Navigation Links
Fluctuating environment may have driven human evolution
Date:12/24/2012

rchers -- including Gail Ashley, professor of earth and planetary sciences, Rutgers University -- examined lake sediments from Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania. They removed the organic matter that had either washed or was blown into the lake from the surrounding vegetation, microbes and other organisms 2 million years ago from the sediments. In particular, they looked at biomarkers -- fossil molecules from ancient organisms -- from the waxy coating on plant leaves.

"We looked at leaf waxes because they're tough, they survive well in the sediment," said Freeman.

The team used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to determine the relative abundances of different leaf waxes and the abundance of carbon isotopes for different leaf waxes. The data enabled them to reconstruct the types of vegetation present in the Olduvai Gorge area at very specific time intervals.

The results showed that the environment transitioned rapidly back and forth between a closed woodland and an open grassland.

To find out what caused this rapid transitioning, the researchers used statistical and mathematical models to correlate the changes they saw in the environment with other things that may have been happening at the time, including changes in the Earth's movement and changes in sea-surface temperatures.

"The orbit of the Earth around the sun slowly changes with time," said Freeman. "These changes were tied to the local climate at Olduvai Gorge through changes in the monsoon system in Africa. Slight changes in the amount of sunshine changed the intensity of atmospheric circulation and the supply of water. The rain patterns that drive the plant patterns follow this monsoon circulation. We found a correlation between changes in the environment and planetary movement."

The team also found a correlation between changes in the environment and sea-surface temperature in the tropics.

"We find complementary forcing mechanisms: one is the way Earth orbits,
'/>"/>

Contact: Sara LaJeunesse
SDL13@psu.edu
814-863-4325
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Environmental threat map highlights Great Lakes restoration challenges
2. Farm soil determines environmental fate of phosphorous
3. Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors name Environmental Engineering Science as its official journal
4. Prickly holly reveals ability to adapt genetics to environmental change
5. Messages that speak to conservatives morals narrow partisan gap on environment
6. Conservatives can be persuaded to care more about the environment
7. Environmental chemical blocks cell function
8. Fracking in Michigan: U-M researchers study potential impact on health, environment, economy
9. Bioengineered marine algae expands environments where biofuels can be produced
10. Devotes, a project to investigate marine biodiversity and the environment of European seas
11. Southampton to help develop new crops for water-stressed environments
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fluctuating environment may have driven human evolution
(Date:4/20/2015)... 2015 Huntington Memorial Hospital is the first ... new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure ... only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been ... physicians to manage heart failure. The CardioMEMS ... the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical procedure to ...
(Date:4/14/2015)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... the growing mobile commerce market, announces that its Wocket® ... York Design Awards under the category  ,Product Design – ... Awards are part of a global multi-disciplinary awards program. ... the marketplace, industry and judging panel. Winners will be ...
(Date:4/9/2015)... , April 9, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... solutions, announced today that it will report financial results ... April 23, 2015, after the close of market. The ... and investors at 2:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. ET), ... To participate on the live call, analysts and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Huntington Memorial Hospital Becomes First in the San Gabriel Valley to Offer Patients a New Heart Failure Monitoring Solution 2Huntington Memorial Hospital Becomes First in the San Gabriel Valley to Offer Patients a New Heart Failure Monitoring Solution 3NXT-ID's Wocket Smart Wallet Nominated for 2015 New York Design Awards in 'Product Design- Technology' 2NXT-ID's Wocket Smart Wallet Nominated for 2015 New York Design Awards in 'Product Design- Technology' 3Synaptics to Report Third Quarter Results on April 23 2
... threatened with extinction around the globe, efforts to save ... conservation: a chance for complete recovery, according to health ... other members of the Blue Iguana Recovery Program. ... the Blue Iguana Recovery Programa consortium of local and ...
... French . Some of the human X ... outside Africa, according to an international team of researchers led ... University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center. The ... Biology and Evolution. "This confirms recent findings ...
... men and women in England and over a third of ... diabetes and heart disease and can significantly shorten a person,s ... journal International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity ... of weight loss programs based on diet and exercise. ...
Cached Biology News:Grand Cayman blue iguana: Back from the brink of extinction 2Genetic research confirms that non-Africans are part Neanderthal 2'Love your body' to lose weight 2
(Date:4/23/2015)... Athena San Diego, an organization that ... in San Diego’s technology and life science sectors, will ... at their Gala on April 30, 2015 from 5-9pm ... http://athenasd.org/events/ , The Pinnacle Awards recognize individuals ... vision of fostering networking, risk taking and diversity of ...
(Date:4/23/2015)... 23, 2015 Six startups from ... April 4-17 as part of the U.S.-Russia Innovation ... group of biotechnology startups to participate in the ... (UNN) and the University of Maryland (UMD) signed ... their respective universities in the biomedical industry in ...
(Date:4/23/2015)... Calif. , April 23, 2015  Cryoport, ... advanced cryogenic logistics solutions for the life sciences ... established its cryogenic logistics solutions within the animal ... with Yancey Farms to support the shipment of ... German Sport horse Stallions. Animal ...
(Date:4/23/2015)... (PRWEB) April 23, 2015 ... in Personalized Medicine, is excited to announce the ... profile . This profile assesses 62 genetic variations ... dosing information for commonly prescribed non-opioid pain medications, ... name Neurontin), alprazolam (brand name Xanax) and acetaminophen ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Athena Pinnacle Awards to Honor Executives, Corporations and Educators Working to Promote Women Leaders 2U.S.-Russian Innovation Corridor Program Connects Visiting Russian Startups to U.S. Experts 2U.S.-Russian Innovation Corridor Program Connects Visiting Russian Startups to U.S. Experts 3U.S.-Russian Innovation Corridor Program Connects Visiting Russian Startups to U.S. Experts 4Cryoport to Support the Equine Animal Husbandry Market Through Agreement with Yancey Farms 2Cryoport to Support the Equine Animal Husbandry Market Through Agreement with Yancey Farms 3Proove Biosciences Launches World’s First Test to Predict Responders to Commonly Prescribed Non-Opioid Pain Medications 2Proove Biosciences Launches World’s First Test to Predict Responders to Commonly Prescribed Non-Opioid Pain Medications 3
... CoreLab Partners, Inc , the global entity resulting ... in February of this year, has launched a full ... as it relates to Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry ( ... that we have formally launched state-of-the-art imaging solutions to ...
... Physicists at the University of California, Riverside have taken an ... achieving "tunneling spin injection" into graphene. An electron ... This spin comes in two forms electrons are said ... allows for more data storage than is possible with current ...
... Inc. (Nasdaq: SQNM ) today announced ... focusing on retinal diseases and conditions. The initial ... and Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine (Sequenom CMM) ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20040415/SQNMLOGO ) ...
Cached Biology Technology:CoreLab Partners Launches New DXA Imaging Service Offerings 2UC Riverside physicists pave the way for graphene-based spin computer 2UC Riverside physicists pave the way for graphene-based spin computer 3Sequenom Announces Formation of Ophthalmology Clinical Advisory Board 2Sequenom Announces Formation of Ophthalmology Clinical Advisory Board 3Sequenom Announces Formation of Ophthalmology Clinical Advisory Board 4Sequenom Announces Formation of Ophthalmology Clinical Advisory Board 5
... . The sensitive conductivity detector CE 4710, ... the measuring cell in a thermostatted environment. ... Data processing is provided by the CE 4900 ... high pressure CE 4100 dual piston pump. ...
... media and other fluid sources for 4 ... speed of each individual pump is controlled ... are exactly maintained. ,High-precision controlled peristaltic ... types, which allows flow rates between 0.01 ...
... cassette is designed to allow ampicillin selection ... gb2 driving the gene for ampicillin resistance ... Em7 promoter. It mediates higher transcription efficiency ... synthetic polyadenylation signal terminates the ampicillin expression. ...
... for the fast and simple integration of ... position (for the generation of transgenic mouse ... to allow neomycin / kanamycin selection in ... prokaryotic promoter (gb2) for expression of kanamycin ...
Biology Products: