Navigation Links
Why aren't humans furry? Stone-Age moms could be the answer

Medical Hypotheses, an Elsevier publication, has announced the winner of the 2006 David Horrobin Prize for medical theory. Written by Judith Rich-Harris, author of The Nurture Assumption and No Two Alike, the article, "Parental selection: a third selection process in the evolution of human hairlessness and skin color" was judged to best embody the spirit of the journal. The £1,000 prize, launched in 2004, is awarded annually and named in honour of Dr. David Horrobin, the renowned researcher, biotechnology expert and founder of Medical Hypotheses (http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/623059/description#description), who died in 2003.

Harris' paper describes Stone Age societies in which the mother of a newborn had to decide whether she had the resources to nurture her baby. The newborn's appearance probably influenced whether the mother kept or abandoned it. An attractive baby was more likely to be kept and reared.

Harris' theory is that this kind of parental selection may have been an important force in evolution. If Stone Age people believed that hairless babies were more attractive than hairy ones, this could explain why humans are the only apes lacking a coat of fur. Harris suggests that Neanderthals must have been furry in order to survive the Ice Age. Our species would have seen them as "animals" and potential prey. Harris?hypothesis continues that Neanderthals went extinct because human ancestors ate them.

This year's prize judge was Professor Jonathan Rees FMedSci of Edinburgh University, Scotland ?co-discoverer of the 'red hair gene'. Professor Rees said: "This paper is an excellent example of the kind of bold thinking and theorizing which David Horrobin intended to encourage when he began Medical Hypotheses. I hope that Judith Rich Harris' idea provokes debate and further investigation of this topic."
'"/>

Source:Elsevier


Related biology news :

1. Survey reveals women and doctors arent talking about HPV
2. Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
3. Friendly bacteria in humans may protect against HIV
4. The lopsided brain: Attention bias is shared by humans and birds
5. Oldest cranial, dental and postcranial fossils of early modern European humans confirmed
6. Retrovirus struck ancestors of chimpanzees and gorillas millions of years ago, but did not affect ancestral humans
7. UI researcher studies deafness in fruit flies, humans
8. Chickadees can help humans get their bearings
9. Study shows humans have ability to track odors, much like bloodhounds
10. Caloric restriction wont dramatically extend life span in humans: UCLA research
11. Study identifies gene in mice that may control risk-taking behavior in humans

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 The Controller General ... Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR ... Continue Reading ... ... picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 23, 2017 Research ... Anti-Theft System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Vigilant Solutions , a vehicle location ... announced today the appointment of retired FBI special agent ... business development. Mr. Sheridan brings more than ... focus on the aviation transportation sector, to his new ... Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison Agent Coordinator (ALAC) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... 25, 2017 , ... LABS, Inc. (LABS) announced in December 2016 that ... menu: Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) for ZIKV; and Enzyme Immunoassays (EIAs) specific for IgM ... screening for blood donors under an Investigational New Drug (IND) study protocol. , ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... headlines and drive high-level conversations among healthcare industry stakeholders, the discussion surrounding the ... – taking place May 15-18, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. Hosted by the ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... 25, 2017 , ... Franz Inc ., an early ... and market leader for Semantic Graph Database technology, today announced ... most effective system for developing and deploying applications to solve the challenges developers ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Dr. Robert G. Schwartz, the principal of ... that acclaimed physiatrist Matthew Terzella, MD, has joined the practice as a partner, ... completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: