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Earliest direct evidence of milk consumption

Earliest direct evidence of milk consumption

Science
Scientists have discovered the earliest direct evidence of milk consumption by humans.The team identified milk protein entombed in dental plaque on the teeth of prehistoric farmers from Britain.It shows that humans were consuming dairy products as early as 6,000 years ago - despite being lactose intolerant.This could suggest they processed the raw milk into cheese, yoghurt or some other fermented product.This would have reduced its lactose content, making it more palatable.The team members scraped samples of plaque off the teeth, separated the different components within it and analysed them using mass spectrometry.They detected a milk protein called beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) in the tartar of seven individuals spanning early to mi...
550-million-year-old worm tracks offer earliest evidence of animal mobility

550-million-year-old worm tracks offer earliest evidence of animal mobility

Science
Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Newly unearthed worm tracks have provided the earliest evidence of animal mobility. The worm fossil also offered the earliest evidence of a segmented, bilaterally symmetric body plan. Using a molecular clock, scientists previously predicted that segmented, mobile, bilaterally symmetric species first emerged during the Ediacaran Period. Indentations in 550-million-year-old rocks in China confirmed the prediction. The ancient fossil is unique in that it not only provided proof of animal mobility, but also revealed the identity of the animal that left the tracks. Scientists described their discovery this week in the journal Nature. "Mobility made it possible for animals to make an unmistakable footprint on Earth, both literally and metaphorically," Shuhai Xiao, a professor ...
Earliest modern human found outside Africa

Earliest modern human found outside Africa

Science
Researchers have found the earliest example of our species (modern humans) outside Africa.A skull unearthed in Greece has been dated to 210,000 years ago, at a time when Europe was occupied by the Neanderthals.The sensational discovery adds to evidence of an earlier migration of people from Africa that left no trace in the DNA of people alive today.The findings are published in the journal Nature.Researchers uncovered two significant fossils in Apidima Cave in Greece in the 1970s.One was very distorted and the other incomplete, however, and it took computed tomography scanning and uranium-series dating to unravel their secrets.The more complete skull appears to be a Neanderthal. But the other shows clear characteristics, such as ...
Chinese tombs yield earliest evidence of cannabis use

Chinese tombs yield earliest evidence of cannabis use

Science
Researchers have uncovered the earliest known evidence of cannabis use, from tombs in western China.The study suggests cannabis was being smoked at least 2,500 years ago, and that it may have been associated with ritual or religious activities.Traces of the drug were identified in wooden burners from the burials.The cannabis had high levels of the psychoactive compound THC, suggesting people at the time were well aware of its effects.Cannabis plants have been cultivated in East Asia for their oily seeds and fibre from at least 4,000 BC. But the early cultivated varieties of cannabis, as well as most wild populations, had low levels of THC and other psychoactive compounds.The burners, or braziers, were found at Jirzankal Cemetery,...