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How About Some Tasty Woolly Rhinoceros for Dinner?

The plaque DNA showed he had consumed poplar bark, containing the pain-killing active ingredient of aspirin, and a natural antibiotic mold

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FILE - A museum recreation shows Neanderthals in this undated photo.

Australia, 11 March, 2017: Ancient DNA from dental plaque is revealing intriguing new information about Neanderthals, including specific menu items in their diet such as woolly rhinoceros and wild mushrooms, as well as their use of plant-based medicine to cope with pain and illness.

Scientists said on Wednesday they genetically analyzed plaque from 48,000-year-old Neanderthal remains from Spain and 36,000-year-old remains from Belgium. The plaque, material that forms on and between teeth, contained food particles as well as microbes from the mouth and the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.

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At Belgium’s Spy Cave site, which at the time was a hilly grassy environment home to big game, the Neanderthal diet was meat-based with woolly rhinoceros and wild sheep, along with wild mushrooms. Some 12,000 years earlier, at Spain’s El Sidron Cave site, which was a densely forested environment likely lacking large animals, the diet was wild mushrooms, pine nuts, moss and tree bark, with no sign of meat.

The two populations apparently lived different lifestyles shaped by their environments, the researchers said.

The researchers found that an adolescent male from the Spanish site had a painful dental abscess and an intestinal parasite that causes severe diarrhea. The plaque DNA showed he had consumed poplar bark, containing the pain-killing active ingredient of aspirin, and a natural antibiotic mold.

“This study really gives us a glimpse of what was in a Neanderthal’s medicine cabinet,” said paleomicrobiologist Laura Weyrich of Australia’s University of Adelaide, lead author of the study published in the journal Nature.

The findings added to the growing body of knowledge about Neanderthals, the closest extinct relative of our species, Homo Sapiens, and further debunked the outdated notion of them as humankind’s dimwitted cousins.

“I definitely believe our research suggests Neanderthals were highly capable, intelligent, likely friendly beings. We really need to rewrite the history books about their ‘caveman-like’ behaviors. They were very human-like behaviors,” Weyrich said.

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The robust, large-browed Neanderthals prospered across Europe and Asia from about 350,000 years ago until going extinct roughly 35,000 years ago after our species, which first appeared in Africa 200,000 years ago, established itself in regions where Neanderthals lived.

Scientists say Neanderthals were intelligent, with complex hunting methods, probable use of spoken language and symbolic objects, and sophisticated fire usage.

The researchers also reconstructed the genome of a 48,000-year-old oral bacterium from one of the Neanderthals.

“This is the oldest microbial genome to date, by about 43,000 years,” Weyrich said. (VOA)

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Signs of Generosity are declining worldwide but Africa continues to grow more generous: World Giving Index

World Giving Index is an annual report published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)

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In this Nov. 19, 2014 photo, a boy receives rice from a novice Buddhist monk near Mahar Aung Myae monastery in Hlaing Thaya, northwest of Yangon, Myanmar. Monks in the desperately poor neighborhood combine whatever food they received during morning alms into a giant pot and redistribute it to the less fortunate.
In this Nov. 19, 2014 photo, a boy receives rice from a novice Buddhist monk near Mahar Aung Myae monastery in Hlaing Thaya, northwest of Yangon, Myanmar. Monks in the desperately poor neighborhood combine whatever food they received during morning alms into a giant pot and redistribute it to the less fortunate. VOA
  • The score is a combined measure of respondents in 139 countries who were asked whether they had given money to a good cause, volunteered their time and helped a stranger
  • Globally, donating money and helping a stranger fell by nearly 2 percent
  • Myanmar held the top position of the World Giving Index as the most generous country

New York, USA, September 6, 2017: The world’s poorest continent continued to grow more generous according to a yearly index of charitable giving called World Giving Index released on Tuesday, bucking the trend of otherwise declining signs of charity worldwide.

Africa was in a 2016 survey the only continent to report a continent-wide increase of its index generosity score when compared to its five-year average.

The score is a combined measure of respondents in 139 countries who were asked whether they had given money to a good cause, volunteered their time and helped a stranger.

“Despite the many challenges our continent is facing, it is encouraging to see that generosity continues to grow,” said Gill Bates, Southern Africa’s CEO for the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) that commissioned the poll.

Numbers for donating money dip

But globally, donating money and helping a stranger fell by nearly 2 percent, while volunteering dropped about 1 percent, the index showed.

From the United States to Switzerland and Singapore to Denmark, the index showed that the planet’s 10 richest countries by GDP per capita, for which data was available, saw declines in their generosity index score.

Myanmar leads the world

Myanmar, for the fourth consecutive year, held the top position of the World Giving Index as the most generous country.

Nine in ten of those surveyed in the Southeast Asian nation said they had donated money during the previous month.

Indonesia ranked second on the combined measure of generosity, overtaking the United States which held that position in last year’s index.

Big jump for Kenya

A star performer, CAF said, was the East African nation of Kenya, which jumped from twelfth to third place in a single year.

Yemen, the Middle East’s poorest country, which has been grappling with the effects of civil war ranked bottom of the World Giving Index.

The index is primarily based on data from a global poll of 146,000 respondents by market research firm Gallup. (VOA)

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Young Girls in Africa Undergo Breast Ironing to Curtail Rape and Male Gaze

The girls in Africa have to go through unbearable pain during the process of ‘breast ironing’, the purpose of which they are unaware at the delicate age

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Young girls in Africa undergo Breast Ironing to curtail rape and male gaze
Psychosocial workers help rape survivors. Wikimedia Commons

August 08, 2017: How brave is the world we live in – Just Imagine! They have come up with a solution to battle with increasing rapes – “Breast Ironing“, undoubtedly the most sickening thing ever. We always cry and shout that “RAPE” should be stopped. How does one ask for it? By changing minds, by treating women as equal counterparts, and by not misusing them in illicit activities. Nevertheless, in Africa, mothers are doing breast ironing of their daughter to save them from rape and to curtail salacious activities. Women are suffering either this way or that way. In Africa, people find it right because it will save young girls from sexual harassment and the male gaze.

What is ‘Breast Ironing’? 

It is a method of crushing and flattening young girl’s developing chest. The girls have to go through unbearable pain during the process of ‘breast ironing’, the purpose of which they are unaware at the delicate age. The rationale being- people will not look at their childish appearance and there will be no point of premarital pregnancy, rape attempts, and other licentious activities etc. In the process of crushing their chest, large stones and a hammer is been heated over the hot coals and is used to compress the breast tissue, so that women will look younger than her age

What’s more heart wrenching is that their mothers think it’s the only right thing to do. “Breast ironing is a well-kept secret between the young girl and her mother. Often the father remains completely unaware. The girl believes that what her mother is doing is for her own good and she keeps silent. This silence perpetuates the phenomenon and all of its consequences”, mentioned in TOPYAPS.

This practice is condemned in many parts of the world, however, fortunately, a year ago many people cornered and whined about this practice. It is truly disturbing to feel that something like will spare ladies from assault. Breast ironing is unquestionably painful and it also causes problems like cancer, itching, breast infections, discharge of milk, and tissue damage.

This method is so painful that women have started to feel disgusted and they refuse to touch their breasts. Women in Africa also hate their bodies, which is even more depressing.

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Presently, steps are being taken to stop this heinous practice. They’ve been shown that breasts are made by God and they are not filthy. They are a piece of the human body, and ought to be acknowledged. The men should control their thirst and should keep out of mischief.

There are numerous associations that are progressing to spread awareness concerning the matter. A London-based charity Women’s and Girl’s Development Organization and the Association of Aunties are spreading awareness.

The practice ought to be ceased on the grounds that it’s not sparing lives, but rather it is harming ladies’ body to an ever increasing extent.

 


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Researchers from Germany give new explanation to the extinction of Neanderthals

A new study by German researchers claim to have figured out why really our ancestors went extinct

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Homo Sapiens
Neanderthal. Wikimedia

August 07, 2012: Early modern humans and Neanderthals shared a similar diet – consisting mainly of mammoth and plants – and also competed for food which led to their downfall, new research has claimed.

“According to our results, Neanderthals and the early modern humans were in direct competition in regard to their diet, as well — and it appears that the Neanderthals drew the short straw in this contest,” said Dorothee Drucker, biogeologist from the University of Tubingen in Germany.

Also Read: Was Human Evolution an Accidental Progression?

The first representatives of Homo sapiens colonized Europe around 43,000 years ago, replacing the Neanderthals there approximately 3,000 years later.

“Many studies examine the question of what led to this displacement — one hypothesis postulates that the diet of the anatomically modern humans was more diverse and flexible and often included fish,” added Herve Bocherens from the University of Tubingen.

Previous research suggested that early modern humans had a more varied diet than the Neanderthals. They fished for their food, did hunting and gathering across the plains.

However, the new study showed that our ancestors rarely ate fish but preferred a diet very similar to that of the Neanderthals.

Importantly, the proportion of plants in the diet of the anatomically modern humans was significantly higher than in Neanderthals – mammoths, on the other hand, appeared to have been one of the primary sources of meat in both species.

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The findings showed that just like the Neanderthals, early modern humans or our ancestors had mainly mammoth and plants on their plates, creating a battle for food that Neanderthals lost, the researchers said.

For the study, appearing in the journal Scientific Reports, the team researched on the dietary habits of early modern man on the basis of the oldest known fossils from the Buran Kaya caves on the Crimean Peninsula in the Ukraine.

They measured the percentage of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the bones of the early humans and the locally present potential prey animals such as Saiga, horse, and deer.

“The results revealed a very high proportion of the nitrogen isotope 15N in early modern humans, which originate but primarily from the consumption of mammoths,” Bocherens noted. (IANS)