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:3/21/2016)... 2016 Unique technology combines ... superior security   Xura, Inc. ... secure digital communications services, today announced it is working ... enterprise customers, particularly those in the Financial Services Sector, ... authentication within a mobile app, alongside, and in combination ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... Florida , March 14, 2016 ... the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a ... channels starting the week of March 21 st .  The ... CNBC, including its popular Squawk on the Street show. ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... , March 10, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: ... Border Protection (CBP) is testing its biometric identity solution ... Diego to help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving ... The test, designed to help determine the efficiency and accuracy ... in February and will run until May 2016. --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Next week on May 5 ... first-in-class technologies for tissue stem cell counting and expansion to gene-editing scientists and ... & CRISPR-based Genome Engineering in Burlington, Massachusetts. , The attention of most gene-editing ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , ... April 27, 2016 , ... The Pittcon Organizing ... 2019. Chuck has been a volunteer member of Committee since 1987. Since then, ... board of directors and treasurer and was chairman for both the program and exposition ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... Jon Clark has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. Mr. Clark ... industry collaborations and managing the development of small molecule monographs based on analytical ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 MedDay, ... disorders, today announces the appointment of Catherine Moukheibir as Chairman ... MedDay,s previous Chairman, Jean Jacques Garaud , who contributed ... change is effective immediately. Catherine started her career ... and London .  She held ...
Breaking Biology Technology: