Tag Archives: Humans

Skull find in Ethiopia yields new clues on how humans evolved

Skull find in Ethiopia yields new clues on how humans evolvedA “remarkably complete” 3.8-million-year-old skull of an early human has been unearthed in Ethiopia, scientists announced Wednesday, a discovery that has the potential to alter our understanding of human evolution. The skull, known as “MRD”, was discovered not far from the younger Lucy — the ancient ancestor of modern humans — and shows that the two species may have co-existed for about 100,000 years. “This skull is one of the most complete fossils of hominids more than 3 million years old,” said Yohannes Haile-Selassie, the renowned Ethiopian paleoanthropologist of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History who is a co-author of two studies published Wednesday in the journal Nature.



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Young bear was fed by humans and had many 'fans.' Officials say they had to kill it

Young bear was fed by humans and had many 'fans.' Officials say they had to kill itA young black bear was shot and killed by Oregon officials after becoming so habituated to humans that people reportedly took selfies with it.



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Investigation launched into 'monstrous' claims scientist has genetically edited humans

Investigation launched into 'monstrous' claims scientist has genetically edited humansA Chinese university has launched an investigation into claims that one of its scientists genetically edited human babies, an experiment branded ‘monstrous’ by British academics who called for an immediate global ban. In a YouTube video posted on Monday He Jiankui of the Southern University of Science and Technology, in Shenzhen, said he had altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatment, which had led to the birth of twins earlier this month. He said his goal was to give the babies a natural ability to resist HIV. But the university said that He had been on unpaid leave since February and warned the research – which has not been verified –  was a ‘serious violation of academic ethics and norms.’ A joint statement from a group of 100 scientists in China criticised the project saying it was ‘a great blow’ to the country’s reputation, while researchers in Britain strongly condemned the announcement and one of the inventors of the gene editing technology called for an immediate worldwide ban. Professor Julian Savulescu, an expert in medical ethics from Oxford University, said that in most other countries he would be facing jail. “If true, this experiment is monstrous,” he said. “These healthy babies are being used as genetic guinea pigs. This is genetic Russian Roulette. “It exposes healthy normal children to risks of gene editing for no real necessary benefit and contravenes decades on ethical consensus and guidelines on the protection of human participants in research. In many other places in the world, this would be illegal punishable by imprisonment.” How Crispr works Dr Sarah Chan of the University of Edinburgh, also described the gene editing as ‘irresponsible, unethical and designed to provoke maximum shock value.’ “Playing with children's health and families' hopes in order to use them as a means for a cheap publicity stunt is nothing short of despicable.” In five videos posted on Monday, He said he had used the gene-editing technology known as Crispr to rewrite the DNA of twin girls and claimed the experiment had "worked safely as intended" saying the girls were "as healthy as any other babies.’ In the videos, the scientist defended his work, saying in one: "I understand my work will be controversial, but I believe families need this technology. And I’m willing to take the criticism for them." Despite providing no evidence or documentation to back up the claims, He said he planned to share data about the trial at a scientific forum this week in Hong Kong and promised his results would be submitted for peer review and published.   However Feng Zhang, one of the inventors of Crispr, called for a global moratorium saying he was ‘deeply concerned’ by the lack of transparency. The issue of genetic editing is deeply controversial. Scientists in Britain and the US have experimented with genetic editing in human embryos but it is currently illegal to implant them. Last September scientists at Sun Yat-sen University used an adapted version of gene-editing to correct a disease-causing mutation in human embryos but they were destroyed after just a few weeks of fertilisation. Dr David King, Director of Human Genetics Alert, said: “If these claims are true, the world has changed – it’s a day that I and many others have dreaded. “But it underscores the need for an immediate global ban on the cloning and genetic engineering of human beings.”



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Saga of early humans etched in DNA of mixed-species child

Saga of early humans etched in DNA of mixed-species childNicknamed by Oxford University scientists, Denisova 11 — her official name — was at least 13 when she died, for reasons unknown. “There was earlier evidence of interbreeding between different hominin, or early human, groups,” said lead author Vivian Slon, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Denny’s surprising pedigree was unlocked from a bone fragment unearthed in 2012 by Russian archeologists at the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia.



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Cow may be biggest mammal if humans keep up extinctions: study

Cow may be biggest mammal if humans keep up extinctions: studyBy Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) – The spread of humans around the world from Africa thousands of years ago wiped out big mammals in a shrinking trend that could make the cow the biggest mammal on Earth in a few centuries’ time, a scientific study said on Thursday. The spread of hominims – early humans and relatives such as Neanderthals – from Africa coincided with the extinction of mammals such as the mammoths, sabre-toothed tiger and glyptodon, an armadillo-like creature the size of a car. “There is a very clear pattern of size-biased extinction that follows the migration of hominims out of Africa,” lead author Felisa Smith of the University of New Mexico told Reuters of the study published in the journal Science.



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EPA's Pruitt Suggests Global Warming May Not Be A 'Bad Thing' For Humans

EPA's Pruitt Suggests Global Warming May Not Be A 'Bad Thing' For HumansScott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, alluded earlier this week that global warming may be beneficial to humans, once again questioning the world’s leading scientists who have declared the phenomenon one of the greatest known threats to humanity.



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Fossil shows modern humans left Africa earlier than thought

Fossil shows modern humans left Africa earlier than thoughtWASHINGTON (AP) — A fossil found in Israel indicates modern humans may have left Africa as much as 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.



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Scientists successfully clone monkeys; are humans up next?

Scientists successfully clone monkeys; are humans up next?NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time, researchers have used the cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep to create healthy monkeys, bringing science an important step closer to being able to do the same with humans.



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White House OKs report warning climate change caused by humans

White House OKs report warning climate change caused by humansThe US government released Friday a major scientific report that says climate change is “extremely likely” to be caused by human activity and will get worse without major cuts to carbon emissions. The findings of the federally mandated report were approved by the White House, even though they are starkly at odds with the position of President Donald Trump, who has labeled global warming a Chinese hoax and named fossil fuel ally Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. The Climate Science Special Report spans more than 600 pages and is part of a larger report known as the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which is being issued in draft form for public comment.



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Trump’s Pick To Head NASA Doesn’t Believe Humans Cause Climate Change

Trump’s Pick To Head NASA Doesn’t Believe Humans Cause Climate ChangePresident Donald Trump has finally made his choice for NASA’s next chief, but the nominee has been met with opposition from scientists and politicians on both sides of the aisle.



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