The Sciences

Daily Data Dump (Wednesday)

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanMay 12, 2010 6:55 PM

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Ancient DNA set to rewrite human history. Good overview by Rex Dalton at Nature. I assume he knows more than he's letting on, so a bit of Kremlinology: "In March, the group reported the mitochondrial DNA sequence from this individual, an unknown hominin that, so far, does not genetically match either Neanderthals or H. sapiens and may represent a new species. The team dated the bone to about 40,000 years ago, but others say that the sediments around the bone may be as old as 100,000 years. There is speculation that the bone could be the remains of an older species of Homo, perhaps even of a remnant population of Homo heidelbergensis, known in Europe from 300,000 to 500,000 years ago, or of Homo erectus, found as early as 1.8 million years ago from Africa to Indonesia. A full sequence may help to resolve this." I think we'll know a lot more about X-woman and how she relates to us in the near future. State IQ estimates (2009). Again, proximity to the Canadian border is a boon. Neanderthals'r'us? A paleoanthropologist's view. He claims that the genetics is finally aligning with the fossils. The Neandertal fraction. John Hawks explains what it means to say that 1-4% of non-African ancestry is Neandertal when we always talk about how we're 98-99% identical to chimpanzees. This came up in the comments but I didn't address it because a little thought makes this pretty obvious, but now you can read John Hawks' explanation if you need a boost. Below is a video of the assault on a Swedish artist who drew Muhammad as a dog. He was at a university event celebrating free speech. People are shouting"Allahu Akbar!" Charming.

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