From skeletal remains found among ancient owl pellets, a team of scientists has recovered the first ancient DNA of the extinct West Indian mammal Nesophontes, meaning 'island murder.' They traced its evolutionary history back to the dawn of mammals 70 million years ago. The authors, including Selina Brace, Jessica Thomas, Ian Barnes et al., published their findings in the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution.
The Grolier Codex, an ancient document that is among the rarest books in the world, has been regarded with skepticism since it was reportedly unearthed by looters from a cave in Chiapas, Mexico, in the 1960s. But a meticulous new study of the codex has yielded a startling conclusion: The codex is both genuine and likely the most ancient of all surviving manuscripts from ancient America.
Unique protein markers in hair could be used alongside DNA profiling for human identification, according to a study published Sept. 7, 2016, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Glendon Parker from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, and colleagues.
Thanks to a new, cheap and accurate DNA-editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9, targeted genetic modification in humans is no longer just the realm of science fiction. Both the British and U.S. governments recently gave scientists the thumbs-up to edit DNA in human embryos and adults using CRISPR. In the latest Reactions episode, we explain how CRISPR works, how it is being used today and what the future might bring for this landmark technology: https://youtu.be/5gQGWJraptU.
Geography and ecology are key factors that have influenced the genetic makeup of human groups in southern Africa, according to new research discussed in the journal GENETICS, a publication of the Genetics Society of America. By investigating the ancestries of twenty-two KhoeSan groups, including new samples from the Nama and the ≠Khomani, researchers conclude that the genetic clustering of southern African populations is closely tied to the ecogeography of the Kalahari Desert region.
An international team of researchers studied the mitochondrial DNA and MC1R gene sequences in tissue samples collected from 57 modern feral Hawaiian pigs. They found a novel mutation in all the black-colored pigs which is different to the mutation in European and Asian domestic pigs with black coats. This finding suggests that for thousands of years, humans in different parts of the world have been independently selecting and breeding pigs for their black color.
A multidisciplinary UPV/EHU team made up of researchers from the Department of Geography, Prehistory and Archaeology and from the Department of Stratigraphy and Palaeontology has presented the discovery of the new Artazu VII site located in the Kobate Quarry in Arrasate.
The discovery of a carved stone crocodile by Field Museum archaeologists has provided a key to revising long-held ideas about the ruins of the ancient city of Lambityeco in what is now Oaxaca, Mexico.
Middle Stone Age of southern Africa is a period of dramatic innovation in subsistence, cultural and technical practices. Until now climate change has been considered a primary driver of innovation at the time and place. Researchers from the University of Bergen in Norway have discovered that climate change was not the driving factor of innovation.
Scientists today announced the discovery of a new species of pterosaur from the Patagonia region of South America. The cranial remains were in an excellent state of preservation and belonged to a new species of pterosaur from the Early Jurassic. The researchers have named this new species 'Allkauren koi' from the native Tehuelche word 'all' for 'brain' and 'karuen' for 'ancient.'