Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News

 

Stone-Age Hunter Wisdom Tooth Reveals Blue Eyes And Dark, African Skin

Jan 28 2014, 4:09am CST | by

10 Updates
Stone-Age Hunter Wisdom Tooth Reveals Blue Eyes And Dark, African Skin
 
 

Comments

Recommend Your Tweet as Top Tweet:

Full Story

Stone-Age Hunter Wisdom Tooth Reveals Blue Eyes And Dark, African Skin

A stone-age hunter’s wisdom tooth has revealed that he had an unusual mix of racial traits – dark, African skin, curly brown hair and blue eyes.

Preliminary DNA analysis of the 7,000-year-old skeleton, dubbed Brana-1, has overturned ideas about the descent of modern Europeans.

Although the hunter’s closest modern-day relatives live in Sweden and Finland, the genes for his skin colour are African.

Previously, scientists thought that fair skin evolved as people moved to northern latitudes, allowing them to absorb more sunlight for the production of vitamin D.

But Carles Lalueza-Fox of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona thinks it was the later shift to agriculture that was decisive.

Pre-farming humans would have got most of their vitamin D from eating meat, fish and eggs, while early agriculturalists would have relied more on sunlight.

“It seems possible that latitude is not the key factor in skin depigmentation, but diet,” said Dr Lalueza-Fox, the lead author of a paper on the discovery in Nature.

“This guy had to be darker than any modern European, but we don’t know how dark.”

The mutation for blue eyes, a change in the HERC2 gene, is thought to have first appeared around the Black Sea 10,000 years ago and then gradually moved west.

Because the gene is recessive, blue-eyed people must have two copies, one from each parent.

Remains of the hunter and another human were discovered by cavers in Brana-Arintero, a deep, complex cavern in the Cantabrian Mountains near Leon, Spain, in 2006.

The constant cool temperature in the cave, 1,500 metres above sea level, protected the remains from bacteria.

Excavated by Julio Manuel Vidal Encinas, an archaeologist with the Council of Castilla y Leon, they were carbon dated to the Mesolithic era, which in Northwest Europe lasted from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago.

Among artefacts found with them were perforated teeth of red deer that decorated their clothing like beads.

Brana-1, the better preserved of the two sets of remains, was 1.7 metres tall and between 30- and 35-years-old when he died.

“Before we started this work, I had some ideas of what we were going to find,” Dr Lalueza-Fox said. “Most of those ideas turned out to be completely wrong.”

Among them was his immune system.

Previously, scientists thought that farming led to genetic changes to the immune system that helped people deal with infections caught from livestock, including polio and tuberculosis.

But Brana-1 already had these changes, possibly because the diseases, and the genetic defences against them, spread faster than the technology.

“It appears that the first line of defense against pathogens was already there,” says Wolfgang Haak, an ancient DNA researcher at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

On the other hand, genes for processing lactose, the main sugar in milk, or starch, both of which are more common in agricultural diets, were in “ancestral forms”.

Earlier results from the find, based on an analysis of mitochondrial DNA, showed that Brana-1 shared a common ancestor with the 24,000-year-old remains of a Mal’ta child who lived at Lake Baikal in Siberia.

Both are part of the Paleolithic Venus culture, which is identified by small, rounded female figurines.

The researchers hope to extract and analyse DNA from Brana-

2 next.

Source: Forbes

 

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update

Update: 10

MRCB, Nusa Gapurna and PKNS settle suit over RM3 billion PJ Sentral project

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), Nusa Gapurna Development Sdn Bhd (NGD) and PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd have reached an out-of-court settlement over the ownership of the... READ MO ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 21 2014, 2:53am CDT
 


Advertisement


Update: 9

Story behind Syed Mokhtar’s ‘RM2.25 billion tax-exempt’ Bernas deal revealed, says PKR MP

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – An innocuous written reply in Parliament has provided a peek into the cosy relationship between the Najib administration and Malaysia’s best-known businessman, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar... READ MORE ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 15 2014, 12:56pm CDT
 

More From the Web

Update: 8

Constitutional monarchy still murky concept

Source: Malaysia Today

After the RM4.5 billion land sale, the Sultan of Johor secured a 15% stake in MOL Access Portal (MOL) for RM396 million and took a 20% stake ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 14 2014, 12:37am CDT
 

Update: 7

Sultan of Johor’s RM4.5 bil backlash?

Source: Malaysia Today

49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Has Sultan Ibrahim of Johor’s succession of big money deals over the last six months caused the tide of public opinion to turn against Johor’s royal palace? Kin ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 8:49am CDT
 

Update: 6

Putrajaya denies carpet dealer given interest-free loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider Putrajaya today refuted allegations that Bank Rakyat had allowed carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan to repay a RM32 million loan without interest f ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 5:44am CDT
 

Update: 5

Malaysia Spends Over $9 million on MH370 Hunt: Report

Source: NDTV

49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Malaysia has so far spent about RM27.6 million (over $9 million) on search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an of ...
Source: NDTV   Full article at: NDTV Jun 9 2014, 3:12am CDT
 

Update: 4

Bill for Kidex likely to soar to RM3.4b

Source: Malaysia Today

The original RM2.4 billion tag on the proposed highway did not take into account the cost of acquiring the land mostly in the urban areas, claims an assemblywoman Fabian Comelius,... ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 9 2014, 2:51am CDT
 

Update: 3

MACC: No elements of graft in Bank Rakyat’s loan to businessman

Source: Malaysia Today

BET AWARDS '14 - Red Carpet
(Bernama) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) found no elements of corruption in Bank Rakyat’s RM32 million interest free loan to a businessman. MACC in a statement today s ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today May 31 2014, 9:33am CDT
 

Update: 2

IHH Healthcare posts 25% rise in 1Q earnings to $62 mil

Source: The Edge Singapore

IHH Healthcare Berhad announced that revenue grew by 8% y-o-y to RM1.8 billion ($703 million) for 1Q2014 ended March, as earnings grew 25% YoY to RM159.1 ...
Source: The Edge Singapore   Full article at: The Edge Singapore May 29 2014, 11:29am CDT
 

Update: 1

Hasan Malek evades media over RM32 million Bank Rakyat loan scandal

Source: Malaysia Today

Elizabeth Zachariah, The Malaysian Insider The minister embroiled in the RM32 million Bank Rakyat loan scandal refused to take questions from the press today at an event in Kuala Lumpur.... READ MO ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today May 28 2014, 11:42pm CDT
 

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo&#039;s take on the Apple iWatch
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's take on the Apple iWatch
Apple’s sapphire-covered ‘iWatch’ to enter mass production in November
 
 
Nokia Lumia 930 now available in the US for $699.99
Nokia Lumia 930 now available in the US for $699.99
The first third party retailer to sell the phone in the US is Expansys
 
 
iPhone 6 Sapphire Glass Display Gets Run Over By A Car
iPhone 6 Sapphire Glass Display Gets Run Over By A Car
After sailing through 'key and knife' and 'hammer and nail' test, the front of the iPhone 6 finally gave way to the weight of the car
 
 
Axelle Despiegelaere Model Contract Terminated
Axelle Despiegelaere Model Contract Terminated
The cute Belgian Soccer fan that scored a modeling contract after her photo went viral. Now the contract has been terminated - likely because of the Safari hunting photo. Her Facebook page is also gone.