Was this ancient person from China the offspring of modern humans and Neandertals?

When scientists excavated a 40,000-year-old skeleton in China in 2003, they thought they had discovered the offspring of a Neandertal and a modern human. But ancient DNA now reveals that the “Tianyuan Man” has only traces of Neandertal DNA and none detectable from another type of extinct human known as a Denisovan. Instead, he was a full-fledged member of our species, Homo sapiens, and a distant relative of people who today live in East Asia and South America. The work could help scientists retrace some of the earliest steps of human migration.

“The paper is very exciting because it is the first genome to fill a really big gap, both geographically and temporally, in East Asia,” says paleogeneticist Pontus Skoglund of Harvard Medical School in Boston, who was not involved in the work.

Read Article:  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/10/was-ancient-person-china-offspring-modern-humans-and-neandertals

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Irish beach washed away 33 years ago reappears overnight

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(by Henry McDonald, The Guardian, May 8, 2017) – An Irish beach that disappeared more than 30 years ago has returned to an island off the County Mayo coast.

The sand at Dooagh, Achill Island, was washed away by storms in 1984, leaving only rocks and rock pools.

But after a freak tide around Easter this year, hundreds of tons of sand were deposited around the area where the beach once stood, recreating the old 300-metre stretch of golden sand.

Sean Molloy, manager at Achill Tourism, said local people were delighted to have the beach back.

Read Article:  https://www.studentnewsdaily.com/blog/human-interest-news-stories/irish-beach-reappears-overnight/

Peter Dinklage urges ‘Game of Thrones’ fans to stop buying huskies just because they look like direwolves

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Huskies may be the closest you can get to adding a “Game of Thrones” direwolf to your family outside of Westeros, but think twice before adopting a look-alike on a whim, says show star Peter Dinklage.

Dinklage — who plays Tyrion Lannister on the hit HBO series — teamed up with PETA to address an alarming trend among fans who have been adopting huskies thanks to their resemblance to direwolves, only to abandon the canines once the novelty wears off.

“Not only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters, but shelters are also reporting that many of these huskies are being abandoned — as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse, without understanding their needs,” Dinklage said in statement released by the animal rights organization.

Read Article:  http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/peter-dinklage-asks-fans-stop-buying-direwolf-like-huskies-article-1.3413739