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Humans Nearly Went Extinct 1.2M Years Ago 356

Hugh Pickens writes "Scientific American has a story on researchers from the University of Utah who have calculated that 1.2 million years ago, at a time when our ancestors Homo erectus, H. ergaster, and archaic H. sapiens were spreading through Africa, Europe, and Asia, there were probably only about 18,500 individuals capable of breeding in all these species together (PNAS paper here). Pre-humans were an endangered species with a smaller population than today's gorillas and chimpanzees. Researchers scanned two completely sequenced modern human genomes for a type of mobile element called Alu sequences, then compared the nucleotides in these old regions with the overall diversity in the two genomes to estimate differences in effective population size, and thus genetic diversity between modern and early humans. Human geneticist Lynn Jorde says that the diminished genetic diversity one million years ago suggests human ancestors experienced a catastrophic event at that time as devastating as the Toba super-volcano in Indonesia that triggered a nuclear winter and is thought to have nearly annihilated humans 70,000 years ago."

Comment Re:Waiting for the Acer A1 phone (Score 1) 181

By this way, if most parts of the things invented in the last 4000 years come from Europe or western Asia, like matematics, philosophy or handwriting, we (Europeans and Asians) will be the best in ALL of these domains, forever ?
And, besides Apple, what big mobile phone companys remains in the U.S.A ? Motorola ? What else ?
Oh, one more thing, Apple doesn't really created the usable smartphone, it just re-invent advertisement.
IPhone isn't a cheap device, if you put the same budget in a Nokia, Samsung or HTC you will get the same manufacturing quality, and it was always been right.

First European Commander of the ISS 190

RobGoldsmith writes 'ESA astronaut Frank De Winne became the first European commander of the International Space Station this morning with the departure of Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka who had filled this role since April. De Winne is the first non-American and non-Russian to take on this role. Watch the videos and view images here.'

Comment Re:France just sucks (Score 1) 356

France doesn't suck. The only thing to remember is that, in France, the country does not kill its own citizens. The culture minister isn't a pedophil, he is just gay ... And it's not a crime, here, in Europe. Don't forget that people who said that the culture minister had relations with young Thai boys are from racist politics ...

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