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:11/19/2016)... DALLAS , Nov. 18, 2016 Securus ... technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, ... a smaller competitor, ICSolutions, to have an independent technology ... set, the most modern high tech/sophisticated telephone calling platform, ... tell customers that they do most of what we ...
(Date:11/16/2016)... Sensory Inc ., a Silicon ... consumer electronics, and VeriTran , a technology ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... users of mobile banking and mobile payments solutions.  ... which requires no specialized biometric scanners, yet provides ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... Technology, Inc. ("xG" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: XGTI, XGTIW), ... in challenging operating environments, announced its results for the ... a conference call to discuss these results on November ... Key Recent Accomplishments ... acquire Vislink Communication Systems. The purchase is expected to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016 Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: ... Dr. Dan Kephart as its chief science ... will assume his responsibilities at Neogen effective Jan. 1. ... director for the agribusiness unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific, ... at Life Technologies. His extensive industry experience also includes ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... the association for the California life ... st Century Cures legislation in Congress. The bill passed ... and in the Senate on December 7 by a 94-5 ... , president & CEO of Biocom: "Today, Congress ... patients around the world. The measure culminates three years of ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016  Muse bio, a privately-held company ... announced that Dr. Kevin Ness has been ... of Directors. Kevin succeeds Muse bio,s ... company,s Chief Science Officer as well as remains Slade ... the BioDesign Center at the RAS Energy Institute at ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Proscia Inc., the ... service to enable rapid migration of large pathology data sets to the Proscia ... factors limiting adoption of digital pathology. Proscia’s free massive dataset migrator makes the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: