The surprisingly early settlement of the Tibetan Plateau

From Scientific American: The Surprisingly Early Settlement of the Tibetan Plateau.

Article summary:

Scientists thought people first set foot on the frozen Tibetan Plateau 15,000 years ago. New genomic analyses suggest multiplying that figure as much as fourfold.

So of course you’ll want to read it!

Thanks to Peter Gardner for posting this on Diaspora, which is where I saw it.

Cold tolerance among Inuit may come from extinct human relatives

Did you see this? From the NYT: Cold tolerance among Inuit may come from extinct human relatives.

Inuit who live in Greenland experience average temperatures below freezing for at least half of the year. For those who live in the north, subzero temperatures are normal during the coldest months.

Given these frigid conditions, anthropologists have wondered for decades whether the Inuit in Greenland and other parts of the Arctic have unique biological adaptations that help them tolerate the extreme cold.

A new study, published on Wednesday in Molecular Biology and Evolution, identifies gene variants in Inuit who live in Greenland, which may help them adapt to the cold by promoting heat-generating body fat. These variants possibly originated in the Denisovans, a group of archaic humans who, along with Neanderthals, diverged from modern humans about half a million years ago. [continue]