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Neanderthal genome tells a human story

first_imgA preliminary draft of the genome of the Neanderthal, our closest evolutionary relative, reveals in exquisite detail how this long-extinct member of the Homo genus relates to modern humans.The work for the project was carried out in two phases. In the first phase, scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany extracted a genome’s worth of DNA from bonesapproximately 40,000 years old, taken from a cave in Croatia. In the second phase, an international consortium analyzed the data to study how Neanderthals are related genetically to modern humans. A key analysis — led by Harvard Medical School (HMS) associate professor of genetics David Reich — revealed that Neanderthals interbred with ancestors of modern Europeans and Asians, but not Africans.“Europeans and East Asians today bear a closer relationship to Neanderthals than do Africans,” says Reich. “One to four percent of the genomes of non-Africans trace their ancestry to Neanderthals. Europeans and Asians both have this signal, indicating that the gene flow occurred at least 45,000 years ago, before these two populations’ ancestors separated.”These findings are published in the May 6 issue of Science.From ancient ancestors . . .Neanderthals, who became extinct roughly 30,000 years ago for unknown reasons, and who diverged from modern human ancestors 270,000-440,000 years ago, have long been a subject of intense speculation. They are the closest population in the fossil record to anatomically modern humans, yet they are clearly distinct in terms of their physical structure.Neanderthals had bigger faces than we do, with more barrel-shaped chests and shorter limbs, and were most likely better adapted to colder climates. Their brains, despite being a bit longer with possibly smaller temporal lobes, were generally the same size as ours.The fossil record shows that modern humans and Neanderthals overlapped geographically for tens of thousands of years in Europe and Asia. From this evidence springs the obvious question: Did the two species intermingle and pool their genes?. . . to distant cousinsFor more than a decade, a group of researchers led by Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute has been attempting to obtain sequences from the Neanderthal genome using pill-sized samples of powder extracted from bone fragments. This type of work is often thwarted by sample contamination (the majority of DNA extracted in such experiments turns out to come from microbes, or from a hapless laboratory technician). However, the researchers increased the purity of their samples by taking advantage of technological advances that could both detect and filter out contamination of the genetic material.The result was a reconstruction of more than 4 billion base pairs of DNA assembled from a variety of cells. This total represents roughly 60 percent of the Neanderthal genome.An international team of geneticists led by David Reich then studied how Neanderthals and modern humans are related by comparing this new genomic data to five present-day humans from far-flung regions of the world. Reich and his colleagues discovered that roughly one to four percent of the genomes of all non-African modern humans are directly descended from the Neanderthal. What’s more, these modern groups all appear equally related to their “distant” cousins.One explanation for this uniform genetic distribution is that interbreeding occurred at the gateway of the migration of modern humans out of Africa in the upper Paleolithic period, roughly 45,000 years ago. From points in Northern Africa—that is, modern-day countries such as Libya and Egypt—modern humans dispersed throughout Europe and East Asia.“That’s not the only explanation, but it’s the most likely one,” says Reich.As far as the researchers can tell, this small percentage of inherited DNA is random. There is no evidence that it is associated with specific traits.According to Harvard University professor of human evolutionary biology Daniel Lieberman, who was not involved with the study, we shouldn’t be terribly surprised at this evidence of interbreeding. “I do not think this in any way lessens the evidence that Neanderthals and modern humans were indeed separate species. Closely related species often do interbreed to a limited extent.”Clearly, the data is a treasure trove for future study. “There is a tremendous amount of yet untapped information in this genome,” says Reich, “and we’re going to bespending many more decades getting closer to what it all means.”last_img read more

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Michael Owen makes his predictions for Arsenal and Chelsea’s Premier League clashes

first_imgMichael Owen makes his predictions for Arsenal and Chelsea’s Premier League clashes Comment Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 15 Oct 2019 10:20 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2kShares Advertisement Michael Owen has made his predictions for Arsenal and Chelsea’s matches (Picture: Getty)Michael Owen has backed Sheffield United to take points off Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday night.Sheffield United drew with bottom-placed Watford before the international break and sit 13th in the table, just two points off the relegation zone.Despite their recent poor run of form, though, ex-Liverpool and England striker Owen has praised Chris Wilder’s defence and claims the Blades were ‘unlucky’ not to draw with Liverpool at the end of last month.The Gunners have also looked assured at the back in their last four matches and Owen believes the points will be shared at Bramall Lane.ADVERTISEMENT Advertisement Sheffield United have impressed Owen this season (Picture: Getty)Speaking to BetVictor, Owen said: ‘Sheffield United have failed to score in their last three games in all competitions but they were, arguably, unlucky not to pick up a point against Liverpool in their last home game.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘Arsenal have only conceded once in their last four games in all competitions, but I would not be surprised if the Gunners had to settle for a point at Bramall Lane on Monday.‘Chris Wilder’s side have not lost by more than one goal in the league so far this campaign and I think they will get a draw against the Gunners.’What will the result be at Bramall Lane?Arsenal win0%Draw0%Sheffield United win0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityChelsea have won their last four matches in all competitions and Owen predicts Frank Lampard’s young side will extend this run against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.‘Newcastle were outstanding against a poor Manchester United side at St James’ Park in their last game and thoroughly deserved the points, although I think they will do well to keep this exciting young Chelsea side at arm’s length at Stamford Bridge,’ he said.‘Chelsea have won their last four games in all competitions and look full of goals at present.‘Frank Lampard’s side have come a long way in a short space of time since their heavy opening-weekend defeat at Old Trafford.’What will the result be at Stamford Bridge?Chelsea win0%Draw0%Newcastle win0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Juventus director speaks out amid rumours Mario Mandzukic is set to join Manchester Unitedlast_img read more

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Harmanpreet Kaur to lead India in Women’s T20 WC

first_imgMumbai: Star India all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the 15-member India squad at the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup with Bengal’s rookie batswoman Richa Ghosh being the only new face in the team. The Women in Blue will kick-off their campaign at the showpiece event against hosts Australia in Sydney on February 21. Meanwhile, after some back to back consistent show, young batting sensation Shafali Verma will also be a part of the India squad which will also mark her first appearance in an ICC event. India are placed in Group A along with hosts Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh while Group B comprises England, South Africa, the West Indies, Pakistan and Thailand.The Hemlata Kala-lead All-India Women’s Selection Committee also announced a 16-member squad for a tri-series in Australia prior to the T20 World Cup. Nuzhat Parveen has been included in the squad as the 16th member for the series which will feature England beside India and Australia. India will take on England in the tri-series opener Manuka Oval in Canberra on January 31 with the final slated to be held on February 12. IANSAlso Read: Harleen Deol replaces Harmanpreet Kaur in Indian womens ODI squadAlso Watch: Protesters, who walked all the way from Tinsukia-Guwahati to protest against CAA 2019, Detained!last_img read more

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Justyn Knight and Paige Stoner look to lead Syracuse cross country to success at NCAA Championships

first_img Published on November 17, 2017 at 9:37 am Contact KJ: [email protected] | @KJEdelman Facebook Twitter Google+ Competing in their final collegiate cross-country meets, Paige Stoner and Justyn Knight hope to help Syracuse find success at the NCAA Championships on Nov. 18 in Louisville, Kentucky. After an at-large selection gave the women’s team an opportunity to compete in its eighth championship meet in 10 years, the team is in a “fun position,” Stoner said, leading up to NCAA Championships.“No one really has expectations for us,” Stoner said.Going into her final meet for SU, Stoner wants to improve on her second-place finish at the Northeast Regionals on Nov. 10 in Buffalo. Though she hasn’t competed in a NCAA Championships meet, Stoner could place higher than any other woman in program history, coach Chris Fox said. For that to happen, she would have to place inside the top 20. Stoner pointed towards staying calm and running with teammate Shannon Malone as keys to the race. If she wants to fulfill her end goal of becoming an All-American, she needs to do that and more, she said. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They have two great leaders in Paige and Shannon,” Fox said. “If they match their performance at regionals, they are gonna place around 20th.”Knight, meanwhile, has been through this process before. This is his fourth and final NCAA championship meet. Victory has eluded Knight the past three seasons, but his experience will be vital this time around, he said. “I’m going in with the mindset that I’ve been there, done that,” Knight said.For the men’s team to win its second NCAA title in three years, every runner needs to have their best day, Fox said. Syracuse has a good chance to contend with top programs like Northern Arizona and BYU because the team has had only one disappointing meet this season, Knight said, meaning the Nuttycombe Invitation in Wisconsin. Syracuse is no stranger to E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park, the site of their 2015 NCAA Championships victory. The fact that the team has won there before, including the ACC Championships on Oct. 27, gives Syracuse an advantage, Knight said. “It’s an emotional bump for us,” Fox said.After a season start that was delayed from competing in the IAAF track world championships through mid-August, Knight knows he has experience that many others don’t from running on a worldwide stage. “I had a good finish at world championships,” Knight said. “Hopefully I can go two for two.” Commentslast_img read more

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Chisholm Trail Wild West Days offering Cowboy Poetry Contest

first_imgBy Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow —  With the Chisholm Trail Wild West Days approaching on April 26-27 at the Wellington High School, there will be many fun-filled activities for the Cowboy and the cowboy at heart. One of events is the Cowbow Poetry Contest.For the first time, the 2013 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest will have qualifying rounds around Kansas, one of those during Wild, Wild West Days so that more Kansans can enjoy and participate in this unique form of expression. The process will culminate on Friday, June 14, when the finals of the third state-wide Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest will be held in Alma in conjunction with the Symphony in the Flint Hills.The expanded contest is being held with support from the Kansas Arts Foundation and in partnership with the Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association. Qualifying rounds will be held around the state, encouraging participation from all corners. Entrants MUST qualify at one of the following events to compete at this contest: Chisholm Trail Wild West Days, Wellington, Kansas – April 26 – 28, 2013; Echoes of the Trail, Fort Scott, Kansas – June 7-9, 2013; or Dodge City, with details to be announced.The Final Round of the Contest will take place at the St. John’s Lutheran Memorial Hall (218 Kansas, Alma), with the contest beginning at 7 p.m. There will be two divisions: serious and humorous poetry. The event is free and open to the public. All are encouraged to attend and participate.As the honorary chair of the Symphony in the Flint Hills, Governor Brownback will be signing the winning certificates of the Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest and the grand prize will be the Governor’s Buckle. The award is titled the Saddlejack Bradrick Kansas Cowboy Poetry Award.The first place competitors in each division will receive the coveted Governor’s Buckle. A Champion will be named in each division, receiving two tickets to the Symphony in the Flint Hills where they will receive recognition from Kansas Governor, Sam Brownback and will be asked to recite their work again in the Patron’s Tent at the Symphony in the Flint Hills.“We are honored to be among the first grant recipients from the Kansas Arts Foundation,” said poetry contest chair Ron Wilson, Poet Lariat. “Their support makes it possible to extend our participation across the state so more Kansans can participate. We encourage folks to enter the contests or to just come out and enjoy them.”For information or to enter, go to cowboypoetrycontest.com or contact chair Ron Wilson, Poet Lariat at [email protected] or Abby Amick, Wabaunsee County Economic Development, 785-765-4655, [email protected] Members include: Jeff Davidson, President, Kansas Chapter of Western Music Association from Greenwood County; Brad Hamilton, Western Entertainer from Hoyt; Geff Dawson, accomplished cowboy poet and entertainer from the Alma area, and Trey Allen, Winner of the 2011 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest.For more information about the Chisholm Trail Wild West Days just click here: http://www.chisholmtrailwildwestdays.com/ Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comment (1) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +2 Vote up Vote down Billy · 384 weeks ago Do entrants have to be the type of cowboys in the picture? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Report Reply 0 replies · active 384 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

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