Neandertal and Denisovan blood groups deciphered
Blood group analyses for three Neandertals and one Denisovan by a team from the Anthropologie Bio-Culturelle, Droit, Éthique et Santé research unit (CNRS / Aix-Marseille University / EFS) confirm hypotheses concerning their African origin, Eurasian dispersal, and interbreeding with early Homo sapiens. The researchers also found further evidence of low genetic diversity and possible demographic fragility.
The extinct hominin lineages of the Neandertals and Denisovans were present throughout Eurasia from 300,000 to 40,000 years ago. Despite prior sequencing of about 15 Neandertal and Denisovan individuals, the study of the genes underlying blood groups had hitherto been neglected. Yet blood group systems were the first markers used by anthropologists to reconstruct the origins of hominin populations, their migrations, and their interbreeding.
Sea levels influence eruptions on volcanic island
The rise and fall of sea levels influence the likelihood of volcanic eruptions on the Greek island of Santorini, new research led by Oxford Brookes University has discovered. Analysing the timings of eruptions over hundreds of thousands of years, the researchers found that a 40 metre fall in sea level is a crucial point beyond which eruptions are more likely to occur. The findings could have implications for millions of people living on volcanic islands around the world.
Santorini - cliffs reveal history of eruptions
The research on the popular tourist destination was led by Dr Christopher Satow, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography at Oxford Brookes.
He says there are clues about past volcanic activity on Santorini in the layers of rock on the cliff face encircling the inner part of the island: “A huge eruption 3,600 years ago caused the centre of what was then a conical island to sink into the sea, revealing an extraordinarily detailed history of over 200 volcanic eruptions preserved within the remaining circle of cliffs.