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Earliest evidence of humans outside Africa

Earliest evidence of humans outside Africa

Science
Scientists say they've found the earliest evidence of a human presence outside Africa.Ancient tools discovered in China suggest primitive humans were in the region as early as 2.12 million years ago.They are about 270,000 years older than the previous earliest evidence, which consists of bones and stone tools from Dmanisi in Georgia.The research, by a Chinese-British team, appears in the journal Nature.The stone artefacts were discovered at Shangchen on a plateau in northern China.They comprise different types of stone tools constructed for a variety of purposes. All show signs of having been used.Most were made of quartzite and quartz rock that probably came from the foothills of the Qinling Mountains, five to 10 km to the south of the dig site.But we do...
Study offers best evidence yet of an intermediate-mass black hole

Study offers best evidence yet of an intermediate-mass black hole

Science
June 18 (UPI) -- New data discovered by astronomers at the University of New Hampshire's Space Science Center offers the best evidence yet of the existence of intermediate-mass black holes, or IMBHs. Astronomers finally caught the elusive object devouring a star that drifted too close. Researchers imaged the consumption event using three different X-ray observatories, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, as well as the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. "We feel very lucky to have spotted this object with a significant amount of high quality data, which helps pinpoint the mass of the black hole and understand the nature of this spectacular event," Dacheng Lin, a research assistant professor at the Space Science Center, said in a news release. "Earlier res...
'Data breach': MP wants Zuckerberg to give evidence

'Data breach': MP wants Zuckerberg to give evidence

Technology
Mark Zuckerberg will be asked to give evidence at a Commons committee examining allegations of unauthorised sharing of Facebook user data, an MP has said.Damian Collins, chair of the digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee, said the Facebook chief executive must provide answers after an investigation alleged Cambridge Analytica, a British political campaigns firm, acquired and kept information about users."Data has been taken from Facebook users without their consent, and was then processed by a third party and used to support their campaigns," Mr Collins wrote on the House of Commons website."I will be writing to Mark Zuckerberg asking that either he, or another senior executive from the company, appear to give evidence in front of the Committee as part our inquiry."Image:Damia...
Teens using e-cigarettes show evidence of same toxic chemicals as smokers: Study

Teens using e-cigarettes show evidence of same toxic chemicals as smokers: Study

Health
Using e-cigarettes has been promoted as a way to help adult smokers cut back or quit smoking, or at least to minimize the health damage that smoking causes. Teens, even middle schoolers, have taken up e-cigarettes as well. But as researchers continue to study their safety, a new report in Pediatrics shows vaping could lead to the presence of concerning levels of toxic chemicals. Almost 100 teens from the San Francisco Bay area were examined in the University of California-San Francisco study: 67 teens used e-cigarettes only, 16 used both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes and 20 didn't smoke or vape at all. Urine and salivary gland testing looked for breakdown products of toxic chemicals that have been associated with cancer -- and found them in both smokers and vapers -- but not ...
Evidence of convergent evolution found in gene regulation of humans, mice

Evidence of convergent evolution found in gene regulation of humans, mice

Science
Jan. 18 (UPI) -- New research shows humans and mice regulate their genes in similar ways.Because many living organisms face similar problems and ecological pressures, they sometimes develop similar solutions. When species that aren't closely related evolve similar adaptations, it's called convergent evolution.A new study, published this week in the journal PNAS, presents new evidence of convergent evolution among humans and mice. The pair deploy similar mechanisms for regulating noncoding RNA, segments which aren't translated into proteins."This study highlights the importance of noncoding RNA and transposable elements in the regulation of gene expression and in the evolution of gene expression networks in mammalian genomes," Manuel Ares, professor of molecular, cell and developmental biol...