Tag Archives: #chimpanzees

Why Chinese Look Like Chinese? Indians Look like Indians?…… Well, I Have An Answer (Biology)

Did we look different from each other, right from the past..?? Today by just looking at faces we can differentiate if the person belongs to China, India, Russia etc.. But what if I say, we all look same in the past.. Yeah its true, there were no countries, no religion, no discrimination, no hate.. We used to live with each other happily like a family.. Wanna know lets travel back 3 lakh years before..

We all used to live in Africa at that time. The environment was warm and naturally rich. We all looked same. Our only objective was ‘survival’. As one couldn’t able to survive alone, we used to live and hunt in groups and stay at one place. Earth was actually the heaven at that time as there were no racism. And yeah, our ancestors prefer grass bedding to create comfortable areas for sleeping and working on, at least 2 lakh years ago.

These beds consisting of sheaves of grass of the broad-leafed Panicoideae subfamily were placed near the back of the cave on ash layers. The layers of ash was used to protect our ancestors against crawling insects while sleeping. Our ancestors also used hot springs as a cooking resource to boil fresh kills, long before humans are thought to have used fire as a controlled source for cooking.

But around 1.3 lakh years before, an interglacial period changed everything. Climate of the earth started increasing rapidly and this started melting icy routes which goes out of Africa. So, some of our ancestors decided to migrate to other countries, while others decided to stay in Africa. Our migrating ancestors took only required food with them, while shared remaining with others. This act of kindness we call today, ‘Law of Sharing’.

Out of Africa, our ancestors went to levantine regions first and started spreading to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Turkey.. And just after 1000 years, some of them migrated towards europe and asia. And for 40000 years, our ancestors had spread to India and China. And that’s how 4 human raeces born.

Do you know, that 4 human races? They are white/Caucasian, Mongoloid/Asian, Negroid/Black, and Australoid. According to darwin theory of evolution, Indians are the mixture of Caucasian, australiazoid and mongoloid. North India people have more caucasoin genes, South India have more Australiazoid genes. While, North East have mongoloid genes..

But what about china? Well friends, they all belongs to mongolian races. But the question is, why they have small eyes and flat faces. Friends, its not because god created them like this, that was the gift given to them by evolution through natural selection. Yeah friends, when they came to siberia from africa. It was necessary to protect eyes from snow blindness and natural selection given them low exposure eyes i.e. squinty eyes, to protect them against it..

But what about their flat facial features? You know well about the siberia’s extreme cold temperatures. In order to survive such extreme cold temperatures it is necessary to prevent heat loss. So, natural selection bought changes in their facial features and had given them extra face fat. It also helped them to eat icy-meats. Epicanthel fold is also believed to have evolved in them in order to provide defense from the extreme cold and extreme light that occur in Eurasian arctic and northern regions.

But what about Europeans? How they got their pale colour? Ancestors who were migrated to northern latitudes often don’t get enough UV to synthesize vitamin D in their skin so natural selection has favored two genetic solutions to that problem—evolving pale skin that absorbs UV more efficiently or favoring lactose tolerance to be able to digest the sugars and vitamin D naturally found in milk. That’s why we look different from each other. Share it as much as you can and make people aware of truth.. Because knowledge can only save this beautiful world from ‘destruction’ which may cause from ‘discrimination’..

You can read more about the evolution of human face on the article given below:

https://theuncoverreality.wordpress.com/2020/10/05/why-your-face-looks-different-from-a-chimps-biology/

Copyright of this article totally belongs to uncover reality.. Author of this article is S. Aman.. One is allowed to use it only by giving proper credit to author and to us.

Cognitive Elements of Language Have Existed for 40 Million Years (Language)

Humans are not the only beings that can identify rules in complex language-like constructions – monkeys and great apes can do so, too, a study at the University of Zurich has shown. Researchers at the Department of Comparative Language Science of UZH used a series of experiments based on an ‘artificial grammar’ to conclude that this ability can be traced back to our ancient primate ancestors.

The chimpanzees learned that certain sounds were always followed by other specific sounds, even if they were sometimes separated by other acoustic signals. (Image: Istock.com/Juanmonino)

Language is one of the most powerful tools available to humankind, as it enables us to share information, culture, views and technology. “Research into language evolution is thus crucial if we want to understand what it means to be human,” says Stuart Watson, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Comparative Language Science of the University of Zurich. Until now, however, little research has been conducted about how this unique communication system came to be.

Identifying connections between words
An international team led by Professor Simon Townsend at the Department of Comparative Language Science of the University of Zurich has now shed new light on the evolutionary origins of language. Their study examines one of the most important cognitive elements needed for language processing – that is, the ability to understand the relationship between the words in a phrase, even if they are separated by other parts of the phrase, known as a “non-adjacent dependency”. For example, we know that in the sentence “the dog that bit the cat ran away”, it is the dog who ran away, not the cat, even though there are several other words in between the two phrases. A comparison between apes, monkeys and and humans has now shown that the ability to identify such non-adjacent dependencies is likely to have developed as far back as 40 million years ago.

Acoustic signals instead of words

The researchers used a novel approach in their experiments: They invented an artificial grammar, where sequences are formed by combining different sounds rather than words. This enabled the researchers to compare the ability of three different species of primates to process non-adjacent dependencies, even though they do not share the same communication system. The experiments were carried out with common marmosets – a monkey native to Brazil – at the University of Zurich, chimpanzees (University of Texas) and humans (Osnabrück University).

Mistakes followed by telltale looks
First, the researchers taught their test subjects to understand the artificial grammar in several practice sessions. The subjects learned that certain sounds were always followed by other specific sounds (e.g. sound ‘B’ always follows sound ‘A’), even if they were sometimes separated by other acoustic signals (e.g. ‘A’ and ‘B’ are separated by ‘X’). This simulates a pattern in human language, where, for example, we expect a noun (e.g. “dog”) to be followed by a verb (e.g. “ran away”), regardless of any other phrasal parts in between (e.g. “that bit the cat”).

In the actual experiments that followed, the researchers played sound combinations that violated the previously learned rules. In these cases, the common marmosets and chimpanzees responded with an observable change of behavior; they looked at the loudspeaker emitting the sounds for about twice as long as they did towards familiar combinations of sounds. For the researchers, this was an indication of surprise in the animals caused by noticing a ‘grammatical error’. The human test subjects were asked directly whether they believed the sound sequences were correct or wrong.

Common origin of language

“The results show that all three species share the ability to process non-adjacent dependencies. It is therefore likely that this ability is widespread among primates,” says Townsend. “This suggests that this crucial element of language already existed in our most recent common ancestors with these species.” Since marmosets branched off from humanity’s ancestors around 40 million years ago, this crucial cognitive skill thus developed many million years before human language evolved.

References: Stuart K. Watson, Judith M. Burkart, Steven J. Schapiro, Susan P. Lambeth, Jutta L. Mueller and Simon W. Townsend. Non-adjacent dependency processing in monkeys, apes and humans. Science Advances, 21, vol. 6, no. 43. October 2020. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb0725

Provided by University of Zurich

“Genomic Rosetta Stone” For Discovering The Rules Of Gene Regulation (Biology)

As early as 1975, biologists discovered that the protein-coding parts of the chimpanzee and human genomes are more than 99 percent identical. Yet, chimpanzees and humans are clearly different in significant ways. Why?

©Caltech

The answer lies in the fact that how DNA is used is as important as what it says. That is, the genes that make up a genome are not always being used; they can be turned on or off or dialed up or down over time, and they interact with one another in complex ways. Some genes encode instructions for producing specific proteins and others encode information about regulating other genes.

Now, researchers in the laboratory of Rob Phillips, the Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biology and Biophysics, have developed a new tool for determining how various genes in the common bacterium Escherichia coli are regulated. Though E. coli has been used as a model organism in biology and bioengineering for decades, researchers understand the regulatory behavior of only about 35 percent of its genes. The new method from the Phillips laboratory sheds light on how nearly 100 previously uncharacterized genes are regulated and lays the foundation for studying many others.

A paper describing the new technique appears in the journal eLife.

Imagine you could read the alphabet and punctuation of some new language, but you could not understand what individual words meant or any of the rules of grammar. You could read a book and recognize each letter you read without having any comprehension of what a sentence or paragraph was saying. This is analogous to the challenge faced by biologists in the modern genomic era: Sequencing an organism’s genome is now rapid and straightforward, but actually understanding how each gene is regulated is much more difficult. An understanding of gene regulation is key to understanding health and disease, and is important if we are to one day repurpose cells so they can do things that we have designed them to do.

“We’ve developed a general tool that researchers could use on nearly any microbial organism,” says Phillips. “Our dream is that someone like Victoria Orphan [James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science and Geobiology] could go down to the ocean floor and come back with some never-before-seen bacterium, and we could use our tool on it to determine not only the sequence of its genome but how it is regulated.”

In the new method, researchers make systematic perturbations to the genome, and see what happens. Essentially, the equivalent of typographical errors are made in the genome, and the impact of those typos on cellular function is observed. For example, if you replace the letter “k” in the word “walk” with the letter “x” to make “walx,” the intent of the original word is still fairly clear. This is not the case if you swap the letter “w” for a “t” to produce “talk.” This suggests that the letter “w” carries important information about the meaning of the original word.

In the same way, making changes to a genome using the DNA alphabet allows researchers to figure out which letters are most important for the correct “meaning.”

To validate their method, Phillips and colleagues first examined 20 particular E. coli genes that researchers already knew how to turn off and on. Their method correctly characterized these 20 genes. Next, the team moved on to 80 other, less-understood genes to understand how they work as well.

For now, the method has only been used on bacterial cells, but ultimately Phillips envisions being able to examine eukaryotic cells (such as human cells), which are more complex, with a modified version of the method.

“This was a decade-long project supported by the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, and required a sustained hard effort and funding,” says Phillips. “This is the kind of project where there are no quick results.”

The paper is titled “Deciphering the regulatory genome of Escherichia coli, one hundred promoters at a time.” The study’s first author is former graduate students Nathan Belliveau (PhD ’18 and Nicholas McCarty (MS ’20); Michael Sweredoski and Annie Moradian, senior bioinformatician and senior lab manager, respectively, of the Proteome Exploration Laboratory; and Justin Kinney of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

References: William T. Ireland et al., “Deciphering the regulatory genome of Escherichia coli, one hundred promoters at a time”, Physics and Living systems, 2020 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.55308 link: https://elifesciences.org/articles/55308

Provided by Caltech

Chimpanzees Can Suffer For Life Like Humans, If Orphaned Before Adulthood (Biology)

Humans are unusual among animals for continuing to provision and care for their offspring until adulthood. This “prolonged dependency” is considered key for the evolution of other notable human traits, such as large brains, complex societies, and extended post-reproductive lifespans. Prolonged dependency must therefore have evolved under conditions in which reproductive success is gained with parental investment and diminished with early parental loss. Catherine Crockford and colleagues tested this idea using data from wild chimpanzees, which have similarly extended immature years as humans and prolonged mother-offspring associations. They found that males who lost their mothers after weaning but before maturity began reproducing later and had lower average reproductive success.

A chimpanzee mother’s presence and support throughout the prolonged childhood years allow their offspring time to learn the skills they need to survive in adulthood. Credit: Liran Samuni, Tai Chimpanzee Project

Major theories in human evolution argue that parents continuing to provide food to their offspring until they have grown up has enabled our species to have the largest brains of any species on the planet relative to our body size. Brains are expensive tissue and grow slowly leading to long childhoods. Ongoing parental care through long childhoods allow children time to learn the skills they need to survive in adulthood. Such long childhoods are rare across animals, equaled only by other great apes, like chimpanzees.

Chimpanzees may have long childhoods, but mothers rarely directly provide them with food after ages four to five years when they are weaned. Mostly mothers let their offspring forage for themselves. So then what do chimpanzee mothers provide their sons that gives them a competitive edge over orphaned sons? We do not yet know the answer but scientists do have some ideas.

One idea is that mothers know where to find the best food and how to use tools to extract hidden and very nutritious foods, like insects, honey and nuts. Offspring gradually learn these skills through their infant and juvenile years. Researchers can speculate that one reason offspring continue to travel and feed close to their mothers every day until they are teenagers, is that watching their mothers helps them to learn. Acquiring skills which enable them to eat more nutritious foods may be why great apes can afford much bigger brains relative to their body size than other primates.

Another idea is that mothers pass on social skills. Again a bit like humans, chimpanzees live in a complex social world of alliances and competition. It might be that they learn through watching their mothers when to build alliances and when to fight.

References: Catherine Crockford, Liran Samuni, Linda Vigilant and Roman M. Wittig, “Postweaning maternal care increases male chimpanzee reproductive success”, Science Advances, 2020, Vol. 6, no. 38, eaaz5746 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz5746 link: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/38/eaaz5746