby teeth, but quite successful with more teeth or distant teeth. For apes, only age class affected accuracy: "Infant" apes (M1 development < or = root cleft complete, unemerged) were usually classed as humans, probably because the present developmental standard for great apes is in substantial error under 3 years of age. "Juvenile" apes (M1 > or = root 1/4), however, were correctly discriminated in 87% of cases. Overall, CTD can be considered reliable (accuracy of 92% for humans and 88% for apes) when data contrast development of distant dental fields and subjects are juveniles (not infants). Restricting analysis of fossils to specimens satisfying these criteria, patterns of dental development of gracile australopithecines and Homo habilis remain classified with African apes. Those of Homo erectus and Neanderthals are classified with humans, suggesting that patterns of growth evolved substantially in the Hominidae. To standardize future research

  5. A natural history of the human mind: tracing evolutionary changes in brain and cognition

    PubMed Central

    Sherwood, Chet C; Subiaul, Francys; Zawidzki, Tadeusz W

    2008-01-01

    Since the last common ancestor shared by modern humans, chimpanzees and bonobos, the lineage leading to Homo sapiens has undergone a substantial change in brain size and organization. As a result, modern humans display striking differences from the living apes in the realm of cognition and linguistic expression. In this article, we review the evolutionary changes that occurred in the descent of Homo sapiens by reconstructing the neural and cognitive traits that would have characterized the last common ancestor and comparing these with the modern human condition. The last common ancestor can be reconstructed to have had a brain of approximately 300–400 g that displayed several unique phylogenetic specializations of development, anatomical organization, and biochemical function. These neuroanatomical substrates contributed to the enhancement of behavioral flexibility and social cognition. With this evolutionary history as precursor, the modern human mind may be conceived as a mosaic of traits inherited from a common ancestry with our close relatives, along with the addition of evolutionary specializations within particular domains. These modern human-specific cognitive and linguistic adaptations appear to be correlated with enlargement of the neocortex and related structures. Accompanying this general neocortical expansion, certain higher-order unimodal and multimodal cortical areas have grown disproportionately relative to primary cortical areas. Anatomical and molecular changes have also been identified that might relate to the greater metabolic demand and enhanced synaptic plasticity of modern human brain's. Finally, the unique brain growth trajectory of modern humans has made a significant contribution to our species’ cognitive and linguistic abilities. PMID:18380864

  6. Viral and vector zoonotic exploitation of a homo-sociome memetic complex.

    PubMed

    Rupprecht, C E; Burgess, G W

    2015-05-01

    As most newly characterized emerging infectious diseases are considered to be zoonotic, a modern pre-eminence ascribed within this classification lies clearly within the viral taxonomic realm. In particular, RNA viruses deserve special concern given their documented impact on conservation biology, veterinary medicine and public health, with an unprecedented ability to promote an evolutionary host-pathogen arms race from the ultimate infection and immunity perspective. However, besides the requisite molecular/gross anatomical and physiological bases for infectious diseases to transmit from one host to another, both viral pathogens and their reservoirs/vectors exploit a complex anthropological, cultural, historical, psychological and social suite that specifically defines the phylodynamics within Homo sapiens, unlike any other species. Some of these variables include the ecological benefits of living in groups, decisions on hunting and foraging behaviours and dietary preferences, myths and religious doctrines, health economics, travel destinations, population planning, political decisions on agricultural product bans and many others, in a homo-sociome memetic complex. Taken to an extreme, such complexities elucidate the underpinnings of explanations as to why certain viral zoonoses reside in neglected people, places and things, whereas others are chosen selectively and prioritized for active mitigation. Canine-transmitted rabies serves as one prime example of how a neglected viral zoonosis may transition to greater attention on the basis of renewed advocacy, social media, local champions and vested international community engagement. In contrast, certain bat-associated and arboviral diseases suffer from basic ignorance and perpetuated misunderstanding of fundamental reservoir and vector ecology tenets, translated into failed control policies that only exacerbate the underlying environmental conditions of concern. Beyond applied biomedical knowledge, epidemiological

  7. Modern human origins in Australasia: replacement or evolution?

    PubMed

    Kramer, A

    1991-12-01

    The controversies surrounding the origins of modern humans have spawned two competing hypotheses, namely Replacement and Multiregional Evolution. The first suggests that modern Homo sapiens evolved first in Africa, as late as 140 ka, and subsequently inhabited the balance of the Old World. Conversely, the second hypothesis posits that modern humans evolved principally from local populations of archaic hominids indigenous to the major regions of the Old World. The hominid mandibular remains (ca. 1 Ma) from Sangiran, central Java, Indonesia, were studied in order to test these hypotheses. Non-metric comparisons were performed between these fossils and aboriginal H. sapiens from Africa and Australia. The Replacement model would be supported by a unique Afro-Australian grouping while Multiregional Evolution would be suggested by a Sangiran-Australasian group which would exclude the modern Africans. These data support the Multiregional Evolution hypothesis in that a plurality (eight) of the seventeen non-metric features link Sangiran to modern Australians, while only three exclusively group the humans from Africa and Australia. These results are suggestive of morphological continuity, which implies the presence of a genetic continuum in Australasia dating back at least one million years. PMID:1776654

  8. Brain size and encephalization in early to Mid-Pleistocene Homo.

    PubMed

    Rightmire, G Philip

    2004-06-01

    Important changes in the brain have occurred during the course of human evolution. Both absolute and relative size increases can be documented for species of Homo, culminating in the appearance of modern humans. One species that is particularly well-represented by fossil crania is Homo erectus. The mean capacity for 30 individuals is 973 cm(3). Within this group there is substantial variation, but brain size increases slightly in specimens from later time periods. Other Middle Pleistocene crania differ from those of Homo erectus. Characters of the facial skeleton, vault, and cranial base suggest that fossils from sites such as Arago Cave in France, the Sima de los Huesos in Spain, Bodo in Ethiopia, Broken Hill in Zambia, and perhaps Dali in China belong to the taxon Homo heidelbergensis. Ten of these mid-Quaternary hominins have brains averaging 1,206 cm(3) in volume, and many fall beyond the limits of size predicted for Homo erectus of equivalent age. When orbit height is used to construct an index of relative brain size, it is apparent that the (significant) increase in volume documented for the Middle Pleistocene individuals is not simply a consequence of larger body mass. Encephalization quotient values confirm this finding. These changes in absolute and relative brain size can be taken as further corroborative evidence for a speciation event, in which Homo erectus produced a daughter lineage. It is probable that Homo heidelbergensis originated in Africa or western Eurasia and then ranged widely across the Old World. Archaeological traces indicate that these populations differed in their technology and behavior from earlier hominins. PMID:15160365

  9. Gorilla and Orangutan Brains Conform to the Primate Cellular Scaling Rules: Implications for Human Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Kaas, Jon H.

    2011-01-01

    Gorillas and orangutans are primates at least as large as humans, but their brains amount to about one third of the size of the human brain. This discrepancy has been used as evidence that the human brain is about 3 times larger than it should be for a primate species of its body size. In contrast to the view that the human brain is special in its size, we have suggested that it is the great apes that might have evolved bodies that are unusually large, on the basis of our recent finding that the cellular composition of the human brain matches that expected for a primate brain of its size, making the human brain a linearly scaled-up primate brain in its number of cells. To investigate whether the brain of great apes also conforms to the primate cellular scaling rules identified previously, we determine the numbers of neuronal and other cells that compose the orangutan and gorilla cerebella, use these numbers to calculate the size of the brain and of the cerebral cortex expected for these species, and show that these match the sizes described in the literature. Our results suggest that the brains of great apes also scale linearly in their numbers of neurons like other primate brains, including humans. The conformity of great apes and humans to the linear cellular scaling rules that apply to other primates that diverged earlier in primate evolution indicates that prehistoric Homo species as well as other hominins must have had brains that conformed to the same scaling rules, irrespective of their body size. We then used those scaling rules and published estimated brain volumes for various hominin species to predict the numbers of neurons that composed their brains. We predict that Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis had brains with approximately 80 billion neurons, within the range of variation found in modern Homo sapiens. We propose that while the cellular scaling rules that apply to the primate brain have remained stable in hominin evolution (since they

  10. Homo economicus in visual search.

    PubMed

    Navalpakkam, Vidhya; Koch, Christof; Perona, Pietro

    2009-01-01

    How do reward outcomes affect early visual performance? Previous studies found a suboptimal influence, but they ignored the non-linearity in how subjects perceived the reward outcomes. In contrast, we find that when the non-linearity is accounted for, humans behave optimally and maximize expected reward. Our subjects were asked to detect the presence of a familiar target object in a cluttered scene. They were rewarded according to their performance. We systematically varied the target frequency and the reward/penalty policy for detecting/missing the targets. We find that 1) decreasing the target frequency will decrease the detection rates, in accordance with the literature. 2) Contrary to previous studies, increasing the target detection rewards will compensate for target rarity and restore detection performance. 3) A quantitative model based on reward maximization accurately predicts human detection behavior in all target frequency and reward conditions; thus, reward schemes can be designed to obtain desired detection rates for rare targets. 4) Subjects quickly learn the optimal decision strategy; we propose a neurally plausible model that exhibits the same properties. Potential applications include designing reward schemes to improve detection of life-critical, rare targets (e.g., cancers in medical images). PMID:19271901

  11. Unique Dental Morphology of Homo floresiensis and Its Evolutionary Implications

    PubMed Central

    Kaifu, Yousuke; Kono, Reiko T.; Sutikna, Thomas; Saptomo, Emanuel Wahyu; Jatmiko

    2015-01-01

    Homo floresiensis is an extinct, diminutive hominin species discovered in the Late Pleistocene deposits of Liang Bua cave, Flores, eastern Indonesia. The nature and evolutionary origins of H. floresiensis’ unique physical characters have been intensively debated. Based on extensive comparisons using linear metric analyses, crown contour analyses, and other trait-by-trait morphological comparisons, we report here that the dental remains from multiple individuals indicate that H. floresiensis had primitive canine-premolar and advanced molar morphologies, a combination of dental traits unknown in any other hominin species. The primitive aspects are comparable to H. erectus from the Early Pleistocene, whereas some of the molar morphologies are more progressive even compared to those of modern humans. This evidence contradicts the earlier claim of an entirely modern human-like dental morphology of H. floresiensis, while at the same time does not support the hypothesis that H. floresiensis originated from a much older H. habilis or Australopithecus-like small-brained hominin species currently unknown in the Asian fossil record. These results are however consistent with the alternative hypothesis that H. floresiensis derived from an earlier Asian Homo erectus population and experienced substantial body and brain size dwarfism in an isolated insular setting. The dentition of H. floresiensis is not a simple, scaled-down version of earlier hominins. PMID:26624612

  12. Unique Dental Morphology of Homo floresiensis and Its Evolutionary Implications.

    PubMed

    Kaifu, Yousuke; Kono, Reiko T; Sutikna, Thomas; Saptomo, Emanuel Wahyu; Jatmiko; Due Awe, Rokus

    2015-01-01

    Homo floresiensis is an extinct, diminutive hominin species discovered in the Late Pleistocene deposits of Liang Bua cave, Flores, eastern Indonesia. The nature and evolutionary origins of H. floresiensis' unique physical characters have been intensively debated. Based on extensive comparisons using linear metric analyses, crown contour analyses, and other trait-by-trait morphological comparisons, we report here that the dental remains from multiple individuals indicate that H. floresiensis had primitive canine-premolar and advanced molar morphologies, a combination of dental traits unknown in any other hominin species. The primitive aspects are comparable to H. erectus from the Early Pleistocene, whereas some of the molar morphologies are more progressive even compared to those of modern humans. This evidence contradicts the earlier claim of an entirely modern human-like dental morphology of H. floresiensis, while at the same time does not support the hypothesis that H. floresiensis originated from a much older H. habilis or Australopithecus-like small-brained hominin species currently unknown in the Asian fossil record. These results are however consistent with the alternative hypothesis that H. floresiensis derived from an earlier Asian Homo erectus population and experienced substantial body and brain size dwarfism in an isolated insular setting. The dentition of H. floresiensis is not a simple, scaled-down version of earlier hominins. PMID:26624612

  13. Delayed migration of Sapien valve following a transcatheter mitral valve-in-valve implantation.

    PubMed

    Bapat, Vinayak Vinnie Nilkanth; Khaliel, Feras; Ihleberg, Leo

    2014-01-01

    We report two cases of delayed migration of the Sapien XT device after a successful mitral valve-in-valve (VIV) implantation. The procedure was performed through a transapical approach. Echocardiography was used to choose the size of the Sapien XT device. Although the immediate results were satisfactory both the cases presented with severe regurgitation (1 week and 3 months). Investigations revealed atrial migration of the Sapien device in both the cases, which was confirmed at the time of reoperation. We discuss possible mechanisms, which could have resulted in the delayed migration and highlight the difference between VIV procedures in mitral position versus other positions. PMID:23784983

  14. Structures of the human and Drosophila 80S ribosome.

    PubMed

    Anger, Andreas M; Armache, Jean-Paul; Berninghausen, Otto; Habeck, Michael; Subklewe, Marion; Wilson, Daniel N; Beckmann, Roland

    2013-05-01

    Protein synthesis in all cells is carried out by macromolecular machines called ribosomes. Although the structures of prokaryotic, yeast and protist ribosomes have been determined, the more complex molecular architecture of metazoan 80S ribosomes has so far remained elusive. Here we present structures of Drosophila melanogaster and Homo sapiens 80S ribosomes in complex with the translation factor eEF2, E-site transfer RNA and Stm1-like proteins, based on high-resolution cryo-electron-microscopy density maps. These structures not only illustrate the co-evolution of metazoan-specific ribosomal RNA with ribosomal proteins but also reveal the presence of two additional structural layers in metazoan ribosomes, a well-ordered inner layer covered by a flexible RNA outer layer. The human and Drosophila ribosome structures will provide the basis for more detailed structural, biochemical and genetic experiments. PMID:23636399

  15. Distinct patterns of mitochondrial genome diversity in bonobos (Pan paniscus) and humans

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background We have analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes of 22 Pan paniscus (bonobo, pygmy chimpanzee) individuals to assess the detailed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogeny of this close relative of Homo sapiens. Results We identified three major clades among bonobos that separated approximately 540,000 years ago, as suggested by Bayesian analysis. Incidentally, we discovered that the current reference sequence for bonobo likely is a hybrid of the mitochondrial genomes of two distant individuals. When comparing spectra of polymorphic mtDNA sites in bonobos and humans, we observed two major differences: (i) Of all 31 bonobo mtDNA homoplasies, i.e. nucleotide changes that occurred independently on separate branches of the phylogenetic tree, 13 were not homoplasic in humans. This indicates that at least a part of the unstable sites of the mitochondrial genome is species-specific and difficult to be explained on the basis of a mutational hotspot concept. (ii) A comparison of the ratios of non-synonymous to synonymous changes (dN/dS) among polymorphic positions in bonobos and in 4902 Homo sapiens mitochondrial genomes revealed a remarkable difference in the strength of purifying selection in the mitochondrial genes of the F0F1-ATPase complex. While in bonobos this complex showed a similar low value as complexes I and IV, human haplogroups displayed 2.2 to 7.6 times increased dN/dS ratios when compared to bonobos. Conclusions Some variants of mitochondrially encoded subunits of the ATPase complex in humans very likely decrease the efficiency of energy conversion leading to production of extra heat. Thus, we hypothesize that the species-specific release of evolutionary constraints for the mitochondrial genes of the proton-translocating ATPase is a consequence of altered heat homeostasis in modern humans. PMID:20813043

  16. Origin and primary dispersal of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing genotype: Clues from human phylogeography

    PubMed Central

    Mokrousov, Igor; Ly, Ho Minh; Otten, Tatiana; Lan, Nguyen Ngoc; Vyshnevskyi, Boris; Hoffner, Sven; Narvskaya, Olga

    2005-01-01

    We suggest that the evolution of the population structure of microbial pathogens is influenced by that of modern humans. Consequently, the timing of hallmark changes in bacterial genomes within the last 100,000 yr may be attempted by comparison with relevant human migrations. Here, we used a lineage within Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a Beijing genotype, as a model and compared its phylogeography with human demography and Y chromosome-based phylogeography. We hypothesize that two key events shaped the early history of the Beijing genotype: (1) its Upper Palaeolithic origin in the Homo sapiens sapiens K-M9 cluster in Central Asia, and (2) primary Neolithic dispersal of the secondary Beijing NTF::IS6110 lineage by Proto-Sino-Tibetan farmers within east Asia (human O-M214/M122 haplogroup). The independent introductions of the Beijing strains from east Asia to northern Eurasia and South Africa were likely historically recent, whereas their differential dissemination within these areas has been influenced by demographic and climatic factors. PMID:16169923

  17. Total π-electron and HOMO energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutman, Ivan; Radenković, Slavko; Ðorđević, Slađana; Milovanović, Igor Ž.; Milovanović, Emina I.

    2016-04-01

    A relation is obtained between the total π-electron energy Eπ and the HOMO energy EHOMO, valid within the HMO approximation. This seems to be the very first relation between Eπ and EHOMO ever established. It enables a much more accurate assessment of Eπ of alternant conjugated hydrocarbons than that based on McClelland's formula and on other (n, m)-type approximate expressions.

  18. Starch Catabolism by a Prominent Human Gut Symbiont Is Directed by the Recognition of Amylose Helices

    SciTech Connect

    Koropatkin, Nicole M.; Martens, Eric C.; Gordon, Jeffrey I.; Smith, Thomas J.

    2009-01-12

    The human gut microbiota performs functions that are not encoded in our Homo sapiens genome, including the processing of otherwise undigestible dietary polysaccharides. Defining the structures of proteins involved in the import and degradation of specific glycans by saccharolytic bacteria complements genomic analysis of the nutrient-processing capabilities of gut communities. Here, we describe the atomic structure of one such protein, SusD, required for starch binding and utilization by Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a prominent adaptive forager of glycans in the distal human gut microbiota. The binding pocket of this unique {alpha}-helical protein contains an arc of aromatic residues that complements the natural helical structure of starch and imposes this conformation on bound maltoheptaose. Furthermore, SusD binds cyclic oligosaccharides with higher affinity than linear forms. The structures of several SusD/oligosaccharide complexes reveal an inherent ligand recognition plasticity dominated by the three-dimensional conformation of the oligosaccharides rather than specific interactions with the composite sugars.

  19. Early Homo and associated artefacts from Asia.

    PubMed

    Huang, W; Ciochon, R; Gu, Y; Larick, R; Qiren, F; Schwarcz, H; Yonge, C; de Vos, J; Rink, W

    1995-11-16

    The site of Longgupo Cave was discovered in 1984 and excavated in 1985-1988 by the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (Beijing) and the Chongqing National Museum (Sichuan Province). Important finds include very archaic hominid dental fragments, Gigantopithecus teeth and primitive stone tools. Palaeomagnetic analysis and the presence of Ailuropoda microta (pygmy giant panda) suggested that the hominid-bearing levels dated to the earliest Pleistocene. In 1992, joint Chinese-American-Canadian geochronological research corroborated the age using electron spin resonance (ESR) analysis. We report here that the hominid dentition and stone tools from Longgupo Cave are comparable in age and morphology with early representives of the genus Homo (H. habilis and H. ergaster) and the Oldowan technology in East Africa. The Longgupo dentition is demonstrably more primitive than that seen in Asian Homo erectus. Longgupo's diverse and well preserved Plio-Pleistocene fauna of 116 species provide a sensitive contextual base for interpreting the early arrival of the genus Homo in Asia. PMID:7477345

  20. Description, new reconstruction, comparative anatomy, and classification of the Sterkfontein Stw 53 cranium, with discussions about the taxonomy of other southern African early Homo remains.

    PubMed

    Curnoe, Darren; Tobias, Phillip V

    2006-01-01

    Specimen Stw 53 was recovered in 1976 from Member 5 of the Sterkfontein Formation. Since its incomplete initial description and comparison, the partial cranium has figured prominently in discussions about the systematics of early Homo. Despite publication of a preliminary reconstruction in 1985, Stw 53 has yet to be compared comprehensively to other Plio-Pleistocene fossils or assessed systematically. In this paper, we report on a new reconstruction of this specimen and provide a detailed description and comparison of its morphology. Our reconstruction differs in important respects from the earlier one, especially in terms of neurocranial length, breadth, and height. However, given that Stw 53 exhibits extensive damage, these dimensions are most likely prone to much error in reconstruction. In areas of well-preserved bone, Stw 53 shares many cranial features with Homo habilis, and we propose retaining it within this species. We also consider the affinities of dental remains from Sterkfontein Member 5, along with those from Swartkrans and Drimolen previously assigned to Homo. We find evidence for sympatry of H. habilis and Australopithecus robustus and possibly Plio-Pleistocene Homo sapiens sensu lato in Sterkfontein Member 5. At Swartkrans and Drimolen, we find evidence of H. habilis. We also compare the morphologies of Stw 53 and SK 847 and find compelling evidence to assign the latter specimen to H. habilis, as has been proposed. PMID:16243378

  1. Early hominin diversity and the emergence of the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Harcourt-Smith, William

    2016-06-20

    Bipedalism is a defining trait of hominins, as all members of the clade are argued to possess at least some characters indicative of this unusual form of locomotion. Traditionally the evolution of bipedalism has been treated in a somewhat linear way. This has been challenged in the last decade or so, and in this paper I consider this view in light of the considerable new fossil hominin discoveries of the last few years. It is now apparent that there was even more locomotor diversity and experimentation across hominins than previously thought, and with the discovery of taxa such as H. floresiensis and H. naledi, that diversity continues well into the genus Homo. Based on these findings,we need to reevaluate how we define members of the genus Homo, at least when considering postcranial morphology, and accept that the evolution of hominin bipedalism was a complex and messy affair. It is within that context that the modern human form of bipedal locomotion emerged. PMID:27124766

  2. Early evidence of the genus Homo in East Asia.

    PubMed

    Zhu, R X; Potts, R; Pan, Y X; Yao, H T; Lü, L Q; Zhao, X; Gao, X; Chen, L W; Gao, F; Deng, C L

    2008-12-01

    The timing and route of the earliest dispersal from Africa to Eastern Asia are contentious topics in the study of early human evolution because Asian hominin fossil sites with precise age constraints are very limited. Here we report new high-resolution magnetostratigraphic results that place stringent age controls on excavated hominin incisors and stone tools from the Yuanmou Basin, southwest China. The hominin-bearing layer resides in a reverse polarity magnetozone just above the upper boundary of the Olduvai subchron, yielding an estimated age of 1.7Ma. The finding represents the age of the earliest documented presence of Homo, with affinities to Homo erectus, in mainland East Asia. This age estimate is roughly the same as for H. erectus in island Southeast Asia and immediately prior to the oldest archaeological evidence in northeast Asia. Mammalian fauna and pollen obtained directly from the hominin site indicate that the Yuanmou hominins lived in a varied habitat of open vegetation with patches of bushland and forest on an alluvial fan close to a lake or swamp. The age and location are consistent with a rapid southern migration route of initial hominin populations into Eastern Asia. PMID:18842287

  3. Evidence from facial morphology for similarity of Asian and African representatives of Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Rightmire, G P

    1998-05-01

    It has been argued that Homo erectus is a species confined to Asia. Specialized characters displayed by the Indonesian and Chinese skulls are said to be absent in material from eastern Africa, and individuals from Koobi Fora and Nariokotome are now referred by some workers to H. ergaster. This second species is held to be the ancestor from which later human populations are derived. The claim for two taxa is evaluated here with special reference to the facial skeleton. Asian fossils examined include Sangiran 4 and Sangiran 17, several of the Ngandong crania, Gongwangling, and of course the material from Zhoukoudian described by Weidenreich ([1943] Palaeontol. Sin. [New Ser. D] 10:1-484). African specimens compared are KNM-ER 3733 and KNM-ER 3883 from Koobi Fora and KNM-WT 15000 from Nariokotome. Hominid 9 from Olduvai is useful only insofar as the brows and interorbital pillar are preserved. Neither detailed anatomical comparisons nor measurements bring to light any consistent patterns in facial morphology which set the African hominids apart from Asian H. erectus. Faces of the African individuals do tend to be high and less broad across the orbits. Both of the Koobi Fora crania but not KNM-WT 15000 have nasal bones that are narrow superiorly, while the piriform aperture is relatively wide. In many other characters, including contour of the supraorbital torus, glabellar prominence, nasal bridge dimensions, internasal keeling, anatomy of the nasal sill and floor, development of the canine jugum, orientation of the zygomaticoalveolar pillar, rounding of the anterolateral surface of the cheek, formation of a malar tubercle, and palatal rugosity, there is variation among individuals from localities within the major geographic provinces. Here it is not possible to identify features that are unique to either the Asian or African assemblages. Additional traits such as a forward sloping "crista nasalis," presence of a "sulcus maxillaris," a high (and massive) cheek coupled

  4. Evolution of human brain functions: the functional structure of human consciousness.

    PubMed

    Cloninger, C Robert

    2009-11-01

    The functional structure of self-aware consciousness in human beings is described based on the evolution of human brain functions. Prior work on heritable temperament and character traits is extended to account for the quantum-like and holographic properties (i.e. parts elicit wholes) of self-aware consciousness. Cladistic analysis is used to identify the succession of ancestors leading to human beings. The functional capacities that emerge along this lineage of ancestors are described. The ecological context in which each cladogenesis occurred is described to illustrate the shifting balance of evolution as a complex adaptive system. Comparative neuroanatomy is reviewed to identify the brain structures and networks that emerged coincident with the emergent brain functions. Individual differences in human temperament traits were well developed in the common ancestor shared by reptiles and humans. Neocortical development in mammals proceeded in five major transitions: from early reptiles to early mammals, early primates, simians, early Homo, and modern Homo sapiens. These transitions provide the foundation for human self-awareness related to sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality, respectively. The functional structure of human self-aware consciousness is concerned with the regulation of five planes of being: sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality. Each plane elaborates neocortical functions organized around one of the five special senses. The interactions among these five planes gives rise to a 5 x 5 matrix of subplanes, which are functions that coarsely describe the focus of neocortical regulation. Each of these 25 neocortical functions regulates each of five basic motives or drives that can be measured as temperaments or basic emotions related to fear, anger, disgust, surprise, and happiness/sadness. The resulting 5 x 5 x 5 matrix of human characteristics provides a general and testable model of the

  5. Human Dispersals Along the African Rift Valley in the Late Quaternary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tryon, C. A.; Faith, J. T.; Peppe, D. J.

    2014-12-01

    Climate- and tectonic-driven environmental dynamics of the East African Rift System (EARS) during the Quaternary played an important role in the demographic history of early Homo sapiens, including expansions of modern humans across and out of Africa. Human forager population size, geographic range, and behaviors such as hunting strategies and residential mobility likely varied in response to changes in the local and regional environment. Throughout the Quaternary, floral and faunal change was linked at least in part to variations in moisture availability, temperature, and atmospheric CO2, which in addition to uplift and faulting, contributed to the expansion and contraction of a number of large lakes that served as biogeographic barriers to many taxa. This is particularly clear for the Lake Victoria basin, where biogeographic, geological, and paleontological evidence documents repeated expansion and contraction of the ranges of species in response to lake level and vegetation change. Across much of eastern Africa, the topography of the rift facilitated north-south dispersals, the timing of which may have depended in part on the expansion and contraction of the equatorial forest belt. Dispersal potential likely increased during the more arid periods of the late Quaternary, when the roles of lakes and forests as dispersal barriers was reduced and the extent of low net primary productivity dry grasslands increased, the latter requiring large home ranges for human foragers, conditions suitable for range expansions within H. sapiens.

  6. Malaria infection and human evolution.

    PubMed

    Sabbatani, Sergio; Manfredi, Roberto; Fiorino, Sirio

    2010-03-01

    During the evolution of the genus Homo, with regard to the species habilis, erectus and sapiens, malaria has played a key biological role in influencing human development. The plasmodia causing malaria have evolved in two ways, in biological and phylogenetic terms: Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale appear to have either coevolved with human mankind, or encountered human species during the most ancient phases of Homo evolution; on the other hand, Plasmodium falciparum has been transmitted to humans by monkeys in a more recent period, probably between the end of the Mesolithic and the beginning of the Neolithic age. The authors show both direct and indirect biomolecular evidence of malarial infection, detected in buried subjects, dating to ancient times and brought to light in the course of archaeological excavations in major Mediterranean sites. In this review of the literature the authors present scientific evidence confirming the role of malaria in affecting the evolution of populations in Mediterranean countries. The people living in several different Mediterranean regions, the cradle of western civilization, have been progressively influenced by malaria in the course of the spread of this endemic disease in recent millennia. In addition, populations affected by endemic malaria progressively developed cultural, dietary and behavioural adaptation mechanisms, which contributed to diminish the risk of disease. These habits were probably not fully conscious. Nevertheless it may be thought that both these customs and biological modifications, caused by malarial plasmodia, favoured the emergence of groups of people with greater resistance to malaria. All these factors have diminished the unfavourable demographic impact of the disease, also positively influencing the general development and growth of civilization. PMID:20424529

  7. The Evolution of Human Longevity: Toward a Biocultural Theory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, Peter J.

    Homo sapiens is the only extant species for which there exists a significant post-reproductive period in the normal lifespan. Explanations for the evolution of this species-specific trait are possible through "non-deterministic" theories of aging positing "wear and tear" or the failure of nature to eliminate imperfection, or "deterministic"…

  8. Disproportionate Cochlear Length in Genus Homo Shows a High Phylogenetic Signal during Apes' Hearing Evolution.

    PubMed

    Braga, J; Loubes, J-M; Descouens, D; Dumoncel, J; Thackeray, J F; Kahn, J-L; de Beer, F; Riberon, A; Hoffman, K; Balaresque, P; Gilissen, E

    2015-01-01

    Changes in lifestyles and body weight affected mammal life-history evolution but little is known about how they shaped species' sensory systems. Since auditory sensitivity impacts communication tasks and environmental acoustic awareness, it may have represented a deciding factor during mammal evolution, including apes. Here, we statistically measure the influence of phylogeny and allometry on the variation of five cochlear morphological features associated with hearing capacities across 22 living and 5 fossil catarrhine species. We find high phylogenetic signals for absolute and relative cochlear length only. Comparisons between fossil cochleae and reconstructed ape ancestral morphotypes show that Australopithecus absolute and relative cochlear lengths are explicable by phylogeny and concordant with the hypothetized ((Pan,Homo),Gorilla) and (Pan,Homo) most recent common ancestors. Conversely, deviations of the Paranthropus oval window area from these most recent common ancestors are not explicable by phylogeny and body weight alone, but suggest instead rapid evolutionary changes (directional selection) of its hearing organ. Premodern (Homo erectus) and modern human cochleae set apart from living non-human catarrhines and australopiths. They show cochlear relative lengths and oval window areas larger than expected for their body mass, two features corresponding to increased low-frequency sensitivity more recent than 2 million years ago. The uniqueness of the "hypertrophied" cochlea in the genus Homo (as opposed to the australopiths) and the significantly high phylogenetic signal of this organ among apes indicate its usefulness to identify homologies and monophyletic groups in the hominid fossil record. PMID:26083484

  9. Disproportionate Cochlear Length in Genus Homo Shows a High Phylogenetic Signal during Apes’ Hearing Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Braga, J.; Loubes, J-M.; Descouens, D.; Dumoncel, J.; Thackeray, J. F.; Kahn, J-L.; de Beer, F.; Riberon, A.; Hoffman, K.; Balaresque, P.; Gilissen, E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in lifestyles and body weight affected mammal life-history evolution but little is known about how they shaped species’ sensory systems. Since auditory sensitivity impacts communication tasks and environmental acoustic awareness, it may have represented a deciding factor during mammal evolution, including apes. Here, we statistically measure the influence of phylogeny and allometry on the variation of five cochlear morphological features associated with hearing capacities across 22 living and 5 fossil catarrhine species. We find high phylogenetic signals for absolute and relative cochlear length only. Comparisons between fossil cochleae and reconstructed ape ancestral morphotypes show that Australopithecus absolute and relative cochlear lengths are explicable by phylogeny and concordant with the hypothetized ((Pan,Homo),Gorilla) and (Pan,Homo) most recent common ancestors. Conversely, deviations of the Paranthropus oval window area from these most recent common ancestors are not explicable by phylogeny and body weight alone, but suggest instead rapid evolutionary changes (directional selection) of its hearing organ. Premodern (Homo erectus) and modern human cochleae set apart from living non-human catarrhines and australopiths. They show cochlear relative lengths and oval window areas larger than expected for their body mass, two features corresponding to increased low-frequency sensitivity more recent than 2 million years ago. The uniqueness of the “hypertrophied” cochlea in the genus Homo (as opposed to the australopiths) and the significantly high phylogenetic signal of this organ among apes indicate its usefulness to identify homologies and monophyletic groups in the hominid fossil record. PMID:26083484

  10. Genome Digging: Insight into the Mitochondrial Genome of Homo

    PubMed Central

    Ovchinnikov, Igor V.; Kholina, Olga I.

    2010-01-01

    Background A fraction of the Neanderthal mitochondrial genome sequence has a similarity with a 5,839-bp nuclear DNA sequence of mitochondrial origin (numt) on the human chromosome 1. This fact has never been interpreted. Although this phenomenon may be attributed to contamination and mosaic assembly of Neanderthal mtDNA from short sequencing reads, we explain the mysterious similarity by integration of this numt (mtAncestor-1) into the nuclear genome of the common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans not long before their reproductive split. Principal Findings Exploiting bioinformatics, we uncovered an additional numt (mtAncestor-2) with a high similarity to the Neanderthal mtDNA and indicated that both numts represent almost identical replicas of the mtDNA sequences ancestral to the mitochondrial genomes of Neanderthals and modern humans. In the proteins, encoded by mtDNA, the majority of amino acids distinguishing chimpanzees from humans and Neanderthals were acquired by the ancestral hominins. The overall rate of nonsynonymous evolution in Neanderthal mitochondrial protein-coding genes is not higher than in other lineages. The model incorporating the ancestral hominin mtDNA sequences estimates the average divergence age of the mtDNAs of Neanderthals and modern humans to be 450,000–485,000 years. The mtAncestor-1 and mtAncestor-2 sequences were incorporated into the nuclear genome approximately 620,000 years and 2,885,000 years ago, respectively. Conclusions This study provides the first insight into the evolution of the mitochondrial DNA in hominins ancestral to Neanderthals and humans. We hypothesize that mtAncestor-1 and mtAncestor-2 are likely to be molecular fossils of the mtDNAs of Homo heidelbergensis and a stem Homo lineage. The dN/dS dynamics suggests that the effective population size of extinct hominins was low. However, the hominin lineage ancestral to humans, Neanderthals and H. heidelbergensis, had a larger effective population size and

  11. Femoral/humeral strength in early African Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Ruff, Christopher

    2008-03-01

    Lower-to-upper limb-bone proportions give valuable clues to locomotor behavior in fossil taxa. However, to date only external linear dimensions have been included in such analyses of early hominins. In this study, cross-sectional measures of femoral and humeral diaphyseal strength are determined for the two most complete early Homo erectus (or ergaster) associated skeletons--the juvenile KNM-WT 15000 and the adult KNM-ER 1808. Modern comparative samples include an adult human skeletal sample representative of diverse body shapes, a human longitudinal growth series, and an adult chimpanzee sample. When compared to appropriately age-matched samples, both H. erectus specimens fall very close to modern human mean proportions and far from chimpanzee proportions (which do not overlap with those of humans). This implies very similar mechanical load-sharing between the lower and upper limbs, and by implication, similar locomotor behavior in early H. erectus and modern humans. Thus, by the earliest Pleistocene (1.7 Ma), completely modern patterns of bipedal behavior were fully established in at least one early hominin taxon. PMID:17977577

  12. Number of ancestral human species: a molecular perspective.

    PubMed

    Curnoe, D; Thorne, A

    2003-01-01

    Despite the remarkable developments in molecular biology over the past three decades, anthropological genetics has had only limited impact on systematics in human evolution. Genetics offers the opportunity to objectively test taxonomies based on morphology and may be used to supplement conventional approaches to hominid systematics. Our analyses, examining chromosomes and 46 estimates of genetic distance, indicate there may have been only around 4 species on the direct line to modern humans and 5 species in total. This contrasts with current taxonomies recognising up to 23 species. The genetic proximity of humans and chimpanzees has been used to suggest these species are congeneric. Our analysis of genetic distances between them is consistent with this proposal. It is time that chimpanzees, living humans and all fossil humans be classified in Homo. The creation of new genera can no longer be a solution to the complexities of fossil morphologies. Published genetic distances between common chimpanzees and bonobos, along with evidence for interbreeding, suggest they should be assigned to a single species. The short distance between humans and chimpanzees also places a strict limit on the number of possible evolutionary 'side branches' that might be recognised on the human lineage. All fossil taxa were genetically very close to each other and likely to have been below congeneric genetic distances seen for many mammals. Our estimates of genetic divergence suggest that periods of around 2 million years are required to produce sufficient genetic distance to represent speciation. Therefore, Neanderthals and so-called H. erectus were genetically so close to contemporary H. sapiens they were unlikely to have been separate species. Thus, it is likely there was only one species of human (H. sapiens) for most of the last 2 million years. We estimate the divergence time of H. sapiens from 16 genetic distances to be around 1.7 Ma which is consistent with evidence for the earliest

  13. Absence of polymorphism at the ZFY locus on the human Y chromosome.

    PubMed

    Dorit, R L; Akashi, H; Gilbert, W

    1995-05-26

    DNA polymorphism in the Y chromosome, examined at a 729-base pair intron located immediately upstream of the ZFY zinc-finger exon, revealed no sequence variation in a worldwide sample of 38 human males. This finding cannot be explained by global constraint on the intron sequence, because interspecific comparisons with other nonhuman primates revealed phylogenetically informative sequence changes. The invariance likely results from either a recent selective sweep, a recent origin for modern Homo sapiens, recurrent male population bottlenecks, or historically small effective male population sizes. A coalescence model predicts an expected time to a most recent common ancestral male lineage of 270,000 years (95 percent confidence limits: 0 to 800,000 years). PMID:7761836

  14. Sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus afarensis was similar to that of modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Reno, Philip L.; Meindl, Richard S.; McCollum, Melanie A.; Lovejoy, C. Owen

    2003-01-01

    The substantial fossil record for Australopithecus afarensis includes both an adult partial skeleton [Afar Locality (A.L.) 288-1, “Lucy”] and a large simultaneous death assemblage (A.L. 333). Here we optimize data derived from both to more accurately estimate skeletal size dimorphism. Postcranial ratios derived from A.L. 288-1 enable a significant increase in sample size compared with previous studies. Extensive simulations using modern humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas confirm that this technique is accurate and that skeletal size dimorphism in A. afarensis was most similar to that of contemporary Homo sapiens. These data eliminate some apparent discrepancies between the canine and skeletal size dimorphism in hominoids, imply that the species was not characterized by substantial sexual bimaturation, and greatly increase the probability that the reproductive strategy of A. afarensis was principally monogamy. PMID:12878734

  15. Impaired Air Conditioning within the Nasal Cavity in Flat-Faced Homo.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Takeshi; Mori, Futoshi; Hanida, Sho; Kumahata, Kiyoshi; Ishikawa, Shigeru; Samarat, Kaouthar; Miyabe-Nishiwaki, Takako; Hayashi, Misato; Tomonaga, Masaki; Suzuki, Juri; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro; Matsuzawa, Teruo

    2016-03-01

    We are flat-faced hominins with an external nose that protrudes from the face. This feature was derived in the genus Homo, along with facial flattening and reorientation to form a high nasal cavity. The nasal passage conditions the inhaled air in terms of temperature and humidity to match the conditions required in the lung, and its anatomical variation is believed to be evolutionarily sensitive to the ambient atmospheric conditions of a given habitat. In this study, we used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with three-dimensional topology models of the nasal passage under the same simulation conditions, to investigate air-conditioning performance in humans, chimpanzees, and macaques. The CFD simulation showed a horizontal straight flow of inhaled air in chimpanzees and macaques, contrasting with the upward and curved flow in humans. The inhaled air is conditioned poorly in humans compared with nonhuman primates. Virtual modifications to the human external nose topology, in which the nasal vestibule and valve are modified to resemble those of chimpanzees, change the airflow to be horizontal, but have little influence on the air-conditioning performance in humans. These findings suggest that morphological variation of the nasal passage topology was only weakly sensitive to the ambient atmosphere conditions; rather, the high nasal cavity in humans was formed simply by evolutionary facial reorganization in the divergence of Homo from the other hominin lineages, impairing the air-conditioning performance. Even though the inhaled air is not adjusted well within the nasal cavity in humans, it can be fully conditioned subsequently in the pharyngeal cavity, which is lengthened in the flat-faced Homo. Thus, the air-conditioning faculty in the nasal passages was probably impaired in early Homo members, although they have survived successfully under the fluctuating climate of the Plio-Pleistocene, and then they moved "Out of Africa" to explore the more severe climates of

  16. Impaired Air Conditioning within the Nasal Cavity in Flat-Faced Homo

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Takeshi; Mori, Futoshi; Hanida, Sho; Kumahata, Kiyoshi; Ishikawa, Shigeru; Samarat, Kaouthar; Miyabe-Nishiwaki, Takako; Hayashi, Misato; Tomonaga, Masaki; Suzuki, Juri; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro; Matsuzawa, Teruo

    2016-01-01

    We are flat-faced hominins with an external nose that protrudes from the face. This feature was derived in the genus Homo, along with facial flattening and reorientation to form a high nasal cavity. The nasal passage conditions the inhaled air in terms of temperature and humidity to match the conditions required in the lung, and its anatomical variation is believed to be evolutionarily sensitive to the ambient atmospheric conditions of a given habitat. In this study, we used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with three-dimensional topology models of the nasal passage under the same simulation conditions, to investigate air-conditioning performance in humans, chimpanzees, and macaques. The CFD simulation showed a horizontal straight flow of inhaled air in chimpanzees and macaques, contrasting with the upward and curved flow in humans. The inhaled air is conditioned poorly in humans compared with nonhuman primates. Virtual modifications to the human external nose topology, in which the nasal vestibule and valve are modified to resemble those of chimpanzees, change the airflow to be horizontal, but have little influence on the air-conditioning performance in humans. These findings suggest that morphological variation of the nasal passage topology was only weakly sensitive to the ambient atmosphere conditions; rather, the high nasal cavity in humans was formed simply by evolutionary facial reorganization in the divergence of Homo from the other hominin lineages, impairing the air-conditioning performance. Even though the inhaled air is not adjusted well within the nasal cavity in humans, it can be fully conditioned subsequently in the pharyngeal cavity, which is lengthened in the flat-faced Homo. Thus, the air-conditioning faculty in the nasal passages was probably impaired in early Homo members, although they have survived successfully under the fluctuating climate of the Plio-Pleistocene, and then they moved “Out of Africa” to explore the more severe climates of

  17. Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Dirks, Paul HGM; Berger, Lee R; Roberts, Eric M; Kramers, Jan D; Hawks, John; Randolph-Quinney, Patrick S; Elliott, Marina; Musiba, Charles M; Churchill, Steven E; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Schmid, Peter; Backwell, Lucinda R; Belyanin, Georgy A; Boshoff, Pedro; Hunter, K Lindsay; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Gurtov, Alia; Harrison, James du G; Hunter, Rick; Kruger, Ashley; Morris, Hannah; Makhubela, Tebogo V; Peixotto, Becca; Tucker, Steven

    2015-01-01

    We describe the physical context of the Dinaledi Chamber within the Rising Star cave, South Africa, which contains the fossils of Homo naledi. Approximately 1550 specimens of hominin remains have been recovered from at least 15 individuals, representing a small portion of the total fossil content. Macro-vertebrate fossils are exclusively H. naledi, and occur within clay-rich sediments derived from in situ weathering, and exogenous clay and silt, which entered the chamber through fractures that prevented passage of coarser-grained material. The chamber was always in the dark zone, and not accessible to non-hominins. Bone taphonomy indicates that hominin individuals reached the chamber complete, with disarticulation occurring during/after deposition. Hominins accumulated over time as older laminated mudstone units and sediment along the cave floor were eroded. Preliminary evidence is consistent with deliberate body disposal in a single location, by a hominin species other than Homo sapiens, at an as-yet unknown date. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09561.001 PMID:26354289

  18. [One cannot be careful enough in the choice of one's parents--on the biopsychosocial development of adaptation systems for distress in Homo sapiens].

    PubMed

    Sachsse, Ulrich

    2003-10-01

    Actual results of brain research show that we might have more than one system to cope with distress. The most archaic one might be the system freeze/dissociation. The second one is the system attachment/relationship/herd/support. Articles by Allan N. Schore show that the central regulation of the self, the affects, and the interpersonal relations are impaired permanently by relational traumata/attachment traumata during early childhood. Jaak Panksepp differentiates the distress systems panic versus fear. On the one side we find the cluster panic--periaqueductal gray PAG--lateral septum--gyrus cinguli--glutamate--opioids--attachment--parasympathetic autonomic nerve system--trophotorphic state--hypometabolism--freeze reaction--dissociation, on the other side the cluster fear--enemy--sympathetic autonomic nerve system--ergotrophic state--hypermetabolism--fight and flight--cognition and learning. It can be helpful for therapy strategies to differentiate these systems. PMID:14619684

  19. In silico modification of Zn2+ binding group of suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) by organoselenium compounds as Homo sapiens class II HDAC inhibitor of cervical cancer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumo Friend Tambunan, Usman; Bakri, Ridla; Aditya Parikesit, Arli; Ariyani, Titin; Dyah Puspitasari, Ratih; Kerami, Djati

    2016-02-01

    Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women, and ranks seventh of all cancers worldwide, with 529000 cases in 2008 and more than 85% cases occur in developing countries. One way to treat this cancer is through the inhibition of HDAC enzymes which play a strategic role in the regulation of gene expression. Suberoyl Anilide Hydroxamic Acid (SAHA) or Vorinostat is a drug which commercially available to treat the cancer, but still has some side effects. This research present in silico SAHA modification in Zinc Binding Group (ZBG) by organoselenium compound to get ligands which less side effect. From molecular docking simulation, and interaction analysis, there are five best ligands, namely CC27, HA27, HB28, IB25, and KA7. These five ligands have better binding affinity than the standards, and also have interaction with Zn2+ cofactor of inhibited HDAC enzymes. This research is expected to produce more potent HDAC inhibitor as novel drug for cervical cancer treatment.

  20. The evolution of human populations: a molecular perspective.

    PubMed

    Ayala, F J; Escalante, A A

    1996-02-01

    Human evolution exhibits repeated speciations and conspicuous morphological change: from Australopithecus to Homo habilis, H. erectus, and H. sapiens; and from their hominoid ancestor to orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Theories of founder-event speciation propose that speciation often occurs as a consequence of population bottlenecks, down to one or very few individual pairs. Proponents of punctuated equilibrium claim in addition that founder-event speciation results in rapid morphological change. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) consists of several very polymorphic gene loci. The genealogy of 19 human alleles of the DQB1 locus coalesces more than 30 million years ago, before the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys. Many human alleles are more closely related to pongid and cercopithecoid alleles than to other human alleles. Using the theory of gene coalescence, we estimate that these polymorphisms require human populations of the order of N = 100,000 individuals for the last several million years. This conclusion is confirmed by computer simulations showing the rate of decay of the polymorphisms over time. Computer simulations indicate, in addition, that in human evolution no bottlenecks have occurred with fewer than several thousand individuals. We evaluate studies of mtDNA, Y-chromosome, and microsatellite autosomal polymorphisms and conclude that they are consistent with the MHC result that no narrow population bottlenecks have occurred in human evolution. The available molecular information favors a recent African origin of modern humans, who spread out of Africa approximately 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. PMID:8673287

  1. A review of early Homo in southern Africa focusing on cranial, mandibular and dental remains, with the description of a new species (Homo gautengensis sp. nov.).

    PubMed

    Curnoe, D

    2010-06-01

    The southern African sample of early Homo is playing an increasingly important role in understanding the origins, diversity and adaptations of the human genus. Yet, the affinities and classification of these remains continue to be in a state of flux. The southern African sample derives from five karstic palaeocave localities and represents more than one-third of the total African sample for this group; sampling an even wider range of anatomical regions than the eastern African collection. Morphological and phenetic comparisons of southern African specimens covering dental, mandibular and cranial remains demonstrate this sample to contain a species distinct from known early Homo taxa. The new species Homo gautengensis sp. nov. is described herein: type specimen Stw 53; Paratypes SE 255, SE 1508, Stw 19b/33, Stw 75-79, Stw 80, Stw 84, Stw 151, SK 15, SK 27, SK 45, SK 847, SKX 257/258, SKX 267/268, SKX 339, SKX 610, SKW 3114 and DNH 70. H. gautengensis is identified from fossils recovered at three palaeocave localities with current best ages spanning approximately 2.0 to 1.26-0.82 million years BP. Thus, H. gautengensis is probably the earliest recognised species in the human genus and its longevity is apparently well in excess of H. habilis. PMID:20466364

  2. The evolutionary history of the hominin hand since the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo

    PubMed Central

    Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Jacofsky, Marc C; Marzke, Mary W

    2008-01-01

    Molecular evidence indicates that the last common ancestor of the genus Pan and the hominin clade existed between 8 and 4 million years ago (Ma). The current fossil record indicates the Pan-Homo last common ancestor existed at least 5 Ma and most likely between 6 and 7 Ma. Together, the molecular and fossil evidence has important consequences for interpreting the evolutionary history of the hand within the tribe Hominini (hominins). Firstly, parsimony supports the hypothesis that the hand of the last common ancestor most likely resembled that of an extant great ape overall (Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo), and that of an African ape in particular. Second, it provides a context for interpreting the derived changes to the hand that have evolved in various hominins. For example, the Australopithecus afarensis hand is likely derived in comparison with that of the Pan–Homo last common ancestor in having shorter fingers relative to thumb length and more proximo-distally oriented joints between its capitate, second metacarpal, and trapezium. This evidence suggests that these derived features evolved prior to the intensification of stone tool-related hominin behaviors beginning around 2.5 Ma. However, a majority of primitive features most likely present in the Pan-Homo last common ancestor are retained in the hands of Australopithecus, Paranthropus/early Homo, and Homo floresiensis. This evidence suggests that further derived changes to the hands of other hominins such as modern humans and Neandertals did not evolve until after 2.5 Ma and possibly even later than 1.5 Ma, which is currently the earliest evidence of Acheulian technology. The derived hands of modern humans and Neandertals may indicate a morphological commitment to tool-related manipulative behaviors beyond that observed in other hominins, including those (e.g. H. floresiensis) which may be descended from earlier tool-making species. PMID:18380869

  3. The evolutionary history of the hominin hand since the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo.

    PubMed

    Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Jacofsky, Marc C; Marzke, Mary W

    2008-04-01

    Molecular evidence indicates that the last common ancestor of the genus Pan and the hominin clade existed between 8 and 4 million years ago (Ma). The current fossil record indicates the Pan-Homo last common ancestor existed at least 5 Ma and most likely between 6 and 7 Ma. Together, the molecular and fossil evidence has important consequences for interpreting the evolutionary history of the hand within the tribe Hominini (hominins). Firstly, parsimony supports the hypothesis that the hand of the last common ancestor most likely resembled that of an extant great ape overall (Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo), and that of an African ape in particular. Second, it provides a context for interpreting the derived changes to the hand that have evolved in various hominins. For example, the Australopithecus afarensis hand is likely derived in comparison with that of the Pan-Homo last common ancestor in having shorter fingers relative to thumb length and more proximo-distally oriented joints between its capitate, second metacarpal, and trapezium. This evidence suggests that these derived features evolved prior to the intensification of stone tool-related hominin behaviors beginning around 2.5 Ma. However, a majority of primitive features most likely present in the Pan-Homo last common ancestor are retained in the hands of Australopithecus, Paranthropus/early Homo, and Homo floresiensis. This evidence suggests that further derived changes to the hands of other hominins such as modern humans and Neandertals did not evolve until after 2.5 Ma and possibly even later than 1.5 Ma, which is currently the earliest evidence of Acheulian technology. The derived hands of modern humans and Neandertals may indicate a morphological commitment to tool-related manipulative behaviors beyond that observed in other hominins, including those (e.g. H. floresiensis) which may be descended from earlier tool-making species. PMID:18380869

  4. "H. Sapiens" as Ecologically Special: What Does Language Contribute?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Don

    2007-01-01

    This paper inquires into the extent to which humans are specially constituted relative to other animals by their language. First a principled concept of evolutionary specialness is operationalized. Then it is agreed that humans satisfy the criteria for this sort of specialness in consequence of the kind of cultural evolution in which they have…

  5. New magnetostratigraphic dates of Lantian Homo erectus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhisheng, An; Kun, Ho Chuan

    1989-09-01

    Skeletal remains of Homo erectus found in Pleistocene loess at two sites near Lantian in central China are of greatly different geologic age. The cranium found in the fossil-bearing strata at Gongwangling is about 1.15 myr old whereas the remains found at the Chenjiawo locality in middle Pleistocene loess are about 0.65 myr old. The dating is based on new paleomagnetic polarity determinations and on the lithostratigraphic position of the fossils in the loess-paleosol sequence. Our results confirm that both localities are older than the first occupation of Zhoukoudian. New dates, palaeoenvironmental settings, and morphological features of the hominids from Lantian localities have significant bearing on the understanding of adaptive radiations of the middle and late hominids in Asia.

  6. Patterns of differences in brain morphology in humans as compared to extant apes

    PubMed Central

    Aldridge, Kristina

    2010-01-01

    Although human evolution is characterized by a vast increase in brain size, it is not clear whether or not certain regions of the brain are enlarged disproportionately in humans, or how this enlargement relates to differences in overall neural morphology. The aim of this study is to determine whether or not there are specific suites of features that distinguish the morphology of the human brain from that of apes. The study sample consists of whole brain, in vivo magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) and five ape species (gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos). Twenty-nine 3D landmarks, including surface and internal features of the brain were located on 3D MRI reconstructions of each individual using MEASURE software. Landmark coordinate data were scaled for differences in size and analyzed using Euclidean Distance Matrix Analysis (EDMA) to statistically compare the brains of each non-human ape species to the human sample. Results of analyses show both a pattern of brain morphology that is consistently different between all apes and humans, as well as patterns that differ among species. Further, both the consistent and species-specific patterns include cortical and subcortical features. The pattern that remains consistent across species indicates a morphological reorganization of 1) relationships between cortical and subcortical frontal structures, 2) expansion of the temporal lobe and location of the amygdala, and 3) expansion of the anterior parietal region. Additionally, results demonstrate that, although there is a pattern of morphology that uniquely defines the human brain, there are also patterns that uniquely differentiate human morphology from the morphology of each non-human ape species, indicating that reorganization of neural morphology occurred at the evolutionary divergence of each of these groups. PMID:21056456

  7. Protein Analysis of Sapienic Acid-Treated Porphyromonas gingivalis Suggests Differential Regulation of Multiple Metabolic Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, Deborah V.; Blanchette, Derek R.; Drake, David R.; Wertz, Philip W.; Brogden, Kim A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Lipids endogenous to skin and mucosal surfaces exhibit potent antimicrobial activity against Porphyromonas gingivalis, an important colonizer of the oral cavity implicated in periodontitis. Our previous work demonstrated the antimicrobial activity of the fatty acid sapienic acid (C16:1Δ6) against P. gingivalis and found that sapienic acid treatment alters both protein and lipid composition from those in controls. In this study, we further examined whole-cell protein differences between sapienic acid-treated bacteria and untreated controls, and we utilized open-source functional association and annotation programs to explore potential mechanisms for the antimicrobial activity of sapienic acid. Our analyses indicated that sapienic acid treatment induces a unique stress response in P. gingivalis resulting in differential expression of proteins involved in a variety of metabolic pathways. This network of differentially regulated proteins was enriched in protein-protein interactions (P = 2.98 × 10−8), including six KEGG pathways (P value ranges, 2.30 × 10−5 to 0.05) and four Gene Ontology (GO) molecular functions (P value ranges, 0.02 to 0.04), with multiple suggestive enriched relationships in KEGG pathways and GO molecular functions. Upregulated metabolic pathways suggest increases in energy production, lipid metabolism, iron acquisition and processing, and respiration. Combined with a suggested preferential metabolism of serine, which is necessary for fatty acid biosynthesis, these data support our previous findings that the site of sapienic acid antimicrobial activity is likely at the bacterial membrane. IMPORTANCE P. gingivalis is an important opportunistic pathogen implicated in periodontitis. Affecting nearly 50% of the population, periodontitis is treatable, but the resulting damage is irreversible and eventually progresses to tooth loss. There is a great need for natural products that can be used to treat and/or prevent the overgrowth of

  8. Race and the odd history of human paleontology.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Jeffrey H

    2006-11-01

    Although the late 17th century witnessed the recognition of fossils as the remains of extinct organisms-because they could be incorporated into the creation story embodied in the Great Chain of Being-acceptance of human antiquity through the indisputable demonstration of the contemporaneity of human bones, stone tools, and accepted fossils was not forthcoming for nearly 2 centuries thereafter. When it did occur, however, ancient humans were not seen as presenting a pattern of diversity similar to that seen in the fossil records of nonhuman organisms. Instead, human evolution then, as now, has typically been interpreted as being unilinear. This belief can be traced to Huxley (1863), who argued that the Feldhofer Grotto Neanderthal skullcap was merely an extension into the past of morphology seen in the Australian Aborigine, whom he took to represent the primitive end of an extreme range of variation he thought characterized Homo sapiens. During the mid-20th century, Mayr and Dobzhansky (mis)used their clout as founders of the evolutionary synthesis to cement in paleoanthropology the idea that human evolutionary history was characterized by nonspeciation. As such, anything that could be interpreted as potentially representing taxic diversity was relegated to the status of individual variation. Lack of understanding of the history of human paleontology, and the biases that constrained its perspective on human evolution, continue to affect the ways in which most paleoanthropologists pigeonhole human fossils. PMID:17109420

  9. A neonatal perspective on Homo erectus brain growth.

    PubMed

    Cofran, Zachary; DeSilva, Jeremy M

    2015-04-01

    The Mojokerto calvaria has been central to assessment of brain growth in Homo erectus, but different analytical approaches and uncertainty in the specimen's age at death have hindered consensus on the nature of H. erectus brain growth. We simulate average annual rates (AR) of absolute endocranial volume (ECV) growth and proportional size change (PSC) in H. erectus, utilizing estimates of H. erectus neonatal ECV and a range of ages for Mojokerto. These values are compared with resampled ARs and PSCs from ontogenetic series of humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas from birth to six years. Results are consistent with other studies of ECV growth in extant taxa. There is extensive overlap in PSC between all living species through the first postnatal year, with continued but lesser overlap between humans and chimpanzees to age six. Human ARs are elevated above those of apes, although there is modest overlap up to 0.50 years. Ape ARs overlap throughout the sequence, with gorillas slightly elevated over chimpanzees up to 0.50 years. Simulated H. erectus PSCs can be found in all living species by 0.50 years, and the median falls below the human and chimpanzee ranges after 2.5 years. H. erectus ARs are elevated above those of all extant taxa prior to 0.50 years, and after two years they fall out of the human range but are still above ape ranges. A review of evidence for the age at death of Mojokerto supports an estimate of around one year, indicating absolute brain growth rates in the lower half of the human range. These results point to secondary altriciality in H. erectus, implying that key human adaptations for increasing the energy budget of females may have been established by at least 1 Ma. PMID:25771994

  10. Body proportions of Australopithecus afarensis and A. africanus and the origin of the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    McHenry, H M; Berger, L R

    1998-07-01

    New discoveries of A. africanus fossils from Member 4 Sterkfontein reveal a body form quite unlike earlier Australopithecus species. The new adult material consists of over 48 fore- and hindlimb specimens and includes an associated partial skeleton, Stw 431. The forelimbs and relatively large: the average size of their joints corresponds to a modern human with body mass of 53 kg. The hindlimbs are much smaller with an average size matching a modern human of only 33 kg. Analyses of the Stw 431 partial skeleton confirm these results. In contrast, A. afarensis and anamensis more closely approximate a human pattern of forelimb joint size. This is an unanticipated complication in our understanding of early human evolution. In general, craniodental morphology tracks time in species of Australopithecus: A. anamensis (3.5-4.1 Ma) is the the most primitive with a strongly sloping symphysis, large canine roots, etc., A. afarensis (3.0-3.6 Ma) is less primitive, and A. africanus (2.6-3.0 Ma) shares many derived characteristics with early Homo (e.g., expanded brain, reduced canine, bicuspid lower third premolar, reduced prognathism, greater flexion of the cranial base, deeper TMJ). the new postcranial material, however, reveals an apparently primitive morphology of relatively large forelimb and small hindlimb joints resembling more the pongid than the human pattern. More pongid-like proportions are also present in the two known associated partial skeletons of H. habilis (OH 62 KNM-ER 3735). This may imply either (1) that A. africanus and H. habilis evolved craniodental characters in parallel with the lineage leading to later Homo, or (2) that fore- to hindlimb proportions of A. afarensis (and perhaps A. anamensis) evolved independent of the lineage leading to Homo and does not imply a close phylogenetic link with Homo. Both of these explanations or any other phylogeny imply homoplasy. PMID:9680464

  11. Shared Pattern of Endocranial Shape Asymmetries among Great Apes, Anatomically Modern Humans, and Fossil Hominins

    PubMed Central

    Balzeau, Antoine; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique

    2012-01-01

    Anatomical asymmetries of the human brain are a topic of major interest because of their link with handedness and cognitive functions. Their emergence and occurrence have been extensively explored in human fossil records to document the evolution of brain capacities and behaviour. We quantified for the first time antero-posterior endocranial shape asymmetries in large samples of great apes, modern humans and fossil hominins through analysis of “virtual” 3D models of skull and endocranial cavity and we statistically test for departures from symmetry. Once based on continuous variables, we show that the analysis of these brain asymmetries gives original results that build upon previous analysis based on discrete traits. In particular, it emerges that the degree of petalial asymmetries differs between great apes and hominins without modification of their pattern. We indeed demonstrate the presence of shape asymmetries in great apes, with a pattern similar to modern humans but with a lower variation and a lower degree of fluctuating asymmetry. More importantly, variations in the position of the frontal and occipital poles on the right and left hemispheres would be expected to show some degree of antisymmetry when population distribution is considered, but the observed pattern of variation among the samples is related to fluctuating asymmetry for most of the components of the petalias. Moreover, the presence of a common pattern of significant directional asymmetry for two components of the petalias in hominids implicates that the observed traits were probably inherited from the last common ancestor of extant African great apes and Homo sapiens. These results also have important implications for the possible relationships between endocranial shape asymmetries and functional capacities in hominins. It emphasizes the uncoupling between lateralized activities, some of them well probably distinctive to Homo, and large-scale cerebral lateralization itself, which is not

  12. The Stem Species of Our Species: A Place for the Archaic Human Cranium from Ceprano, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Mounier, Aurélien; Condemi, Silvana; Manzi, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

    One of the present challenges in the study of human evolution is to recognize the hominin taxon that was ancestral to Homo sapiens. Some researchers regard H. heidelbergensis as the stem species involved in the evolutionary divergence leading to the emergence of H. sapiens in Africa, and to the evolution of the Neandertals in Europe. Nevertheless, the diagnosis and hypodigm of H. heidelbergensis still remain to be clarified. Here we evaluate the morphology of the incomplete cranium (calvarium) known as Ceprano whose age has been recently revised to the mid of the Middle Pleistocene, so as to test whether this specimen may be included in H. heidelbergensis. The analyses were performed according to a phenetic routine including geometric morphometrics and the evaluation of diagnostic discrete traits. The results strongly support the uniqueness of H. heidelbergensis on a wide geographical horizon, including both Eurasia and Africa. In this framework, the Ceprano calvarium – with its peculiar combination of archaic and derived traits – may represent, better than other penecontemporaneous specimens, an appropriate ancestral stock of this species, preceding the appearance of regional autapomorphic features. PMID:21533096

  13. 78 FR 12330 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; SAPIEN TRANSCATHETER...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-22

    ..., 2010, as the date the premarket approval application (PMA) for SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve (PMA P100041) was initially submitted. However, FDA records indicate that PMA P100041 was submitted on November...'s claim that PMA P100041 was approved on November 2, 2011. This determination of the...

  14. Molecular genetic determinants of human brain size.

    PubMed

    Tang, Bor Luen

    2006-07-01

    Cognitive skills such as tool use, syntactical languages, and self-awareness differentiate humans from other primates. The underlying basis for this cognitive difference has been widely associated with a high encephalization quotient and an anatomically distinct, exceptionally large cerebral cortex. Investigations on congenital microcephaly had revealed several genes that affect mammalian brain size when mutated. At least four of these, microcephalin (MCPH1), abnormal spindle-like microcephaly-associated (ASPM), cyclin-dependent kinase 5 regulatory associated protein 2 (CDK5RAP2), and centromere-associated protein J (CENPJ) are known to have undergone significant positive selection in the great apes and human lineages during primate evolution. MCPH1 and ASPM both have very young single nucleotide polymorphism haplotypes associated with modern humans, and these genes are presumably still evolving in Homo sapiens. Microcephalin has a role in DNA damage response and regulation of cell cycle checkpoints. The other known microcephaly-associated genes encode microtubule-associated centrosomal proteins that might regulate neural progenitor cell division and cell number. Recent reports have also unveiled a previously unknown function of ephrins and Eph in the regulation of neural progenitor cell death with a consequential effect on brain size. Understanding the mechanism for developmental control of brain organogenesis by these genes, and others such as FOXP2, shall provide fresh perspectives on the evolution of human intelligence. PMID:16716254

  15. A modern human pattern of dental development in Lower Pleistocene hominids from Atapuerca-TD6 (Spain)

    PubMed Central

    Bermúdez de Castro, J. M.; Rosas, A.; Carbonell, E.; Nicolás, M. E.; Rodríguez, J.; Arsuaga, J. L.

    1999-01-01

    The study of life history evolution in hominids is crucial for the discernment of when and why humans have acquired our unique maturational pattern. Because the development of dentition is critically integrated into the life cycle in mammals, the determination of the time and pattern of dental development represents an appropriate method to infer changes in life history variables that occurred during hominid evolution. Here we present evidence derived from Lower Pleistocene human fossil remains recovered from the TD6 level (Aurora stratum) of the Gran Dolina site in the Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain. These hominids present a pattern of development similar to that of Homo sapiens, although some aspects (e.g., delayed M3 calcification) are not as derived as that of European populations and people of European origin. This evidence, taken together with the present knowledge of cranial capacity of these and other late Early Pleistocene hominids, supports the view that as early as 0.8 Ma at least one Homo species shared with modern humans a prolonged pattern of maturation. PMID:10097189

  16. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: inferring the environmental context of human evolution from eastern African rift lake deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, A.; Campisano, C.; Arrowsmith, R.; Asrat, A.; Behrensmeyer, A. K.; Deino, A.; Feibel, C.; Hill, A.; Johnson, R.; Kingston, J.; Lamb, H.; Lowenstein, T.; Noren, A.; Olago, D.; Owen, R. B.; Potts, R.; Reed, K.; Renaut, R.; Schäbitz, F.; Tiercelin, J.-J.; Trauth, M. H.; Wynn, J.; Ivory, S.; Brady, K.; O'Grady, R.; Rodysill, J.; Githiri, J.; Russell, J.; Foerster, V.; Dommain, R.; Rucina, S.; Deocampo, D.; Russell, J.; Billingsley, A.; Beck, C.; Dorenbeck, G.; Dullo, L.; Feary, D.; Garello, D.; Gromig, R.; Johnson, T.; Junginger, A.; Karanja, M.; Kimburi, E.; Mbuthia, A.; McCartney, T.; McNulty, E.; Muiruri, V.; Nambiro, E.; Negash, E. W.; Njagi, D.; Wilson, J. N.; Rabideaux, N.; Raub, T.; Sier, M. J.; Smith, P.; Urban, J.; Warren, M.; Yadeta, M.; Yost, C.; Zinaye, B.

    2016-02-01

    The role that climate and environmental history may have played in influencing human evolution has been the focus of considerable interest and controversy among paleoanthropologists for decades. Prior attempts to understand the environmental history side of this equation have centered around the study of outcrop sediments and fossils adjacent to where fossil hominins (ancestors or close relatives of modern humans) are found, or from the study of deep sea drill cores. However, outcrop sediments are often highly weathered and thus are unsuitable for some types of paleoclimatic records, and deep sea core records come from long distances away from the actual fossil and stone tool remains. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) was developed to address these issues. The project has focused its efforts on the eastern African Rift Valley, where much of the evidence for early hominins has been recovered. We have collected about 2 km of sediment drill core from six basins in Kenya and Ethiopia, in lake deposits immediately adjacent to important fossil hominin and archaeological sites. Collectively these cores cover in time many of the key transitions and critical intervals in human evolutionary history over the last 4 Ma, such as the earliest stone tools, the origin of our own genus Homo, and the earliest anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Here we document the initial field, physical property, and core description results of the 2012-2014 HSPDP coring campaign.

  17. Exercise and gene expression: physiological regulation of the human genome through physical activity

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Frank W; Chakravarthy, Manu V; Spangenburg, Espen E

    2002-01-01

    The current human genome was moulded and refined through generations of time. We propose that the basic framework for physiologic gene regulation was selected during an era of obligatory physical activity, as the survival of our Late Palaeolithic (50 000–10 000 BC) ancestors depended on hunting and gathering. A sedentary lifestyle in such an environment probably meant elimination of that individual organism. The phenotype of the present day Homo sapiens genome is much different from that of our ancient ancestors, primarily as a consequence of expressing evolutionarily programmed Late Palaeolithic genes in an environment that is predominantly sedentary. In this sense, our current genome is maladapted, resulting in abnormal gene expression, which in turn frequently manifests itself as clinically overt disease. We speculate that some of these genes still play a role in survival by causing premature death from chronic diseases produced by physical inactivity. We also contend that the current scientific evidence supports the notion that disruptions in cellular homeostasis are diminished in magnitude in physically active individuals compared with sedentary individuals due to the natural selection of gene expression that supports the physically active lifestyle displayed by our ancestors. We speculate that genes evolved with the expectation of requiring a certain threshold of physical activity for normal physiologic gene expression, and thus habitual exercise in sedentary cultures restores perturbed homeostatic mechanisms towards the normal physiological range of the Palaeolithic Homo sapiens. This hypothesis allows us to ask the question of whether normal physiological values change as a result of becoming sedentary. In summary, in sedentary cultures, daily physical activity normalizes gene expression towards patterns established to maintain the survival in the Late Palaeolithic era. PMID:12205177

  18. Molar crown inner structural organization in Javanese Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Zanolli, Clément

    2015-01-01

    This contribution investigates the inner organizational pattern (tooth tissue proportions and enamel-dentine junction morphology) of seven Homo erectus permanent molar crowns from the late Lower-early Middle Pleistocene Kabuh Formation of the Sangiran Dome (Central Java, Indonesia). The previous study of their external characteristics confirmed the degree of time-related structural reduction occurred in Javanese H. erectus, and also revealed a combination of nonmetric features which are rare in the Lower and early Middle Pleistocene dental record, but more frequently found in recent humans. In accordance with their outer occlusal morphology, the specimens exhibit a set of derived internal features, such as thick to hyperthick enamel, an incomplete expression of the crest patterns at the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) level, a sharp EDJ topography. As a whole, these features differ from those expressed in some penecontemporaneous specimens/samples representing African H. erectus/ergaster and H. heidelbergensis, as well as in Neanderthals, but occur in recent human populations. Further research in virtual dental paleoanthropology to be developed at macroregional scale would clarify the polarity and intensity of the intermittent exchanges between continental and insular Southeast Asia around the Lower to Middle Pleistocene boundary, as well as should shed light on the still poorly understood longitudinal evolutionary dynamics across continental Asia. PMID:25209431

  19. Human occupation of the Arabian Empty Quarter during MIS 5: evidence from Mundafan Al-Buhayrah, Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groucutt, Huw S.; White, Tom S.; Clark-Balzan, Laine; Parton, Ash; Crassard, Rémy; Shipton, Ceri; Jennings, Richard P.; Parker, Adrian G.; Breeze, Paul S.; Scerri, Eleanor M. L.; Alsharekh, Abdullah; Petraglia, Michael D.

    2015-07-01

    The Empty Quarter (or Rub' al Khali) of the Arabian Peninsula is the largest continuous sandy desert in the world. It has been known for several decades that Late Pleistocene and Holocene deposits, representing phases of wetter climate, are preserved there. These sequences have yielded palaeontological evidence in the form of a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate fossils and have been dated using various radiometric techniques. However, evidence for human presence during these wetter phases has until now been ephemeral. Here, we report on the first stratified and dated archaeology from the Empty Quarter, recovered from the site of Mundafan Al-Buhayrah (MDF-61). Human occupation at the site, represented by stone tools, has been dated to the later part of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 using multiple luminescence dating techniques (multigrain and single grain OSL, TT-OSL). The sequence consists primarily of lacustrine and palustrine sediments, from which evidence for changing local environmental conditions has been obtained through analysis of fossil assemblages (phytoliths and non-marine molluscs and ostracods). The discovery of securely-dated archaeological material at ˜100 to 80 ka in the Empty Quarter has important implications for hypotheses concerning the timing and routes of dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa, which have been much debated. Consequently, the data presented here fill a crucial gap in palaeoenvironmental and archaeological understanding of the southern Arabian interior. Fossils of H. sapiens in the Levant, also dated to MIS 5, together with Middle Palaeolithic archaeological sites in Arabia and India are thought to represent the earliest dispersal of our species out of Africa. We suggest that the widespread occurrence of similar lithic technologies across southern Asia, coupled with a growing body of evidence for environmental amelioration across the Saharo-Arabian belt, indicates that occupation of the Levant by H. sapiens during MIS 5

  20. Human occupation of the Arabian Empty Quarter during MIS 5: evidence from Mundafan Al-Buhayrah, Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groucutt, Huw S.; White, Tom S.; Clark-Balzan, Laine; Parton, Ash; Crassard, Rémy; Shipton, Ceri; Jennings, Richard P.; Parker, Adrian G.; Breeze, Paul S.; Scerri, Eleanor M. L.; Alsharekh, Abdullah; Petraglia, Michael D.

    2015-07-01

    The Empty Quarter (or Rub' al Khali) of the Arabian Peninsula is the largest continuous sandy desert in the world. It has been known for several decades that Late Pleistocene and Holocene deposits, representing phases of wetter climate, are preserved there. These sequences have yielded palaeontological evidence in the form of a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate fossils and have been dated using various radiometric techniques. However, evidence for human presence during these wetter phases has until now been ephemeral. Here, we report on the first stratified and dated archaeology from the Empty Quarter, recovered from the site of Mundafan Al-Buhayrah (MDF-61). Human occupation at the site, represented by stone tools, has been dated to the later part of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 using multiple luminescence dating techniques (multigrain and single grain OSL, TT-OSL). The sequence consists primarily of lacustrine and palustrine sediments, from which evidence for changing local environmental conditions has been obtained through analysis of fossil assemblages (phytoliths and non-marine molluscs and ostracods). The discovery of securely-dated archaeological material at ∼100 to 80 ka in the Empty Quarter has important implications for hypotheses concerning the timing and routes of dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa, which have been much debated. Consequently, the data presented here fill a crucial gap in palaeoenvironmental and archaeological understanding of the southern Arabian interior. Fossils of H. sapiens in the Levant, also dated to MIS 5, together with Middle Palaeolithic archaeological sites in Arabia and India are thought to represent the earliest dispersal of our species out of Africa. We suggest that the widespread occurrence of similar lithic technologies across southern Asia, coupled with a growing body of evidence for environmental amelioration across the Saharo-Arabian belt, indicates that occupation of the Levant by H. sapiens during MIS 5

  1. Spatial and temporal variation of body size among early Homo.

    PubMed

    Will, Manuel; Stock, Jay T

    2015-05-01

    The estimation of body size among the earliest members of the genus Homo (2.4-1.5Myr [millions of years ago]) is central to interpretations of their biology. It is widely accepted that Homo ergaster possessed increased body size compared with Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, and that this may have been a factor involved with the dispersal of Homo out of Africa. The study of taxonomic differences in body size, however, is problematic. Postcranial remains are rarely associated with craniodental fossils, and taxonomic attributions frequently rest upon the size of skeletal elements. Previous body size estimates have been based upon well-preserved specimens with a more reliable species assessment. Since these samples are small (n < 5) and disparate in space and time, little is known about geographical and chronological variation in body size within early Homo. We investigate temporal and spatial variation in body size among fossils of early Homo using a 'taxon-free' approach, considering evidence for size variation from isolated and fragmentary postcranial remains (n = 39). To render the size of disparate fossil elements comparable, we derived new regression equations for common parameters of body size from a globally representative sample of hunter-gatherers and applied them to available postcranial measurements from the fossils. The results demonstrate chronological and spatial variation but no simple temporal or geographical trends for the evolution of body size among early Homo. Pronounced body size increases within Africa take place only after hominin populations were established at Dmanisi, suggesting that migrations into Eurasia were not contingent on larger body sizes. The primary evidence for these marked changes among early Homo is based upon material from Koobi Fora after 1.7Myr, indicating regional size variation. The significant body size differences between specimens from Koobi Fora and Olduvai support the cranial evidence for at least two co

  2. PELDOR in rotationally symmetric homo-oligomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannoulis, Angeliki; Ward, Richard; Branigan, Emma; Naismith, James H.; Bode, Bela E.

    2013-10-01

    Nanometre distance measurements by pulsed electron-electron double resonance (PELDOR) spectroscopy have become an increasingly important tool in structural biology. The theoretical underpinning of the experiment is well defined for systems containing two nitroxide spin-labels (spin pairs); however, recently experiments have been reported on homo-oligomeric membrane proteins consisting of up to eight spin-labelled monomers. We have explored the theory behind these systems by examining model systems based on multiple spins arranged in rotationally symmetric polygons. The results demonstrate that with a rising number of spins within the test molecule, increasingly strong distortions appear in distance distributions obtained from an analysis based on the simple spin pair approach. These distortions are significant over a range of system sizes and remain so even when random errors are introduced into the symmetry of the model. We present an alternative approach to the extraction of distances on such systems based on a minimisation that properly treats multi-spin correlations. We demonstrate the utility of this approach on a spin-labelled mutant of the heptameric Mechanosensitive Channel of Small Conductance of E. coli.

  3. The evolution of early Homo: a reply to Scott.

    PubMed

    Van Arsdale, A P; Wolpoff, M H

    2014-03-01

    Scott presents a welcome reply to our article, "A single lineage in early Pleistocene Homo" (Van Arsdale and Wolpoff ). However, Scott's reply mischaracterizes and fails to directly address the hypothesis of a single lineage that we test. Additionally, the approach taken by Scott fails to replicate the methods used in our analysis. As Scott himself suggests, our null hypothesis of a single evolving lineage in early Homo remains without refutation. Although many evolutionary scenarios might explain the complex pattern of variation present in the early Homo fossil record, the most parsimonious remains that of a single lineage displaying evolutionary change over time. PMID:24372272

  4. Descriptions of the lower limb skeleton of Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Jungers, W L; Larson, S G; Harcourt-Smith, W; Morwood, M J; Sutikna, T; Due Awe, Rokhus; Djubiantono, T

    2009-11-01

    Bones of the lower extremity have been recovered for up to nine different individuals of Homo floresiensis - LB1, LB4, LB6, LB8, LB9, LB10, LB11, LB13, and LB14. LB1 is represented by a bony pelvis (damaged but now repaired), femora, tibiae, fibulae, patellae, and numerous foot bones. LB4/2 is an immature right tibia lacking epiphyses. LB6 includes a fragmentary metatarsal and two pedal phalanges. LB8 is a nearly complete right tibia (shorter than that of LB1). LB9 is a fragment of a hominin femoral diaphysis. LB10 is a proximal hallucal phalanx. LB11 includes pelvic fragments and a fragmentary metatarsal. LB13 is a patellar fragment, and LB14 is a fragment of an acetabulum. All skeletal remains recovered from Liang Bua were extremely fragile, and some were badly damaged when they were removed temporarily from Jakarta. At present, virtually all fossil materials have been returned, stabilized, and hardened. These skeletal remains are described and illustrated photographically. The lower limb skeleton exhibits a uniquely mosaic pattern, with many primitive-like morphologies; we have been unable to find this combination of ancient and derived (more human-like) features in either healthy or pathological modern humans, regardless of body size. Bilateral asymmetries are slight in the postcranium, and muscle markings are clearly delineated on all bones. The long bones are robust, and the thickness of their cortices is well within the ranges seen in healthy modern humans. LB1 is most probably a female based on the shape of her greater sciatic notch, and the marked degree of lateral iliac flaring recalls that seen in australopithecines such as "Lucy" (AL 288-1). The metatarsus has a human-like robusticity formula, but the proximal pedal phalanges are relatively long and robust (and slightly curved). The hallux is fully adducted, but we suspect that a medial longitudinal arch was absent. PMID:19062072

  5. Taphonomy of the Tianyuandong human skeleton and faunal remains.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Jalvo, Yolanda; Andrews, Peter; Tong, HaoWen

    2015-06-01

    Tianyuan Cave is an Upper Palaeolithic site, 6 km from the core area of the Zhoukoudian Site Complex. Tianyuandong (or Tianyuan Cave) yielded one ancient (though not the earliest) fossil skeleton of Homo sapiens in China (42-39 ka cal BP). Together with the human skeleton, abundant animal remains were found, but no stone tools were recovered. The animal fossil remains are extremely fragmentary, in contrast to human skeletal elements that are, for the most part, complete. We undertook a taphonomic study to investigate the circumstances of preservation of the human skeleton in Tianyuan Cave, and in course of this we considered four hypotheses: funerary ritual, cannibalism, carnivore activity or natural death. Taphonomic results characterize the role of human action in the site and how these agents acted in the past. Because of disturbance of the human skeleton during its initial excavation, it is not known if it was in a grave cut or if there was any funerary ritual. No evidence was found for cannibalism or carnivore activity in relation to the human skeleton, suggesting natural death as the most reasonable possibility. PMID:25929706

  6. Fitness cost of LINE-1 (L1) activity in humans

    PubMed Central

    Boissinot, Stephane; Davis, Jerel; Entezam, Ali; Petrov, Dimitri; Furano, Anthony V.

    2006-01-01

    The self-replicating LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposon family is the dominant retrotransposon family in mammals and has generated 30–40% of their genomes. Active L1 families are present in modern mammals but the important question of whether these currently active families affect the genetic fitness of their hosts has not been addressed. This issue is of particular relevance to humans as Homo sapiens contains the active L1 Ta1 subfamily of the human specific Ta (L1Pa1) L1 family. Although DNA insertions generated by the Ta1 subfamily can cause genetic defects in current humans, these are relatively rare, and it is not known whether Ta1-generated inserts or any other property of Ta1 elements have been sufficiently deleterious to reduce the fitness of humans. Here we show that full-length (FL) Ta1 elements, but not the truncated Ta1 elements or SINE (Alu) insertions generated by Ta1 activity, were subject to negative selection. Thus, one or more properties unique to FL L1 elements constitute a genetic burden for modern humans. We also found that the FL Ta1 elements became more deleterious as the expansion of Ta1 has proceeded. Because this expansion is ongoing, the Ta1 subfamily almost certainly continues to decrease the fitness of modern humans. PMID:16766655

  7. An earlier origin for stone tool making: implications for cognitive evolution and the transition to Homo.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Jason E; Harmand, Sonia

    2016-07-01

    The discovery of the earliest known stone tools at Lomekwi 3 (LOM3) from West Turkana, Kenya, dated to 3.3 Ma, raises new questions about the mode and tempo of key adaptations in the hominin lineage. The LOM3 tools date to before the earliest known fossils attributed to Homo at 2.8 Ma. They were made and deposited in a more C3 environment than were the earliest Oldowan tools at 2.6 Ma. Their discovery leads to renewed investigation on the timing of the emergence of human-like manipulative capabilities in early hominins and implications for reconstructing cognition. The LOM3 artefacts form part of an emerging paradigm shift in palaeoanthropology, in which: tool-use and tool-making behaviours are not limited to the genus Homo; cranial, post-cranial and behavioural diversity in early Homo is much wider than previously thought; and these evolutionary changes may not have been direct adaptations to living in savannah grassland environments.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298464

  8. The Homo habitat niche: using the avian fossil record to depict ecological characteristics of Palaeolithic Eurasian hominins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlayson, Clive; Carrión, José; Brown, Kimberly; Finlayson, Geraldine; Sánchez-Marco, Antonio; Fa, Darren; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Fernández, Santiago; Fierro, Elena; Bernal-Gómez, Marco; Giles-Pacheco, Francisco

    2011-06-01

    Although hardly applied to human palaeoecology, bird fossils offer a unique opportunity for quantitative studies of the hominin habitat. Here we reconstruct the Homo habitat niche across a large area of the Palaearctic, based on a database of avian fauna for Pleistocene sites. Our results reveal a striking association between Homo and habitat mosaics. A mix of open savannah-type woodland, wetlands and rocky habitats emerges as the predominant combination occupied by Homo across a wide geographical area, from the earliest populations of the Lower Palaeolithic to the latest hunter-gatherer communities of the Upper Palaeolithic. This observation is in keeping with the view that such landscapes have had long standing selective value for hominins.

  9. Human talus bones from the Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain).

    PubMed

    Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gracia, Ana; Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2013-07-01

    Here we present and describe comparatively 25 talus bones from the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). These tali belong to 14 individuals (11 adult and three immature). Although variation among Middle and Late Pleistocene tali tends to be subtle, this study has identified unique morphological characteristics of the SH tali. They are vertically shorter than those of Late Pleistocene Homo sapiens, and show a shorter head and a broader lateral malleolar facet than all of the samples. Moreover, a few shared characters with Neanderthals are consistent with the hypothesis that the SH population and Neanderthals are sister groups. These shared characters are a broad lateral malleolar facet, a trochlear height intermediate between modern humans and Late Pleistocene H. sapiens, and a short middle calcaneal facet. It has been possible to propose sex assignment for the SH tali based on their size. Stature estimates based on these fossils give a mean stature of 174.4 cm for males and 161.9 cm for females, similar to that obtained based on the long bones from this same site. PMID:23706407

  10. Heterochronic processes in human evolution: an ontogenetic analysis of the hominid pelvis.

    PubMed

    Berge, C

    1998-04-01

    Changes in pelvic shape in human ontogeny and hominid phylogeny suggest that the heterochronic processes involved differ greatly from the neotenic process traditionally described in the evolution of the skull. The morphology of 150 juvenile and adult pelves of African apes, 60 juvenile and adult pelves of modern humans, two adult pelves and a juvenile hip bone of australopithecines (Sts 14, AL 288, MLD 7) was studied. Multivariate results, ontogenetic allometries, and growth curves confirm that the pelvic growth pattern in humans differs markedly from those of the African apes. The results permit the following conclusions. First, the appearance of a new feature (acetabulo-cristal buttress and cristal tubercle) at the time of human birth allows the addition of traits, such as the attainment of a proportionally narrower pelvis, with more sagittally positioned iliac blades. Pelvic proportions and orientation change progressively in early childhood as bipedalism is practiced. Other changes in pelvic proportions occur later with the adolescent growth spurt. Second, comparison of juvenile and adult australopithecines to modern humans indicates that 1) some pelvic traits of adult Australopithecus resemble those of neonate Homo; 2) the pelvic growth of Australopithecus was probably closer to that of apes, than to that of humans; and 3) prolonged growth in length of hindlimb and pelvis after sexual maturity seems to be a unique feature of Homo. The position of the acetabulo-cristal buttress and of the cristal tubercle on the ilium are similar in adult Australopithecus and neonate Homo suggesting that this feature may have been displaced later during hominid evolution. Progressive displacement of the acetabulo-cristal buttress on the ilium occurs both during hominid evolution (from Australopithecus to Homo sapiens) and human growth (from neonate to adult). This suggests peramorphic evolution of the pelvic morphology of hominids combining three processes of recapitulation

  11. Characterizing the Evolutionary Path(s) to Early Homo

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Lauren; Roseman, Charles C.; Cheverud, James M.; Ackermann, Rebecca R.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies suggest that the transition from Australopithecus to Homo was characterized by evolutionary innovation, resulting in the emergence and coexistence of a diversity of forms. However, the evolutionary processes necessary to drive such a transition have not been examined. Here, we apply statistical tests developed from quantitative evolutionary theory to assess whether morphological differences among late australopith and early Homo species in Africa have been shaped by natural selection. Where selection is demonstrated, we identify aspects of morphology that were most likely under selective pressure, and determine the nature (type, rate) of that selection. Results demonstrate that selection must be invoked to explain an Au. africanus—Au. sediba—Homo transition, while transitions from late australopiths to various early Homo species that exclude Au. sediba can be achieved through drift alone. Rate tests indicate that selection is largely directional, acting to rapidly differentiate these taxa. Reconstructions of patterns of directional selection needed to drive the Au. africanus—Au. sediba—Homo transition suggest that selection would have affected all regions of the skull. These results may indicate that an evolutionary path to Homo without Au. sediba is the simpler path and/or provide evidence that this pathway involved more reliance on cultural adaptations to cope with environmental change. PMID:25470780

  12. The taxonomic implications of cranial shape variation in Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Baab, Karen L

    2008-06-01

    The taxonomic status of Homo erectus sensu lato has been a source of debate since the early 1980s, when a series of publications suggested that the early African fossils may represent a separate species, H. ergaster. To gain further resolution regarding this debate, 3D geometric morphometric data were used to quantify overall shape variation in the cranial vault within H. erectus using a new metric, the sum of squared pairwise Procrustes distances (SSD). Bootstrapping methods were used to compare the H. erectus SSD to a broad range of human and nonhuman primate samples in order to ascertain whether variation in H. erectus most clearly resembles that seen in one or more species. The reference taxa included relevant phylogenetic, ecological, and temporal analogs including humans, apes, and both extant and extinct papionin monkeys. The mean cranial shapes of different temporogeographic subsets of H. erectus fossils were then tested for significance using exact randomization tests and compared to the distances between regional groups of modern humans and subspecies/species of the ape and papionin monkey taxa. To gauge the influence of sexual dimorphism on levels of variation, comparisons were also made between the mean cranial shapes of single-sex samples for the reference taxa. Results indicate that variation in H. erectus is most comparable to single species of papionin monkeys and the genus Pan, which included two species. However, H. erectus encompasses a limited range of variation given its extensive geographic and temporal range, leading to the conclusion that only one species should be recognized. In addition, there are significant differences between the African/Georgian and Asian H. erectus samples, but not between H. ergaster (Georgia+Africa, excluding OH 9 and Daka) and H. erectus sensu stricto. This finding is in line with expectations for intraspecific variation in a long-lived species with a wide, but probably discontinuous, geographic distribution. PMID

  13. Relaxed natural selection in human populations during the Pleistocene.

    PubMed

    Takahata, N

    1993-12-01

    Available genetic data reveals that the human population is more variable than the chimpanzee population at the protein level, whereas the opposite is the case at the DNA level. The lower level of silent polymorphism in the human population suggests that its long-term breeding size is smaller than the chimpanzee's. The neutral theory suggests that natural selection has been relaxed in the human population under the improved environment. The possibility that the relaxation began with the emergence of Homo sapiens is examined, because it is known that H. habilis underwent for the first time dramatic changes in brain size, way of life, and culture, and that the childhood of H. erectus was already twice as long as that of chimpanzee. The relaxation hypothesis predicts that, relative to chimpanzee, some 20% of deleterious mutations became harmless under the changed environment throughout the Pleistocene. More extensive study of genetic variation in non-human primates is necessary not only to confirm the hypothesis, but also to better understand the human genome itself. PMID:8031575

  14. The integration hypothesis of human language evolution and the nature of contemporary languages

    PubMed Central

    Miyagawa, Shigeru; Ojima, Shiro; Berwick, Robert C.; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2014-01-01

    How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa et al. (2013) put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, that holds that human language is composed of two components, E for expressive, and L for lexical. Each component has an antecedent in nature: E as found, for example, in birdsong, and L in, for example, the alarm calls of monkeys. E and L integrated uniquely in humans to give rise to language. A challenge to the Integration Hypothesis is that while these non-human systems are finite-state in nature, human language is known to require characterization by a non-finite state grammar. Our claim is that E and L, taken separately, are in fact finite-state; when a grammatical process crosses the boundary between E and L, it gives rise to the non-finite state character of human language. We provide empirical evidence for the Integration Hypothesis by showing that certain processes found in contemporary languages that have been characterized as non-finite state in nature can in fact be shown to be finite-state. We also speculate on how human language actually arose in evolution through the lens of the Integration Hypothesis. PMID:24936195

  15. Middle Pleistocene lower back and pelvis from an aged human individual from the Sima de los Huesos site, Spain

    PubMed Central

    Bonmatí, Alejandro; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Carretero, José Miguel; Gracia, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Bérmudez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2010-01-01

    We report a nearly complete lumbar spine from the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) that is assigned to the previously published SH male Pelvis 1 [Arsuaga JL, et al. (1999). Nature 399: 255–258]. The “SH Pelvis 1 individual” is a unique nearly complete lumbo-pelvic complex from the human Middle Pleistocene fossil record, and offers a rare glimpse into the anatomy and past lifeways of Homo heidelbergensis. A revised reconstruction of Pelvis 1, together with the current fossil evidence, confirms our previous hypothesis that the morphology of this pelvis represents the primitive pattern within the genus Homo. Here we argue that this primitive pattern is also characterized by sexual dimorphism in the pelvic canal shape, implying complicated deliveries. In addition, this individual shows signs of lumbar kyphotic deformity, spondylolisthesis, and Baastrup disease. This suite of lesions would have postural consequences and was most likely painful. As a result, the individual’s daily physical activities would have been restricted to some extent. Reexamination of the age-at-death agrees with this individual being over 45 y old, relying on the modern human pattern of changes of the articular surfaces of the os coxae. The presence of degenerative pathological lesions and the advanced age-at-death of this individual make it the most ancient postcranial evidence of an aged individual in the human fossil record. Additional nonpathological SH lumbo-pelvic remains are consistent with previous hypotheses, suggesting a less-pronounced sagittal spinal curvature in Neandertals compared with Homo sapiens. PMID:20937858

  16. Middle Pleistocene lower back and pelvis from an aged human individual from the Sima de los Huesos site, Spain.

    PubMed

    Bonmatí, Alejandro; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Carretero, José Miguel; Gracia, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Bérmudez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2010-10-26

    We report a nearly complete lumbar spine from the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) that is assigned to the previously published SH male Pelvis 1 [Arsuaga JL, et al. (1999). Nature 399: 255-258]. The "SH Pelvis 1 individual" is a unique nearly complete lumbo-pelvic complex from the human Middle Pleistocene fossil record, and offers a rare glimpse into the anatomy and past lifeways of Homo heidelbergensis. A revised reconstruction of Pelvis 1, together with the current fossil evidence, confirms our previous hypothesis that the morphology of this pelvis represents the primitive pattern within the genus Homo. Here we argue that this primitive pattern is also characterized by sexual dimorphism in the pelvic canal shape, implying complicated deliveries. In addition, this individual shows signs of lumbar kyphotic deformity, spondylolisthesis, and Baastrup disease. This suite of lesions would have postural consequences and was most likely painful. As a result, the individual's daily physical activities would have been restricted to some extent. Reexamination of the age-at-death agrees with this individual being over 45 y old, relying on the modern human pattern of changes of the articular surfaces of the os coxae. The presence of degenerative pathological lesions and the advanced age-at-death of this individual make it the most ancient postcranial evidence of an aged individual in the human fossil record. Additional nonpathological SH lumbo-pelvic remains are consistent with previous hypotheses, suggesting a less-pronounced sagittal spinal curvature in Neandertals compared with Homo sapiens. PMID:20937858

  17. RNA editing differently affects protein-coding genes in D. melanogaster and H. sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Grassi, Luigi; Leoni, Guido; Tramontano, Anna

    2015-01-01

    When an RNA editing event occurs within a coding sequence it can lead to a different encoded amino acid. The biological significance of these events remains an open question: they can modulate protein functionality, increase the complexity of transcriptomes or arise from a loose specificity of the involved enzymes. We analysed the editing events in coding regions that produce or not a change in the encoded amino acid (nonsynonymous and synonymous events, respectively) in D. melanogaster and in H. sapiens and compared them with the appropriate random models. Interestingly, our results show that the phenomenon has rather different characteristics in the two organisms. For example, we confirm the observation that editing events occur more frequently in non-coding than in coding regions, and report that this effect is much more evident in H. sapiens. Additionally, in this latter organism, editing events tend to affect less conserved residues. The less frequently occurring editing events in Drosophila tend to avoid drastic amino acid changes. Interestingly, we find that, in Drosophila, changes from less frequently used codons to more frequently used ones are favoured, while this is not the case in H. sapiens. PMID:26169954

  18. Radiometric dating of the type-site for Homo heidelbergensis at Mauer, Germany.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Günther A; Krbetschek, Matthias; Degering, Detlev; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Shao, Qingfeng; Falguères, Christophe; Voinchet, Pierre; Dolo, Jean-Michel; Garcia, Tristan; Rightmire, G Philip

    2010-11-16

    The Mauer mandible, holotype of Homo heidelbergensis, was found in 1907 in fluvial sands deposited by the Neckar River 10 km southeast of Heidelberg, Germany. The fossil is an important key to understanding early human occupation of Europe north of the Alps. Given the associated mammal fauna and the geological context, the find layer has been placed in the early Middle Pleistocene, but confirmatory chronometric evidence has hitherto been missing. Here we show that two independent techniques, the combined electron spin resonance/U-series method used with mammal teeth and infrared radiofluorescence applied to sand grains, date the type-site of Homo heidelbergensis at Mauer to 609 ± 40 ka. This result demonstrates that the mandible is the oldest hominin fossil reported to date from central and northern Europe and raises questions concerning the phyletic relationship of Homo heidelbergensis to more ancient populations documented from southern Europe and in Africa. We address the paleoanthropological significance of the Mauer jaw in light of this dating evidence. PMID:21041630

  19. Radiometric dating of the type-site for Homo heidelbergensis at Mauer, Germany

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Günther A.; Krbetschek, Matthias; Degering, Detlev; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Shao, Qingfeng; Falguères, Christophe; Voinchet, Pierre; Dolo, Jean-Michel; Garcia, Tristan; Rightmire, G. Philip

    2010-01-01

    The Mauer mandible, holotype of Homo heidelbergensis, was found in 1907 in fluvial sands deposited by the Neckar River 10 km southeast of Heidelberg, Germany. The fossil is an important key to understanding early human occupation of Europe north of the Alps. Given the associated mammal fauna and the geological context, the find layer has been placed in the early Middle Pleistocene, but confirmatory chronometric evidence has hitherto been missing. Here we show that two independent techniques, the combined electron spin resonance/U-series method used with mammal teeth and infrared radiofluorescence applied to sand grains, date the type-site of Homo heidelbergensis at Mauer to 609 ± 40 ka. This result demonstrates that the mandible is the oldest hominin fossil reported to date from central and northern Europe and raises questions concerning the phyletic relationship of Homo heidelbergensis to more ancient populations documented from southern Europe and in Africa. We address the paleoanthropological significance of the Mauer jaw in light of this dating evidence. PMID:21041630

  20. Ontogenetic study of allometric variation in Homo and Pan mandibles.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nandini

    2014-02-01

    Investigating ontogenetic variation and allometry in the mandible can provide valuable insight and aid in addressing questions related to the ontogeny of the skull. Here, patterns of ontogenetic shape change and allometric trajectories were examined in the mandible of 187 sub-adult and adult humans, bonobos, and chimpanzees. Procrustes-based geometric morphometrics was employed to quantify and analyze mandibular form. Thirty three-dimensional landmarks were used to capture the overall morphology of the mandible, and the landmarks were analyzed as a whole and subdivided into separate anterior and posterior units. Principal component analyses in Procrustes shape-space and form-space, and multivariate regressions were used to examine patterns of ontogenetic and allometric shape change. Results suggest that humans are distinct from Pan both in their mandibular morphology, particularly in the anterior-alveolar region, and direction of allometric trajectory. Chimpanzees and bonobos have parallel ontogenetic trajectories, but also show differences in mandibular shape. Species-specific features and adult mandibular shape are established before or by the eruption of the deciduous dentition. This suggests that developmental processes prior to deciduous teeth eruption have a stronger effect establishing taxa-specific phenotypes than later postnatal effects. This additionally implies that divergent trajectories between Pan and Homo do not contribute much to the adult mandibular shape after deciduous teeth eruption. Separate analyses of the anterior-alveolar region and ascending ramus show that these regions are semi-independent in their developmental pattern of shape change and allometry. This implies that allometric variation and ontogenetic shape change in the hominoid mandible is decoupled. PMID:24347386

  1. The posterior border of the sphenoid greater wing and its phylogenetic usefulness in human evolution.

    PubMed

    Braga, J; Crubézy, E; Elyaqtine, M

    1998-12-01

    The elucidation of patterns of cranial skeletal maturation and growth in fossil hominids is possible not only through dental studies but also by mapping different aspects of ossification in both extant African apes and humans. However, knowledge of normal skeletal development in large samples of extant great apes is flimsy. To remedy this situation, this paper offers an extensive survey and thorough discussion of the ossification of the posterior border of the sphenoid greater wing. Indeed, this area provides much information about basicranial skeletal maturation. We investigate three variants: the absence of the foramen spinosum and the position of both the foramen spinosum and the foramen ovale in relation to the sphenosquamosal suture. Providing original data about humans and 1,425 extant great ape skulls and using a sample of 64 fossil hominids, this study aimed to test whether different ossification patterns occurred during the course of human evolution. The incidence of three derived morphologies located on the posterior border of the sphenoid greater wing increases during human evolution at different geological periods. The evolutionary polarity of these three derived morphologies is assessed by outgroup comparison and ontogenetic methods. During human evolution, there is a clear trend for the foramen spinosum to be present and wholly located on the posterior area of the sphenoid greater wing. Moreover, in all the great ape species and in Australopithecus afarensis, the sphenosquamosal suture may split the foramen ovale. Inversely, the foramen ovale always lies wholly within the sphenoid greater wing in Australopithecus africanus, robust australopithecines, early Homo, H. erectus (and/or H. ergaster), and Homo sapiens. From ontogenetic studies in humans, we conclude that, during human evolution, the ossification of the posterior area of the sphenoid greater wing progressively surrounded the middle meningeal artery (passing through the foramen spinosum) and

  2. Human cloning and embryo research: the 2003 John J. Conley Lecture on medical ethics.

    PubMed

    George, Robert P

    2004-01-01

    The author, a member of the U.S. President's Council on Bioethics, discusses ethical issues raised by human cloning, whether for purposes of bringing babies to birth or for research purposes. He first argues that every cloned human embryo is a new, distinct, and enduring organism, belonging to the species Homo sapiens, and directing its own development toward maturity. He then distinguishes between two types of capacities belonging to individual organisms belonging to this species, an immediately exerciseable capacity and a basic natural capacity that develops over time. He argues that it is the second type of capacity that is the ground for full moral respect, and that this capacity (and its concomitant degree of respect) belongs to cloned human embryos no less than to adult human beings. He then considers and rejects counter-arguments to his position, including the suggestion that the capacity of embryos is equivalent to the capacity of somatic cells, that full human rights are afforded only to human organisms with functioning brains, that the possibility of twinning diminishes the moral status of embryos, that the fact that people do not typically mourn the loss of early embryos implies that they have a diminished moral status, that the fact that early spontaneous abortions occur frequently diminishes the moral status of embryos, and that his arguments depend upon a concept of ensoulment. He concludes that if the moral status of cloned human embryos is equivalent to that of adults, then public policy should be based upon this assumption. PMID:15180093

  3. Beringia and the global dispersal of modern humans.

    PubMed

    Hoffecker, John F; Elias, Scott A; O'Rourke, Dennis H; Scott, G Richard; Bigelow, Nancy H

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, the settlement of the Americas seemed largely divorced from the out-of-Africa dispersal of anatomically modern humans, which began at least 50,000 years ago. Native Americans were thought to represent a small subset of the Eurasian population that migrated to the Western Hemisphere less than 15,000 years ago. Archeological discoveries since 2000 reveal, however, that Homo sapiens occupied the high-latitude region between Northeast Asia and northwest North America (that is, Beringia) before 30,000 years ago and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The settlement of Beringia now appears to have been part of modern human dispersal in northern Eurasia. A 2007 model, the Beringian Standstill Hypothesis, which is based on analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in living people, derives Native Americans from a population that occupied Beringia during the LGM. The model suggests a parallel between ancestral Native Americans and modern human populations that retreated to refugia in other parts of the world during the arid LGM. It is supported by evidence of comparatively mild climates and rich biota in south-central Beringia at this time (30,000-15,000 years ago). These and other developments suggest that the settlement of the Americas may be integrated with the global dispersal of modern humans. PMID:27061035

  4. A Critical Evaluation of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis for LB1, Type Specimen of Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Baab, Karen L; Brown, Peter; Falk, Dean; Richtsmeier, Joan T; Hildebolt, Charles F; Smith, Kirk; Jungers, William

    2016-01-01

    The Liang Bua hominins from Flores, Indonesia, have been the subject of intense scrutiny and debate since their initial description and classification in 2004. These remains have been assigned to a new species, Homo floresiensis, with the partial skeleton LB1 as the type specimen. The Liang Bua hominins are notable for their short stature, small endocranial volume, and many features that appear phylogenetically primitive relative to modern humans, despite their late Pleistocene age. Recently, some workers suggested that the remains represent members of a small-bodied island population of modern Austro-Melanesian humans, with LB1 exhibiting clinical signs of Down syndrome. Many classic Down syndrome signs are soft tissue features that could not be assessed in skeletal remains. Moreover, a definitive diagnosis of Down syndrome can only be made by genetic analysis as the phenotypes associated with Down syndrome are variable. Most features that contribute to the Down syndrome phenotype are not restricted to Down syndrome but are seen in other chromosomal disorders and in the general population. Nevertheless, we re-evaluated the presence of those phenotypic features used to support this classification by comparing LB1 to samples of modern humans diagnosed with Down syndrome and euploid modern humans using comparative morphometric analyses. We present new data regarding neurocranial, brain, and symphyseal shape in Down syndrome, additional estimates of stature for LB1, and analyses of inter- and intralimb proportions. The presence of cranial sinuses is addressed using CT images of LB1. We found minimal congruence between the LB1 phenotype and clinical descriptions of Down syndrome. We present important differences between the phenotypes of LB1 and individuals with Down syndrome, and quantitative data that characterize LB1 as an outlier compared with Down syndrome and non-Down syndrome groups. Homo floresiensis remains a phenotypically unique, valid species with its roots

  5. Evolutionary reversals of limb proportions in early hominids? Evidence from KNM-ER 3735 (Homo habilis).

    PubMed

    Haeusler, Martin; McHenry, Henry M

    2007-10-01

    Upper-to-lower limb proportions of Homo habilis are often said to be more ape-like than those of its reputed ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis. Such proportions would either imply multiple evolutionary reversals or parallel development of a relatively short upper limb in A. afarensis and later Homo. However, assessments of limb proportions are complicated by the fragmentary nature of the two known H. habilis skeletons, OH 62 and KNM-ER 3735. Initially, KNM-ER 3735 was compared to A.L. 288-1 (A. afarensis) using a single modern human and chimpanzee as reference. Here, based on a larger comparative sample, we find that the relative size of the distal humerus, radial head, and shaft of both KNM-ER 3735 and A.L. 288-1 lie within the range of variation of modern humans, whereas their sacra are small as is the case for all early hominids. In addition, their manual phalanges are similar in having a gracile base but robust midshaft. Contrary to earlier studies, the fossils are not differentiable from each other statistically with respect to all features listed above. On the other hand, they differ in robusticity of the scapular spine and relative length of the radial neck. An exact randomization test suggests only a very low probability of finding a similar degree of difference within a single species of extant hominoids. In contrast to the consensus view, we conclude that A.L. 288-1 had a short, human-like forearm, whereas KNM-ER 3735 possessed a distinctly longer forearm and more powerful shoulder girdle. This interpretation fits with earlier conclusions that suggested human-like humerofemoral proportions but chimpanzee-like brachial proportions for Homo habilis. Thus, the scenario of a unidirectional, progressive change in limb proportions within the hominid lineage is not supported by our work. PMID:17688910

  6. A Critical Evaluation of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis for LB1, Type Specimen of Homo floresiensis

    PubMed Central

    Baab, Karen L.; Brown, Peter; Falk, Dean; Richtsmeier, Joan T.; Hildebolt, Charles F.; Smith, Kirk; Jungers, William

    2016-01-01

    The Liang Bua hominins from Flores, Indonesia, have been the subject of intense scrutiny and debate since their initial description and classification in 2004. These remains have been assigned to a new species, Homo floresiensis, with the partial skeleton LB1 as the type specimen. The Liang Bua hominins are notable for their short stature, small endocranial volume, and many features that appear phylogenetically primitive relative to modern humans, despite their late Pleistocene age. Recently, some workers suggested that the remains represent members of a small-bodied island population of modern Austro-Melanesian humans, with LB1 exhibiting clinical signs of Down syndrome. Many classic Down syndrome signs are soft tissue features that could not be assessed in skeletal remains. Moreover, a definitive diagnosis of Down syndrome can only be made by genetic analysis as the phenotypes associated with Down syndrome are variable. Most features that contribute to the Down syndrome phenotype are not restricted to Down syndrome but are seen in other chromosomal disorders and in the general population. Nevertheless, we re-evaluated the presence of those phenotypic features used to support this classification by comparing LB1 to samples of modern humans diagnosed with Down syndrome and euploid modern humans using comparative morphometric analyses. We present new data regarding neurocranial, brain, and symphyseal shape in Down syndrome, additional estimates of stature for LB1, and analyses of inter- and intralimb proportions. The presence of cranial sinuses is addressed using CT images of LB1. We found minimal congruence between the LB1 phenotype and clinical descriptions of Down syndrome. We present important differences between the phenotypes of LB1 and individuals with Down syndrome, and quantitative data that characterize LB1 as an outlier compared with Down syndrome and non-Down syndrome groups. Homo floresiensis remains a phenotypically unique, valid species with its roots

  7. The revolution that wasn't: a new interpretation of the origin of modern human behavior.

    PubMed

    Mcbrearty, S; Brooks, A S

    2000-11-01

    Proponents of the model known as the "human revolution" claim that modern human behaviors arose suddenly, and nearly simultaneously, throughout the Old World ca. 40-50 ka. This fundamental behavioral shift is purported to signal a cognitive advance, a possible reorganization of the brain, and the origin of language. Because the earliest modern human fossils, Homo sapiens sensu stricto, are found in Africa and the adjacent region of the Levant at >100 ka, the "human revolution" model creates a time lag between the appearance of anatomical modernity and perceived behavioral modernity, and creates the impression that the earliest modern Africans were behaviorally primitive. This view of events stems from a profound Eurocentric bias and a failure to appreciate the depth and breadth of the African archaeological record. In fact, many of the components of the "human revolution" claimed to appear at 40-50 ka are found in the African Middle Stone Age tens of thousands of years earlier. These features include blade and microlithic technology, bone tools, increased geographic range, specialized hunting, the use of aquatic resources, long distance trade, systematic processing and use of pigment, and art and decoration. These items do not occur suddenly together as predicted by the "human revolution" model, but at sites that are widely separated in space and time. This suggests a gradual assembling of the package of modern human behaviors in Africa, and its later export to other regions of the Old World. The African Middle and early Late Pleistocene hominid fossil record is fairly continuous and in it can be recognized a number of probably distinct species that provide plausible ancestors for H. sapiens. The appearance of Middle Stone Age technology and the first signs of modern behavior coincide with the appearance of fossils that have been attributed to H. helmei, suggesting the behavior of H. helmei is distinct from that of earlier hominid species and quite similar to that

  8. The primitive wrist of Homo floresiensis and its implications for hominin evolution.

    PubMed

    Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Larson, Susan G; Sutikna, Thomas; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Due, Rokus Awe; Djubiantono, Tony; Morwood, Michael J; Jungers, William L

    2007-09-21

    Whether the Late Pleistocene hominin fossils from Flores, Indonesia, represent a new species, Homo floresiensis, or pathological modern humans has been debated. Analysis of three wrist bones from the holotype specimen (LB1) shows that it retains wrist morphology that is primitive for the African ape-human clade. In contrast, Neandertals and modern humans share derived wrist morphology that forms during embryogenesis, which diminishes the probability that pathology could result in the normal primitive state. This evidence indicates that LB1 is not a modern human with an undiagnosed pathology or growth defect; rather, it represents a species descended from a hominin ancestor that branched off before the origin of the clade that includes modern humans, Neandertals, and their last common ancestor. PMID:17885135

  9. A single lineage in early Pleistocene Homo: size variation continuity in early Pleistocene Homo crania from East Africa and Georgia.

    PubMed

    Van Arsdale, Adam P; Wolpoff, Milford H

    2013-03-01

    The relationship between Homo habilis and early African Homo erectus has been contentious because H. habilis was hypothesized to be an evolutionary stage between Australopithecus and H. erectus, more than a half-century ago. Recent work re-dating key African early Homo localities and the discovery of new fossils in East Africa and Georgia provide the opportunity for a productive re-evaluation of this topic. Here, we test the hypothesis that the cranial sample from East Africa and Georgia represents a single evolutionary lineage of Homo spanning the approximately 1.9-1.5 Mya time period, consisting of specimens attributed to H. habilis and H. erectus. To address issues of small sample sizes in each time period, and uneven representation of cranial data, we developed a novel nonparametric randomization technique based on the variance in an index of pairwise difference from a broad set of fossil comparisons. We fail to reject the hypothesis of a single lineage this period by identifying a strong, time-dependent pattern of variation throughout the sequence. These results suggest the need for a reappraisal of fossil evidence from other regions within this time period and highlight the critical nature of the Plio-Pleistocene boundary for understanding the early evolution of the genus Homo. PMID:23461332

  10. Short Faces, Big Tongues: Developmental Origin of the Human Chin

    PubMed Central

    Coquerelle, Michael; Prados-Frutos, Juan Carlos; Rojo, Rosa; Mitteroecker, Philipp; Bastir, Markus

    2013-01-01

    During the course of human evolution, the retraction of the face underneath the braincase, and closer to the cervical column, has reduced the horizontal dimension of the vocal tract. By contrast, the relative size of the tongue has not been reduced, implying a rearrangement of the space at the back of the vocal tract to allow breathing and swallowing. This may have left a morphological signature such as a chin (mental prominence) that can potentially be interpreted in Homo. Long considered an autopomorphic trait of Homo sapiens, various extinct hominins show different forms of mental prominence. These features may be the evolutionary by-product of equivalent developmental constraints correlated with an enlarged tongue. In order to investigate developmental mechanisms related to this hypothesis, we compare modern 34 human infants against 8 chimpanzee fetuses, whom development of the mandibular symphysis passes through similar stages. The study sets out to test that the shared ontogenetic shape changes of the symphysis observed in both species are driven by the same factor – the space restriction at the back of the vocal tract and the associated arrangement of the tongue and hyoid bone. We apply geometric morphometric methods to extensive three-dimensional anatomical landmarks and semilandmarks configuration, capturing the geometry of the cervico-craniofacial complex including the hyoid bone, tongue muscle and the mandible. We demonstrate that in both species, the forward displacement of the mental region derives from the arrangement of the tongue and hyoid bone, in order to cope with the relative horizontal narrowing of the oral cavity. Because humans and chimpanzees share this pattern of developmental integration, the different forms of mental prominence seen in some extinct hominids likely originate from equivalent ontogenetic constraints. Variations in this process could account for similar morphologies. PMID:24260566

  11. Short faces, big tongues: developmental origin of the human chin.

    PubMed

    Coquerelle, Michael; Prados-Frutos, Juan Carlos; Rojo, Rosa; Mitteroecker, Philipp; Bastir, Markus

    2013-01-01

    During the course of human evolution, the retraction of the face underneath the braincase, and closer to the cervical column, has reduced the horizontal dimension of the vocal tract. By contrast, the relative size of the tongue has not been reduced, implying a rearrangement of the space at the back of the vocal tract to allow breathing and swallowing. This may have left a morphological signature such as a chin (mental prominence) that can potentially be interpreted in Homo. Long considered an autopomorphic trait of Homo sapiens, various extinct hominins show different forms of mental prominence. These features may be the evolutionary by-product of equivalent developmental constraints correlated with an enlarged tongue. In order to investigate developmental mechanisms related to this hypothesis, we compare modern 34 human infants against 8 chimpanzee fetuses, whom development of the mandibular symphysis passes through similar stages. The study sets out to test that the shared ontogenetic shape changes of the symphysis observed in both species are driven by the same factor--space restriction at the back of the vocal tract and the associated arrangement of the tongue and hyoid bone. We apply geometric morphometric methods to extensive three-dimensional anatomical landmarks and semilandmarks configuration, capturing the geometry of the cervico-craniofacial complex including the hyoid bone, tongue muscle and the mandible. We demonstrate that in both species, the forward displacement of the mental region derives from the arrangement of the tongue and hyoid bone, in order to cope with the relative horizontal narrowing of the oral cavity. Because humans and chimpanzees share this pattern of developmental integration, the different forms of mental prominence seen in some extinct hominids likely originate from equivalent ontogenetic constraints. Variations in this process could account for similar morphologies. PMID:24260566

  12. Yawn contagion in humans and bonobos: emotional affinity matters more than species

    PubMed Central

    Norscia, Ivan; Demuru, Elisa

    2014-01-01

    In humans and apes, yawn contagion echoes emotional contagion, the basal layer of empathy. Hence, yawn contagion is a unique tool to compare empathy across species. If humans are the most empathic animal species, they should show the highest empathic response also at the level of emotional contagion. We gathered data on yawn contagion in humans (Homo sapiens) and bonobos (Pan paniscus) by applying the same observational paradigm and identical operational definitions. We selected a naturalistic approach because experimental management practices can produce different psychological and behavioural biases in the two species, and differential attention to artificial stimuli. Within species, yawn contagion was highest between strongly bonded subjects. Between species, sensitivity to others’ yawns was higher in humans than in bonobos when involving kin and friends but was similar when considering weakly-bonded subjects. Thus, emotional contagion is not always highest in humans. The cognitive components concur in empowering emotional affinity between individuals. Yet, when they are not in play, humans climb down from the empathic podium to return to the “understory”, which our species shares with apes. PMID:25165630

  13. Yawn contagion in humans and bonobos: emotional affinity matters more than species.

    PubMed

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan; Demuru, Elisa

    2014-01-01

    In humans and apes, yawn contagion echoes emotional contagion, the basal layer of empathy. Hence, yawn contagion is a unique tool to compare empathy across species. If humans are the most empathic animal species, they should show the highest empathic response also at the level of emotional contagion. We gathered data on yawn contagion in humans (Homo sapiens) and bonobos (Pan paniscus) by applying the same observational paradigm and identical operational definitions. We selected a naturalistic approach because experimental management practices can produce different psychological and behavioural biases in the two species, and differential attention to artificial stimuli. Within species, yawn contagion was highest between strongly bonded subjects. Between species, sensitivity to others' yawns was higher in humans than in bonobos when involving kin and friends but was similar when considering weakly-bonded subjects. Thus, emotional contagion is not always highest in humans. The cognitive components concur in empowering emotional affinity between individuals. Yet, when they are not in play, humans climb down from the empathic podium to return to the "understory", which our species shares with apes. PMID:25165630

  14. Language and life history: a new perspective on the development and evolution of human language.

    PubMed

    Locke, John L; Bogin, Barry

    2006-06-01

    It has long been claimed that Homo sapiens is the only species that has language, but only recently has it been recognized that humans also have an unusual pattern of growth and development. Social mammals have two stages of pre-adult development: infancy and juvenility. Humans have two additional prolonged and pronounced life history stages: childhood, an interval of four years extending between infancy and the juvenile period that follows, and adolescence, a stage of about eight years that stretches from juvenility to adulthood. We begin by reviewing the primary biological and linguistic changes occurring in each of the four pre-adult ontogenetic stages in human life history. Then we attempt to trace the evolution of childhood and juvenility in our hominin ancestors. We propose that several different forms of selection applied in infancy and childhood; and that, in adolescence, elaborated vocal behaviors played a role in courtship and intrasexual competition, enhancing fitness and ultimately integrating performative and pragmatic skills with linguistic knowledge in a broad faculty of language. A theoretical consequence of our proposal is that fossil evidence of the uniquely human stages may be used, with other findings, to date the emergence of language. If important aspects of language cannot appear until sexual maturity, as we propose, then a second consequence is that the development of language requires the whole of modern human ontogeny. Our life history model thus offers new ways of investigating, and thinking about, the evolution, development, and ultimately the nature of human language. PMID:17214017

  15. The social side of Homo economicus.

    PubMed

    Rankin, Daniel J

    2011-01-01

    Many recent experiments in the field of behavioural economics appear to demonstrate a willingness of humans to behave altruistically, even when it is not in their interest to do so. This has led to the assertion that humans have evolved a special predisposition towards altruism. Recent studies have questioned this, and demonstrated that selfless cooperation does not hold up in controlled experiments. As I discuss here, this calls for more economic 'field experiments' and highlights the need for greater integration of the evolutionary and economic sciences. PMID:21087808

  16. Quantifying lateral femoral condyle ellipticalness in chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans.

    PubMed

    Sylvester, Adam D; Pfisterer, Theresa

    2012-11-01

    Articular surfaces of limb bones provide information for understanding animal locomotion because their size and shape are a reflection of habitual postures and movements. Here we present a novel method for quantifying the ellipticalness (i.e., departure from perfectly circular) of the lateral femoral condyle (LFC), applying this technique to hominid femora. Three-dimensional surface models were created for 49 Homo sapiens, 34 Pan troglodytes and 25 Gorilla gorilla femora. Software was developed that fit separate cylinders to each of the femoral condyles. These cylinders were constrained to have a single axis, but could have different radii. The cylinder fit to the LFC was allowed to assume an elliptical cross-section, while the cylinder fit to the medial condyle was constrained to remain circular. The shape of the elliptical cylinder (ratio of the major and minor axes of the ellipse) was recorded, and the orientation of the elliptical cylinder quantified as angles between the major axis of the ellipse and the anatomical and mechanical axes of the femur. Species were compared using analysis of variance and post hoc multiple comparisons tests. Confirming qualitative descriptions, human LFCs are more elliptical than those of chimpanzees and gorillas. Human femora exhibit a narrow range for the angle between the major axis of the elliptical cylinder and femoral axes. Conversely, the chimpanzee sample is bimodal for these angles, exhibiting two ellipse orientations, while Gorilla shows no preferred angle. Our results suggest that like modern human femora, chimpanzee femoral condyles have preferentially used regions. PMID:23042636

  17. Posttranscatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Ventricular Septal Defect During Transfemoral Edwards SAPIEN Valve Implantation.

    PubMed

    Dahl, Aaron; Hoaglan, Carli; Helman, James

    2016-06-01

    Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is gaining favor as a treatment for aortic stenosis in patients at high risk for the open surgical approach. The following is a report of a 95-year-old woman with severe aortic stenosis who presented for TAVR with an Edwards SAPIEN valve. Her medical history included pacemaker-dependent complete heart block and a recent episode of congestive heart failure secondary to a non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. The TAVR was performed successfully through an open left femoral artery approach, and the patient was found to have a new perimembranous ventricular septal defect identified postoperatively. PMID:27243581

  18. Elastic energy storage in the shoulder and the evolution of high-speed throwing in Homo.

    PubMed

    Roach, Neil T; Venkadesan, Madhusudhan; Rainbow, Michael J; Lieberman, Daniel E

    2013-06-27

    Some primates, including chimpanzees, throw objects occasionally, but only humans regularly throw projectiles with high speed and accuracy. Darwin noted that the unique throwing abilities of humans, which were made possible when bipedalism emancipated the arms, enabled foragers to hunt effectively using projectiles. However, there has been little consideration of the evolution of throwing in the years since Darwin made his observations, in part because of a lack of evidence of when, how and why hominins evolved the ability to generate high-speed throws. Here we use experimental studies of humans throwing projectiles to show that our throwing capabilities largely result from several derived anatomical features that enable elastic energy storage and release at the shoulder. These features first appear together approximately 2 million years ago in the species Homo erectus. Taking into consideration archaeological evidence suggesting that hunting activity intensified around this time, we conclude that selection for throwing as a means to hunt probably had an important role in the evolution of the genus Homo. PMID:23803849

  19. The Homo Zappiens and its Consequences for Learning in Universities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veen, Wim; van Staalduinen, Jan-Paul

    Homo Zappiens is the new generation that is growing up with modern communication technologies shaping their views on the world around them. Prominent characteristics of Homo Zappiens include their preference for images and symbols as an enrichment of plain text, their seemingly effortless adoption of technology, and their cooperation and sharing in networks. They use technology in a functional manner, not touching what they cannot use, and increasingly this generation seems to take exploration and learning and discovering the world, into their own hands. Homo Zappiens shows us that we can increasingly rely on technology to connect us and allow us to organize and preserve our society as a group. In a networked society, the individual has more room for contributing his/her unique value, and innovation and knowledge reside in a network, rather than in each separate individual. Higher education institutions will evolve towards institutions that will function as hubs in knowledge networks, serving students working in fluid communities of research or learning on subjects of their interest. Realizing that we need a flexible structure for organizing ourselves and the world around us, we can look at Homo Zappiens for a clue.

  20. [Beyond eugenics: posthumanism as Homo patiens denials].

    PubMed

    Ballesteros Llompart, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Throughout history there have been attempts to overcome human limitations by means of technique. The novelty of the 20th century has been to try to extirpate all the faults, the suffering, the disease, and even the death. This power has been attributed successively to machines (the futurism), to the genetic information (the eugenism) and to the electronic information (the posthumanism). In all cases, it's unknown the distinction between inevitable faults, ontological deficiencies, as the reality of death, and avoidable ones, sociological deficiencies, as the deaths due to circumstances as lack of drinkable water, of medicaments, wars or any other type of violence. The due way of confronting the human faults is to try to eradicate their avoidable causes and at the same time to understand the sense of those that cannot be avoided, as occasion of the self-overcoming and the opening to the Transcendence. PMID:22548654

  1. Archaic human genomics.

    PubMed

    Disotell, Todd R

    2012-01-01

    For much of the 20th century, the predominant view of human evolutionary history was derived from the fossil record. Homo erectus was seen arising in Africa from an earlier member of the genus and then spreading throughout the Old World and into the Oceania. A regional continuity model of anagenetic change from H. erectus via various intermediate archaic species into the modern humans in each of the regions inhabited by H. erectus was labeled the multiregional model of human evolution (MRE). A contrasting model positing a single origin, in Africa, of anatomically modern H. sapiens with some populations later migrating out of Africa and replacing the local archaic populations throughout the world with complete replacement became known as the recent African origin (RAO) model. Proponents of both models used different interpretations of the fossil record to bolster their views for decades. In the 1980s, molecular genetic techniques began providing evidence from modern human variation that allowed not only the different models of modern human origins to be tested but also the exploration demographic history and the types of selection that different regions of the genome and even specific traits had undergone. The majority of researchers interpreted these data as strongly supporting the RAO model, especially analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Extrapolating backward from modern patterns of variation and using various calibration points and substitution rates, a consensus arose that saw modern humans evolving from an African population around 200,000 years ago. Much later, around 50,000 years ago, a subset of this population migrated out of Africa replacing Neanderthals in Europe and western Asia as well as archaics in eastern Asia and Oceania. mtDNA sequences from more than two-dozen Neanderthals and early modern humans re-enforced this consensus. In 2010, however, the complete draft genomes of Neanderthals and of heretofore unknown hominins from Siberia, called

  2. L'os temporal du Petit-Puymoyen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elyaqtine, Mustapha

    1997-12-01

    The temporal bone discovered by Bœuf within the fauna from the Petit-Puymoyen site is studied. It is attributed to an individual whose age is estimated at 2/4 years and that possesses a mastoid fissure. This characteristic, constant in Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and absent in Homo sapiens sapiens, allows to conclude that it is more likely that this individual be allocated to the Neanderthal lineage rather than to the anatomically modern human one.

  3. [Human nutrition in the context of evolutionary medicine].

    PubMed

    Ströhle, Alexander; Wolters, Maike; Hahn, Andreas

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary medicine has gained increasing attention in recent years by implying that a food selection similar to that of the Paleolithic may prevent diseases. This article is an attempt to characterize the food selection during hominid evolution based on current paleontologic research. Hominid evolution can be divided into multiple phases; and the nutrition ecology of the plio-pleistocene hominids can be tentatively characterized. According to new results of isotope analysis, the Australopithecines did ingest small amounts of animal food already 4.5-2.5 million years ago, while consuming a mainly plant based abrasive diet, which was similar to that of recent chimpanzees. Compared to the Australopithecines, the first representatives of Homo such as H. erectus and H. habilis (2.5-1.5 million years before today) were likely to consume a diet providing more energy and nutrients, which might also have been related to the more gracile dentition. Like H. sapiens the members of this species also consumed an omnivore diet. Assumptions about the nutrition ecology of the archaic and the modern H. sapiens are often concluded by analogies based on the living of historic and recent foragers (hunter-gatherers). As the few detailed ethnographic data show, the diet composition of the individual hunter-gatherer groups varied considerably and ranged from a nearly pure animal-based diet to a diet dominated by plants. All in all the eating behaviour of prehistoric humans was, like that of their pleistocene ancestors, very flexible. Except for focussing on an energy and nutrient-rich diet there was neither specialization in certain foods, nor a typical plant-animal ratio nor a defined macronutrient distribution. Correspondingly, it is impossible to justify details given by representatives of evolutionary medicine on "the Paleolithic diet" empirically. PMID:19412746

  4. Upper Pleistocene Human Dispersals out of Africa: A Review of the Current State of the Debate.

    PubMed

    Beyin, Amanuel

    2011-01-01

    Although there is a general consensus on African origin of early modern humans, there is disagreement about how and when they dispersed to Eurasia. This paper reviews genetic and Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic archaeological literature from northeast Africa, Arabia, and the Levant to assess the timing and geographic backgrounds of Upper Pleistocene human colonization of Eurasia. At the center of the discussion lies the question of whether eastern Africa alone was the source of Upper Pleistocene human dispersals into Eurasia or were there other loci of human expansions outside of Africa? The reviewed literature hints at two modes of early modern human colonization of Eurasia in the Upper Pleistocene: (i) from multiple Homo sapiens source populations that had entered Arabia, South Asia, and the Levant prior to and soon after the onset of the Last Interglacial (MIS-5), (ii) from a rapid dispersal out of East Africa via the Southern Route (across the Red Sea basin), dating to ~74-60 kya. PMID:21716744

  5. Upper Pleistocene Human Dispersals out of Africa: A Review of the Current State of the Debate

    PubMed Central

    Beyin, Amanuel

    2011-01-01

    Although there is a general consensus on African origin of early modern humans, there is disagreement about how and when they dispersed to Eurasia. This paper reviews genetic and Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic archaeological literature from northeast Africa, Arabia, and the Levant to assess the timing and geographic backgrounds of Upper Pleistocene human colonization of Eurasia. At the center of the discussion lies the question of whether eastern Africa alone was the source of Upper Pleistocene human dispersals into Eurasia or were there other loci of human expansions outside of Africa? The reviewed literature hints at two modes of early modern human colonization of Eurasia in the Upper Pleistocene: (i) from multiple Homo sapiens source populations that had entered Arabia, South Asia, and the Levant prior to and soon after the onset of the Last Interglacial (MIS-5), (ii) from a rapid dispersal out of East Africa via the Southern Route (across the Red Sea basin), dating to ~74–60 kya. PMID:21716744

  6. New ages for human occupation and climatic change at Lake Mungo, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, James M.; Johnston, Harvey; Olley, Jon M.; Prescott, John R.; Roberts, Richard G.; Shawcross, Wilfred; Spooner, Nigel A.

    2003-02-01

    Australia's oldest human remains, found at Lake Mungo, include the world's oldest ritual ochre burial (Mungo III) and the first recorded cremation (Mungo I). Until now, the importance of these finds has been constrained by limited chronologies and palaeoenvironmental information. Mungo III, the source of the world's oldest human mitochondrial DNA, has been variously estimated at 30 thousand years (kyr) old, 42-45kyr old and 62 +/- 6kyr old, while radiocarbon estimates placed the Mungo I cremation near 20-26kyr ago. Here we report a new series of 25 optical ages showing that both burials occurred at 40 +/- 2kyr ago and that humans were present at Lake Mungo by 50-46kyr ago, synchronously with, or soon after, initial occupation of northern and western Australia. Stratigraphic evidence indicates fluctuations between lake-full and drier conditions from 50 to 40kyr ago, simultaneously with increased dust deposition, human arrival and continent-wide extinction of the megafauna. This was followed by sustained aridity between 40 and 30kyr ago. This new chronology corrects previous estimates for human burials at this important site and provides a new picture of Homo sapiens adapting to deteriorating climate in the world's driest inhabited continent.

  7. Dating the Homo erectus bearing travertine from Kocabaş (Denizli, Turkey) at at least 1.1 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebatard, Anne-Elisabeth; Alçiçek, M. Cihat; Rochette, Pierre; Khatib, Samir; Vialet, Amélie; Boulbes, Nicolas; Bourlès, Didier L.; Demory, François; Guipert, Gaspard; Mayda, Serdar; Titov, Vadim V.; Vidal, Laurence; de Lumley, Henry

    2014-03-01

    Since its discovery within a travertine quarry, the fragmentary cranium of the only known Turkish Homo erectus, the Kocabaş hominid, has led to conflicting biochronological estimations. First estimated to be ˜500 ka old, the partial skull presents a combination of archaic and evolved features that puts it as an intermediate specimen between the Dmanisi fossils (Homo georgicus) and the Chinese Zhoukoudian skulls (Homo erectus) respectively dated to 1.8 to ˜0.8 Ma. Here we present a multidisciplinary study combining sedimentological, paleontological and paleoanthropological observations together with cosmogenic nuclide concentration and paleomagnetic measurements to provide an absolute chronological framework for the Upper fossiliferous Travertine unit where the Kocabaş hominid and fauna were discovered. The 26Al/10Be burial ages determined on pebbles from conglomeratic levels framing the Upper fossiliferous Travertine unit, which exhibits an inverse polarity, constrains its deposition to before the Cobb Mountain sub-chron, that is between 1.22 and ˜1.5 Ma. The alternative match of the normal polarity recorded above the travertine with the Jaramillo subchron (lower limit 1.07 Ma) may also be marginally compatible with cosmogenic nuclides interpretation, thus the proposed minimum age of 1.1 Ma for the end of massive travertine deposition. The actual age of the fossils is likely to be in the 1.1-1.3 Ma range. This absolute date is in close agreement with the paleoanthropological conclusions based on morphometric comparisons implying that Kocabaş hominid belongs to the Homo erectus s.l. group that includes Chinese and African fossils, and is different from Middle and Upper Pleistocene specimens. Furthermore, this date is confirmed by the large mammal assemblage, typical of the late Villafranchian. Because it attests to the antiquity of human occupation of the Anatolian Peninsula and one of the waves of settlements out of Africa, this work challenges the current

  8. Human phylogeography and diversity.

    PubMed

    Harcourt, Alexander H

    2016-07-19

    Homo sapiens phylogeography begins with the species' origin nearly 200 kya in Africa. First signs of the species outside Africa (in Arabia) are from 125 kya. Earliest dates elsewhere are now 100 kya in China, 45 kya in Australia and southern Europe (maybe even 60 kya in Australia), 32 kya in northeast Siberia, and maybe 20 kya in the Americas. Humans reached arctic regions and oceanic islands last-arctic North America about 5 kya, mid- and eastern Pacific islands about 2-1 kya, and New Zealand about 700 y ago. Initial routes along coasts seem the most likely given abundant and easily harvested shellfish there as indicated by huge ancient oyster shell middens on all continents. Nevertheless, the effect of geographic barriers-mountains and oceans-is clear. The phylogeographic pattern of diasporas from several single origins-northeast Africa to Eurasia, southeast Eurasia to Australia, and northeast Siberia to the Americas-allows the equivalent of a repeat experiment on the relation between geography and phylogenetic and cultural diversity. On all continents, cultural diversity is high in productive low latitudes, presumably because such regions can support populations of sustainable size in a small area, therefore allowing a high density of cultures. Of course, other factors operate. South America has an unusually low density of cultures in its tropical latitudes. A likely factor is the phylogeographic movement of peoples from the Old World bringing novel and hence, lethal diseases to the New World, a foretaste, perhaps, of present day global transport of tropical diseases. PMID:27432967

  9. Human phylogeography and diversity

    PubMed Central

    Harcourt, Alexander H.

    2016-01-01

    Homo sapiens phylogeography begins with the species’ origin nearly 200 kya in Africa. First signs of the species outside Africa (in Arabia) are from 125 kya. Earliest dates elsewhere are now 100 kya in China, 45 kya in Australia and southern Europe (maybe even 60 kya in Australia), 32 kya in northeast Siberia, and maybe 20 kya in the Americas. Humans reached arctic regions and oceanic islands last—arctic North America about 5 kya, mid- and eastern Pacific islands about 2–1 kya, and New Zealand about 700 y ago. Initial routes along coasts seem the most likely given abundant and easily harvested shellfish there as indicated by huge ancient oyster shell middens on all continents. Nevertheless, the effect of geographic barriers—mountains and oceans—is clear. The phylogeographic pattern of diasporas from several single origins—northeast Africa to Eurasia, southeast Eurasia to Australia, and northeast Siberia to the Americas—allows the equivalent of a repeat experiment on the relation between geography and phylogenetic and cultural diversity. On all continents, cultural diversity is high in productive low latitudes, presumably because such regions can support populations of sustainable size in a small area, therefore allowing a high density of cultures. Of course, other factors operate. South America has an unusually low density of cultures in its tropical latitudes. A likely factor is the phylogeographic movement of peoples from the Old World bringing novel and hence, lethal diseases to the New World, a foretaste, perhaps, of present day global transport of tropical diseases. PMID:27432967

  10. Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity of Hexavalent Chromium in Human and North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) Lung Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tânia Li; Wise, Sandra S.; Holmes, Amie; Shaffiey, Fariba; Wise, John Pierce; Thompson, W. Douglas; Kraus, Scott; Wise, John Pierce

    2009-01-01

    Humans and cetaceans are exposed to a wide range of contaminants. In this study, we compared the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of a metal pollutant, hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], which has been shown to cause damage in lung cells from both humans and North Atlantic right whales. Our results show that Cr induces increased cell death and chromosome damage in lung cells from both species with increasing intracellular Cr ion levels. Soluble Cr(VI) induced less of a cytotoxic and genotoxic effect on administered dose in right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) cells than in human (Homo sapiens) cells. Whereas, particulate Cr(VI) induced a similar cytotoxic effect but less of a genotoxic effect based on administered dose in right whale cells than in human cells. Differences in chromium ion uptake explained some but not all of the soluble chromate-induced cell death and chromosome damage. Uptake differences of lead ions could explain the differences in particulate chromate-induced toxicity. The data show that both forms of Cr(VI) are less genotoxic to right whale than human lung cells, and that soluble Cr(VI) induces a similar cytotoxic effect in both right whale and human cells, while particulate Cr(VI) is more cytotoxic to right whale lung cells. PMID:19632355

  11. Technical note: virtual reconstruction of KNM-ER 1813 Homo habilis cranium.

    PubMed

    Benazzi, Stefano; Gruppioni, Giorgio; Strait, David S; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2014-01-01

    A very limiting factor for paleoanthropological studies is the poor state of preservation of the human fossil record, where fragmentation and deformation are considered normal. Although anatomical information can still be gathered from a distorted fossil, such specimens must typically be excluded from advanced morphological and morphometric analyses, thus reducing the fossil sample size and, ultimately, our knowledge of human evolution. In this contribution we provide the first digital reconstruction of the KNM-ER 1813 Homo habilis cranium. Based on state of-the-art three-dimensional digital modeling and geometric morphometric (GM) methods, the facial portion was aligned to the neurocranium, the overall distortion was removed, and the missing regions were restored. The reconstructed KNM-ER 1813 allows for an adjustment of the anthropometric measurements gathered on the original fossil. It is suitable for further quantitative studies, such as GM analyses focused on skull morphology or for finite element analysis to explore the mechanics of early Homo feeding behavior and diet. PMID:24318950

  12. Visuospatial integration and human evolution: the fossil evidence.

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano; Lozano, Marina; Lorenzo, Carlos

    2016-06-20

    Visuospatial integration concerns the ability to coordinate the inner and outer environments, namely the central nervous system and the outer spatial elements, through the interface of the body. This integration is essential for every basic human activity, from locomotion and grasping to speech or tooling. Visuospatial integration is even more fundamental when dealing with theories on extended mind, embodiment, and material engagement. According to the hypotheses on extended cognition, the nervous system, the body and the external objects work as a single integrated unit, and what we call "mind" is the process resulting from such interaction. Because of the relevance of culture and material culture in humans, important changes in such processes were probably crucial for the evolution of Homo sapiens. Much information in this sense can be supplied by considering issues in neuroarchaeology and cognitive sciences. Nonetheless, fossils and their anatomy can also provide evidence according to changes involving physical and body aspects. In this article, we review three sources of morphological information concerning visuospatial management and fossils: evolutionary neuroanatomy, manipulative behaviors, and hand evolution. PMID:26829574

  13. Kinin B1 receptor homo-oligomerization is required for receptor trafficking to the cell surface.

    PubMed

    Sandén, Caroline; Leeb-Lundberg, L M Fredrik

    2013-01-01

    The kinin B1 receptor (B1R) is a G protein-coupled receptor with pro-inflammatory activity that is latent in healthy tissues but induced by tissue insult. Here, we investigated if B1R homo-oligomerization is a possible mechanism regulating the presentation of this receptor at the level of maturation and trafficking to the cell surface. To this end, we used HEK293 cells stably expressing N-terminal FLAG and HA epitope-tagged wild-type human B1R and an N-terminal receptor fragment, B1stop135, which terminates at the C-terminal end of the third transmembrane domain and has previously been shown to oligomerize with B1R. Receptors were monitored by immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation, receptor function by agonist binding and agonist-promoted phosphoinositide hydrolysis, and receptor trafficking by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. When expressed alone, B1R is core N-glycosylated and forms oligomers localized intracellularly and on the cell surface. B1stop135 also exists as core N-glycosylated oligomers but is localized exclusively intracellularly. When co-expressed, B1stop135 prevents specifically B1R homo-oligomerization by forming nonfunctional B1R-B1stop135 hetero-oligomers, retains B1R intracellularly at least in part in the endoplasmatic reticulum (ER), increases calnexin binding to the receptor, and increases receptor degradation. We conclude that B1R homo-oligomerization is necessary for B1R maturation and trafficking to the cell surface. Modulating this mechanism may be a novel therapeutic avenue in inflammatory disease. PMID:23201435

  14. Homo immunologicus: on the limits of critique.

    PubMed

    Goffey, Andrew

    2015-06-01

    Through a discussion of a range of research drawn from the humanities and social sciences, and with a particular emphasis on work that tackles questions about the discourse of the life sciences, this paper considers some of the difficulties with research that aims to offer a critical analysis of immunology and its relationship to culture. It considers in particular arguments made on behalf of a biopolitical reading of the life sciences and, by examining the uncertain shift between discursive analysis and philosophical claim, it seeks to address some of the underlying assumptions made about the relations between different kinds of knowledge practice in the interplay between life science, philosophy and culture. Drawing on the work of Belgian philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers to consider the ways in which critical and philosophical appraisals of immunology adopt a characteristically modern stance in the way that they address the life sciences, it further seeks to characterise some of the limits that such forms of critique display. PMID:26052112

  15. Human mitochondrial peptide deformylase, a new anticancer target of actinonin-based antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mona D; She, Yuhong; Soskis, Michael J; Borella, Christopher P; Gardner, Jeffrey R; Hayes, Paula A; Dy, Benzon M; Heaney, Mark L; Philips, Mark R; Bornmann, William G; Sirotnak, Francis M; Scheinberg, David A

    2004-10-01

    Peptide deformylase activity was thought to be limited to ribosomal protein synthesis in prokaryotes, where new peptides are initiated with an N-formylated methionine. We describe here a new human peptide deformylase (Homo sapiens PDF, or HsPDF) that is localized to the mitochondria. HsPDF is capable of removing formyl groups from N-terminal methionines of newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins, an activity previously not thought to be necessary in mammalian cells. We show that actinonin, a peptidomimetic antibiotic that inhibits HsPDF, also inhibits the proliferation of 16 human cancer cell lines. We designed and synthesized 33 chemical analogs of actinonin; all of the molecules with potent activity against HsPDF also inhibited tumor cell growth, and vice versa, confirming target specificity. Small interfering RNA inhibition of HsPDF protein expression was also antiproliferative. Actinonin treatment of cells led to a tumor-specific mitochondrial membrane depolarization and ATP depletion in a time- and dose-dependent manner; removal of actinonin led to a recovery of the membrane potential consistent with indirect effects on the electron transport chain. In animal models, oral or parenteral actinonin was well tolerated and inhibited human prostate cancer and lung cancer growth. We conclude that HsPDF is a new human mitochondrial enzyme that may provide a novel selective target for anticancer therapy by use of actinonin-based antibiotics. PMID:15489958

  16. Human mitochondrial peptide deformylase, a new anticancer target of actinonin-based antibiotics

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Mona D.; She, Yuhong; Soskis, Michael J.; Borella, Christopher P.; Gardner, Jeffrey R.; Hayes, Paula A.; Dy, Benzon M.; Heaney, Mark L.; Philips, Mark R.; Bornmann, William G.; Sirotnak, Francis M.; Scheinberg, David A.

    2004-01-01

    Peptide deformylase activity was thought to be limited to ribosomal protein synthesis in prokaryotes, where new peptides are initiated with an N-formylated methionine. We describe here a new human peptide deformylase (Homo sapiens PDF, or HsPDF) that is localized to the mitochondria. HsPDF is capable of removing formyl groups from N-terminal methionines of newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins, an activity previously not thought to be necessary in mammalian cells. We show that actinonin, a peptidomimetic antibiotic that inhibits HsPDF, also inhibits the proliferation of 16 human cancer cell lines. We designed and synthesized 33 chemical analogs of actinonin; all of the molecules with potent activity against HsPDF also inhibited tumor cell growth, and vice versa, confirming target specificity. Small interfering RNA inhibition of HsPDF protein expression was also antiproliferative. Actinonin treatment of cells led to a tumor-specific mitochondrial membrane depolarization and ATP depletion in a time- and dose-dependent manner; removal of actinonin led to a recovery of the membrane potential consistent with indirect effects on the electron transport chain. In animal models, oral or parenteral actinonin was well tolerated and inhibited human prostate cancer and lung cancer growth. We conclude that HsPDF is a new human mitochondrial enzyme that may provide a novel selective target for anticancer therapy by use of actinonin-based antibiotics. PMID:15489958

  17. Computational discovery of Epstein-Barr virus targeted human genes and signalling pathways

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Suyu; Zhang, Kun

    2016-01-01

    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) plays important roles in the origin and the progression of human carcinomas, e.g. diffuse large B cell tumors, T cell lymphomas, etc. Discovering EBV targeted human genes and signaling pathways is vital to understand EBV tumorigenesis. In this study we propose a noise-tolerant homolog knowledge transfer method to reconstruct functional protein-protein interactions (PPI) networks between Epstein-Barr virus and Homo sapiens. The training set is augmented via homolog instances and the homolog noise is counteracted by support vector machine (SVM). Additionally we propose two methods to define subcellular co-localization (i.e. stringent and relaxed), based on which to further derive physical PPI networks. Computational results show that the proposed method achieves sound performance of cross validation and independent test. In the space of 648,672 EBV-human protein pairs, we obtain 51,485 functional interactions (7.94%), 869 stringent physical PPIs and 46,050 relaxed physical PPIs. Fifty-eight evidences are found from the latest database and recent literature to validate the model. This study reveals that Epstein-Barr virus interferes with normal human cell life, such as cholesterol homeostasis, blood coagulation, EGFR binding, p53 binding, Notch signaling, Hedgehog signaling, etc. The proteome-wide predictions are provided in the supplementary file for further biomedical research. PMID:27470517

  18. Computational discovery of Epstein-Barr virus targeted human genes and signalling pathways.

    PubMed

    Mei, Suyu; Zhang, Kun

    2016-01-01

    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) plays important roles in the origin and the progression of human carcinomas, e.g. diffuse large B cell tumors, T cell lymphomas, etc. Discovering EBV targeted human genes and signaling pathways is vital to understand EBV tumorigenesis. In this study we propose a noise-tolerant homolog knowledge transfer method to reconstruct functional protein-protein interactions (PPI) networks between Epstein-Barr virus and Homo sapiens. The training set is augmented via homolog instances and the homolog noise is counteracted by support vector machine (SVM). Additionally we propose two methods to define subcellular co-localization (i.e. stringent and relaxed), based on which to further derive physical PPI networks. Computational results show that the proposed method achieves sound performance of cross validation and independent test. In the space of 648,672 EBV-human protein pairs, we obtain 51,485 functional interactions (7.94%), 869 stringent physical PPIs and 46,050 relaxed physical PPIs. Fifty-eight evidences are found from the latest database and recent literature to validate the model. This study reveals that Epstein-Barr virus interferes with normal human cell life, such as cholesterol homeostasis, blood coagulation, EGFR binding, p53 binding, Notch signaling, Hedgehog signaling, etc. The proteome-wide predictions are provided in the supplementary file for further biomedical research. PMID:27470517

  19. The Dawn of Human Matrilineal Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Behar, Doron M.; Villems, Richard; Soodyall, Himla; Blue-Smith, Jason; Pereira, Luisa; Metspalu, Ene; Scozzari, Rosaria; Makkan, Heeran; Tzur, Shay; Comas, David; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Wells, R. Spencer; Rosset, Saharon

    2008-01-01

    The quest to explain demographic history during the early part of human evolution has been limited because of the scarce paleoanthropological record from the Middle Stone Age. To shed light on the structure of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogeny at the dawn of Homo sapiens, we constructed a matrilineal tree composed of 624 complete mtDNA genomes from sub-Saharan Hg L lineages. We paid particular attention to the Khoi and San (Khoisan) people of South Africa because they are considered to be a unique relic of hunter-gatherer lifestyle and to carry paternal and maternal lineages belonging to the deepest clades known among modern humans. Both the tree phylogeny and coalescence calculations suggest that Khoisan matrilineal ancestry diverged from the rest of the human mtDNA pool 90,000–150,000 years before present (ybp) and that at least five additional, currently extant maternal lineages existed during this period in parallel. Furthermore, we estimate that a minimum of 40 other evolutionarily successful lineages flourished in sub-Saharan Africa during the period of modern human dispersal out of Africa approximately 60,000–70,000 ybp. Only much later, at the beginning of the Late Stone Age, about 40,000 ybp, did introgression of additional lineages occur into the Khoisan mtDNA pool. This process was further accelerated during the recent Bantu expansions. Our results suggest that the early settlement of humans in Africa was already matrilineally structured and involved small, separately evolving isolated populations. PMID:18439549

  20. Cranial vault thickness in primates: Homo erectus does not have uniquely thick vault bones.

    PubMed

    Copes, Lynn E; Kimbel, William H

    2016-01-01

    Extremely thick cranial vaults have been noted as a diagnostic characteristic of Homo erectus since the first fossil of the species was identified, but relatively little work has been done on elucidating its etiology or variation across fossils, living humans, or extant non-human primates. Cranial vault thickness (CVT) is not a monolithic trait, and the responsiveness of its layers to environmental stimuli is unknown. We obtained measurements of cranial vault thickness in fossil hominins from the literature and supplemented those data with additional measurements taken on African fossil specimens. Total CVT and the thickness of the cortical and diploë layers individually were compared to measures of CVT in extant species measured from more than 500 CT scans of human and non-human primates. Frontal and parietal CVT in fossil primates was compared to a regression of CVT on cranial capacity calculated for extant species. Even after controlling for cranial capacity, African and Asian H. erectus do not have uniquely high frontal or parietal thickness residuals, either among hominins or extant primates. Extant primates with residual CVT thickness similar to or exceeding H. erectus (depending on the sex and bone analyzed) include Nycticebus coucang, Perodicticus potto, Alouatta caraya, Lophocebus albigena, Galago alleni, Mandrillus sphinx, and Propithecus diadema. However, the especially thick vaults of extant non-human primates that overlap with H. erectus values are composed primarily of cortical bone, while H. erectus and other hominins have diploë-dominated vault bones. Thus, the combination of thick vaults comprised of a thickened diploë layer may be a reliable autapomorphy for members of the genus Homo. PMID:26767964

  1. Conductance through a single molecule: transport via HOMO or LUMO?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagerqvist, Johan; di Ventra, Massimiliano

    2003-03-01

    Many theoretical studies have appeared where the transport properties of single phenyldithiolate molecules have been compared to available experimental results.[1] While many of these studies agree on the shape and magnitude of the current-voltage characteristics, there is still disagreement on which state, HOMO or LUMO, is mainly responsible for the transport across the molecules. Experiments using a molecule adsorbed on a gold surface and probed by an STM tip [2] seem to indicate that transport occurs via the HOMO. In this configuration the sulfur atom that faces the STM tip is bonded to a hydrogen atom, unlike in break-junction experiments.[1] We report first-principles calculations [3] of the transport properties of a phenyldithiolate molecule adsorbed on a metal surface with the opposite contact simulated by a metal surface at various distances from the molecule, mimicking an STM tip. We show that the presence of the hydrogen atom bonded to sulfur pushes the HOMO level of the molecule very close to the Fermi level and the current flows mainly via the HOMO. This study shows that even a single-atom change in the molecule configuration can dramatically affect its transport properties. Work supported in part by NSF, Carilion Biomedical Institute and ACS-Petroleum Research Fund. [1] See, e.g., M. Di Ventra, S.T. Pantelides and N.D. Lang, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 979 (2000). [2] W. Tian et. al., J. Chem. Phys. 109, 2874 (1998) [3] N.D. Lang, Phys. Rev. B 52, 5335 (1995); M. Di Ventra and N.D. Lang, Phys. Rev. B 65, 045402 (2002); Z. Yang, A. Tackett and M. Di Ventra, Phys. Rev. B 66, 041405 (2002).

  2. Systematic assessment of a maxilla of Homo from Hadar, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Kimbel, W H; Johanson, D C; Rak, Y

    1997-06-01

    The Hadar site in Ethiopia is a prolific source of hominid fossils attributed to the species Australopithecus afarensis, which spans the period 3.4-3.0 million years (myr) in the Sidi Hakoma, Denen Dora and lower Kada Hadar Members of the Hadar Formation. Since 1992 a major focus of field work conducted at Hadar has centered on sediments younger than 3.0 myr, comprising the bulk of the Kada Hadar Member. Witnessing the rise of the "robust" Australopithecus clade(s), the origin of Homo, and the first record of lithic artifacts, the period between 3.0 and 2.0 myr is strategically vital for paleoanthropology. However, in eastern Africa it is a particularly poorly sampled temporal interval. This paper provides a detailed comparative description of a hominid maxilla with partial dentition found at Hadar in 1994. The specimen, A.L. 666-1, derives from a lithic artifact-bearing horizon high in the Kada Hadar Member, 0.8 m below the BKT-3 tephra, dated by the 40Ar/39Ar method to 2.33 +/- 0.07 myr. Our preliminary investigation of the hominid specimen showed unambiguous affinities with early representatives of the Homo clade (Kimbel et al. [1996] J. Hum. Evol. 31:549-561). Further studies on maxillary and dental morphology lead us to attribute A.L. 666-1 to Homo aff. H. habilis. The new Hadar jaw is the first paleontological evidence for the projection of the H. habilis maxillofacial morphotype well back into the Pliocene. It may represent a male of this species, whose maxillary hypodigm consists chiefly of females. A subsidiary finding of our study is that of the three earliest recorded species of Homo (H. habilis, H. rudolfensis, H. erectus), it is H. habilis that exhibits facial morphology closest to that expected in their last common ancestor. PMID:9209580

  3. From monkey-like action recognition to human language: an evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics.

    PubMed

    Arbib, Michael A

    2005-04-01

    The article analyzes the neural and functional grounding of language skills as well as their emergence in hominid evolution, hypothesizing stages leading from abilities known to exist in monkeys and apes and presumed to exist in our hominid ancestors right through to modern spoken and signed languages. The starting point is the observation that both premotor area F5 in monkeys and Broca's area in humans contain a "mirror system" active for both execution and observation of manual actions, and that F5 and Broca's area are homologous brain regions. This grounded the mirror system hypothesis of Rizzolatti and Arbib (1998) which offers the mirror system for grasping as a key neural "missing link" between the abilities of our nonhuman ancestors of 20 million years ago and modern human language, with manual gestures rather than a system for vocal communication providing the initial seed for this evolutionary process. The present article, however, goes "beyond the mirror" to offer hypotheses on evolutionary changes within and outside the mirror systems which may have occurred to equip Homo sapiens with a language-ready brain. Crucial to the early stages of this progression is the mirror system for grasping and its extension to permit imitation. Imitation is seen as evolving via a so-called simple system such as that found in chimpanzees (which allows imitation of complex "object-oriented" sequences but only as the result of extensive practice) to a so-called complex system found in humans (which allows rapid imitation even of complex sequences, under appropriate conditions) which supports pantomime. This is hypothesized to have provided the substrate for the development of protosign, a combinatorially open repertoire of manual gestures, which then provides the scaffolding for the emergence of protospeech (which thus owes little to nonhuman vocalizations), with protosign and protospeech then developing in an expanding spiral. It is argued that these stages involve

  4. Cranial size variation and lineage diversity in early Pleistocene Homo.

    PubMed

    Scott, Jeremiah E

    2014-03-01

    A recent article in this journal concluded that a sample of early Pleistocene hominin crania assigned to genus Homo exhibits a pattern of size variation that is time dependent, with specimens from different time periods being more different from each other, on average, than are specimens from the same time period. The authors of this study argued that such a pattern is not consistent with the presence of multiple lineages within the sample, but rather supports the hypothesis that the fossils represent an anagenetically evolving lineage (i.e., an evolutionary species). However, the multiple-lineage models considered in that study do not reflect the multiple-species alternatives that have been proposed for early Pleistocene Homo. Using simulated data sets, I show that fossil assemblages that contain multiple lineages can exhibit the time-dependent pattern of variation specified for the single-lineage model under certain conditions, particularly when temporal overlap among fossil specimens attributed to the lineages is limited. These results do not reject the single-lineage hypothesis, but they do indicate that rejection of multiple lineages in the early Pleistocene Homo fossil record is premature, and that other sources of variation, such as differences in cranial shape, should be considered. PMID:24588348

  5. Australopithecus sediba and the earliest origins of the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Berger, Lee

    2012-01-01

    Discovered in 2008, the site of Malapa has yielded a remarkable assemblage of early hominin remains attributed to the species Australopithecus sediba. The species shows unexpected and unpredicted mosaicism in its anatomy. Several commentators have questioned the specific status of Au. sediba arguing that it does not exceed the variation of Au. africanus. This opinion however, does not take into account that Au. sediba differs from Au. africanus in both craniodental and postcranial characters to a greater degree than Au.africanus differs from Au. afarensis in these same characters. Au. sediba has also been questioned as a potential ancestor of the genus Homo due to the perception that earlier specimens of the genus have been found than the c198 Ma date of the Malapa sample. This opinion however, does not take into account either the poor condition of these fossils, as well as the numerous problems with both the criteria used to associate them with the genus Homo, nor the questionable provenance of each of these specimens. This argument also does not acknowledge that Malapa is almost certainly not the first chronological appearance of Au. sediba, it is only the first known fossil occurrence. Au. sediba should therefore be considered a strong potential candidate ancestor of the genus Homo until better preserved specimens are discovered that would refute such a hypothesis. PMID:23011933

  6. CT-based description and phyletic evaluation of the archaic human calvarium from Ceprano, Italy.

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano; Manzi, Giorgio

    2005-07-01

    The discovery in 1994, of a fossilized human calvarium near Ceprano, Italy, dated about 800-900 thousand years before present, opened a new page for the study of human evolution in Europe. It extended the continental fossil record over the boundary between Early and Middle Pleistocene for the first time and revealed the cranial morphology of humans that where probably ancestral to both Neanderthals and modern Homo sapiens. A tomographic analysis of the Italian specimen is reported here in order to describe size and shape, vascular traces, and other features of the endocranium, as well as some relevant ectocranial traits (particularly of the frontal region). Our results show that the Ceprano calvarium displays plesiomorphies shared by early Homo taxa, involving a general archaic phenotype. At the same time, the presence of some derived features suggests a phylogenetic relationship with the populations referred to the subsequent polymorphic species H. heidelbergensis. The morphology of the supraorbital structures is different from the double-arched browridge of the African H. ergaster, while its superior shape shows similarities with African Middle Pleistocene specimens (Bodo, Kabwe). In contrast, the relationship between supraorbital torus and frontal squama points to an archaic pattern of the relationship between face and vault, associated to moderately narrow frontal lobes and limited development of the upper parietal areas. Despite a nonderived endocranial shape, the increase of cranial capacity (related to a general endocranial widening) and the probable absence of a clear occipital projection also suggest an evolutionary independence from the Asian H. erectus lineage. This analysis therefore supports the conclusion that the Ceprano calvarium represents the best available candidate for the ancestral phenotype of the cranial variation observed among Middle Pleistocene fossil samples in Africa and Europe. Nevertheless, a proper taxonomic interpretation of this

  7. Human Development, Human Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smillie, David

    One of the truly remarkable events in human evolution is the unprecedented increase in the size of the brain of "Homo" over a brief span of 2 million years. It would appear that some significant selective pressure or opportunity presented itself to this branch of the hominid line and caused a rapid increase in the brain, introducing a wholly new…

  8. Who Was Helping? The Scope for Female Cooperative Breeding in Early Homo

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Adrian Viliami; Hinde, Katie; Newson, Lesley

    2013-01-01

    Derived aspects of our human life history, such as short interbirth intervals and altricial newborns, have been attributed to male provisioning of nutrient-rich meat within monogamous relationships. However, many primatologists and anthropologists have questioned the relative importance of pair-bonding and biparental care, pointing to evidence that cooperative breeding better characterizes human reproductive and child-care relationships. We present a mathematical model with empirically-informed parameter ranges showing that natural selection favors cooperation among mothers over a wide range of conditions. In contrast, our analysis provides a far more narrow range of support for selection favoring male coalition-based monogamy over more promiscuous independent males, suggesting that provisioning within monogamous relationships may fall short of explaining the evolution of Homo life history. Rather, broader cooperative networks within and between the sexes provide the primary basis for our unique life history. PMID:24367605

  9. Taxonomic affinity of the early Homo cranium from Swartkrans, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Grine, F E; Demes, B; Jungers, W L; Cole, T M

    1993-12-01

    A quantitative analysis that employs randomization methods and distance statistics has been undertaken in an attempt to clarify the taxonomic affinities of the partial Homo cranium (SK 847) from Member 1 of the Swartkrans Formation. Although SK 847 has been argued to represent early H. erectus, exact randomization tests reveal that the magnitude of differences between it and two crania that have been attributed to that taxon (KNM-ER 3733 and KNM-WT 15000) is highly unlikely to be encountered in a modern human sample drawn from eastern and southern Africa. Some of the variables that differentiate SK 847 from the two early H. erectus crania (e.g., nasal breadth, frontal breadth, mastoid process size) have been considered to be relevant characters in the definition of that taxon. Just as the significant differences between SK 847 and the two early H. erectus crania make attribution of the Swartkrans specimen to that taxon unlikely, the linkage of SK 847 to KNM-ER 1813, and especially Stw 53, suggests that the Swartkrans cranium may have its closest affinity with H. habilis sensu lato. Differences from KNM-ER 1813, however, hint that the South African fossils may represent a species of early Homo that has not been sampled in the Plio-Pleistocene of eastern Africa. The similarity of SK 847 and Stw 53 may support faunal evidence which suggests that Sterkfontein Member 5 and Swartkrans Member 1 are of similar geochronological age. PMID:8296872

  10. ESR dating of tooth enamel from yunxian homo erectus site, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Tie-Mei; Yang, Quan; Hu, Yan-Qiu; Bao, Wen-Bo; Li, Tian-Yuan

    Two almost complete fossil hominid crania (EV9001 and EV9002) were found in 1989 and 1990 in Middle Pleistocene terrace deposit of Han River, Yunxian county, Hubei province, China. They are classified as Homo erectus. Nine fossil animal teeth stratigraphically associated with the skulls were selected for electron spin resonance (ESR) dating. The simple exponential function was used for determination of the accumulated dose De and its appropriateness was discussed on the base of the experimental study. The closed system assumption was checked and the early uranium uptake model was applied to age determination. A mean age value was yielded to be 581±93 ka. It deviates from the palaeomagnetic dating result of 830-870 ka. Micro-regional complete saturation of ESR signal in enamel of very high U-content may account for the underestimation of ESR ages. Nevertheless both ESR and palaeomagnetic dating results place Yunxian crania in between the Homo erectus of Lantian and Zhoukoudian, which means that Yunxian crania constitute an important link in the human evolutionary lineage of China.

  11. Clavicle length, throwing performance and the reconstruction of the Homo erectus shoulder.

    PubMed

    Roach, Neil T; Richmond, Brian G

    2015-03-01

    Powerful, accurate throwing may have been an important mode of early hunting and defense. Previous work has shown that throwing performance is functionally linked to several anatomical shifts in the upper body that occurred during human evolution. The final shift to occur is the inferior reorientation of the shoulder. Fossil scapulae show the earliest evidence of a more inferior glenoid in Homo erectus. However, where the scapula rests on the thorax is uncertain. The relative length of the clavicle, the only skeletal attachment of the scapula to the torso, is quite variable. Depending on which fossils or skeletal measures are used to reconstruct the H. erectus shoulder, either a novel, anteriorly facing shoulder configuration or a modern human-like lateral orientation is possible. These competing hypotheses have led to very different conclusions regarding the throwing ability and hunting behavior of early Homo. Here, we evaluate competing models of H. erectus shoulder morphology and examine how these models relate to throwing performance. To address these questions, we collected skeletal measures from fossil and extant taxa, as well as anthropometric (N = 36) and kinematic (N = 27) data from Daasanach throwers from northwestern Kenya. Our data show that all H. erectus fossil clavicles fall within the normal range of modern human variation. We find that a commonly used metric for normalizing clavicle length, the claviculohumeral ratio, poorly predicts shoulder position on the torso. Furthermore, no significant relationship between clavicle length and any measure of throwing performance was found. These data support reconstructing the H. erectus shoulder as modern human-like, with a laterally facing glenoid, and suggest that the capacity for high speed throwing dates back nearly two million years. PMID:25439706

  12. Reidentification of Ebola Virus E718 and ME as Ebola Virus/H.sapiens-tc/COD/1976/Yambuku-Ecran

    PubMed Central

    Lofts, Loreen L.; Kugelman, Jeffrey R.; Smither, Sophie J.; Lever, Mark S.; van der Groen, Guido; Johnson, Karl M.; Radoshitzky, Sheli R.; Bavari, Sina; Jahrling, Peter B.; Towner, Jonathan S.; Nichol, Stuart T.; Palacios, Gustavo

    2014-01-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) was discovered in 1976 around Yambuku, Zaire. A lack of nomenclature standards resulted in a variety of designations for each isolate, leading to confusion in the literature and databases. We sequenced the genome of isolate E718/ME/Ecran and unified the various designations under Ebola virus/H.sapiens-tc/COD/1976/Yambuku-Ecran. PMID:25414499

  13. The Rhetorical Primate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dance, Frank E. X.

    1977-01-01

    Reviews various current experimental attempts to induce a form of human language in chimpanzees and concludes that research results indicate that only Homo Sapiens are capable of mastering human forms of communication. (MH)

  14. Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions.

    PubMed

    Boivin, Nicole L; Zeder, Melinda A; Fuller, Dorian Q; Crowther, Alison; Larson, Greger; Erlandson, Jon M; Denham, Tim; Petraglia, Michael D

    2016-06-01

    The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere, a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets. Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene, humans had begun to engage in activities that have led to alterations in the distributions of a vast array of species across most, if not all, taxonomic groups. Changes to biodiversity have included extinctions, extirpations, and shifts in species composition, diversity, and community structure. We outline key examples of these changes, highlighting findings from the study of new datasets, like ancient DNA (aDNA), stable isotopes, and microfossils, as well as the application of new statistical and computational methods to datasets that have accumulated significantly in recent decades. We focus on four major phases that witnessed broad anthropogenic alterations to biodiversity-the Late Pleistocene global human expansion, the Neolithic spread of agriculture, the era of island colonization, and the emergence of early urbanized societies and commercial networks. Archaeological evidence documents millennia of anthropogenic transformations that have created novel ecosystems around the world. This record has implications for ecological and evolutionary research, conservation strategies, and the maintenance of ecosystem services, pointing to a significant need for broader cross-disciplinary engagement between archaeology and the biological and environmental sciences. PMID:27274046

  15. Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions

    PubMed Central

    Boivin, Nicole L.; Zeder, Melinda A.; Fuller, Dorian Q.; Crowther, Alison; Larson, Greger; Erlandson, Jon M.; Denham, Tim; Petraglia, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens. A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere, a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets. Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene, humans had begun to engage in activities that have led to alterations in the distributions of a vast array of species across most, if not all, taxonomic groups. Changes to biodiversity have included extinctions, extirpations, and shifts in species composition, diversity, and community structure. We outline key examples of these changes, highlighting findings from the study of new datasets, like ancient DNA (aDNA), stable isotopes, and microfossils, as well as the application of new statistical and computational methods to datasets that have accumulated significantly in recent decades. We focus on four major phases that witnessed broad anthropogenic alterations to biodiversity—the Late Pleistocene global human expansion, the Neolithic spread of agriculture, the era of island colonization, and the emergence of early urbanized societies and commercial networks. Archaeological evidence documents millennia of anthropogenic transformations that have created novel ecosystems around the world. This record has implications for ecological and evolutionary research, conservation strategies, and the maintenance of ecosystem services, pointing to a significant need for broader cross-disciplinary engagement between archaeology and the biological and environmental sciences. PMID:27274046

  16. Vasovagal Syncope: Hypothesis Focusing on Its Being a Clinical Feature Unique to Humans.

    PubMed

    Blanc, Jean-Jacques; Benditt, David G

    2016-05-01

    Humans live primarily in the upright position; as a result, there is a constant struggle between gravity and needed supply of blood flow to the brain. In certain circumstances brain blood supply may become temporarily insufficient, resulting in syncope. Among the numerous causes of syncope in humans, vasovagal syncope (VVS) is by far the most common. However, despite intensive research, many aspects of the pathophysiology of VVS remain unknown; among these, one of the least well understood is the basis for why VVS is restricted, among vertebrates, to Homo sapiens. In this manuscript we review proposals that have been offered in an attempt to address the issue of the origin of VVS and, although highly speculative, we suggest a new hypothesis (the "brain theory") to try to address the question of why humans, to the exclusion of other species, remain susceptible to VVS. This theory suggests that VVS evolved to offer protection to the brain's functional integrity under certain conditions of severe threat. Although seemingly a disadvantageous evolutionary adaptation, the faint causes the body to take on a gravitationally neutral position, and thereby provides a better chance of restoring brain blood supply and preserving long-term brain function. PMID:26840192

  17. No Distinction of Orthology/Paralogy between Human and Chimpanzee Rh Blood Group Genes

    PubMed Central

    Kitano, Takashi; Kim, Choong-Gon; Blancher, Antoine; Saitou, Naruya

    2016-01-01

    On human (Homo sapiens) chromosome 1, there is a tandem duplication encompassing Rh blood group genes (Hosa_RHD and Hosa_RHCE). This duplication occurred in the common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and gorillas, after splitting from their common ancestor with orangutans. Although several studies have been conducted on ape Rh blood group genes, the clear genome structures of the gene clusters remain unknown. Here, we determined the genome structure of the gene cluster of chimpanzee Rh genes by sequencing five BAC (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) clones derived from chimpanzees. We characterized three complete loci (Patr_RHα, Patr_RHβ, and Patr_RHγ). In the Patr_RHβ locus, a short version of the gene, which lacked the middle part containing exons 4–8, was observed. The Patr_RHα and Patr_RHβ genes were located on the locations corresponding to Hosa_RHD and Hosa_RHCE, respectively, and Patr_RHγ was in the immediate vicinity of Patr_RHβ. Sequence comparisons revealed high sequence similarity between Patr_RHβ and Hosa_RHCE, while the chimpanzee Rh gene closest to Hosa_RHD was not Patr_RHα but rather Patr_RHγ. The results suggest that rearrangements and gene conversions frequently occurred between these genes and that the classic orthology/paralogy dichotomy no longer holds between human and chimpanzee Rh blood group genes. PMID:26872772

  18. Pathogen prevalence predicts human cross-cultural variability in individualism/collectivism.

    PubMed

    Fincher, Corey L; Thornhill, Randy; Murray, Damian R; Schaller, Mark

    2008-06-01

    Pathogenic diseases impose selection pressures on the social behaviour of host populations. In humans (Homo sapiens), many psychological phenomena appear to serve an antipathogen defence function. One broad implication is the existence of cross-cultural differences in human cognition and behaviour contingent upon the relative presence of pathogens in the local ecology. We focus specifically on one fundamental cultural variable: differences in individualistic versus collectivist values. We suggest that specific behavioural manifestations of collectivism (e.g. ethnocentrism, conformity) can inhibit the transmission of pathogens; and so we hypothesize that collectivism (compared with individualism) will more often characterize cultures in regions that have historically had higher prevalence of pathogens. Drawing on epidemiological data and the findings of worldwide cross-national surveys of individualism/collectivism, our results support this hypothesis: the regional prevalence of pathogens has a strong positive correlation with cultural indicators of collectivism and a strong negative correlation with individualism. The correlations remain significant even when controlling for potential confounding variables. These results help to explain the origin of a paradigmatic cross-cultural difference, and reveal previously undocumented consequences of pathogenic diseases on the variable nature of human societies. PMID:18302996

  19. Pathogen prevalence predicts human cross-cultural variability in individualism/collectivism

    PubMed Central

    Fincher, Corey L; Thornhill, Randy; Murray, Damian R; Schaller, Mark

    2008-01-01

    Pathogenic diseases impose selection pressures on the social behaviour of host populations. In humans (Homo sapiens), many psychological phenomena appear to serve an antipathogen defence function. One broad implication is the existence of cross-cultural differences in human cognition and behaviour contingent upon the relative presence of pathogens in the local ecology. We focus specifically on one fundamental cultural variable: differences in individualistic versus collectivist values. We suggest that specific behavioural manifestations of collectivism (e.g. ethnocentrism, conformity) can inhibit the transmission of pathogens; and so we hypothesize that collectivism (compared with individualism) will more often characterize cultures in regions that have historically had higher prevalence of pathogens. Drawing on epidemiological data and the findings of worldwide cross-national surveys of individualism/collectivism, our results support this hypothesis: the regional prevalence of pathogens has a strong positive correlation with cultural indicators of collectivism and a strong negative correlation with individualism. The correlations remain significant even when controlling for potential confounding variables. These results help to explain the origin of a paradigmatic cross-cultural difference, and reveal previously undocumented consequences of pathogenic diseases on the variable nature of human societies. PMID:18302996

  20. No Distinction of Orthology/Paralogy between Human and Chimpanzee Rh Blood Group Genes.

    PubMed

    Kitano, Takashi; Kim, Choong-Gon; Blancher, Antoine; Saitou, Naruya

    2016-03-01

    On human (Homo sapiens) chromosome 1, there is a tandem duplication encompassing Rh blood group genes (Hosa_RHD and Hosa_RHCE). This duplication occurred in the common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and gorillas, after splitting from their common ancestor with orangutans. Although several studies have been conducted on ape Rh blood group genes, the clear genome structures of the gene clusters remain unknown. Here, we determined the genome structure of the gene cluster of chimpanzee Rh genes by sequencing five BAC (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) clones derived from chimpanzees. We characterized three complete loci (Patr_RHα, Patr_RHβ, and Patr_RHγ). In the Patr_RHβ locus, a short version of the gene, which lacked the middle part containing exons 4-8, was observed. The Patr_RHα and Patr_RHβ genes were located on the locations corresponding to Hosa_RHD and Hosa_RHCE, respectively, and Patr_RHγ was in the immediate vicinity of Patr_RHβ. Sequence comparisons revealed high sequence similarity between Patr_RHβ and Hosa_RHCE, while the chimpanzee Rh gene closest to Hosa_RHD was not Patr_RHα but rather Patr_RHγ. The results suggest that rearrangements and gene conversions frequently occurred between these genes and that the classic orthology/paralogy dichotomy no longer holds between human and chimpanzee Rh blood group genes. PMID:26872772

  1. Searching for signatures of cold adaptations in modern and archaic humans: hints from the brown adipose tissue genes.

    PubMed

    Sazzini, M; Schiavo, G; De Fanti, S; Martelli, P L; Casadio, R; Luiselli, D

    2014-09-01

    Adaptation to low temperatures has been reasonably developed in the human species during the colonization of the Eurasian landmass subsequent to Out of Africa migrations of anatomically modern humans. In addition to morphological and cultural changes, also metabolic ones are supposed to have favored human isolation from cold and body heat production and this can be hypothesized also for most Neandertal and at least for some Denisovan populations, which lived in geographical areas that strongly experienced the last glacial period. Modulation of non-shivering thermogenesis, for which adipocytes belonging to the brown adipose tissue are the most specialized cells, might have driven these metabolic adaptations. To perform an exploratory analysis aimed at looking into this hypothesis, variation at 28 genes involved in such functional pathway was investigated in modern populations from different climate zones, as well as in Neandertal and Denisovan genomes. Patterns of variation at the LEPR gene, strongly related to increased heat dissipation by mitochondria, appeared to have been shaped by positive selection in modern East Asians, but not in Europeans. Moreover, a single potentially cold-adapted LEPR allele, different from the supposed adaptive one identified in Homo sapiens, was found also in Neandertal and Denisovan genomes. These findings suggest that independent mechanisms for cold adaptations might have been developed in different non-African human groups, as well as that the evolution of possible enhanced thermal efficiency in Neandertals and in some Denisovan populations has plausibly entailed significant changes also in other functional pathways than in the examined one. PMID:24667833

  2. The Brazilian megamastofauna of the Pleistocene/Holocene transition and its relationship with the early human settlement of the continent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbe, Alex; Hubbe, Mark; Neves, Walter A.

    2013-03-01

    One of the most intriguing questions regarding the Brazilian Late Quaternary extinct megafauna and Homo sapiens is to what extent they coexisted and how humans could have contributed to the former's extinction. The aim of this article is to review the chronological and archaeological evidences of their coexistence in Brazil and to evaluate the degree of direct interaction between them. Critical assessment of the Brazilian megafauna chronological data shows that several of the late Pleistoscene/early Holocene dates available so far cannot be considered reliable, but the few that do suggest that at least two species (Catonyx cuvieri, ground sloth; Smilodon populator, saber-toothed cat) survived until the beginning of the Holocene in Southeast Brazil. Archaeological data indicates that the first human groups arrived in Brazil and were inhabiting this region during the last millennia of the Pleistocene and, consequently, they coexisted with the extinct fauna in some parts of Brazil for at least one thousand years. There is no robust evidence favoring any kind of direct interaction between humans and megafauna prior to their extinction. To date, it is not possible to properly judge the indirect influence of humans (landscape transformation, introduction of predators, among others) in this extinction event. Intense and to some extent unique climate changes between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene favors the interpretation that they had a major contribution to the megafauna extinction, although the scarcity of data impedes the proper testing of this hypothesis.

  3. Searching for signatures of cold adaptations in modern and archaic humans: hints from the brown adipose tissue genes

    PubMed Central

    Sazzini, M; Schiavo, G; De Fanti, S; Martelli, P L; Casadio, R; Luiselli, D

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation to low temperatures has been reasonably developed in the human species during the colonization of the Eurasian landmass subsequent to Out of Africa migrations of anatomically modern humans. In addition to morphological and cultural changes, also metabolic ones are supposed to have favored human isolation from cold and body heat production and this can be hypothesized also for most Neandertal and at least for some Denisovan populations, which lived in geographical areas that strongly experienced the last glacial period. Modulation of non-shivering thermogenesis, for which adipocytes belonging to the brown adipose tissue are the most specialized cells, might have driven these metabolic adaptations. To perform an exploratory analysis aimed at looking into this hypothesis, variation at 28 genes involved in such functional pathway was investigated in modern populations from different climate zones, as well as in Neandertal and Denisovan genomes. Patterns of variation at the LEPR gene, strongly related to increased heat dissipation by mitochondria, appeared to have been shaped by positive selection in modern East Asians, but not in Europeans. Moreover, a single potentially cold-adapted LEPR allele, different from the supposed adaptive one identified in Homo sapiens, was found also in Neandertal and Denisovan genomes. These findings suggest that independent mechanisms for cold adaptations might have been developed in different non-African human groups, as well as that the evolution of possible enhanced thermal efficiency in Neandertals and in some Denisovan populations has plausibly entailed significant changes also in other functional pathways than in the examined one. PMID:24667833

  4. Mojokerto revisited: evidence for an intermediate pattern of brain growth in Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Caitlin A; DeSilva, Jeremy M

    2013-08-01

    Brain development in Homo erectus is a subject of great interest, and the infant calvaria from Mojokerto, Indonesia, has featured prominently in these debates. Some researchers have suggested that the pattern of brain development in H. erectus resembled that of non-human apes, while others argue for a more human-like growth pattern. In this study, we retested hypotheses regarding brain ontogeny in H. erectus using new methods (resampling), and data from additional H. erectus crania. Our results reveal that humans achieve 62% (±10%) and chimpanzees 80% (±9%) of their adult endocranial volume by 0.5-1.5 years of age. Using brain mass data, humans achieve on average 65% and chimpanzees 81% of adult size by 0.5-1.5 years. When compared with adult H. erectus crania (n = 9) from Indonesian sites greater than 1.2 million years old, Mojokerto had reached ∼70% of its adult cranial capacity. Mojokerto thus falls almost directly between the average growth in humans and chimpanzees, and well within the range of both. We therefore suggest that brain development in H. erectus cannot be dichotomized as either ape-like or human-like; it was H. erectus-like. These data indicate that H. erectus may have had a unique developmental pattern that should be considered as an important step along the continuum of brain ontogeny between apes and humans. PMID:23815827

  5. Internal nasal floor configuration in Homo with special reference to the evolution of Neandertal facial form.

    PubMed

    Franciscus, Robert G

    2003-06-01

    The presence of a steeply sloping or depressed nasal floor within the nasal cavity of Neandertals is frequently mentioned as a likely specialization or autapomorphy. The depressed nasal floor has also been seen as contributing to a relatively more capacious nasal cavity in Neandertals, which is tied to cold-climate respiratory adaptation and energetics. These observations have been limited largely to a relatively few intact crania, and the character states associated with this trait have not been as precisely codified or analyzed as those published for Plio-Pleistocene hominins (McCollum et al., 1993, J. Hum. Evol. 24, 87; McCollum, 2000, Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 112, 275). This study examines the internal nasal floor topography in complete crania and isolated maxillae in European, west Asian, and African fossil Homo (n=158) including 25 Neandertals, and a wide range of recent humans from Europe, the Near East, and Africa (n=522). The configuration of the internal nasal floor relative to the nasal cavity entrance is codified as: 1) level, forming a smooth continuous plane; 2) sloped or mildly stepped; or 3) bilevel with a pronounced vertical depression. The frequency of these nasal floor configurations, and their relationship to both nasal margin cresting patterning and a comprehensive set of nasofacial metrics is examined. Neandertals show a high frequency of the bilevel (depressed) configuration in both adults and subadults (80%), but this configuration is also present in lower frequencies in Middle Pleistocene African, Late Pleistocene non-Neandertal (Skhul, Qafzeh), and European Later Upper Paleolithic samples (15%-50%). The bilevel configuration is also present in lower frequencies (ca. 10%) in all recent human samples, but attains nearly 20% in some sub-Saharan African samples. Across extinct and extant Homo (excluding Neandertals), internal nasal floor configuration is not associated with piriform aperture nasal margin patterning, but the two are strongly

  6. Integration of multiple biological features yields high confidence human protein interactome.

    PubMed

    Karagoz, Kubra; Sevimoglu, Tuba; Arga, Kazim Yalcin

    2016-08-21

    The biological function of a protein is usually determined by its physical interaction with other proteins. Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are identified through various experimental methods and are stored in curated databases. The noisiness of the existing PPI data is evident, and it is essential that a more reliable data is generated. Furthermore, the selection of a set of PPIs at different confidence levels might be necessary for many studies. Although different methodologies were introduced to evaluate the confidence scores for binary interactions, a highly reliable, almost complete PPI network of Homo sapiens is not proposed yet. The quality and coverage of human protein interactome need to be improved to be used in various disciplines, especially in biomedicine. In the present work, we propose an unsupervised statistical approach to assign confidence scores to PPIs of H. sapiens. To achieve this goal PPI data from six different databases were collected and a total of 295,288 non-redundant interactions between 15,950 proteins were acquired. The present scoring system included the context information that was assigned to PPIs derived from eight biological attributes. A high confidence network, which included 147,923 binary interactions between 13,213 proteins, had scores greater than the cutoff value of 0.80, for which sensitivity, specificity, and coverage were 94.5%, 80.9%, and 82.8%, respectively. We compared the present scoring method with others for evaluation. Reducing the noise inherent in experimental PPIs via our scoring scheme increased the accuracy significantly. As it was demonstrated through the assessment of process and cancer subnetworks, this study allows researchers to construct and analyze context-specific networks via valid PPI sets and one can easily achieve subnetworks around proteins of interest at a specified confidence level. PMID:27196966

  7. Archaic lineages in the history of modern humans.

    PubMed Central

    Labuda, D; Zietkiewicz, E; Yotova, V

    2000-01-01

    An important question in the ongoing debate on the origin of Homo sapiens is whether modern human populations issued from a single lineage or whether several, independently evolving lineages contributed to their genetic makeup. We analyzed haplotypes composed of 35 polymorphisms from a segment of the dystrophin gene. We find that the bulk of a worldwide sample of 868 chromosomes represents haplotypes shared by different continental groups. The remaining chromosomes carry haplotypes specific for the continents or for local populations. The haplotypes specific for non-Africans can be derived from the most frequent ones through simple recombination or a mutation. In contrast, chromosomes specific for sub-Saharan Africans represent a distinct group, as shown by principal component analysis, maximum likelihood tree, structural comparison, and summary statistics. We propose that African chromosomes descend from at least two lineages that have been evolving separately for a period of time. One of them underwent range expansion colonizing different continents, including Africa, where it mixed with another, local lineage represented today by a large fraction of African-specific haplotypes. Genetic admixture involving archaic lineages appears therefore to have occurred within Africa rather than outside this continent, explaining greater diversity of sub-Saharan populations observed in a variety of genetic systems. PMID:11014825

  8. Evolutionary aspects of human exercise--born to run purposefully.

    PubMed

    Mattson, Mark P

    2012-07-01

    This article is intended to raise awareness of the adaptive value of endurance exercise (particularly running) in the evolutionary history of humans, and the implications of the genetic disposition to exercise for the aging populations of modern technology-driven societies. The genome of Homo sapiens has evolved to support the svelte phenotype of an endurance runner, setting him/her apart from all other primates. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the competitive advantages conferred by exercise capacity in youth can also provide a survival benefit beyond the reproductive period. These mechanisms include up-regulation of genes encoding proteins involved in protecting cells against oxidative stress, disposing of damaged proteins and organelles, and enhancing bioenergetics. Particularly fascinating are the signaling mechanisms by which endurance running changes the structure and functional capabilities of the brain and, conversely, the mechanisms by which the brain integrates metabolic, cardiovascular and behavioral responses to exercise. As an emerging example, I highlight the roles of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as a mediator of the effects of exercise on the brain, and BDNF's critical role in regulating metabolic and cardiovascular responses to endurance running. A better understanding of such 'healthspan-extending' actions of endurance exercise may lead to new approaches for improving quality of life as we advance in the coming decades and centuries. PMID:22394472

  9. Dynamic control of strand excision during human DNA mismatch repair

    PubMed Central

    Jeon, Yongmoon; Kim, Daehyung; Martín-López, Juana V.; Lee, Ryanggeun; Oh, Jungsic; Hanne, Jeungphill; Fishel, Richard; Lee, Jong-Bong

    2016-01-01

    Mismatch repair (MMR) is activated by evolutionarily conserved MutS homologs (MSH) and MutL homologs (MLH/PMS). MSH recognizes mismatched nucleotides and form extremely stable sliding clamps that may be bound by MLH/PMS to ultimately authorize strand-specific excision starting at a distant 3′- or 5′-DNA scission. The mechanical processes associated with a complete MMR reaction remain enigmatic. The purified human (Homo sapien or Hs) 5′-MMR excision reaction requires the HsMSH2–HsMSH6 heterodimer, the 5′ → 3′ exonuclease HsEXOI, and the single-stranded binding heterotrimer HsRPA. The HsMLH1–HsPMS2 heterodimer substantially influences 5′-MMR excision in cell extracts but is not required in the purified system. Using real-time single-molecule imaging, we show that HsRPA or Escherichia coli EcSSB restricts HsEXOI excision activity on nicked or gapped DNA. HsMSH2–HsMSH6 activates HsEXOI by overcoming HsRPA/EcSSB inhibition and exploits multiple dynamic sliding clamps to increase tract length. Conversely, HsMLH1–HsPMS2 regulates tract length by controlling the number of excision complexes, providing a link to 5′ MMR. PMID:26951673

  10. Continuity or discontinuity in the European Early Pleistocene human settlement: the Atapuerca evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carbonell, Eudald

    2013-09-01

    The nature, timing, pattern, favourable circumstances and impediments of the human occupation of the European continent during the Early Pleistocene are hot topics in Quaternary studies. In particular, the problem of the (dis) continuity of the settlement of Europe in this period is an important matter of discussion, which has been approached in the last decade from different points of view. The Gran Dolina (TD) and Sima del Elefante (TE) cave sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca, (Spain) include large and quasi-continuous stratigraphic sequences that stretch back from at least 1.2 million years ago (Ma) to the Matuyama/Brunhes boundary. The archaeological and paleontological record from these sites can help to test different hypotheses about the character of the human settlement in this region and period. Furthermore, the TD6 level has yielded a large collection of human fossil remains attributed to Homo antecessor. According to different geochronological methods, as well as to paleomagnetic and biostratigraphical analyses, these hominins belong to an age range of 0.96-0.80 Ma. Unfortunately, the finding in 2007 of some human fossil remains in the TE9 level, dated to about 1.22 Ma, was not enough to conclude whether H. antecessor had deep roots in the European Early Pleistocene. A set of derived features of H. antecessor shared with both the Neanderthal lineage and modern humans suggests that this species is related, and not far, from the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. If we assume that there was a lineal biological relationship between the TE9 and TD6 hominins, we should reconsider many of the conclusions achieved in previous paleontological and genetic studies. In addition, we would be obliged to build a highly complicated paleogeographical scenario for the origin of the MRCA. Although continuity in the settlement of Europe during the entire late Early Pleistocene is not discarded (e.g. in refuge areas), it seems that

  11. New immature hominin fossil from European Lower Pleistocene shows the earliest evidence of a modern human dental development pattern.

    PubMed

    Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Prado, Leyre; Gómez-Robles, Aida; Rosell, Jordi; López-Polín, Lucía; Arsuaga, Juan Luís; Carbonell, Eudald

    2010-06-29

    Here we present data concerning the pattern of dental development derived from the microcomputed tomography (microCT) study of a recently discovered immature hominin mandible with a mixed dentition recovered from the TD6 level of the Gran Dolina Lower Pleistocene cave site in Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain. These data confirm our previous results that nearly 1 million years ago at least one European hominin species had a fully modern pattern of dental development with a clear slowdown in the development of the molar field regarding the anterior dental field. Furthermore, using available information about enamel formation times and root extension rates in chimpanzees, early hominins, and modern humans, we have estimated that the formation time of the upper and lower first molars of individual 5 (H5) from TD6, which had just erupted at the time of the death of this individual, ranges between 5.3 and 6.6 y. Therefore, the eruption time of the first permanent molars (M1) in the TD6 hominins was within the range of variation of modern human populations. Because the time of M1 eruption in primates is a robust marker of life history, we suggest, as a working hypothesis, that these hominins had a prolonged childhood in the range of the variation of modern humans. If this hypothesis is true, it implies that the appearance in Homo of this important developmental biological feature and an associated increase in brain size preceded the development of the neocortical areas leading to the cognitive capabilities that are thought to be exclusive to Homo sapiens. PMID:20547843

  12. New immature hominin fossil from European Lower Pleistocene shows the earliest evidence of a modern human dental development pattern

    PubMed Central

    Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Prado, Leyre; Gómez-Robles, Aida; Rosell, Jordi; López-Polín, Lucía; Arsuaga, Juan Luís; Carbonell, Eudald

    2010-01-01

    Here we present data concerning the pattern of dental development derived from the microcomputed tomography (microCT) study of a recently discovered immature hominin mandible with a mixed dentition recovered from the TD6 level of the Gran Dolina Lower Pleistocene cave site in Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain. These data confirm our previous results that nearly 1 million years ago at least one European hominin species had a fully modern pattern of dental development with a clear slowdown in the development of the molar field regarding the anterior dental field. Furthermore, using available information about enamel formation times and root extension rates in chimpanzees, early hominins, and modern humans, we have estimated that the formation time of the upper and lower first molars of individual 5 (H5) from TD6, which had just erupted at the time of the death of this individual, ranges between 5.3 and 6.6 y. Therefore, the eruption time of the first permanent molars (M1) in the TD6 hominins was within the range of variation of modern human populations. Because the time of M1 eruption in primates is a robust marker of life history, we suggest, as a working hypothesis, that these hominins had a prolonged childhood in the range of the variation of modern humans. If this hypothesis is true, it implies that the appearance in Homo of this important developmental biological feature and an associated increase in brain size preceded the development of the neocortical areas leading to the cognitive capabilities that are thought to be exclusive to Homo sapiens. PMID:20547843

  13. On human self-domestication, psychiatry, and eugenics

    PubMed Central

    Brüne, Martin

    2007-01-01

    The hypothesis that anatomically modern homo sapiens could have undergone changes akin to those observed in domesticated animals has been contemplated in the biological sciences for at least 150 years. The idea had already plagued philosophers such as Rousseau, who considered the civilisation of man as going against human nature, and eventually "sparked over" to the medical sciences in the late 19th and early 20th century. At that time, human "self-domestication" appealed to psychiatry, because it served as a causal explanation for the alleged degeneration of the "erbgut" (genetic material) of entire populations and the presumed increase of mental disorders. Consequently, Social Darwinists emphasised preventing procreation by people of "lower genetic value" and positively selecting favourable traits in others. Both tendencies culminated in euthanasia and breeding programs ("Lebensborn") during the Nazi regime in Germany. Whether or not domestication actually plays a role in some anatomical changes since the late Pleistocene period is, from a biological standpoint, contentious, and the currently resurrected debate depends, in part, on the definitional criteria applied. However, the example of human self-domestication may illustrate that scientific ideas, especially when dealing with human biology, are prone to misuse, particularly if "is" is confused with "ought", i.e., if moral principles are deduced from biological facts. Although such naturalistic fallacies appear to be banned, modern genetics may, at least in theory, pose similar ethical problems to medicine, including psychiatry. In times during which studies into the genetics of psychiatric disorders are scientifically more valued than studies into environmental causation of disorders (which is currently the case), the prospects of genetic therapy may be tempting to alter the human genome in patients, probably at costs that no-one can foresee. In the case of "self-domestication", it is proposed that human

  14. The Flores speleothem carbon isotope record: vegetation, volcanism and the demise of Homo floresiensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scroxton, N.; Gagan, M. K.; Ayliffe, L. K.; Hantoro, W. S.; Hellstrom, J. C.; Cheng, H.; Edwards, R. L.; Zhao, J. X.; Suwargadi, B. W.; Scott-Gagan, H.; Cowley, J. A.; Rifai, H.

    2015-12-01

    The last surviving non-human member of the Homo genus: Homo floresiensis, disappeared from the stratigraphic record in Liang Bua cave, Flores, Indonesia, between 17 and 10 kyr BP (Roberts et al. 2009, J. Hum. Evol.). The cause of the disappearance (e.g. climate change, volcanic catastrophe or human competition) has not been established. Here, we present a new 92,000-year long speleothem δ13C record for Liang Luar cave, 800m South of Liang Bua. Our record acts as a proxy for local environmental and vegetation health throughout H. floresiensis' occupation of the area. The Liang Luar speleothem δ13C record is primarily a record of vegetation productivity and soil respiration rates, highlighting local ecological responses to changing regional and global climate forcings such as temperature, atmospheric pCO2 and precipitation amount. Changes in speleothem δ13C can largely be considered an environmental response to climate change. Events that caused significant harm to the local environment and H. floresiensis are likely to be outside the natural range of variability: being quick enough or extreme enough that adaptation to new conditions is not possible. We identify disturbances to the vegetation system using two indicators in the speleothem record. 1) Abrupt positive δ13C excursions which indicate periods of reduced vegetative activity. 2) A loss of correlation between the δ13C and δ18O records, indicating that precipitation is no longer a dominant control on vegetation productivity. The largest (8‰) and longest (7 kyr) abrupt positive excursion, the 68 kyr event, sees positive speleothem δ13C values, due to increased bedrock contribution and/or C4 vegetation at this time. Crucially a H. floresiensis occupation interval dates to this period. The largest abrupt deterioration in vegetation (positive δ13C excursion) between 17 and 10 kyr BP is a 1 in 5kyr occurrence - An event of a magnitude that was likely encountered and survived by H. floresiensis multiple

  15. S1 pocket fingerprints of human and bacterial methionine aminopeptidases determined using fluorogenic libraries of substrates and phosphorus based inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Poreba, Marcin; Gajda, Anna; Picha, Jan; Jiracek, Jiri; Marschner, Aline; Klein, Christian D; Salvesen, Guy S; Drag, Marcin

    2012-03-01

    Methionyl aminopeptidases (MetAPs) are metallo-dependent proteases responsible for removing of N-terminal methionine residue of peptides and proteins during protein maturation and activation. In this report we use a comprehensive strategy to screen the substrate specificity of three methionyl aminopeptidases: Homo sapiens MetAP-1, Homo sapiens MetAP-2 and Escherichia coli MetAP-1. By utilizing a 65-membered fluorogenic substrate library consisting of natural and unnatural amino acids we established detailed substrate preferences of each enzyme in the S1 pocket. Our results show that this pocket is highly conserved for all investigated MetAPs, very stringent for methionine, and that several unnatural amino acids with methionine-like characteristics were also well hydrolyzed by MetAPs. The substrate-derived results were verified using several phosphonate and phosphinate-based inhibitors. PMID:22085501

  16. Stringent homology-based prediction of H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv protein-protein interactions

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv protein-protein interaction (PPI) data are essential for understanding the infection mechanism of the formidable pathogen M. tuberculosis H37Rv. Computational prediction is an important strategy to fill the gap in experimental H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv PPI data. Homology-based prediction is frequently used in predicting both intra-species and inter-species PPIs. However, some limitations are not properly resolved in several published works that predict eukaryote-prokaryote inter-species PPIs using intra-species template PPIs. Results We develop a stringent homology-based prediction approach by taking into account (i) differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic proteins and (ii) differences between inter-species and intra-species PPI interfaces. We compare our stringent homology-based approach to a conventional homology-based approach for predicting host-pathogen PPIs, based on cellular compartment distribution analysis, disease gene list enrichment analysis, pathway enrichment analysis and functional category enrichment analysis. These analyses support the validity of our prediction result, and clearly show that our approach has better performance in predicting H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv PPIs. Using our stringent homology-based approach, we have predicted a set of highly plausible H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv PPIs which might be useful for many of related studies. Based on our analysis of the H. sapiens-M. tuberculosis H37Rv PPI network predicted by our stringent homology-based approach, we have discovered several interesting properties which are reported here for the first time. We find that both host proteins and pathogen proteins involved in the host-pathogen PPIs tend to be hubs in their own intra-species PPI network. Also, both host and pathogen proteins involved in host-pathogen PPIs tend to have longer primary sequence, tend to have more domains, tend to be more hydrophilic, etc. And the protein

  17. Dynamic similarity predicts gait parameters for Homo floresiensis and the Laetoli hominins.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Christopher L; Blaszczyk, Maria B

    2008-01-01

    Late in 2004, the skeletal remains of a pygmy-sized hominin recovered from a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores were first documented, with the authors concluding that the "postcranial anatomy [was] consistent with human-like obligate bipedalism" (Brown et al. [2004]: Nature 431:1055-1061). We have assumed that Homo floresiensis, who was estimated to be 18,000-years-old, walked with a gait pattern that was dynamically similar to modern man. The dynamic similarity hypothesis was also applied to the Australopithecines that left their footprints at Laetoli 4-million-years ago. According to this hypothesis, dimensionless gait parameters can be used in combination with known leg length or step length to calculate velocity of bipedal locomotion. We have gathered data on 20 extant modern humans to calculate the standard estimates of error when predicting gait parameters. We predict that the Homo floresiensis specimen walked at a velocity of 1.11 +/- 0.14 m/s. For the Laetoli footprints, the velocity for Track 1 was estimated to be 1.03 +/- 0.12 m/s and for Track 2 to be 1.14 +/- 0.12 m/s. These latter values for Australopithecines are greater than prior analyses, but are in good agreement with more recent work based on evolutionary robotics. Since modern man walks at 1.44 +/- 0.14 m/s, our results suggest that, despite their diminutive size, these ancient hominins were capable of ranging across a wide geographical area. PMID:18186513

  18. Entamoeba lysyl-tRNA Synthetase Contains a Cytokine-Like Domain with Chemokine Activity towards Human Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Han, Jung Min; Kim, Sunghoon; Celada, Antonio; Ribas de Pouplana, Lluís

    2011-01-01

    Immunological pressure encountered by protozoan parasites drives the selection of strategies to modulate or avoid the immune responses of their hosts. Here we show that the parasite Entamoeba histolytica has evolved a chemokine that mimics the sequence, structure, and function of the human cytokine HsEMAPII (Homo sapiens endothelial monocyte activating polypeptide II). This Entamoeba EMAPII-like polypeptide (EELP) is translated as a domain attached to two different aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS) that are overexpressed when parasites are exposed to inflammatory signals. EELP is dispensable for the tRNA aminoacylation activity of the enzymes that harbor it, and it is cleaved from them by Entamoeba proteases to generate a standalone cytokine. Isolated EELP acts as a chemoattractant for human cells, but its cell specificity is different from that of HsEMAPII. We show that cell specificity differences between HsEMAPII and EELP can be swapped by site directed mutagenesis of only two residues in the cytokines' signal sequence. Thus, Entamoeba has evolved a functional mimic of an aaRS-associated human cytokine with modified cell specificity. PMID:22140588

  19. A Global Comparison of the Human and T. brucei Degradomes Gives Insights about Possible Parasite Drug Targets

    PubMed Central

    Mashiyama, Susan T.; Koupparis, Kyriacos; Caffrey, Conor R.; McKerrow, James H.; Babbitt, Patricia C.

    2012-01-01

    We performed a genome-level computational study of sequence and structure similarity, the latter using crystal structures and models, of the proteases of Homo sapiens and the human parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Using sequence and structure similarity networks to summarize the results, we constructed global views that show visually the relative abundance and variety of proteases in the degradome landscapes of these two species, and provide insights into evolutionary relationships between proteases. The results also indicate how broadly these sequence sets are covered by three-dimensional structures. These views facilitate cross-species comparisons and offer clues for drug design from knowledge about the sequences and structures of potential drug targets and their homologs. Two protease groups (“M32” and “C51”) that are very different in sequence from human proteases are examined in structural detail, illustrating the application of this global approach in mining new pathogen genomes for potential drug targets. Based on our analyses, a human ACE2 inhibitor was selected for experimental testing on one of these parasite proteases, TbM32, and was shown to inhibit it. These sequence and structure data, along with interactive versions of the protein similarity networks generated in this study, are available at http://babbittlab.ucsf.edu/resources.html. PMID:23236535

  20. Synthesis and properties of coumaric acid derivative homo-polymers.

    PubMed

    Thi, Tran Hang; Matsusaki, Michiya; Shi, Dongjian; Kaneko, Tatsuo; Akashi, Mitsuru

    2008-01-01

    Poly(4-hydroxycinnamic acid) (P4HCA), poly(3-hydroxycinnamic acid) (P3HCA), poly(3-methoxy-4-hydroxycinnamic acid) (PMHCA) and poly(3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid) (PDHCA) were synthesized by the thermal poly-condensation of the corresponding monomers, which are lignin precursors, coumaric acid derivatives consisting of cinnamoyl groups and different position and number of OH groups. The solubility of the homo-polymers in organic solvents decreased in the order of P3HCA > PDHCA > P4HCA > PMHCA. The wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) results indicated that P4HCA or PMHCA with p-OH group had higher crystallinity, in contrast to P3HCA or PDHCA with m-OH group which had lower crystallinity. Crossed-polarizing microscopy suggested that P4HCA had the nematic liquid crystal properties at 220 degrees C and PDHCA showed birefringence properties at 200 degrees C. In cell-adhesion tests, PDHCA showed the highest cell adhesion (ca. 70%), whereas P3HCA, P4HCA and PMHCA had 50, 18 and 10% cell adhesion, respectively. The coumaric acid derivative homo-polymers can be useful as cell adhesion controllable thermotropic polymers for biomedical and environmental fields. PMID:18177555

  1. Unnatural amino acids increase activity and specificity of synthetic substrates for human and malarial cathepsin C.

    PubMed

    Poreba, Marcin; Mihelic, Marko; Krai, Priscilla; Rajkovic, Jelena; Krezel, Artur; Pawelczak, Malgorzata; Klemba, Michael; Turk, Dusan; Turk, Boris; Latajka, Rafal; Drag, Marcin

    2014-04-01

    Mammalian cathepsin C is primarily responsible for the removal of N-terminal dipeptides and activation of several serine proteases in inflammatory or immune cells, while its malarial parasite ortholog dipeptidyl aminopeptidase 1 plays a crucial role in catabolizing the hemoglobin of its host erythrocyte. In this report, we describe the systematic substrate specificity analysis of three cathepsin C orthologs from Homo sapiens (human), Bos taurus (bovine) and Plasmodium falciparum (malaria parasite). Here, we present a new approach with a tailored fluorogenic substrate library designed and synthesized to probe the S1 and S2 pocket preferences of these enzymes with both natural and a broad range of unnatural amino acids. Our approach identified very efficiently hydrolyzed substrates containing unnatural amino acids, which resulted in the design of significantly better substrates than those previously known. Additionally, in this study significant differences in terms of the structures of optimal substrates for human and malarial orthologs are important from the therapeutic point of view. These data can be also used for the design of specific inhibitors or activity-based probes. PMID:24381006

  2. The contributions of oxytocin and vasopressin pathway genes to human behavior.

    PubMed

    Ebstein, Richard P; Knafo, Ariel; Mankuta, David; Chew, Soo Hong; Lai, Poh San

    2012-03-01

    Arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXT) are social hormones and mediate affiliative behaviors in mammals and as recently demonstrated, also in humans. There is intense interest in how these simple nonapeptides mediate normal and abnormal behavior, especially regarding disorders of the social brain such as autism that are characterized by deficits in social communication and social skills. The current review examines in detail the behavioral genetics of the first level of human AVP-OXT pathway genes including arginine vasopressin 1a receptor (AVPR1a), oxytocin receptor (OXTR), AVP (AVP-neurophysin II [NPII]) and OXT (OXT neurophysin I [NPI]), oxytocinase/vasopressinase (LNPEP), ADP-ribosyl cyclase (CD38) and arginine vasopressin 1b receptor (AVPR1b). Wherever possible we discuss evidence from a variety of research tracks including molecular genetics, imaging genomics, pharmacology and endocrinology that support the conclusions drawn from association studies of social phenotypes and detail how common polymorphisms in AVP-OXT pathway genes contribute to the behavioral hard wiring that enables individual Homo sapiens to interact successfully with conspecifics. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Social Behavior. PMID:22245314

  3. The EuroPhysiome, STEP and a roadmap for the virtual physiological human.

    PubMed

    Fenner, J W; Brook, B; Clapworthy, G; Coveney, P V; Feipel, V; Gregersen, H; Hose, D R; Kohl, P; Lawford, P; McCormack, K M; Pinney, D; Thomas, S R; Van Sint Jan, S; Waters, S; Viceconti, M

    2008-09-13

    Biomedical science and its allied disciplines are entering a new era in which computational methods and technologies are poised to play a prevalent role in supporting collaborative investigation of the human body. Within Europe, this has its focus in the virtual physiological human (VPH), which is an evolving entity that has emerged from the EuroPhysiome initiative and the strategy for the EuroPhysiome (STEP) consortium. The VPH is intended to be a solution to common infrastructure needs for physiome projects across the globe, providing a unifying architecture that facilitates integration and prediction, ultimately creating a framework capable of describing Homo sapiens in silico. The routine reliance of the biomedical industry, biomedical research and clinical practice on information technology (IT) highlights the importance of a tailor-made and robust IT infrastructure, but numerous challenges need to be addressed if the VPH is to become a mature technological reality. Appropriate investment will reap considerable rewards, since it is anticipated that the VPH will influence all sectors of society, with implications predominantly for improved healthcare, improved competitiveness in industry and greater understanding of (patho)physiological processes. This paper considers issues pertinent to the development of the VPH, highlighted by the work of the STEP consortium. PMID:18559316

  4. The evolution of the human pelvis: changing adaptations to bipedalism, obstetrics and thermoregulation.

    PubMed

    Gruss, Laura Tobias; Schmitt, Daniel

    2015-03-01

    The fossil record of the human pelvis reveals the selective priorities acting on hominin anatomy at different points in our evolutionary history, during which mechanical requirements for locomotion, childbirth and thermoregulation often conflicted. In our earliest upright ancestors, fundamental alterations of the pelvis compared with non-human primates facilitated bipedal walking. Further changes early in hominin evolution produced a platypelloid birth canal in a pelvis that was wide overall, with flaring ilia. This pelvic form was maintained over 3-4 Myr with only moderate changes in response to greater habitat diversity, changes in locomotor behaviour and increases in brain size. It was not until Homo sapiens evolved in Africa and the Middle East 200 000 years ago that the narrow anatomically modern pelvis with a more circular birth canal emerged. This major change appears to reflect selective pressures for further increases in neonatal brain size and for a narrow body shape associated with heat dissipation in warm environments. The advent of the modern birth canal, the shape and alignment of which require fetal rotation during birth, allowed the earliest members of our species to deal obstetrically with increases in encephalization while maintaining a narrow body to meet thermoregulatory demands and enhance locomotor performance. PMID:25602067

  5. Network Thermodynamic Curation of Human and Yeast Genome-Scale Metabolic Models

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Verónica S.; Quek, Lake-Ee; Nielsen, Lars K.

    2014-01-01

    Genome-scale models are used for an ever-widening range of applications. Although there has been much focus on specifying the stoichiometric matrix, the predictive power of genome-scale models equally depends on reaction directions. Two-thirds of reactions in the two eukaryotic reconstructions Homo sapiens Recon 1 and Yeast 5 are specified as irreversible. However, these specifications are mainly based on biochemical textbooks or on their similarity to other organisms and are rarely underpinned by detailed thermodynamic analysis. In this study, a to our knowledge new workflow combining network-embedded thermodynamic and flux variability analysis was used to evaluate existing irreversibility constraints in Recon 1 and Yeast 5 and to identify new ones. A total of 27 and 16 new irreversible reactions were identified in Recon 1 and Yeast 5, respectively, whereas only four reactions were found with directions incorrectly specified against thermodynamics (three in Yeast 5 and one in Recon 1). The workflow further identified for both models several isolated internal loops that require further curation. The framework also highlighted the need for substrate channeling (in human) and ATP hydrolysis (in yeast) for the essential reaction catalyzed by phosphoribosylaminoimidazole carboxylase in purine metabolism. Finally, the framework highlighted differences in proline metabolism between yeast (cytosolic anabolism and mitochondrial catabolism) and humans (exclusively mitochondrial metabolism). We conclude that network-embedded thermodynamics facilitates the specification and validation of irreversibility constraints in compartmentalized metabolic models, at the same time providing further insight into network properties. PMID:25028891

  6. Purification, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of human cystathionine β-synthase

    PubMed Central

    Oyenarte, Iker; Majtan, Tomas; Ereño, June; Corral-Rodríguez, María Angeles; Kraus, Jan P.; Martínez-Cruz, Luis Alfonso

    2012-01-01

    Human cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) is a pyridoxal-5′-phosphate-dependent hemeprotein, whose catalytic activity is regulated by S-adenosylmethionine. CBS catalyzes the β-replacement reaction of homocysteine (Hcy) with serine to yield cystathionine. CBS is a key regulator of plasma levels of the thrombogenic Hcy and deficiency in CBS is the single most common cause of homocystinuria, an inherited metabolic disorder of sulfur amino acids. The properties of CBS enzymes, such as domain organization, oligomerization degree or regulatory mechanisms, are not conserved across the eukaryotes. The current body of knowledge is insufficient to understand these differences and their impact on CBS function and physiology. To overcome this deficiency, we have addressed the crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of a protein construct (hCBS516–525) that contains the full-length CBS from Homo sapiens (hCBS) and just lacks amino-acid residues 516–525, which are located in a disordered loop. The human enzyme yielded crystals belonging to space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 124.98, b = 136.33, c = 169.83 Å and diffracting X-rays to a resolution of 3.0 Å. The crystal structure appears to contain two molecules in the asymmetric unit which presumably correspond to a dimeric form of the enzyme. PMID:23143240

  7. The evolution of the human pelvis: changing adaptations to bipedalism, obstetrics and thermoregulation

    PubMed Central

    Gruss, Laura Tobias; Schmitt, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The fossil record of the human pelvis reveals the selective priorities acting on hominin anatomy at different points in our evolutionary history, during which mechanical requirements for locomotion, childbirth and thermoregulation often conflicted. In our earliest upright ancestors, fundamental alterations of the pelvis compared with non-human primates facilitated bipedal walking. Further changes early in hominin evolution produced a platypelloid birth canal in a pelvis that was wide overall, with flaring ilia. This pelvic form was maintained over 3–4 Myr with only moderate changes in response to greater habitat diversity, changes in locomotor behaviour and increases in brain size. It was not until Homo sapiens evolved in Africa and the Middle East 200 000 years ago that the narrow anatomically modern pelvis with a more circular birth canal emerged. This major change appears to reflect selective pressures for further increases in neonatal brain size and for a narrow body shape associated with heat dissipation in warm environments. The advent of the modern birth canal, the shape and alignment of which require fetal rotation during birth, allowed the earliest members of our species to deal obstetrically with increases in encephalization while maintaining a narrow body to meet thermoregulatory demands and enhance locomotor performance. PMID:25602067

  8. Footprints reveal direct evidence of group behavior and locomotion in Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Hatala, Kevin G; Roach, Neil T; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Wunderlich, Roshna E; Dingwall, Heather L; Villmoare, Brian A; Green, David J; Harris, John W K; Braun, David R; Richmond, Brian G

    2016-01-01

    Bipedalism is a defining feature of the human lineage. Despite evidence that walking on two feet dates back 6-7 Ma, reconstructing hominin gait evolution is complicated by a sparse fossil record and challenges in inferring biomechanical patterns from isolated and fragmentary bones. Similarly, patterns of social behavior that distinguish modern humans from other living primates likely played significant roles in our evolution, but it is exceedingly difficult to understand the social behaviors of fossil hominins directly from fossil data. Footprints preserve direct records of gait biomechanics and behavior but they have been rare in the early human fossil record. Here we present analyses of an unprecedented discovery of 1.5-million-year-old footprint assemblages, produced by 20+ Homo erectus individuals. These footprints provide the oldest direct evidence for modern human-like weight transfer and confirm the presence of an energy-saving longitudinally arched foot in H. erectus. Further, print size analyses suggest that these H. erectus individuals lived and moved in cooperative multi-male groups, offering direct evidence consistent with human-like social behaviors in H. erectus. PMID:27403790

  9. Footprints reveal direct evidence of group behavior and locomotion in Homo erectus

    PubMed Central

    Hatala, Kevin G.; Roach, Neil T.; Ostrofsky, Kelly R.; Wunderlich, Roshna E.; Dingwall, Heather L.; Villmoare, Brian A.; Green, David J.; Harris, John W. K.; Braun, David R.; Richmond, Brian G.

    2016-01-01

    Bipedalism is a defining feature of the human lineage. Despite evidence that walking on two feet dates back 6–7 Ma, reconstructing hominin gait evolution is complicated by a sparse fossil record and challenges in inferring biomechanical patterns from isolated and fragmentary bones. Similarly, patterns of social behavior that distinguish modern humans from other living primates likely played significant roles in our evolution, but it is exceedingly difficult to understand the social behaviors of fossil hominins directly from fossil data. Footprints preserve direct records of gait biomechanics and behavior but they have been rare in the early human fossil record. Here we present analyses of an unprecedented discovery of 1.5-million-year-old footprint assemblages, produced by 20+ Homo erectus individuals. These footprints provide the oldest direct evidence for modern human-like weight transfer and confirm the presence of an energy-saving longitudinally arched foot in H. erectus. Further, print size analyses suggest that these H. erectus individuals lived and moved in cooperative multi-male groups, offering direct evidence consistent with human-like social behaviors in H. erectus. PMID:27403790

  10. The shaping of human diversity: filters, boundaries and transitions

    PubMed Central

    Mirazón Lahr, Marta

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of modern humans was a complex process, involving major changes in levels of diversity through time. The fossils and stone tools that record the spatial distribution of our species in the past form the backbone of our evolutionary history, and one that allows us to explore the different processes—cultural and biological—that acted to shape the evolution of different populations in the face of major climate change. Those processes created a complex palimpsest of similarities and differences, with outcomes that were at times accelerated by sharp demographic and geographical fluctuations. The result is that the population ancestral to all modern humans did not look or behave like people alive today. This has generated questions regarding the evolution of human universal characters, as well as the nature and timing of major evolutionary events in the history of Homo sapiens. The paucity of African fossils remains a serious stumbling block for exploring some of these issues. However, fossil and archaeological discoveries increasingly clarify important aspects of our past, while breakthroughs from genomics and palaeogenomics have revealed aspects of the demography of Late Quaternary Eurasian hominin groups and their interactions, as well as those between foragers and farmers. This paper explores the nature and timing of key moments in the evolution of human diversity, moments in which population collapse followed by differential expansion of groups set the conditions for transitional periods. Five transitions are identified (i) at the origins of the species, 240–200 ka; (ii) at the time of the first major expansions, 130–100 ka; (iii) during a period of dispersals, 70–50 ka; (iv) across a phase of local/regional structuring of diversity, 45–25 ka; and (v) during a phase of significant extinction of hunter–gatherer diversity and expansion of particular groups, such as farmers and later societies (the Holocene Filter), 15–0 ka. This article is

  11. Structure and organization of the human neuronatin gene

    SciTech Connect

    Dou, D.; Joseph, R.

    1996-04-15

    Neuronatin is a brain-specific human gene that we recently isolated and observed to be selectively expressed during brain development. In this report, the genomic structure and organization of human neuronatin is described. The human gene spans 3973 bases and contains three exons and two introns. Based on primer extension analysis, a single cap site is located 124 bases upstream from the methionine (ATG) initiation codon, is good context, GAACCATGG. The promoter contains a modified TATA box, CATAAA (-27), and a modified CAAT box, GGCGAAT (-59). The 5{prime}- flanking region contains putative transcription factor binding sites for SP-1, AP-2 (two sites), {delta}-subunit, SRE-2, NF-Al, and ETS. In addition, a 21-base sequence highly homologous to the neutral restrictive silence element that governs neuron-specific gene expression is observed at -421. Furthermore, SP-1 and AP-3 binding sites are present in intron 1. All splice donor and acceptor sites conformed to the GT/AG rule. Exon 1 encodes 24 amino acids, exon 2 encodes 27 amino acids, and exon 3 encodes 30 amino acids. At the 3{prime}-end of the gene, the poly(A) signal, AATAAA, poly(A) site, and GT cluster are observed. The neuronatin gene is expressed as two mRNA species, {alpha} and {beta}, generated by alternative splicing. The {alpha}-form contains all three exons, whereas in the {beta}-form, the middle exon has been spliced out. The third nucleotide of all frequently used codons, except threonine, of neuronatin is either G or C, consistent with codon usage expected for Homo sapiens. This information about the structure of the human neuronatin gene will help in understanding the significance of this gene in brain development and human disease. 30 refs., 3 figs.

  12. The shaping of human diversity: filters, boundaries and transitions.

    PubMed

    Mirazón Lahr, Marta

    2016-07-01

    The evolution of modern humans was a complex process, involving major changes in levels of diversity through time. The fossils and stone tools that record the spatial distribution of our species in the past form the backbone of our evolutionary history, and one that allows us to explore the different processes-cultural and biological-that acted to shape the evolution of different populations in the face of major climate change. Those processes created a complex palimpsest of similarities and differences, with outcomes that were at times accelerated by sharp demographic and geographical fluctuations. The result is that the population ancestral to all modern humans did not look or behave like people alive today. This has generated questions regarding the evolution of human universal characters, as well as the nature and timing of major evolutionary events in the history of Homo sapiens The paucity of African fossils remains a serious stumbling block for exploring some of these issues. However, fossil and archaeological discoveries increasingly clarify important aspects of our past, while breakthroughs from genomics and palaeogenomics have revealed aspects of the demography of Late Quaternary Eurasian hominin groups and their interactions, as well as those between foragers and farmers. This paper explores the nature and timing of key moments in the evolution of human diversity, moments in which population collapse followed by differential expansion of groups set the conditions for transitional periods. Five transitions are identified (i) at the origins of the species, 240-200 ka; (ii) at the time of the first major expansions, 130-100 ka; (iii) during a period of dispersals, 70-50 ka; (iv) across a phase of local/regional structuring of diversity, 45-25 ka; and (v) during a phase of significant extinction of hunter-gatherer diversity and expansion of particular groups, such as farmers and later societies (the Holocene Filter), 15-0 ka.This article is part of the

  13. Reconstructing the ups and downs of primate brain evolution: implications for adaptive hypotheses and Homo floresiensis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Brain size is a key adaptive trait. It is often assumed that increasing brain size was a general evolutionary trend in primates, yet recent fossil discoveries have documented brain size decreases in some lineages, raising the question of how general a trend there was for brains to increase in mass over evolutionary time. We present the first systematic phylogenetic analysis designed to answer this question. Results We performed ancestral state reconstructions of three traits (absolute brain mass, absolute body mass, relative brain mass) using 37 extant and 23 extinct primate species and three approaches to ancestral state reconstruction: parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian Markov-chain Monte Carlo. Both absolute and relative brain mass generally increased over evolutionary time, but body mass did not. Nevertheless both absolute and relative brain mass decreased along several branches. Applying these results to the contentious case of Homo floresiensis, we find a number of scenarios under which the proposed evolution of Homo floresiensis' small brain appears to be consistent with patterns observed along other lineages, dependent on body mass and phylogenetic position. Conclusions Our results confirm that brain expansion began early in primate evolution and show that increases occurred in all major clades. Only in terms of an increase in absolute mass does the human lineage appear particularly striking, with both the rate of proportional change in mass and relative brain size having episodes of greater expansion elsewhere on the primate phylogeny. However, decreases in brain mass also occurred along branches in all major clades, and we conclude that, while selection has acted to enlarge primate brains, in some lineages this trend has been reversed. Further analyses of the phylogenetic position of Homo floresiensis and better body mass estimates are required to confirm the plausibility of the evolution of its small brain mass. We find that for our

  14. Measures of maturation in early fossil hominins: events at the first transition from australopiths to early Homo.

    PubMed

    Dean, M Christopher

    2016-07-01

    An important question in palaeoanthropology is whether, among the australopiths and the first fossil hominins attributed to early Homo, there was a shift towards a more prolonged period of growth that can be distinguished from that of the living great apes and whether between the end of weaning and the beginning of puberty there was a slow period of growth as there is in modern humans. Evidence for the pace of growth in early fossil hominins comes from preserved tooth microstructure. A record of incremental growth in enamel and dentine persists, which allows us to reconstruct tooth growth and compare key measures of dental maturation with modern humans and living great apes. Despite their diverse diets and way of life, it is currently difficult to identify any clear differences in the timing of dental development among living great apes, australopiths and the earliest hominins attributed to the genus Homo There is, however, limited evidence that some early hominins may have attained a greater proportion of their body mass and stature relatively earlier in the growth period than is typical of modern humans today.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298465

  15. Brief Communication: Shape analysis of the MT 1 proximal articular surface in fossil hominins and shod and unshod Homo.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Daniel J

    2010-12-01

    As a follow-up study to Proctor et al. (Am J Phys Anthropol 135 (2008) 216-224), this study quantifies the first metatarsal proximal articular surface using three-dimensional morphometrics to test for differences in articular surface shape between habitually shod and habitually unshod humans. In addition, differences in shape between Homo, Pan, Gorilla, and Hylobates are compared to the fossil hominin specimens A. L. 333-54, Stw 562, Stw 573 ("Little Foot"), OH 8, SKX 5017, and SK 1813. No difference in surface shape was found between habitually shod and habitually unshod