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#299565 - 03/14/17 05:57 PM 400,000 yr-old half-skull points to mystery people
Golem Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 3531
Loc: Orange County, California, USA
Kerry Sheridan
AFP via Yahoo
March 14, 2017

Quote:
The discovery of a 400,000-year-old half skull in Portugal has offered tantalizing hints about a possible ancestor of the Neanderthals, researchers said Monday.

The fossil was unearthed from the Aroeira cave site, and marks the oldest human cranium fossil ever found in Portugal, said the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.

But there is plenty of mystery around the skull. Researchers don't know if it was from a male or female, how the person died, or even what form of early human it was.

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#299570 - 03/14/17 08:29 PM Re: 400,000 yr-old half-skull points to mystery people [Re: Golem]
TatumAH Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 377
Loc: Upstate NY
The understanding of the relationships between modern humans and Neanderthals has been elegantly resolved by the incredible sequencing of the entire genome of 6 Neanderthal genomes. The sequencing is so detailed that it even includes the Histocompatibility loci. Through this analysis it was found that the particular locus that humans share with Neanderthals was picked up by humans, through cross-breeding, (for you bears huggers out there), and retained it as it provided a selective advantage for survival in colder Europe. It provides immune reactivity against such viruses as EBV, that was absent in the previous humans.

And here is a little fun trivia for those genomical and histocompatabiliphiles out there. You know who you are!

Quote:
It has been found that HLA-A*02, A*26/*66, B*07, B*51, C*07:02, and C*16:02 of the immune system were contributed from Neanderthals to modern humans.[20] After migrating out of Africa, modern humans encountered and interbred with archaic humans, which was advantageous for modern humans in rapidly restoring HLA diversity and acquiring new HLA variants that are better adapted to local pathogens.[20]

It has been found that introgressed Neanderthal genes exhibit cis-regulatory effects in modern humans, contributing to the genomic complexity and phenotype variation of modern humans.[21]

DNA sequence of Neanderthals

This sort of DNA genomic analysis will fit this recent skull into the framework of human evolution. This will likely be possible as the skull has teeth, that provide the most stability for ancient DNA with less contamination.
Tat
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#299575 - 03/14/17 09:08 PM Re: 400,000 yr-old half-skull points to mystery people [Re: Golem]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6691
Loc: North San Diego County
Who wouldn't want a Neanderthal mate? They were VERY strong and superb hunters. They were probably very attractive the relatively puny modern humans. The only problem with them is that they needed a lot of food, so when all the mega-fauna died out, they starved to death. Modern humans could survive eating roots and mice.

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