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Brain Parts Found in Ancient Human Ancestor [View All]

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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-10 02:29 PM
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Brain Parts Found in Ancient Human Ancestor
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Electromagnetic radiation revealed parts of the 1.9-million-year-old brain, as well as eggs of insects that fed on it.

By Jennifer Viegas | Mon Apr 12, 2010 08:01 AM ET

Remains of a 1.9-million-year-old human ancestor are so well preserved that they may contain a remnant of the male individual's brain, according to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, where the remains were recently examined.

While DNA is very fragile and deteriorates over time, the discovery opens up the remote possibility that soft tissue with preserved DNA still exists in the prehistoric hominid, which could hold an important place on the human family tree.

The examination also turned up what seemed to be fossilized insect eggs, according to scientists. They said larvae from the eggs could have fed on the flesh of the human ancestor, Australopithecus sediba, right after his death.

While gazing at the hominid's skull as it was being studied with a powerful electromagnetic radiation X-ray process, project leader Lee Berger said he and his team were seeing "structures we can't even imagine in a way that's quite literally unprecedented in paleontological sciences."


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http://news.discovery.com/human/brain-human-ancestor-sk...
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