Thursday, November 21, 2013

We've always loved the ones we were with

He met a young girl who suited him nice
He went to his papa to ask his advice
His papa said, "Son, I have to say no
That girl is your sister but your mama don't know"

A week went by and the summer came down
And soon another girl on the island, he found
He went to his papa to name the day
His papa shook his head and this time he did say

"You can't marry this girl, I have to say no
That girl is your aunty but your granny don't know

He met a young girl who suited him nice
He went to his papa to ask his advice
His papa said, "Son, I have to say no
That girl is your sister but your mama don't know"

Now, he went to his mama and covered his head
He told his mama what his papa had said
His mama, she laughed, she said, "Go man, go
Your daddy ain't your daddy but your daddy don't know"

Hey, woe is me, shame and scandal in the family
Hey, woe is me, shame and scandal in the family


Ancient bones point to Native Americans' twin ancestry
In the "Out of Africa" theory, Homo sapiens left their ancestral home in east Africa around 50,000 years ago, heading north, west and south. Their East Asian descendants eventually crossed from Sibera to Alaska, island-hopping across the frozen Bering Strait, around 15,000 years ago.

Thus began human settlement of modern-day North America, according to this thinking.

But a new study suggests this human odyssey is rather more complex, and just as compelling. Against all expectations, DNA teased from the bones of a child who lived in Siberia 24,000 years ago shows that the forerunners of Native Americans can also be traced to western Eurasia, or on the western boundaries of Asia.

"The result came as a complete surprise to us," said Eske Willerslev, a professor at the Centre for GeoGenetics in Denmark, who led the probe. Who would have thought that present-day Native Americans, who we learned in school derive from East Asians, share recent evolutionary history with western Eurasians?"
Mystery humans spiced up ancients’ rampant sex lives
The ancient genomes, one from a Neanderthal and one from a different archaic human group, the Denisovans, were presented on 18 November at a meeting at the Royal Society in London. They suggest that interbreeding went on between the members of several ancient human-like groups living in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago, including an as-yet unknown human ancestor from Asia.

“What it begins to suggest is that we’re looking at a ‘Lord of the Rings’-type world — that there were many hominid populations,” says Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London who was at the meeting but was not involved in the work.

All humans whose ancestry originates outside of Africa owe about 2% of their genome to Neanderthals; and certain populations living in Oceania, such as Papua New Guineans and Australian Aboriginals, got about 4% of their DNA from interbreeding between their ancestors and Denisovans, who are named after the cave in Siberia’s Altai Mountains where they were discovered. The cave contains remains deposited there between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago.

The meeting was abuzz with conjecture about the identity of this potentially new population of humans. “We don’t have the faintest idea,” says Chris Stringer, a paleoanthropologist at the London Natural History Museum, who was not involved in the work.
Perhaps you've had that date?

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