UNLOCKING THE PAST HOW ARCHAEOLOGISTS ARE REWRITING HUMAN HISTORY WITH ANCIENT DNA

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Unlocking The Past

Author : Martin Jones
ISBN : 1628724471
Genre : Science
File Size : 29.82 MB
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In Unlocking the Past, Martin Jones, a leading expert at the forefront of bioarchaeology--the discipline that gave Michael Crichton the premise for Jurassic Park--explains how this pioneering science is rewriting human history and unlocking stories of the past that could never have been told before. For the first time, the building blocks of ancient life--DNA, proteins, and fats that have long been trapped in fossils and earth and rock--have become widely accessible to science. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and other molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the remains of these ancient biomolecules in human skeletons, sediments and fossilized plants, dinosaur bones, and insects trapped in amber. Their amazing discoveries have influenced the archaeological debate at almost every level and continue to reshape our understanding of the past. Devising a molecular clock from a certain area of DNA, scientists were able to determine that all humans descend from one common female ancestor, dubbed "The Mitochondrial Eve," who lived around 150,000 years ago. From molecules recovered through grinding stones and potsherds, they reconstructed ancient diets and posited when such practices as dairying and boiling water for cooking began. They have reconstituted the beer left in the burial chamber of pharaohs and know what the Iceman, the five-thousand-year-old hunter found in the Alps in the early nineties, ate before his last journey. Conveying both the excitement of innovative research and the sometimes bruising rough-and-tumble of scientific debate, Jones has written a work of profound importance. Unlocking the Past is science at its most engaging.
Category: Science

The Molecule Hunt Archaeology And The Search For Ancient Dna

Author : Martin Jones
ISBN : 9781628722253
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 29.89 MB
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A revolution is underway in archaeology. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the building blocks of ancient life-DNA, proteins, fats-to rewrite our understanding of the past. Their discoveries (including a Mitochondrial Eve, the woman from whom all modern humans descend) and analyses have helped revise the human genealogical tree and answer such questions as: How different are we from the Neanderthals? Who first domesticated horses and ancient grasses? What was life like for our ancestors? Here is science at its most engaging.
Category: Social Science

Ancient Dna

Author : Bernd Herrmann
ISBN : 9781461243182
Genre : Science
File Size : 34.63 MB
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Ancient DNA refers to DNA which can be recovered and analyzed from clinical, museum, archaeological and paleontological specimens. Ancient DNA ranges in age from less than 100 years to tens of millions of years. The study of ancient DNA is a young field, but it has been revolutionized by the application of polymerase chain reaction technology, and interest is growing very rapidly. Fields as diverse as evolution, anthropology, medicine, agriculture, and even law enforcement have quickly found applications in the recovery of ancient DNA. This book contains contributions from many of the "first generation" researchers who pioneered the development and application of ancient DNA methods. Their chapters present the protocols and precautions which have resulted in the remarkable results obtained in recent years. The range of subjects reflects the wide diversity of applications that are emerging in research on ancient DNA, including the study of DNA to analyze kinship, recovery of DNA from organisms trapped in amber, ancient DNA from human remains preserved in a variety of locations and conditions, DNA recovered from herbarium and museum specimens, and DNA isolated from ancient plant seeds or compression fossils. Ancient DNA will serve as a valuable source of information, ideas, and protocols for anyone interested in this extraordinary field.
Category: Science

Who We Are And How We Got Here

Author : David Reich
ISBN : 9781101870334
Genre : Science
File Size : 23.47 MB
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Here is a groundbreaking book about how the extraction of ancient DNA from ancient bones has profoundly changed our understanding of human prehistory while resolving many long-standing controversies. Massive technological innovations now allow scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA as never before, and it has become clear—in part from David Reich's own contributions to the field—that genomics is as important a means of understanding the human past as archeology, linguistics, and the written word. In Who We Are and How We Got Here, Reich describes with unprecedented clarity just how the human genome provides not only all the information that a fertilized human egg needs to develop but also contains within it the history of our species. He explains how the genomic revolution and ancient DNA are transforming our understanding of the lineage of modern humans and how DNA studies reveal the deep history of inequality—among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals within a population. His book gives the lie to the orthodoxy that there are no meaningful biological differenced among human populations, and at the same time uses the definitive evidence provided by genomics to show that the differences that do exist are unlikely to conform to familiar stereotypes.
Category: Science

First Islanders

Author : Peter Bellwood
ISBN : 9781119251552
Genre : History
File Size : 82.75 MB
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Incorporating research findings over the last twenty years, First Islanders examines the human prehistory of Island Southeast Asia. This fascinating story is explored from a broad swathe of multidisciplinary perspectives and pays close attention to migration in the period dating from 1.5 million years ago to the development of Indic kingdoms late in the first millennium CE.
Category: History

Feast

Author : Martin Jones
ISBN : 9780191623004
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 88.94 MB
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Is sharing food such an everyday, unremarkable occurrence? In fact, the human tendency to sit together peacefully over food is actually rather an extraordinary phenomenon, and one which many species find impossible. It is also a pheonomenon with far-reaching consequences for the global environment and human social evolution. So how did this strange and powerful behaviour come about? In Feast, Martin Jones uses the latest archaeological methods to illuminate how humans came to share food in the first place and how the human meal has developed since then. From the earliest evidence of human consumption around half a million years ago to the era of the TV dinner and the drive-through diner, this fascinating account unfolds the history of the human meal and its huge impact both on human society and the ecology of the planet.
Category: Social Science

An Introduction To Political Geography

Author : Martin Jones
ISBN : 9781136201936
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 48.36 MB
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An Introduction to Political Geography continues to provide a broad-based introduction to contemporary political geography for students following undergraduate degree courses in geography and related subjects. The text explores the full breadth of contemporary political geography, covering not only traditional concerns such as the state, geopolitics, electoral geography and nationalism; but also increasing important areas at the cutting-edge of political geography research including globalization, the geographies of regulation and governance, geographies of policy formulation and delivery, and themes at the intersection of political and cultural geography, including the politics of place consumption, landscapes of power, citizenship, identity politics and geographies of mobilization and resistance. This second edition builds on the strengths of the first. The main changes and enhancements are: four new chapters on: political geographies of globalization, geographies of empire, political geography and the environment and geopolitics and critical geopolitics significant updating and revision of the existing chapters to discuss key developments, drawing on recent academic contributions and political events new case studies, drawing on an increasing number of international and global examples additional boxes for key concepts and an enlarged glossary. As with the first edition, extensive use is made of case study examples, illustrations, explanatory boxes, guides to further reading and a glossary of key terms to present the material in an easily accessible manner. Through employment of these techniques this book introduces students to contributions from a range of social and political theories in the context of empirical case study examples. By providing a basic introduction to such concepts and pointing to pathways into more specialist material, this book serves both as a core text for first- and second- year courses in political geography, and as a resource alongside supplementary textbooks for more specialist third year courses.
Category: Political Science

The Immigrant Exodus

Author : Vivek Wadhwa
ISBN : 9781613630204
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 43.78 MB
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A 2012 ECONOMIST BOOK OF THE YEAR Many of the United States' most innovative entrepreneurs have been immigrants, from Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell, and Charles Pfizer to Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Elon Musk. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies and one-quarter of all new small businesses were founded by immigrants, generating trillions of dollars annually, employing millions of workers, and helping establish the United States as the most entrepreneurial, technologically advanced society on earth. Now, Vivek Wadhwa, an immigrant tech entrepreneur turned academic with appointments at Duke, Stanford, Emory, and Singularity Universities, draws on his new Kauffman Foundation research to show that the United States is in the midst of an unprecedented halt in high-growth, immigrant-founded start-ups. He argues that increased competition from countries like China and India and US immigration policies are leaving some of the most educated and talented entrepreneurial immigrants with no choice but to take their innovation elsewhere. The consequences to our economy are dire; our multi-trillion dollar loss will be the gain of our global competitors. With his signature fearlessness and clarity, Wadhwa offers a concise framework for understanding the Immigrant Exodus and offers a recipe for reversal and rapid recovery.
Category: Business & Economics

Modern Humans

Author : John F. Hoffecker
ISBN : 9780231543743
Genre : Science
File Size : 85.72 MB
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Modern Humans is about the most recent—and perhaps the most important—phase of human evolution: the appearance of anatomically modern people (Homo sapiens) in Africa less than a quarter of a million years ago and their subsequent spread throughout the world. Most of the features that render living human beings unique among all forms of life evolved or developed with Homo sapiens, and in Modern Humans, John F. Hoffecker argues that humans represent a “major transition” in evolution with respect to the storage, transmission, and translation of information, as well as a quantum leap in living-system complexity. Modern Humans synthesizes data from genetics (including the rapidly growing body of ancient DNA), the human fossil record, and archaeology relating to the African origins and global dispersal of anatomically modern people. The book begins by placing humans into the broad context of the evolution of life, emphasizing the fundamental role of genetic and nongenetic forms of information in living systems, and how changes in information are tied to “major transitions” in evolution. For more than a hundred thousand years, a diverse “near modern” human population, characterized by the retention of some archaic skeletal traits and possibly lacking the full suite of cognitive faculties found in living people, occupied the African continent and expanded briefly into the adjoining Arabian Peninsula and Levant. The immediate ancestors of all living maternal and paternal lineages possibly emerged from within this population, spreading initially throughout Africa before beginning a second—and ultimately global—dispersal no later than 60,000 years ago. The later chapters of this book recount their rapid expansion into southern Asia and Australia, northern Eurasia and Beringia, and throughout the Americas.
Category: Science