jawbone

Earliest Human Species Possibly Found in Ethiopia

An ancient jawbone fragment is the oldest human fossil discovered yet, a bone potentially from a new species that reveals the human family may have arose a half million years earlier than previously thought, researchers say.

This find also sheds light on the kind of landscape where humans first originated, scientists added.

Although modern humans are the only human lineage alive today, other human species once roamed the Earth. These extinct lineages were members of the genus Homo just as modern humans are.

For decades, scientists have been searching Africa for signs of the earliest phases of the human family, during the shift from more apelike Australopithecus species to more human early Homo species. Until now, the earliest credible fossil evidence of the genus Homo was dated to about 2.3 million or 2.4 million years ago. Read more.

Genetic analysis of 40,000-year-old jawbone reveals early modern humans interbred with Neandertals

In 2002, archaeologists discovered the jawbone of a human who lived in Europe about 40,000 years ago. Geneticists have now analyzed ancient DNA from that jawbone and learned that it belonged to a modern human whose recent ancestors included Neanderthals.

Neanderthals lived in Europe until about 35,000 years ago, disappearing at the same time modern humans were spreading across the continent. The new study, co-led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator David Reich at Harvard Medical School and Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, provides the first genetic evidence that humans interbred with Neanderthals in Europe. The scientists reported their findings in the June 22, 2015, issue of the journal Nature.

“We know that before 45,000 years ago, the only humans in Europe were Neanderthals. After 35,000 years ago, the only humans in Europe were modern humans. Read more.

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The Jawbone feature called “Smart Coach” on the UP MOVE app is a great benefit of using this fitness tracker. The “Smart Coach” feature I use most often tells me how many steps I take in a 24-hour period. I live in New York City and I do a lot of walking every day. The UP MOVE calculated that some days I take over 20,000 steps, which is equivalent to 13 miles! The UP app Food Score will even track what I eat everyday and let me know if I’m getting the right amount of calories and nutrients related to my daily activity. And, as I become more active, “Smart Coach” will respond with tips and suggestions to make the most of my steps count. The app will also monitor when I’m idle and how long and how well I sleep, giving me the insight on how that relates to activity during the day. A fun benefit has been connecting on social media with friends or “teammates” that use the UP MOVE, as the shared information keeps me motivated by seeing their progress. I appreciate how easy the “Smart Coach” data is to understand as it provides a good overview of the day. Because of all these user-friendly features I’ll continue using the UP MOVE to track and monitor my long-term fitness goals. 

Big-Toothed Fossil May Be Primitive New Human

The first known prehistoric human from Taiwan has been identified and may represent an entirely new species that lived as recently as 10,000 years ago, according to a new study.

The newly discovered big-toothed human, “Penghu 1,” strengthens the growing body of evidence that Homo sapiens was not the only species from our genus living in Europe and Asia between 200,000 and 10,000 years ago.

Anthropologists have learned that Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo floresiensis (a.k.a. the “Hobbit Human”) lived in Europe and Asia within that time frame. Penghu 1, which is described in the latest issue of Nature Communications, adds to that already impressive list and might have co-existed – and even interbred – with our species. Read more.

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The Jawbone UP MOVE is a $40 activity tracker that monitors daily activity and sleep patterns. It comes with a lightweight wristband or belt clip so wearing it is effortless. After downloading the Jawbone UP App to my smart phone I was ready to give the wristband a try. I liked that I could track my movement, seeing how many steps I took and the amount of calories I burned during the day. But, I especially liked the feature that tracks how well I slept, showing me movement during the night and even showing a detailed graph of my sleep waves. This gave me good insight on how my day and night activities affect each other and this awareness is key to understanding my fitness and lifestyle goals. Other features of the UP App include Smart Coach, a customizable dashboard to monitor your progress, and the ability to be exported to a number of other fitness and sleep apps. Although this is considered an entry level fitness tracker, the UP MOVE gave me everything I need for monitoring activity. The name alone is a reminder that for healthier life, get up and move.