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Stefan Schlager, Antonio Profico, Fabio Di Vincenzo, Giorgio Manzi
Many fossil specimens exhibit deformations caused by taphonomic processes. Due to these deformations, even important specimens have to be excluded from morphometric analyses, impoverishing an already poor paleontological record. Techniques to retrodeform and virtually restore damaged (i.e. deformed) specimens are available, but these methods genenerally imply the use of a sparse set of bilateral landmarks, ignoring the fact that the distribution and amount of control points directly affects the result of the retrodeformation...
2018: PloS One
Sharon R Browning, Brian L Browning, Ying Zhou, Serena Tucci, Joshua M Akey
Anatomically modern humans interbred with Neanderthals and with a related archaic population known as Denisovans. Genomes of several Neanderthals and one Denisovan have been sequenced, and these reference genomes have been used to detect introgressed genetic material in present-day human genomes. Segments of introgression also can be detected without use of reference genomes, and doing so can be advantageous for finding introgressed segments that are less closely related to the sequenced archaic genomes. We apply a new reference-free method for detecting archaic introgression to 5,639 whole-genome sequences from Eurasia and Oceania...
March 15, 2018: Cell
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 12, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Kerryn A Warren, Terrence B Ritzman, Robyn A Humphreys, Christopher J Percival, Benedikt Hallgrímsson, Rebecca Rogers Ackermann
Hybridization occurs in a number of mammalian lineages, including among primate taxa. Analyses of ancient genomes have shown that hybridization between our lineage and other archaic hominins in Eurasia occurred numerous times in the past. However, we still have limited empirical data on what a hybrid skeleton looks like, or how to spot patterns of hybridization among fossils for which there are no genetic data. Here we use experimental mouse models to supplement previous studies of primates. We characterize size and shape variation in the cranium and mandible of three wild-derived inbred mouse strains and their first generation (F1 ) hybrids...
March 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Feng Li, Steven L Kuhn, Fuyou Chen, Yinghua Wang, John Southon, Fei Peng, Mingchao Shan, Chunxue Wang, Junyi Ge, Xiaomin Wang, Tala Yun, Xing Gao
The dispersal of Neanderthals and their genetic and cultural interactions with anatomically modern humans and other hominin populations in Eurasia are critical issues in human evolution research. Neither Neanderthal fossils nor typical Mousterian assemblages have been reported in East Asia to date. Here we report on artifact assemblages comparable to western Eurasian Middle Paleolithic (Mousterian) at Jinsitai, a cave site in North China. The lithic industry at Jinsitai appeared at least 47-42 ka and persisted until around 40-37 ka...
January 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
John F Hoffecker
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 12, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Biancamaria Aranguren, Anna Revedin, Nicola Amico, Fabio Cavulli, Gianna Giachi, Stefano Grimaldi, Nicola Macchioni, Fabio Santaniello
Excavations for the construction of thermal pools at Poggetti Vecchi (Grosseto, Tuscany, central Italy) exposed a series of wooden tools in an open-air stratified site referable to late Middle Pleistocene. The wooden artifacts were uncovered, together with stone tools and fossil bones, largely belonging to the straight-tusked elephant Paleoloxodon antiquus The site is radiometrically dated to around 171,000 y B.P., and hence correlated with the early marine isotope stage 6 [Benvenuti M, et al. (2017) Quat Res 88:327-344]...
February 5, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Hester Hanegraef, María Martinón-Torres, Marina Martínez de Pinillos, Laura Martín-Francés, Amélie Vialet, Juan Luis Arsuaga, José María Bermúdez de Castro
OBJECTIVES: This study aims to explore the affinities of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) population in relation to Homo neanderthalensis, Arago, and early and contemporary Homo sapiens. By characterizing SH intra-population variation, we test current models to explain the Neanderthal origins. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three-dimensional reconstructions of dentine surfaces of lower first and second molars were produced by micro-computed tomography. Landmarks and sliding semilandmarks were subjected to generalized Procrustes analysis and principal components analysis...
February 8, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Teesta Naskar, Mohammed Faruq, Priyajit Banerjee, Massarat Khan, Rashi Midha, Renu Kumari, Subhashree Devasenapathy, Bharat Prajapati, Sanghamitra Sengupta, Deepti Jain, Mitali Mukerji, Nandini Chatterjee Singh, Subrata Sinha
Dyslexia is a heritable neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties in reading and writing. In this study, we describe the identification of a set of 17 polymorphisms located across 1.9Mb region on chromosome 5q31.3, encompassing genes of the PCDHG cluster, TAF7, PCDH1 and ARHGAP26, dominantly inherited with dyslexia in a multi-incident family. Strikingly, the non-risk form of seven variations of the PCDHG cluster, are preponderant in the human lineage, while risk alleles are ancestral and conserved across Neanderthals to non-human primates...
January 9, 2018: EBioMedicine
Chee-Wei Yew, Dongsheng Lu, Lian Deng, Lai-Ping Wong, Rick Twee-Hee Ong, Yan Lu, Xiaoji Wang, Yushimah Yunus, Farhang Aghakhanian, Siti Shuhada Mokhtar, Mohammad Zahirul Hoque, Christopher Lok-Yung Voo, Thuhairah Abdul Rahman, Jong Bhak, Maude E Phipps, Shuhua Xu, Yik-Ying Teo, Subbiah Vijay Kumar, Boon-Peng Hoh
Southeast Asia (SEA) is enriched with a complex history of peopling. Malaysia, which is located at the crossroads of SEA, has been recognized as one of the hubs for early human migration. To unravel the genomic complexity of the native inhabitants of Malaysia, we sequenced 12 samples from 3 indigenous populations from Peninsular Malaysia and 4 native populations from North Borneo to a high coverage of 28-37×. We showed that the Negritos from Peninsular Malaysia shared a common ancestor with the East Asians, but exhibited some level of gene flow from South Asia, while the North Borneo populations exhibited closer genetic affinity towards East Asians than the Malays...
January 30, 2018: Human Genetics
Song Xing, Kristian J Carlson, Pianpian Wei, Jianing He, Wu Liu
Background: Regional diversity in the morphology of the H. erectus postcranium is not broadly documented, in part, because of the paucity of Asian sites preserving postcranial fossils. Yet, such an understanding of the initial hominin taxon to spread throughout multiple regions of the world is fundamental to documenting the adaptive responses to selective forces operating during this period of human evolution. Methods: The current study reports the first humeral rigidity and strength properties of East Asian H...
2018: PeerJ
Dana Michelle Cataldo, Andrea Bamberg Migliano, Lucio Vinicius
The 'technological hypothesis' proposes that gestural language evolved in early hominins to enable the cultural transmission of stone tool-making skills, with speech appearing later in response to the complex lithic industries of more recent hominins. However, no flintknapping study has assessed the efficiency of speech alone (unassisted by gesture) as a tool-making transmission aid. Here we show that subjects instructed by speech alone underperform in stone tool-making experiments in comparison to subjects instructed through either gesture alone or 'full language' (gesture plus speech), and also report lower satisfaction with their received instruction...
2018: PloS One
Peter Frost, Karel Kleisner, Jaroslav Flegr
Red hair is associated in women with pain sensitivity. This medical condition, and perhaps others, seems facilitated by the combination of being red-haired and female. We tested this hypothesis by questioning a large sample of Czech and Slovak respondents about the natural redness and darkness of their hair, their natural eye color, their physical and mental health (24 categories), and other personal attributes (height, weight, number of children, lifelong number of sexual partners, frequency of smoking). Red-haired women did worse than other women in ten health categories and better in only three, being particularly prone to colorectal, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer...
2017: PloS One
Lounès Chikhi, Willy Rodríguez, Simona Grusea, Patrícia Santos, Simon Boitard, Olivier Mazet
Several inferential methods using genomic data have been proposed to quantify and date population size changes in the history of species. At the same time an increasing number of studies have shown that population structure can generate spurious signals of population size change. Recently, Mazet et al. (2016) introduced, for a sample size of two, a time-dependent parameter, which they called the IICR (inverse instantaneous coalescence rate). The IICR is equivalent to a population size in panmictic models, but not necessarily in structured models...
January 2018: Heredity
Juan Marín, Palmira Saladié, Antonio Rodríguez-Hidalgo, Eudald Carbonell
Ungulate mortality profiles are commonly used to study Neanderthal subsistence strategies. To assess the hunting strategies used by Neanderthals, we studied the ages at death of the cervids and equids found in levels E, H, I, Ja, Jb, K, L and M of the Abric Romaní sequence. These levels date between 43.2 ± 1.1 ka BP (14C AMS) and 54.5 ± 1.7 ka BP (U-series). The degree of eruption and development of the teeth and their wear stages were used to determine the ages of these animals at death, and mortality profiles were constructed using these data...
2017: PloS One
Kyle E Novakowski, Nicholas V L Yap, Charles Yin, Kaori Sakamoto, Bryan Heit, G Brian Golding, Dawn M E Bowdish
Macrophage Receptor with COllagenous structure (MARCO) is a class A scavenger receptor that binds, phagocytoses, and modifies inflammatory responses to bacterial pathogens. Multiple candidate gene approach studies have shown that polymorphisms in MARCO are associated with susceptibility or resistance to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, but how these variants alter function is not known. To complement candidate gene approach studies, we previously used phylogenetic analyses to identify a residue, glutamine 452 (Q452), within the ligand-binding Scavenger Receptor Cysteine Rich (SRCR) domain as undergoing positive selection in humans...
November 20, 2017: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Oren Kolodny, Marcus W Feldman
Most hypotheses in the heated debate about the Neanderthals' replacement by modern humans highlight the role of environmental pressures or attribute the Neanderthals' demise to competition with modern humans, who occupied the same ecological niche. The latter assume that modern humans benefited from some selective advantage over Neanderthals, which led to the their extinction. Here we show that a scenario of migration and selectively neutral species drift predicts the Neanderthals' replacement. Our model offers a parsimonious alternative to those that invoke external factors or selective advantage, and represents a null hypothesis for assessing such alternatives...
October 31, 2017: Nature Communications
Recep Ozgur Taskent, Nursen Duha Alioglu, Evrim Fer, Handan Melike Donertas, Mehmet Somel, Omer Gokcumen
Neanderthals contributed genetic material to modern humans via multiple admixture events. Initial admixture events presumably occurred in Western Asia shortly after humans migrated out of Africa. Despite being a focal point of admixture, earlier studies indicate lower Neanderthal introgression rates in some Western Asian populations as compared with other Eurasian populations. To better understand the genome-wide and phenotypic impact of Neanderthal introgression in the region, we sequenced whole genomes of nine present-day Europeans, Africans, and the Western Asian Druze at high depth, and analyzed available whole genome data from various other populations, including 16 genomes from present-day Turkey...
December 1, 2017: Genome Biology and Evolution
Joe Yuichiro Wakano, William Gilpin, Seiji Kadowaki, Marcus W Feldman, Kenichi Aoki
Recent archaeological records no longer support a simple dichotomous characterization of the cultures/behaviors of Neanderthals and modern humans, but indicate much cultural/behavioral variability over time and space. Thus, in modeling the replacement or assimilation of Neanderthals by modern humans, it is of interest to consider cultural dynamics and its relation to demographic change. The ecocultural framework for the competition between hominid species allows their carrying capacities to depend on some measure of the levels of culture they possess...
October 12, 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Yuichi I Naito, Yoshito Chikaraishi, Dorothée G Drucker, Naohiko Ohkouchi, Patrick Semal, Christoph Wißing, Hervé Bocherens
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 10, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
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