Monday, October 7, 2013

Proceedings of Royal Society B November 22, 2013

This issue contained several articles relevant to molecular anthropology.

"A new Late Eocene primate from the Krabi Basin (Thailand) and the diversity of Palaeogene anthropoids in Southeast Asia" discusses that paleontological findings in Myanmar and China indicate that anthropoid primates may have first arisen in Asia rather than Africa.  However, the article admits that there are still a lot of holes in the record for these early Asian primates and that much more excavation work needs to be done to resolve these early branches of the primate phylogenetic tree.

The article "Evolution of recombination in eutherian mammals: insights into mechanisms that affect recombination rates and crossover interference" examines recombination rates in the group of mammals which includes humans.  The researchers found that mammalian lineages that had branched off early had lower recombination rates than clades with longer, more derived histories.  They also determined that some of these groups that had higher recombination rates also had less crossover interference than many other groups.  In the future, the authors write that looking at these species with low crossover interference may help elucidate some of the mechanisms behind recombination and interference as well as their role in evolution.

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