Human Origins

Fossil discovery - new piece in the puzzle

Melanie Gosling A prehistoric human skull from the Eastern Cape has provided a vital "missing link" in the fossil record which shows that modern people originally came from sub-Saharan Africa and migrated to colonise Europe and Asia around 30 000 to 40 000 years ago. The 36 000-year-old Hofmeyr skull, named after the Karoo town where it was found, shows that people living in Africa at that time looked the same as people living in Europe then.

HIV-1 originated in wild chimpanzees

An international team of scientists, assisted by Cameroonian officials, and led by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), has discovered a crucial missing link in the search for the origin of HIV-1, the virus responsible for human AIDS. That missing link is the natural reservoir of the virus, which the team has found in wild-living chimpanzees in southern Cameroon.

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