Popular Modern Human News and Current Events

Popular Modern Human News and Current Events, Modern Human News Articles.
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Wheat myth debunked
Common opinion has it that modern wheat is so reliant on fertiliser and crop protection agrochemicals that the plants now lack the hardiness needed to remain productive under harsher environmental conditions. But comprehensive new research shows that modern wheat varieties out-perform older varieties even when grown under unfavourable conditions that include low agrochemical inputs and drought stress. (2019-06-17)

Some kitchen cabinets can emit potentially harmful compounds
Probably the last place anyone would want to find airborne polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs) is in the kitchen, yet that's exactly where scientists detected their presence, according to a new report in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology. They say that the PCBs, which are widely considered carcinogenic, are unwanted byproducts of sealant breakdown in modern kitchen cabinetry. (2018-04-18)

During infancy, neurons are still finding their places
Researchers have identified a large population of previously unrecognized young neurons that migrate in the human brain during the first few months of life, contributing to the expansion of the frontal lobe, a region important for social behavior and executive function. (2016-10-06)

Research may lead to improvements in water use for crop irrigation
Two papers published in Irrigation and Drainage may help improve estimates of water requirements for crops, which will save water and minimize losses, allowing more land to be irrigated and subsequently more food to be produced. (2017-10-06)

The long memory of the Pacific Ocean
Cold waters that sank in polar regions hundreds of years ago during the Little Ice Age are still impacting deep Pacific Ocean temperature trends. While the deep Pacific temperature trends are small, they represent a large amount of energy in the Earth system. (2019-01-04)

Revising the story of the dispersal of modern humans across Eurasia
Most people are now familiar with the traditional 'Out of Africa' model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research, are revising this story. Recent discoveries show that humans left Africa multiple times prior to 60,000 years ago, and that they interbred with other hominins in many locations across Eurasia. (2017-12-07)

Jurassic pain: Giant 'flea-like' insects plagued dinosaurs 165 million years ago
It takes a gutsy insect to sneak up on a huge dinosaur while it sleeps, crawl onto its soft underbelly and give it a bite that might have felt like a needle going in -- but giant (2012-05-01)

Interdisciplinary approach yields new insights into human evolution
The evolution of human biology should be considered part and parcel with the evolution of humanity itself, proposes Nicole Creanza, assistant professor of biological sciences. She is the guest editor of a new themed issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B that takes an interdisciplinary approach to human evolution. (2018-02-13)

Modern humans interbred with Denisovans twice in history
Modern humans co-existed and interbred not only with Neanderthals, but also with another species of archaic humans, the mysterious Denisovans. Research published March 15 in Cell describes how, while developing a new genome-analysis method for comparing whole genomes between modern human and Denisovan populations, researchers unexpectedly discovered two distinct episodes of Denisovan genetic intermixing, or admixing, between the two. This suggests a more diverse genetic history than previously thought between the Denisovans and modern humans. (2018-03-15)

Osteochondral allograft transplantation effective for certain knee cartilage repairs
Isolated femoral condyle lesions account for 75 percent of the cartilage repair procedures performed in the knee joint, and physicians have a variety of techniques to consider as part of surgical treatment. Osteochondral allograft transplantation (OCA) is a valuable and successful approach for this condition, as described by research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in New Orleans. (2018-03-10)

New insights into the late history of Neandertals
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have sequenced the genomes of five Neandertals that lived between 39,000 and 47,000 years ago. These late Neandertals are all more closely related to the Neandertals that contributed DNA to modern human ancestors than an older Neandertal from the Altai Mountains that was previously sequenced. Their genomes also provide evidence for a turnover in the Neandertal population towards the end of Neandertal history. (2018-03-21)

Recently discovered fossil shows transition of a reptile from life on land to life in the sea
Using modern research tools on a 155-million-year-old reptile fossil, scientists at Johns Hopkins and the American Museum of Natural History report they have filled in some important clues to the evolution of animals that once roamed land and transitioned to life in the water. (2017-12-06)

World's 'better' countries have higher rates of cancer
The world's 'better' countries, with greater access to healthcare, experience much higher rates of cancer incidence than the world's 'worse off' countries, according to new research from the University of Adelaide. (2017-10-11)

The early bird got to fly: Archaeopteryx was an active flyer
The question of whether the Late Jurassic dino-bird Archaeopteryx was an elaborately feathered ground dweller, a glider, or an active flyer has fascinated palaeontologists for decades. Valuable new information obtained with state-of-the-art synchrotron microtomography at the ESRF, the European Synchrotron (Grenoble, France), allowed an international team of scientists to answer this question in Nature Communications. The wing bones of Archaeopteryx were shaped for incidental active flight, but not for the advanced style of flying mastered by today's birds. (2018-03-13)

The scientists from MSU developed a basis for highly sensitive gas sensors
A team from the Faculty of Physics of Lomonosov Moscow State University suggested using porous silicon nanowire arrays in highly sensitive gas sensors. These devices will be able to detect the presence of toxic and non-toxic gas molecules in the air at room temperature. The results of the study were published in Physica Status Solidi A: Applications and Materials Science journal. (2017-12-26)

The fate of Neanderthal genes
The Neanderthals disappeared about 30,000 years ago, but little pieces of them live on in the form of DNA sequences scattered through the modern human genome. A new study by geneticists at UC Davis, shows why these traces of our closest relatives are slowly being removed by natural selection. (2016-11-08)

Six decades of cosmology
In a recent paper published in EPJ H, Jayant V. Narlikar, professor emeritus at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, India, shares his personal reminiscences of the evolution of the subject of cosmology over six decades. He tells of the increase in our confidence in the standard model of cosmology to the extent that it has become a dogma. (2018-02-28)

What teeth reveal about the lives of modern humans
When anthropologists of the future find our fossilized teeth, what will they be able to conclude about our lives? Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg has an idea. (2017-01-09)

Oldest evaporite deposit to date provides unique look into early Earth's atmosphere
An analysis of salt mineral sediments, or evaporites, from the oldest deposit of this type discovered to date provides a unique window on the atmospheric conditions of early Earth following the Great Oxidation Event 2.3 billion years ago. (2018-03-22)

Bones show prehistoric women's intensive manual labor during advent of agriculture
Comparisons of bone strength between prehistoric women and living female athletes demonstrate that prehistoric women performed rigorous manual labor for thousands of years in central Europe at levels exceeding those of modern women. (2017-11-29)

New depth limit for deep-sea marine burrows
Scientists have found fossil evidence of deep-sea marine life burrowing up to eight metres below the seabed -- four times the previously observed depth for modern deep-sea life. (2018-01-10)

Neanderthals' lack of drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques
Visual imagery used in drawing regulates arm movements in manner similar to how hunters visualize the arc of a spear. (2018-02-08)

Paleontologists put the bite on an ancient reptile from New England
Scientists have identified a new species of reptile from prehistoric Connecticut and, boy, does it have a mouth on it. Named Colobops noviportensis, the creature lived 200 million years ago and had exceptionally large jaw muscles -- setting it apart from other reptiles at the time. Even compared to the wide diversity of reptile species today, Colobops noviportensis had quite the bite. (2018-03-23)

Historical cooling periods are still playing out in the deep Pacific
Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harvard University have found that the deep Pacific Ocean lags a few centuries behind in terms of temperature and is still adjusting to the advent of the Little Ice Age. Whereas most of the ocean is responding to modern warming, the deep Pacific may be cooling. (2019-01-04)

Turtle shells help decode complex links between modern, fossil species
A new study by Florida Museum of Natural History researcher Natasha Vitek shows how scientists can use animals' physical features -- also known as morphology -- to make connections between a modern species and its fossilized relatives, even if they look strikingly different. (2018-03-28)

Revealed by a multidisciplinary effort: History of maize domestication not what we thought
The domestication of maize, a process which began in what is now central Mexico nearly 9,000 years ago, was far more complex and nuanced than once previously thought, a new study finds. The results of an analysis of the ancient grain's genetic heritage reveals southwestern Amazonia as a secondary improvement center for early maize. (2018-12-13)

A new technology for producing nano-hydroxyapatite developed by Lobachevsky University chemists
Today, deterioration of human health is one of the most pressing problems that modern medicine is facing. First of all, it concerns the widespread degradation of hard tissues -- bones and teeth. To solve this problem, it is necessary to create medical materials capable of restoring the structure of hard tissues. The chemical basis of such materials is provided by hydroxyapatite, an inorganic compound, which is one of the main components of bones and teeth. (2017-12-12)

Remains of earliest modern human outside of Africa unearthed in Israel
A jawbone complete with teeth recently discovered at Israel's Misliya cave by Tel Aviv University and University of Haifa researchers has now been dated to 177,000-194,000 years ago. The finding indicates that modern humans were present in the Levant at least 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. (2018-01-25)

How much can 252-million-year-old ecosystems tell us about modern Earth? A lot.
New paleontological research shows that during the late Permian, the equator was dry and desert-like, yet surprisingly a hotspot for biodiversity. Similarly to modern rainforests, equator ecosystems were home a unique diversity of species, including those both anciently and newly evolved. After the late Permian extinction, this diversity was decimated, and the climate change event that triggered an extinction back then is informative as we move forward with protecting our planet's species diversity. (2017-12-11)

Cyberbullying rarely occurs in isolation, research finds
Cyberbullying is mostly an extension of playground bullying -- and doesn't create large numbers of new victims -- according to research from the University of Warwick. (2017-03-07)

What fluffy bunnies can tell us about domestication: It didn't go the way you think
It turns out that nobody knows when rabbits were domesticated. Despite a well-cited story of the domestic bunny's origins, a review published on Feb. 14 in Trends in Ecology and Evolution finds that historical and archaeological records and genetic methods all suggest different timeframes for its domestication. But the researchers involved in the study don't think this puzzle is a dead end. Instead, they believe it's an indication that domestication happens on a continuum. (2018-02-14)

Studying DNA of ancient humans from Morocco reveals ancestral surprises
After sequencing DNA in bone matter of several 15,000-year-old humans from North Africa, a region critical for understanding human history but one in which it has been challenging to connect genetic dots, researchers report a notable lack of relatedness to ancient Europeans, in their specimens - a finding that rules out hypotheses of gene flow from southern Europe into northern Africa at a particular time. (2018-03-15)

DNA adds twist to ancient story of a Native American group
The American Journal of Human Genetics published the findings, which draw from the first population-level nuclear DNA analysis of a Native American group from ancient to modern times. (2018-04-30)

Modern humans emerged more than 300,000 years ago new study suggests
A genomic analysis of ancient human remains from KwaZulu-Natal revealed that southern Africa has an important role to play in writing the history of humankind. A research team from Uppsala University, Sweden, the Universities of Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand, South Africa, presents their results in the Sept. 28 early online issue of Science. (2017-09-28)

Iron Age breeding practices likely influenced lack of stallion lineages in modern horses
Selective breeding just before and during the Iron Age nearly 3,000 years ago is likely the reason for the lack of variability in modern domestic horses' paternally inherited DNA, a trait unique among livestock animals. (2018-04-18)

Modern logging techniques benefit rainforest wildlife
New research has highlighted the value of a modern logging technique for maintaining biodiversity in tropical forests that are used for timber production. (2015-02-27)

Study challenges evolution of FOXP2 as human-specific language gene
FOXP2, a gene implicated in affecting speech and language, is held up as a textbook example of positive selection on a human-specific trait. But in a paper published Aug. 2 in the journal Cell, researchers challenge this finding. Their analysis of genetic data from a diverse sample of modern people and Neanderthals saw no evidence for recent, human-specific selection of FOXP2 and revises the history of how we think humans acquired language. (2018-08-02)

Every grain of rice: Ancient rice DNA data provides new view of domestication history
Now, using new data collected samples of ancient, carbonized rice, a team of Japanese and Chinese scientists have successfully determined DNA sequences to make the first comparisons between modern and ancient rice. In the process, they've become among the first research groups to successfully glean DNA information from ancient cereal crop analysis--not an easy feat. They have new findings suggesting that indica rice was historically cultivated in East Asia or imported to East Asia, which go against generally held assumptions. (2016-07-26)

Evolution purged many Neanderthal genes from human genome
Neanderthal genetic material is found in only small amounts in the genomes of modern humans because, after interbreeding, natural selection removed large numbers of weakly deleterious Neanderthal gene variants, according to a study by Ivan Juric and colleagues at the University of California, Davis, published Nov. 8, 2016, in PLOS Genetics. (2016-11-08)

Fossilised plant leaf wax provides new tool for understanding ancient climates
New research, published in Scientific Reports, has outlined a new methodology for estimating ancient atmospheric water content based on fossil plant leaf waxes. (2018-03-02)

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