May 12th, 2006



be glad you are not living in Neolithic Britain

Grisly figures from the first systematic survey of early Neolithic British skulls reveal that life then was no rural idyll. "It's certainly more violent than we'd considered," says Rick Schulting of Queen's University Belfast, UK, who conducted the study with Mick Wysocki at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.
The discovery of craniums from the New Stone Age with signs of human-inflicted trauma is nothing new but this is the first clue to the overall frequency of violence.

Cranial trauma in the British Earlier Neolithic

Rick Schulting's page

В общем-то, никогда не питал иллюзий относительно первобытных веков 'всеобщего равенства'...Отпечатки ладоней в древних пещерах, как правило, с одним-двумя обрубленными пальцами. - Человек одно из самых агрессивных животных на планете, склонное к немотивированной жестокости....Видимо, это такая своеобразная плата за обладание развитой психикой.
Может ли быть по-другому?


Patrick Forterre - автор новой теории происхождения клеточной ДНК путем вирусной передачи.
Статья-обзор Карла Циммера по этому поводу только что вышла в Science.

Did DNA Come From Viruses?
Research that began with a study of replication enzymes used by bacteria has led to a controversial theory: Viruses may have helped shape all three major domains of life
Science 12 May 2006: Vol. 312.

For the past several years, Forterre has been expanding his original ideas into a sort of grand unified theory of viruses and cellular life. Forterre proposes that viruses donated more than just their DNA-replication genes to cellular life. He argues that they donated DNA itself. In recent months, he has presented the scenario in a series of papers, the most recent of which appeared last month in the journal Virus Research.

PNAS (February 27, 2006)
"Three RNA cells for ribosomal lineages and three DNA viruses to replicate their genomes: A hypothesis for the origin of cellular domain" abstract