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Ancient hominins & humans: new findings and insights

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by Hrothbern, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Chieftain

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    Purpose of the thread is to be able to post all kinds of interesting info matching with the title.

    "In saliva, scientists have found hints that a "ghost" species of archaic humans may have contributed genetic material to ancestors of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa today.
    The research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that sexual rendezvous between different archaic human species may not have been unusual.
    Past studies have concluded that the forebears of modern humans in Asia and Europe interbred with other early hominin species, including Neanderthals and Denisovans. The new research is among more recent genetic analyses indicating that ancient Africans also had trysts with other early hominins"



    "Given the rate that genes mutate during the course of evolution, the team calculated that the ancestors of people who carry the Sub-Saharan MUC7 variant interbred with another ancient human species as recently as 150,000 years ago, after the two species' evolutionary path diverged from each other some 1.5 to 2 million years ago"



    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-saliva-clues-ghost-species-ancient.html#jCp
     
  2. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Chieftain

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    Research suggests that some Neandertaler DNA in humans promotes better visual-spatial and handiness abilities at the expense of social skills.
    The NIMH being interested because of the autistic spectrum.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170726091541.htm

    "Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have produced the first direct evidence that parts of our brains implicated in mental disorders may be shaped by a "residual echo" from our ancient past. The more a person's genome carries genetic vestiges of Neanderthals, the more certain parts of his or her brain and skull resemble those of humans' evolutionary cousins that went extinct 40,000 years ago, says NIMH's Karen Berman, M.D. NIMH is part of the National Institutes of Health".
     
  3. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    That's interesting, but that would suggest that autism is a accident of breeding with Neanderthals and is thus far far older than we think. It wouldn't answer why there has been a massive surge in cases in the last 20 years, other than better reporting, as you'd expect that to have been bred out of us in the last 30,000 years or so.
     
  4. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Chieftain

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    Not only better reporting, but perhaps also better awareness leading to "coming out of the closet" like gay people in the last half century ?

    Bill Gates and Newton are considered as Asperger.
    It could also be that human diversity including "specialists" from A-spectrum, was advantageous..... or better described, became advantageous when technology advancements were an evolutionary advantage for tribes.
    Which would mean that A-spectrum becomes a positive feature for our gene-pool and a mixed bag for individuals.

    This Neandertaler handiness/better toolmaking in the article was kind of a surprise. Normally A-spectrum people are considered to have motor impairments. It matches however with two schoolfriends of mine, both asperger high-functioning, one exhausted already after an hour social contact, having both excellent fine motor skills.

    I think A-spectrum features (for some disorders) are still at the level of psychology during the time of Freud, and we have much to learn.
     
  5. MilesGregarius

    MilesGregarius Half-baked Renegade

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    Genetic traits also become more noticeable/pronounced under different environmental conditions.
     
  6. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Warlord

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    There were studies about 20-30 years ago that showed that desert-dwelling
    Australian Aborigines had excellent visio-spatial and "mapping" skills, and much
    better than other cultures.

    I'm doubt that is mostly due to genetics. IMO it is more likely to do with
    language/culture.

    Knowing where you are, and where everyone else in your group are, is crucial in
    a harsh desert environment. (Inuit would face similar difficulties in polar
    wildernesses.)

    In many, if not most Aboriginal languages, directions are given relative to the
    speaker. There is no universal North-West, for example. Instead it would be, to
    keep the western example, North-West relative to the direction in which the
    speaker is facing.

    Aborigines use "songlines" as maps with which to navigate their own territory,
    and also across much greater distances.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songline

    I think there is something inherently very beautiful in the notion of songlines.
     
  7. yoyoyojinjo

    yoyoyojinjo Chieftain

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    if you have fine motor skills you're not autistic yyou're. it just makes you a jerk wanting a special name
     
  8. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Chieftain

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    Well most of my family, including myself, have the A-syndrome. Not that that was officially established for my father and a couple of his brothers, or my own elder brother, who has real nice fine motor skills.
    But it is as Asperger professional established for both my daughters, with IQ's of 137 and 139, and the oldest has extreme well fine motor skills.

    A-syndrome has litlle to do with special jerks, and imo everything to do with a whole area of poorly understood features of people that are wired differently.
     
  9. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Is Gates really autistic? I think that autism has to include forming very consciously (ie non intuitively) some tie to external stuff, no? I mean the very term comes from 'self' (eautos). Ie it is not just a type of pronounced introversion (as in schizoid personality).

    Not sure about mathematicians, or scientists, but in the arts most known artists were rather schizoid instead of autistic. Not sure if anyone was autistic there, tbh. (granted, it is far easier to be socially shielded if you are a mathematician, than if you are a writer or even painter).
     
  10. yoyoyojinjo

    yoyoyojinjo Chieftain

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    Then if your are all functiong normaly then you are not all autistic. everbody is diffiferent but you people want a special name for your difference to throw in all our faces.
     
  11. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Moderator Action: This is not acceptable behaviour for CFC. Just as we cannot provide psychiatric or medical advice to our posters, you should not go around telling people what conditions they may or may not have, especially to their faces.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  12. saladincruz

    saladincruz Chieftain

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    There is a particular doctor who is well-known in the local autism community, for being the “go-to” guy when you can’t get anyone else to confirm that your child has autism. (Hear alarm bells going off already?) I’ve personally heard and seen his name recommended to others in that capacity. It should not be surprising then that I recently came across a very confused and upset parent, who was told by this doctor that her son has autism, when she sees no convincing evidence of it in her son at all. She’s attended seminars and such like after the diagnosis, and though all the other parents around her showed agreement and recognition of the autistic traits spoken of, in their own children, she found no such recognition about her own son. Needless to say, she’s decided to seek a second opinion (and on her description of her son’s behaviour, I think that is a wise course of action). This doctor has also apparently shared the opinion that all gifted children have Aspergers, so if you were to take your gifted child to him, chances are pretty good you’re walking out of there with a diagnosis of autism too. This same doctor is also known for being a bit too fond of medicating children, where other pediatricians are far more reluctant to fall back on medicating the young. He’s not cheap either, if you don’t approach him through the public system.

    Moderator Action: Your sad devotion to multiple accounts has not conjured up the desired effect. Take a week off to consider your activity here. ~ Arakhor
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2017
    Birdjaguar likes this.
  13. yoyoyojinjo

    yoyoyojinjo Chieftain

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    • PDMA is not permissable.
    Of course what i meant is that hrothbern's description of his autism was puzzling considering that he described it as being without impaired motor skills. Yet the official description of autism defines it as including impaired motor skills.

    Moderator Action: Not only is PDMA forbidden under any circumstances, so is being a double-login. ~ Arakhor
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2017
  14. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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  15. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Chieftain

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    That's why I gave that example, to show that the often listed effects of autism and asperger, have clear exceptions. The example I gave ofc anecdotical, but for me facts.

    To the following post of @saladincruz :
    I can only agree. This labelling with autism or asperger is often not to the benefit of the children (people) labelled. And all kinds of food regimes, medicins are too easily recommended. You are imo more a kind of guinea pig there for the pharma industry.
    (I had BTW 2 independent professional opinions during the time my kids were at primary school + later on a third one of the girlfriend of an old schoolfriend, being a professional expert. The school teachers were of the opinion that they were backward, which caused the IQ tests to be taken. They felt ashamed afterwards: good for their learning curve and the next kids that are "different")

    As my own opinion: yes, the intuitive connection does work differently, and trying to be in communication, the conscious mind can go in overdrive to compensate, whereby the body language still suffers. Many people grow out of it and many other can mask it to a varying degree (females better than male).

    I hope we can all agree that autism is a basket for social symptoms, and there is still a lot more to understand here in terms of causality, to the benefit of the children, the people that are "different" in the way they interact.

    A bit back on topic of the evolution of hominins, and to underpin the complexity of autism:
    • The finding reported in 2017: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170726091541.htm
      "Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have produced the first direct evidence that parts of our brains implicated in mental disorders may be shaped by a "residual echo" from our ancient past. The more a person's genome carries genetic vestiges of Neanderthals, the more certain parts of his or her brain and skull resemble those of humans' evolutionary cousins that went extinct 40,000 years ago, says NIMH's Karen Berman, M.D. NIMH is part of the National Institutes of Health". Might some of us, more than others, harbor Neanderthal-derived gene variants that may bias our brains toward trading sociability for visuospatial prowess -- or vice versa? The new study adds support to this possibility by showing how these gene variants influence the structure of brain regions underlying those abilities.
    • A finding of 2016 reported in Nature that: In the new study, researchers determined that this structure, located at a region on chromosome 16 designated 16p11.2, first appeared in our ancestral genome about 280,000 years ago, shortly before modern humans, Homo sapiens, emerged. This organization is not seen in any other primate – not chimps, gorillas, orangutans nor the genomes of our closest relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans. Yet today, despite the fact that the structure is a relatively new genetic change, it is found in genomes of humans the world over. However, when both strands of a segment of DNA are flanked by highly identical sequences, they can be susceptible to large copy-number differences, including deletion, duplication and other changes, during the process of cell division. In this case, deletion, which causes the loss of the segment's 28 genes, results in autism. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-08-human-neanderthal-gene-variance-involved-inautism.html
    This looks like already two separate sources of autism (for different kinds of autism ?!). The Neandertal genes a kind of trade-off. The Homo Sapiens 16p11.2 looks (so far) more like a loss of capabilities, but more research will tell us more on that.
    And how many more DNA factors will be found, how many more kinds of wiring, with or without benefits will be found.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  16. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Chieftain

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    While researching staple food of the ancient Egyptians I stumbled on Chufa, also known as tiger nut or earth almond, and a remarkable finding of an 2014 article that suggests that it was likely the main food of Paranthropus boisei.
    And yes... the old Egyptians did consume Chufa.

    Chufa is a very healthy kind of food, with little anti-nutrients like gluten or lecrtins, a low glycemic index, and in fact a very good replacement for grain etc for people having diabetes 2 or people wanting to avoid blood sugar spikes.
    Current peparation of Chufa, besides as snack, involves boiling to soften or grinding to chufameal. Paranthropus boisei did not used those methods and that put a high strain on his jaws.

    "Paranthropus boisei, an early hominin that lived in East Africa between 2.3 and 1.2 million years ago, mainly ate tiger-nuts – edible bulbous tubers of the sedge Cyperus esculentus (also known as nut grass, chufa sedge, yellow nutsedge or earth almond), according to a new study involving modern-day baboons. The study, conducted by Oxford University scientist Dr Gabriele Macho, suggests that this hominin may have sought additional nourishment from fruits and invertebrates, like worms and grasshoppers"
    "In order to digest the tiger-nuts and allow the enzymes in the saliva to break down the starches, Paranthropus boisei would need to chew the tiger-nuts for a long time. All this chewing put considerable strain on the jaws and teeth, which explains why the hominin had such a distinctive cranial anatomy"
    "Paranthropus boisei could extract sufficient nutrients from a tiger-nut-based diet, i.e. around 10,000 kilojoules (2,000 calories) a day – or 80 percent of their required daily calorie intake, in 2.5 to 3 hours. This fits comfortably within the foraging time of five to six hours per day typical for a large-bodied primate"

    http://www.sci-news.com/otherscienc...paranthropus-boisei-tiger-nut-diet-01680.html

    What I like about this finding is that food technolgy was important for a long evolutionary life time of this species.
    (Not the classic "easy" suggestions about more muscle and weapon techs)
     
  17. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Chieftain

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    A little jigsaw piece added to the oldest native Americans

    From: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180103132639.htm

     

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