Very interesting genetic code-news: humans have 3 different lice on our bodies and each evolved seperately from each other but we traded these lice with gorillas and chimpanzees at several key points in our evolution. It also shows when humans began wearing sheep-based clothing.
By NICHOLAS WADE
Published: March 8, 2007
Three kinds of louse call Homo sapiens their home, but each occupies a different niche on the human body. The head louse, Pediculus humanus, lives in the forest of fine hairs on the scalp. Its cousin, the body louse, lives not on the skin but in clothes. And the exclusive territory of the pubic louse, Phthirus pubis, is the coarser hairs of the crotch.
Lice are intimately adapted to their hosts and cannot long survive away from the body’s blood and warmth. If their host evolves into two species, the lice will do likewise. So biologists have long been puzzled over the fact that the human head louse is a sister species to the chimpanzee louse, but the pubic louse is closely related to the gorilla louse.
The number of DNA differences between the gorilla louse and the pubic louse indicates that they diverged some 3.3 million years ago, Dr. Reed and colleagues report in today’s issue of the journal Biomed Central Biology. Among people, the pubic louse is usually spread by sexual contact, but the gorilla louse could have been contracted in some other way.
“We’ll never know if it was sex or something more tame,” Dr. Reed said.
Perish the thought! Humans having sex with other creatures? Um---earth to Dr. Reed: men, just for example, will have sex with a hole in a tree. Ask the tree nymphs. Men will have sex with cows, sheep, dogs, vacuum cleaners, rubber duckies, you name it, someone has had sex with it.
Wome are barely better. We giggle and blush but we will fill with a rush of hot blood if anything gets into our pubic places. Male and female humans are closer in attitude to the bonobos who like to have sex a lot. The idea that some early males in our species ran off and hopped onto the backs of gorilla females is not only not far-fetched but is nearly totally expectable!
Many scientists are scared of what they learn so they act all prudish. I thought, with the sexual revolution started by the Viennese artists and professionals 100 years ago had finally opened our eyes to our own lusts. This reminds me of white slave owners pretending they would never go off and have sex with their male and female slaves!
The ever-lighter skin color of each generation was mysterious. Thomas Jefferson's 'family' to this day are unable to embrace the offspring of the slaves he had sex with back then! Rule of thumb of humans: they will have sex if they can and they really don't give that much a hoot, with whom. Protecting the children is a different matter, though! This is where evolution works: it isn't who eats the most or who has the most sex, it is all about the babies.
The babies that are protected and have desirable traits survive and pass on the genes to the next baby. Thinking of all this as adults fogs the mind. Thinking about evolution as baby-production schemes is better.
I am assuming humanoids had sex with whoever they met if that other party was either willing or unable to fight back. Since gorillas are big and dangerous if irritated and since they are very, very strong and have huge, sharp teeth, I am assuming the sex was mutually desired. Since females are nervous about the dangers of a male killing her, I doubt it was female humanoids initiating sex.
I am also assuming the gorillas who had sex with human males were often females that were in obvious heat. And probably a group of humanoid males used their new-fangled ability to use rocks and sticks creatively to chase off gorilla males seeking sex and then had a fun, gang-bang encounter. Then these guys went back to home base and spread the fun.
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
Social contact helped the Ebola virus virtually wipe out a population of gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, French researchers reported on Monday.
A 2004 outbreak of the virus, which also kills people, killed 97 percent of gorillas who lived in groups and 77 percent of solitary males, Damien Caillaud and colleagues from the University of Montpellier and the University of Rennes in France reported.
Overall, it wiped out 95 percent of the gorilla population within a year, they reported in the journal Current Biology.
It also may shed light on how early humans evolved, they suggested. The findings may show that pre-humans were slow to live in large social groups because disease outbreaks could wipe out those who did.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is one of the most virulent viruses ever seen, killing between 50 percent and 90 percent of victims. The World Health Organization says about 1,850 people have been infected and 1,200 have died since the Ebola virus was discovered in 1976.
WHO and other experts say people probably start outbreaks when they hunt and butcher chimpanzees. The virus is transmitted in blood, tissue and other fluids.
Some of us, cynical as we are, believe that the thing that set humans off from other primates is our tendency towards cannibalism. Chimpanzees are also cannibals as well as eating monkeys. All over the world, where humans live in jungles, they eat monkeys, too. We know that humans and the other primates were nearly wiped out by disease long ago and we all evolved since then with some of the same antibodies even when we were different species.
If people first became nudists 3.3 million years ago, when did they start to wear clothes? Surprisingly, lice once again furnish the answer. Though humans may long have worn loose garments like animal skin cloaks, the first tailored clothing would have been close-fitting enough to tempt the head louse to expand its territory. It evolved a new variety, the body louse, with claws adapted for clinging to fabric, not hairs.
In 2003, Mark Stoneking, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, estimated from DNA differences that the body louse evolved from the head louse about 107,000 years ago.
We really don't know when humans 'went naked.' We have many assumptions about that change. No one can give a sane evolutionary explanation for our lack of long hairs on our bodies. Actually, we do get long hair: when we go into sex mode. The underarm hairs and hairs around the sex organs suddenly becomes quite luxurious and long. On women, it is the underarms but on men, the face itself.
Sexual desire is triggered mostly by the nose. All mammals like to sniff to see if it is time for sex. Large mammals like horses and cows sniff the female's rump to see if she smells ready for sex. If she isn't, she lashes out with vicious kicks.
We do not know when our ancestors began to change the pattern of body-hair cover from its original ape-like form to the modern one. Apes have a lower density of body hair than humans, and their hair is longer than ours. If you look at an orang-utan, you will see that the hair is really quite sparse, but very long and orange – brown in colour. The hair of gorillas and chimpanzees is black, intermediate in density, and intermediate also in length. In man, hair colour varies from pale to dark, and it varies from one part of the body to another. It is characterised by very high density, especially on the head, and is of course extremely short over most of the body, although this varies from place to place, the Ainu of Japan being well known for their long body hair, and the well covered Europeans coming, in many cares, a close second, Africans and of her Asians are the least hairy of humans today.
There is another characteristic of human body fat, which is the sex difference in tat deposition. Women have, at least since the Willendorf Venus and doubtless well before that, accumulated fat around the buttocks and thighs, and on the breasts, to an extent matched neither by other primate species nor by male humans. This fat is of’ the same kind as other body fat. What is responsible for the extra deposits in particular peripheral locations in women? Caroline Pond suggests that sexual selection may be responsible, as well as natural selection. In other words, selection would favour not only fatter women at times of pregnancy and lactation, but also selective mating by males with women with these extra reserves. The buttocks, thighs and breasts may have been the most convenient or least costly places for such storage to occur.
We are the short-haired apes, not the naked apes. And our head hair is much longer than any of the other great apes. We can only guess why this is so. I really wonder if our cannibalistic past has caused some very odd mutations? Few animals are cannibals! Most seek food elsewhere.
I really wonder, going back to the story above about early humans and gorillas sharing the same ticks: humanoids, after they move back into the edges of the jungles, find gorillas. And they figure out, the females will have sex with them when in heat. And a very easy way to get food and sex is to have sex with her and then murder her and eat her! So there is no genetic mixing because there are no babies but the lice end up with the early humanoids!
To this day, men will have sex with women and then kill them. Rape/murder is all too common to be an
aberration. Just the other day, a man murdered the mother of his own children and then he dismembered her body. The cannibal past is so strong, human mothers can and have murdered their own children.
So let's understand that humanoids 3 million years ago were probably barely different from gorillas and chimpanzees in appearance but were radically different in gait and hands that were increasingly dexterious.
Humanity's early ancestors did not walk fully upright, but probably scooted along on their knuckles, much like chimpanzees and gorillas do today.
That is the conclusion drawn by two scientists who studied the wrist bones of Lucy, a hominid known as Australopithecus afarensis, and found that she had stiff wrists.
Probably humanoids and the great apes moved the exact same way until both sides began to evolve differently: humanoid hands, increasingly limber and dexterous and apes, their hands used as crutches to scuffle along the ground at a high speed while the babies (the all-important babies!) rode on mommy's back.
Humanoids sacrificed this easy way of carrying the precious little ones and used their arms instead. One wonders how this happened! Carrying babies is very tricky, they are slippery. So I am assuming the humanoid babies had very dexterous hands for hanging onto mommy's fur which was, at this time, fairly long, not short. I bet, since we have more hairs than any ape, we were the FURRIEST apes, not the naked ape at all!
And the fact that lice love us is proof of this. Small harmonal changes due to mutations can cause super-hairy humans even today. The division between the long hair-genes for the hair versus the short-haired genes in the other places should be explored more intensely.
Perhaps our ability to survive the many hazards of the age of transition was due to being very, very hairy. Not because of the heat but because of the COLD. We evolved in places where the land lies lower than sea level, we are Rift animals. Several times, we spread across the whole of Asia, Africa, Europe. And each time, went nearly extinct!
The eruption of Mt. Toba nearly wiped us out 72,000 years ago. This corresponds with the evolution of the clothing lice: the very few survivors were the ones who could make clothes. These survivors went on to ruthlessly kill any other survivors who were members of the great apes. Only the ones hidden deep in the jungles escaped.
They very rarely stepped into the moat that surrounded their enclosure, only ever doing so if the food which children threw to them fell short. This amounted to only 28 seconds in two hours of focal study (where an individual is tracked non-stop.) But when they did go in it was almost always on two feet, even if the water was shallow enough to go in on all fours. One of the workers there, who had tracked the bonobos every day for two months told me that my observations were no fluke. He had seen individuals go into the water every day and always bipedally. These findings are exactly what the model for a wading origin for bipedalism would predict. Only once were they seen to go in on all fours.
Probably we lost our lengthy hair when the tiny tribe we descended from lived in these rift valley environments in Africa. Namely, it being in the hottest areas, the need for fur at night was no longer a necessity. And fur gets in the way of moving around in water. Long fur on the head would not so it remained.
This is probably when we evolved sweat glands. One might suggest, humanoids are swampy/shoreline animals. Who eat each other. Which explains why our species had to move out of the rift zones and start colonizing all other areas.
IAN JOHNSTONSCIENCE CORRESPONDENT
A MAJOR genetic study of the population of Britain appears to have put an end to the idea of the "Celtic fringe" of Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
Instead, a research team at Oxford University has found the majority of Britons are Celts descended from Spanish tribes who began arriving about 7,000 years ago.
Even in England, about 64 per cent of people are descended from these Celts, outnumbering the descendants of Anglo- Saxons by about three to one.
The proportion of Celts is only slightly higher in Scotland, at 73 per cent. Wales is the most Celtic part of mainland Britain, with 83 per cent.
Previously it was thought that ancient Britons were Celts who came from central Europe, but the genetic connection to populations in Spain provides a scientific basis for part of the ancient Scots' origin myth.
The Declaration of Arbroath of 1320, following the War of Independence against England, tells how the Scots arrived in Scotland after they had "dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes".
HAHAHA. I come from there, and Germany. My family tree has a number of rather violent, ill-tempered, lusty invaders in it. They lived by the sword and swore at meals and raped women. Do note that part of the deal.
The first British people came from Spain, they ate/killed all the Neanderthals. Being irritable humans, they had to go to great lengths to avoid each other so a large group walked over to the British Isles which just then, finally was melting and the ice was going rapidly in the New Springtime.
Later, other groups thought to come there, too. Each one killed a fair number of the natives and then proceeded to do what all invaders do: have sex with the native women, the cattle, the sheep and anything else including holes in trees. Being drunk helps.
The Vikings did this. The Normans, who were half-viking, half-french, did this. Everyone does this. Slave owners did this. Each group mixed it up with the natives. The language and culture changed much more than the genetic drift of the population. The Romans had sex a lot but their culture also was very attractive and spread until the Empire fell. Then is ceased spreading and disappeared while the tribes reverted to previous lifestyles including human sacrifices, etc.
Then the Christians changed the culture. Without killing many people. Nor even having any sex at all.
Each wave did this: the culture proving to be much more maleable than the genetics. And this is what sets the Irish and Scots as well as the Welsh apart from other Brits.
for National Geographic News
March 5, 2007
Viruses and bacteria have sped up the process of evolution by rapidly transferring DNA from one species to another, a new study suggests.
Gene-mapping projects over the past decade have already shown that genes can move between species via tiny microorganisms.
Now a team of scientists at Texas' Rice University believes that microbes are accelerating evolution by constantly transporting whole chunks of DNA that may represent new and beneficial functions—like resistance to disease.
This process—called horizontal gene transfer (HGT)—may allow life-forms to evolve more quickly than they would by occasional, random mutations alone, the scientists say.
"We know that the majority of the DNA in the genomes of some animal and plant species—including humans, mice, wheat and corn—came from HGT insertions," said Michael Deem, a genetic engineer at Rice, in a press statement.
All life forms on earth owe their complexity to the humbler forces of nature. As scientists gleefully play with genetic alterations, we have to be aware that germs and other organisms will return the favor and things will rapidly get out of control. They are splicing human genes into all sorts of plants and animals. This inter-mixing is more dangerous than sex with tree holes. We will see in the wretched end, just how dangerous this alchemy really is.
Evolution, as most scientists understand the process, has been getting faster and more complex over time.
Fossil records indicate that single-celled organisms appeared on Earth some 3.5 billion years ago. It took a further 2.5 billion years for the first multicellular life-forms to evolve.
The two wheels of Evolutions' chariot are genetic change and environmental change and we are driving Her chariot forwards at breakneck speed now.