The Daily Dose: Ancient hominins loved carbs. What does that mean for the paleo diet?

With India dominating the COVID-19 headlines, attention has shifted to variants native to the country and whether they are more infectious or deadlier than other ones  The country’s predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India last December, although an earlier version was spotted in October 2020. According to a review article in Reuters,  “On May 10, the WHO classified it as a “variant of concern,” which also includes variants first detected in Britain, Brazil and South Africa. Some initial studies showed the Indian variant spreads more easily.‘There is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies,’ Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, said, adding it needs more information about the Indian variant to understand how much of it is circulating.” researchers are not sure whether the variant alone is responsible for the raging outbreak in India. http://reut.rs/2SCY1qh

 

One if the big questions in the origin of life debate is where the so-called building blocks of life came from. In the latest twist in the debate, Recent research suggests that some of the building blocks may have come from Interstellar space itself.”In the planet-forming disk of gas and dust around a young star, astronomers have detected methanol. The disk is too warm for the methanol to have formed there, so this complex organic molecule probably originated in the interstellar cloud that collapsed to form the star and its disk, researchers report online May 10 in Nature Astronomy. This finding offers evidence that at least some organic matter from interstellar space can seed the disks around newborn stars to provide potential ingredients for life on new planets.” It’s true, this suggests that life may be more common in the universe than once thought. http://bit.ly/3fdPP7s

 


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People like to say that even though water makes up the majority of the Earth’s surface, we know less about the oceans than we do about the moon. Recently, scientist set out to determine once and for all just how deep different parts of the Earth’s oceans are.  according to a report in the BBC, “Scientists say we now have the most precise information yet on the deepest points in each of Earth’s five oceans. The key locations where the seafloor bottoms out in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic and Southern oceans were mapped by the Five Deeps Expedition. Some of these places, such as the 10,924m-deep (6.8 miles) Mariana Trench in the western Pacific, had already been surveyed a number of times.” http://bbc.in/3hkaMAC

 

When it comes to ancient hominins, Neanderthals have been the most closely associated with what People think of as cavemen. Crude. Unintelligent. Lacking in any culture whatsoever. Of course, that has turned out to be untrue. A recent study simply adds to our knowledge of how intelligent they actually were. “Here’s another blow to the popular image of Neanderthals as brutish meat eaters: A new study of bacteria collected from Neanderthal teeth shows that our close cousins ate so many roots, nuts, or other starchy foods that they dramatically altered the type of bacteria in their mouths. The finding suggests our ancestors had adapted to eating lots of starch by at least 600,000 years ago—about the same time as they needed more sugars to fuel a big expansion of their brains.” Does that mean paleo diets should be revised? http://bit.ly/3bBbupx

 

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