Genetics

Brain mechanism underlying evolution of anxiety

Monoamine neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine play important roles in our cognitive and emotional functions. Their evolutionary origins date back to metazoans, and while the function of related genes is strongly ...

Medications

Nasal antiviral blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has continuously mutated since it emerged in late 2019. This rapid evolution poses challenges for vaccines and treatments designed to target the virus. A booster shot is now needed ...

Gastroenterology

Microbiota medicine: Towards clinical revolution

After the last meeting of the International Society of Microbiota (ISM), a well-documented reportĀ and statement were published. Numerous investigations showed a bidirectional interplay between gut microbiota and many organs ...

Medical research

Immune cell betrayal explains why it gets colder as we age

Human evolution has provided us a level of protection from the existential threat of cold temperature with the capacity to produce heat from fat stored in the body. However, with age, people become more susceptible to cold ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Are we the same person throughout our lives? In essence, yes

A psychobiological study led by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) on personal identity and its modification over time in parallel with the changes that individuals experience has shown that the essence of our being ...

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Human evolution

Human evolution, or anthropogenesis, is the part of biological evolution concerning the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species from other hominins, great apes and placental mammals. It is the subject of a broad scientific inquiry that seeks to understand and describe how this change occurred. The study of human evolution encompasses many scientific disciplines, most notably physical anthropology, primatology, archaeology, linguistics and genetics.

The term "human", in the context of human evolution, refers to the genus Homo, but studies of human evolution usually include other hominins, such as the Australopithecines. The Homo genus diverged from the Australopithecines about 2 million years ago in Africa. Scientists have estimated that humans branched off from their common ancestor with chimpanzees—the only other living homininis—about 5–7 million years ago. Several species of Homo evolved that are now extinct. These include Homo erectus, which inhabited Asia, and Homo neanderthalensis, which inhabited Europe.

Archaic Homo sapiens evolved between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago. The dominant view among scientists is the recent African origin of modern humans (RAO) that H. sapiens evolved in Africa and spread across the globe, replacing populations of H. erectus and H. neanderthalensis. Scientists supporting the alternative hypothesis on the multiregional evolution (ME) view modern humans as having evolved as a single, widespread population from existing Homo species, particularly H. erectus. The fossil evidence is insufficient to resolve this vigorous debate,. Studies of haplogroups in Y-chromosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA have largely supported a recent African origin, while some researchers argue that evidence from nuclear genes supports a multiregional origin.

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