Browsing: Turkana Basin Institute

Ancient DNA recovered from fossils is a valuable tool to study evolution and anthropology. Yet fossil DNA has not been found yet in any part of Africa, where it’s destroyed by extreme heat and humidity. In a potential first step at overcoming this hurdle, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Stony Brook University-affiliated Turkana Basin Institute. have discovered a new kind of glycan — a type of sugar chain — that survives even in a 4 million-year-old animal fossil from Kenya, under conditions where ancient DNA does not. While ancient fossils from hominins are…

The discovery in Kenya of a remarkably complete fossil ape skull reveals what the common ancestor of all living apes and humans may have looked like. The find, announced in the scientific journal Nature on August 10th, belongs to an infant that lived about 13 million years ago. The research was done by an international team led by Isaiah Nengo of the Stony Brook University-affiliated Turkana Basin Institute, Stony Brook University, and De Anza College, U.S.A. Among living primates, humans are most closely related to the apes, including chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and gibbons. Our common ancestor with chimpanzees lived in Africa 6 to 7…