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Where Did We All Come From? Tracing Human Migration

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Life Stories

It’s About Us

African American Genealogy DNA is about bringing unity, dismantling ethnic division, separation of a human being for no real reason except learn behavior. So “Life Stories” is about we are one family of humanoids on earth. Inspiring others to create a place without restrictions or a sense of bondage by religion, color, ethnicity or other change that prohibit real communication and living.

Genetics is one path to enlightenment to understanding who we are, how we got to be, where we came from and how we became to be. In other words, the journey is from Africa and across the world. We migrated and planted the human seeds ever place on earth. Reunification of man and women.

Ancestry Circles, Gen 2.0 and Family Tree are bridging the gap, seeing the world of humans as a whole not separated. Continue to learn from each other, do not let traditional ethnicity block us from the human tree.

https://www.facebook.com/LifeStories.Goalcast/

Findmypast Privacy Statement

Source: Findmypast https://www.findmypast.com/content/privacy-policy?utm_source=fmp&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1077535-B-12-A&utm_campaign=service

Privacy Statement

Effective May 25, 2018

Your privacy is a top priority for Findmypast. We are dedicated to looking after your Personal Information in a way you feel is 100% safe and secure, handling it in a responsible manner and complying with data protection laws. When it comes to your privacy, we follow 3 main principles:

Simple. We want to make it simple for you to understand how we use your personal data. We aim to use easy to understand the language to describe our privacy policy and processes to help you make informed choices.

Transparent. We want to be transparent about the personal information we collect, why we collect it and how we process it.

Control. We give you control over the Personal Information you provide to us. We let you choose how and when it is used, shared, kept or deleted.

Our full Privacy Statement is below and we suggest you take the time to read and understand it.

This policy includes:

  • 1. About us
  • 2. Information we collect
  • 3. How we use the information
  • 4. What if I don’t provide some or all of the information requested?
  • 5. What grounds (legal basis) are we processing the data under?
  • 6. Information stored on your family tree
  • 7. Record matching
  • 8. Sharing your information with third parties
  • 9. Sale of the Business
  • 10. Cookies
  • 11. How we protect your data
  • 12. Your rights regarding your personal information
  • 13. Right of complaint to the Regulator for Data Protection
  • 14. How long we hold your data
  • 15. Links to third-party websites
  • 16. Updates to the privacy policy
  • 17. Contacting us


1. About Us

This website www.findmypast.com is owned and operated by Findmypast Limited (FMP), a company registered in England and Wales no. 04369607, having its registered offices at The Glebe, 6 Chapel Place, Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3DQ.

FMP is committed to protecting your privacy and maintaining the security of any personal information received from you. We strictly adhere to the requirements of the data protection legislation in the UK and we are registered on the Data Protection Public Register number Z6639808. Our Data Protection Officer will be happy to deal with any queries or requests regarding the data we hold about you. They can be contacted at dataprotectionofficer@findmypast.com or by post to Data Protection Officer, The Glebe, 6 Chapel Place, Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3DQ.

2. Information we collect

Information we collect about you

When you register on our website or place an order, we collect your name and email address. This allows us to process your registration, fulfil your order and send you important service messages.

Sometimes, we may ask you to provide other contact details, such as phone number or address, to carry out our surveys. You will always be given the option to withhold these contact details at the time you complete the survey.

We do collect some information from cookies, pixels and similar software which allows us to understand how you arrive on our websites, how you use and navigate around them, and how you interact with our email. This information is used to improve our services and communication. We obtain some information from Google Analytics and Facebook. The Facebook information provided is limited to your email address and only that which you have previously agreed with Facebook that they can share.

In order to purchase a subscription or credits for Findmypast you must be over 18 years old. More information about our age restrictions can be found in our terms and conditions.

Information you provide to us

If you create a family tree or create content on the website, we also collect that information, which may include personal information about you and other people (for example, names and birthdays of people in your family). You should ensure, if you provide personal information about people in your family who are living and not deceased, that you have the consent from the relevant individual to include that personal information on the website.

We do not collect sensitive information (also known as special categories of information) about you except when you specifically knowingly provide it and have consented to this. Examples are adding your religious belief to a family tree. More details about the privacy of the family tree are available below.

3. How we use the information

We will use your personal information for a number of purposes including

  • To manage the website (including your account);
  • To provide you with a free trial (if requested);
  • To process orders and provide our services, goods or online content, to provide you with information about them and to deal with your requests and queries.
  • For administration purposes. This means we may contact you regarding goods or services ordered or online content you have signed up for, to let you know that a service or online site has been suspended for maintenance, if your subscription is about to expire to ask if you wish to renew it, or if an online account has become dormant to ask if you wish to retain the account before we close it.
  • To provide advanced website features to you and others.
  • We use IP addresses and device identifiers to identify the location of users, to establish the number of visits from different countries, to limit/cap adverts of a certain type, and to personalise content and emails.
  • For analysis and research to improve our services and goods offered.
  • To improve your search results.
  • A certain amount of advertising is tailored to the individual based on viewing and/or purchase habits. This is a common practice known as online behavioural advertising.
  • We may show you relevant advertising on third party sites (e.g. Facebook, Google, and Twitter). Some third party sites allow you to request not to see messages from specific advertisers.
  • To conduct surveys with you (where you have consented to us contacting you for such purpose).
  • To provide personalised communications (more details below).
  • Where we provide personalised services, we may analyse the information you supply, as well as your activity on our (and other) services, so we can offer a more relevant, tailored service.
  • We may use and disclose information in aggregate (so no individuals are identified) for marketing and strategic development purposes.


Service messages

We send service emails to you to administer the service. Service emails include registration and payment confirmations and emails that provide useful information about how to use a service or feature when you sign up or start using it. We will also send you a service email if we make a fundamental change to the website, or to our terms & conditions that we think we need to make you aware of, or to let you know important information about your account.

Marketing messages

We use your email address to update you on new products, services and subscription offers. We will only contact you with your consent. You are entitled to withhold this consent and refrain from receiving such communications by selecting the appropriate option on the web form that collects your details. You can also update these options at any time by logging into your account and adjusting your preferences, by contacting us by email at support@findmypast.com, by calling +44 (0)20 3326 6300 [UK, IE, AU] / +1 (855) 246-8234 [US] or by post to Findmypast, 6 Chapel Place, Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DQ. We will always provide you with a way of opting out of receiving future marketing messages from us each time we send them to you.

4. What if I don’t provide some or all of the information requested?

The impact of this will depend on what information you withhold, but the main impacts may be:

  • We will not be able to process or fully process your order.
  • We will not be able to contact you to let you know of problems regarding your order or the goods/services provided.
  • We will not be able to respond fully to requests and queries you may have.
  • We cannot personalise the service you receive. So, if you are online you will have to search more for the content type you normally view or for similar/related products.
  • We won’t be able to limit online adverts to products or services you have shown interest in and so you may receive adverts that are not related to your interests.


5. What grounds (legal basis) are we processing the data under?

There are a number of grounds we process your data under. These are:

  • Contractual – we need the information to perform the contract for goods or services you have requested/ordered including payment, delivery etc.
  • Legal – should we be legally required to contact you concerning a purchase or service.
  • Legitimate interest – this means the processing is in Findmypast’s interest. It allows us to manage the customer relationship effectively and efficiently and improve the goods and/or services we provide by better understanding how our online provisions are used and which goods are popular with which groups of individuals.
  • Consent – where you have given us consent to market to you.


6. Information stored in your family tree

Family names that are included in your family tree may be searchable by users of the website (and users of other websites) and may appear on internet searches. The information stored on your tree will not be viewable by other users unless you give explicit permission by making your tree public.

We provide you with privacy controls to manage your family tree and control who can see the information in it. You should familiarise yourself with how these controls work as you are responsible for using them to protect the information you have provided. We reserve the right (at our own discretion) to remove any personal data which you have included in your family tree about people who are living if we are alerted to the fact that this personal data was used without that person’s permission.

If you become aware that your personal information has been included in somebody else’s tree without your permission or is being misused in any other way on the website, please send an email to our Customer Support team support@findmypast.com with details and we will investigate and, if necessary, remove this information.

7. Record matching

Findmypast uses record matching technologies to suggest possible matches between historical records on Findmypast and associated partner trees on Family Historian or Roots Magic.

Record matching on Findmypast automatically matches historical records for your family tree. These records are pulled from our vast records database Record matching will save you time with your research and allow you to make fascinating discoveries through historical records such as birth, marriage and death documents and census records. Our historical records are gathered from a number of key partners around the world. More information about our record partners is available on Our Partners page.

When record matching is enabled within partner sites such as Family Historian, Roots Magic, or other Desktop Software partners, information from small parts of your family tree is passed between the sites without you having to do anything, to a matching service on the Findmypast website. This information includes basic information such as names, dates and places associated with individuals and their close relatives. Findmypast uses this data to find accurate matches for relevant individuals. The matching service provides partner site users with suggested matches of ancestors’ birth, marriage, and death records. We will also provide matches for census records. As a Findmypast customer, you can then add these records to your tree. The service will match against living relatives.

Please note this information is not retained by Findmypast and is deleted automatically after matches are calculated and displayed to you. Only partner site users receive Findmypast hints. Findmypast users do not receive hints about trees on the partner site.

The partner site will show matches in its search window where matches are found. To find out more about these matches, follow the links provided and review them. You will then be able to accept or reject matches. Please note that some matches can be viewed and confirmed for free, while others require a Findmypast data subscription. In order to review these matches, you will need to subscribe to Findmypast and create an account.

The information passed to Findmypast is never used for any other purpose and will never be displayed, sold, licensed or used in any manner whatsoever. If you have any question or concerns, you can email support@findmypast.com or call Customer Support on +44(0)20 3326 6300 [UK, IE, AU] +1 (855) 246-8234 [US]

8. Sharing your information with third parties

We may from time to time provide your personal information to third parties for the purposes of providing you with our services. These third-party providers include payment processors, providers of card validation services, and credit referencing providers. This is necessary for the performance of the contract. We do not keep a record of your credit or debit card details in our systems. Our payment processors do not decide what is done with your data and only process it on our behalf. These third parties may be located outside the European Economic Area; however, we only use providers that provide adequate protection for your information at all times.

When transferring and storing any personal information outside the EEA we only do so under one of the legally recognised transfer mechanisms for ensuring the data is safeguarded. These are:

  • The country in question has been deemed safe for data transfer by the European Commission. Also known as an adequacy finding.
  • The contract for data processing contains the standard contractual clauses laid down by the European Commission to safeguard the transfer of personal data.
  • Binding corporate rules – this is where a large company’s own internal processes for international data transfer have been signed off and agreed by the European Commission as safeguarding the data.
  • If the data is going to the USA it can be safely transferred to a company that is certified under the EU-US Privacy Shield.
  • Appropriate certification schemes

We will disclose your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation. This includes disclosing information to organisations for the purposes of fraud protection, credit risk reduction, or the order of a court or regulator.

We also share your details with service providers who assist us with hosting our marketing campaigns and surveys but only in cases where you have consented to marketing or surveys. We will not provide your data to other third parties for marketing purposes unless you have specifically consented to this when you first provided your data to us. You are entitled to decline to receive such third-party communications by not selecting the appropriate box on the web form that collects your details or at any subsequent time by logging into your account and adjusting your preferences, by contacting us by email at support@findmypast.com or by post to Findmypast, 6 Chapel Place, Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DQ.

9. Sale of the Business

In the event that we undergo re-organisation or are sold to a third party, you agree that any personal information we hold about you may be transferred to that re-organised entity or third party.

10. Cookies

This website uses cookies. For more information about what cookies are, what we use them for and how you can delete them, please read our cookies policy.

We do collect some information from cookies and similar software that allows us to understand how you arrive on our websites and use and navigate around them so we can improve the sites. We obtain some information from Google Analytics and Facebook. The Facebook information provided is limited to your email address and only that which you have previously agreed with Facebook that they can share.

11. How we protect your information

We follow strict security procedures in the storage and disclosure of information which you have given us, to prevent unauthorised access to, and loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information in accordance with UK data protection legislation. These include firewalls and virus-checking procedures.

You are responsible for keeping secret any confidential passwords or other login or access details that you select or which we allocate to you. While we take steps to ensure the security of your information, there is a risk that any information transmitted over the Internet and stored on a computer may be intercepted or accessed by an unauthorised party. If you think that someone has accessed your information held by us without your permission or gained unauthorised access to your login details, you must notify us at support@findmypast.com.

We also recommend that if you use a shared computer or a computer in a public place such as a library that you close your browser when you have finished your session.

12. Your rights regarding your Personal Information

Under the Data Protection law, you have a number of rights with respect to your personal information, which are:

    • Correcting your Information

You are entitled to have your personal information updated to ensure it is up to date and accurate. In order to maintain the accuracy of the information we hold, you can update your personal details through your ‘My Account’ page or by sending us an email to support@findmypast.com.

    • Withdrawing Consent

You have the right to withdraw your consent to any processing that is currently being done under your consent, such as marketing. Consent can be withdrawn by updating your preferences in the email preference centre or through ‘My Account’. You can also email to support@findmypast.com.

    • Obtaining a copy of your Information

You have the right to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you. You can do this by contacting support@findmypast.com from the email address attached to your account, providing the full name attached to your account.

    • Deleting your information

You can request that we delete personal information in certain circumstances. These will be specific to each case. You can do this by contacting support@findmypast.com from the email address attached to your account, providing the full name attached to your account.

    • Data Portability

You have the right to ask us to transfer the personal information that you have given us to another controller.

    • Restricting Processing

You can request a restriction on the processing of your data in some limited circumstances. Examples are concerns over data accuracy or we no longer need to hold your data but you have requested its retention by us to aid you in a legal matter. You can do this by contacting support@findmypast.com from the email address attached to your account, providing the full name attached to your account.

  • Right to object to Processing
  • You have the right to request that we stop processing your data for marketing purposes and in other limited circumstances such as asking us not to process your data by wholly automated means or not to analyse your information for targeted content etc. (also known as profiling).You can action any of these rights by contacting our Customer Support Team or by contacting us by email at dataprotectionofficer@findmypast.com or by post to Data Protection Officer, Findmypast, 6 Chapel Place, Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DQ.

    13. Right of complaint to the Regulator for Data Protection

    The data protection laws in the UK are regulated and enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Each individual has the right to raise a concern/complaint to the ICO if they have any concerns about how their personal information and/or privacy is treated. You can do this via the ICO’s website, follow the links or have an online Live Chat.

    Call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113

    Email casework@ico.org.uk

    Postal address: Information Commissioner’s Office

    Wycliffe House

    Water Lane

    Wilmslow, Cheshire,

    SK9 5AF

    14. How long we hold your data for

    Some of the information you provide to us will be necessary to carry out repeated tasks, such as verifying your identity or payment details when signing in to use an account, providing our services to you or when you are using an online checkout. We will keep this information for as long as you remain a registered user of any of our sites and for so long as reasonably necessary. After this time, we may need to hold your personal data in order to meet our financial obligations or identify or resolve issues or causes of action. If your account is inactive for more than five years and you are no longer paying for a service, we reserve the right to delete any information you have provided to us, including all information in your family tree. We will send an email to the address attached to your account before deleting the information in your family tree.

    15. Links to third-party websites

    Our website contains links to other websites belonging to third parties which are not covered by this privacy policy. If you want to go through to a third-party website, please make sure that you read the privacy policy for that website.

    16. Updates to this policy

    We may update this policy at any time without notice. We will tell you that we have updated the policy by emailing you at the email address you have provided to us and/or by posting an announcement on the website. By continuing to use the website after we have emailed you or posted a notice informing you of an update, you accept the changes to this Policy.

    Privacy statement last updated 8 May 2018.

    17. Contacting us

    If you have any questions about privacy or wish to update your details or have them removed from our mailing list at any time, please contact us at:

    Email: support@findmypast.com

    Phone: +44 (0)20 3326 6300 [UK, IE, AU] / +1 (855) 246-8234 [US]

    Post: Data Protection Officer

    Findmypast

    6 Chapel Place

    Rivington Street

    London EC2A 3DQ

J.F.S. match to me, predictive relationship 2nd cousin and we share Great Grandparents
23andMe match 2nd cousin on 14 markers, we share 93 relatives together, haplogroup for me L2ala2 and for J.F.S. L2ale
Here is the response to my inquiry:
Good day, sir. There is no Saluda Slade, in this family tree. What i have discovered is the males and females have given birth to children without ever notifying their spouses. This occured from males and females. It appears females had cgildren without notifying their future spouse. It also appears males had children, though married, with other women, while married. So far, tge females did not produce progeny, while married, howebwr males, did. That explaines tge DNA segment matches of 3.8% and lower. I have been contacted by white families as well and are disghusted to know I am their NEICE, AUNT and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th cousin and that i am lredominantky of SubSaharan descent. They were comoletwky unaware that their father, though married to thwir mothwr fathered a black child. THIS CONNECTION IS ON THE PATERNAL HAPLOTYPE AND THE MALE HAD SEX WITH AN UNKNOWN FEMALE AND PRODUCED A CHILD. When I shared your email with the remainder of my family, they prefer that they not open a can of worms. I shall comply with tge majority of this famiky and any i fidelities that resukted in offspring shall remain unknown. How does it go, till dwath do we part. Thank you for informing us, our paternal great- great -great-grandfather had a relationship he didnt want to disclose. He is dead. Been dead for 3 generations and he may not have know of the conception. Since he didnt know, and his son dindt know, and his grand son didny know and his great grand aon disnt know and his great, great, grrat grand son dinsy know, none kf yhis current family deaires to knkw what he did, before he married his wife. Sir, i shall reacy as my white 1sy cousin. Take this informayion with you, yo your grave. It shall remain undisclosed. God bless. Do nkt contacts me further. I will.not respond. Best wishes.
This is verbatim without any changes to the email.
This a confirmation of the relationship and does not deter me from entering the ancestor information in the family tree. The same information is in Gedmatch and triangulations confirms the match.
As long as you have validation, recorded proof in records just move on, we can never change how one thinks but we certainly can continue our journey finding our ancestors.

AAGHS Conference 2018

 

Dear Members, Family and Friends:

We are on the countdown – the month of March is here already, to AAHGS 39th Annual Conference in Philadelphia at the Valley Forge Casino Resort, 1160 1st Avenue, King of Prussia, PA 19406 on the dates of October 11 – 13, 2018.

Are You In – Registered and Excited as We Are to Attend? Here’s the link to registered for the conferenceso claim your spot. The host, Family Quest Chapter is well into planning to make sure we have an awesome time. Let’s show our support by attending AAHGS 39thAnnual Conference; after all we’re family and connected in some way!

Share the experience of our conference perhaps with someone who has never attended before and also take pleasure while you’re there in the network opportunities by exchanging information with attendees from various places, near and far.

Don’t delay, register for the conference and book your room reservations.

2018 Conference Committee

conference@aahgs.org

 

DNADNA Visualization

Source: https://dnadna.uk/

This dna visualization was created by Mike Toogood in the UK. Still working on the software for my own genealogy. Enjoy!

Join the dots today!

Visualise your DNA Match Relationships Easily and Quickly

easy web creator
  • FREE TO USE – DNADNA is free to use – copyright reserved
  • EASY AND SIMPLE – ‘Ever played join the dots … you can use visualisation.
  • ARTISTIC – The pictures you produce are pleasing – there is no right or wrong way.
  • MEANINGFULNESS – Layout the information in a way that looks meaningful to you.

    What is DNADNA?

    Join the dots for grown up Genealogists!

    best free website builder
    • A VISUALISATION SYSTEM  Network Analysis pictures can be used to understand complex systems.
    • NET GRAPHS ARE IDEAL  Understand links between distant DNA cousins.
    • A DATA PRE PROCESSOR  DNADNA uses logic and simple rules to prune and select the most genealogically relevant bits from the vast amount of data that is now available as more people DNA test.
    • MATERNAL/PATERNAL/BOTH INFERENCE ENGINE  DNADNA can infer likely relationships from known ones and color your graph accordingly.

 

 

SCIENCE – In a Cave in Israel, Scientists Find Jawbone Fossil From Oldest Modern Human Out of Africa

By NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR  JAN. 25, 2018

Access: The New York Times and The Times of Israel Jan. 25, 2018

This article changes a lot of our current genetic beliefs. It is my opinion, that the new data may verify my thoughts of what happened to the very first known haplogroup L0(haplogroup is a genetic population group of people who share a common ancestor on the patriline or the matriline. Haplogroups are assigned letters of the alphabet, and refinements consist of additional number and letter combinations.) Dec 28, 2017

Haplogroup – ISOGG Wiki – International Society of Genetic Genealogy

https://isogg.org/wiki/Haplogroup

I have often written extensively about the Adams and Eves that existed long ago.  Often getting negative reactions, silent and challenges to my beliefs. Interest in scientific, anthropological findings clearly researched and shared with other professionals worldwide. Again, I ask that you the reader keep an open mind. Just as anything else in this world, things change as we continue to dig and discover using the best anthropological and genetic tools available. It will be years before we can say for sure, that this is the missing L0 group who are the original men and women of Africa. For sure they are apart of the L0-L6 haplogroup of men and women of Africa. These groups migrated out of Africa over a long period of time, developing mutations such as skin, eye and hair color.

*All DNA testing companies have always used a Eurasian model with there algorithms. It is like a plague to use Africans in their models, which is a bias towards one group as opposed to an another. There are models that take into account African populations with significant results. ( dnatestedafrican.org)  strongly suggest a full sequence maternal test if you can afford it or the next lowest which is 67 markers. Testing below YDNA 111 markers paternal is not worth your money but if you can at least test at 67 markers that is great. I do not challenge religious biblical ideology. That is an area that I have no expertise.

A jawbone found in a cave in Israel’s Mount Carmel region has reset the clock on human evolution.

The fossil, the earliest known record of Homo sapiens outside of Africa, was discovered in 2002 during an excavation of the prehistoric Misliya Cave. After 15 years of intensive research by an international team of multidisciplinary scientists, the unique remains of an adult upper jawbone, complete with several teeth, has been dated to 170,000-200,000 years ago.

“This has changed the whole concept of modern human evolution,” said Prof. Israel Hershkovitz of the Department of Anatomy and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine. The research was published Thursday in the prestigious Science magazine.

Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Israel Hershkovitz (left) and University of Haifa’s Prof. Mina Weinstein-Evron. (courtesy)

Based on fossils found in Ethiopia, for the past 50 years scientists have believed that modern humans appeared in Africa, the “cradle of humanity,” roughly 160,000-200,000 years ago. The earliest record of migration outside of Africa was dated to around 90,000-120,000 years ago, through fossils discovered at digs in Israel’s Skhul and Qafzeh caves almost 90 years ago.

With this Misliya cave jawbone, however, the history of human evolution is being rewritten.

“The entire narrative of the evolution of Homo sapiens must be pushed back by at least 100,000-200,000 years,” said Hershkovitz, the head of the Dan David Center for Human Evolution and Biohistory Research at TAU’s Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.

The Misliya fossil not only resets the date for Homo sapien evolution and migration, but also spurs the mind-blowing implication that modern humanity did not evolve independently but rather alongside — and intermingled with — many other hominin groups, such as Neanderthals, he said.

The 177,000 to 194,000-year-old maxilla (upper jaw) of Misliya-1 hominin (Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University)

The dating of a modern human fossil to 200,000 years ago “implies that the biological history of our species must be pushed back to half a million years ago,” Hershkovitz told The Times of Israel on Thursday. “It implies that our species didn’t evolve in isolation… The species was involved with a very long interaction with other groups.”

“Our species,” said Hershkovitz, “is a genetic mishmash of several hominins.”

Archaeological findings from the cave support this “mishmash” theory by providing an even earlier sedimentary-layered context for modern human settlement — by about 50,000 years. Therefore, modern human settlement in Israel could arguably be dated to even 250,000 years ago.

According to University of Haifa archaeologist Prof. Mina Weinstein-Evron of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, “Miss Lia,” as she fancifully calls the fossil from the Misliya site, was discovered in a layer well after the indications of first modern human settlement there. (There is no way to ascertain the gender of the fossil.)

Speaking with The Times of Israel just hours after the press announcement of the revolutionary find, Weinstein-Evron reminisced that when she and Hershkovitz first drew up plans ahead of commencing the joint dig in 2001, their stated (modest) goal was to look for the origins of the modern Homo sapiens. With the discovery of “Miss Lia” in the Mount Carmel region, which is rife with indications of paleolithic settlement, she said, “we have found something even more surprising.”

Typical Early Middle Paleolithic flint points found together with Misliya 1 (Mina Weinstein Evron, University of Haifa)

During 10 years of excavations, along with the jawbone, the team uncovered some 60,000 flint tools, which span the human history of development from chunky primitive hand axes to purposefully knapped, lightweight, technologically advanced projectiles and thin knives.

During artifact analysis, researchers were able to discern the different lingering flora and fauna on the tools.

“The new zooarchaeological data from Misliya Cave, particularly the abundance of meat-bearing limb bones displaying filleting cut marks and the acquisition of prime-age prey, demonstrate that early Middle Paleolithic people possessed developed hunting capabilities. Thus, modern large-game hunting, carcass transport, and meat-processing behaviors were already established in the Levant in the early Middle Paleolithic, more than 200,000 years ago,” according to a 2007 Journal of Human Evolution study from the dig.

“They had a delicatessen in the cave,” said Weinstein-Evron, who listed auroch and other deer steaks, hares, ostrich eggs and wild boars as among the foodstuffs found in the caves. “They supped on ham and eggs,” she joked.

Likewise, said Weinstein-Evron, the team discovered the world’s first signs of the use of organic padding for the settlers’ seats next to the communal hearth.

Misliya cave, where a jawbone complete with teeth was recently discovered dating to 177,000-194,000 years ago. (Mina Weinstein-Evron, University of Haifa)

In addition to the genetic analysis of the bone, archaeological findings confirmed that Homo sapiens “lived in parallel with other types of humans a lot longer than thought,” she said. Fossil records have indicated that Homo sapiens are a very diverse group. Now, she said, it is much more likely that the species is made up of a mix of hominin groups.

“We are researchers, not ‘finders,’” said Weinstein-Evron. “The minute we uncover one thing,it is the beginning of looking into something else.”

A breakthrough discovery 15 years in the making

Dating and typifying the fossil took 15 years and a team of inter-disciplinary international scientists who together confirmed the groundbreaking fossil’s properties and its dating to circa 170,000 to 200,000.

Back in 2002, the jawbone fossil was discovered in “petrified soil,” said Hershkovitz. It was removed as a block out of the cave and taken to the laboratory, where the year-long process of sediment removal commenced.

“It is a frustrating process that takes a lot of time. It must be done step by step in order not to damage the fossil. It took about a year just to clean and prepare it for study,” he said.

Reconstructed maxilla from micro CT images of the 177,000 to 194,000-year-old maxilla (upper jaw) of Misliya-1 hominin. (Gerhard Weber, University of Vienna, Austria)

Next, the fossil’s dating began. “This is the critical issue, we had to be absolutely sure,” he said, so it was decided to use the next several years to implement several different methods to date the bone, as well as sediment from the excavation site.

“It takes years, working almost day by day on the specimen,” he said. Some of the dating processes are time dependent, explained Hershkovitz, such as a radiation dating technique which requires a year.

The team, he said, had no idea about how old the jawbone would turn out to be. “The first thing that caught our eyes was that the layer we were excavating was from the early middle paleolithic period, which in Israel is 250,000 to 140,000. So we were quite sure the specimen was older than 120,000,” the oldest known Homo sapien fossil outside of Africa until that time.

The dating completed, he said, “we had to prove that the specimen belongs to our species, Homo sapiens.” To that end, the bone was scanned for 3D analysis.

 Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Rachel Sarig participated in the analysis. “In the Misliya specimen we used the most advanced methods, using micro CT analysis, which actually allowed us to dig into the tooth, to virtually peel the layers of the bone and other teeth, we could look into the tooth into the dentin layer and analyze the shape of the dentin of the roots of the tooth and of the enamel crown.”

Sarig said the specimen displays “modern characteristics.” “It has more modern features which are similar to modern populations than to other ancient populations such as the Neanderthals,” said Sarig.

According to Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Hila May, there are five features that indicate the maxilla jawbone is of the Homo sapien species. These include the small parabolic dental arch, the location of the incisive foramen, where the anterior part (zygomatic arch) enters to the maxilla, the ridge where the anterior part of the zygomatic arch enters to the maxilla, and the orientation of the floor of the nasal cavity, May enumerated in a video put out by Tel Aviv University.

Location of early modern human fossils in Africa and the Middle East. (Rolf Quam, Binghamton University, USA/NASA image)

       Click on the red triangle for a better view

In the video, Weinstein-Evron sits at a table in front of an array of tools which were discovered in the cave. She pointed out the rugged, large hand axes, then the lighter, more precise and sophisticated flint tools, a clear visual representation of the evolution of the human species.

“We found evidence for everything in the cave… And from Mount Carmel, apparently these modern humans with their industry, colonized slowly and slowly, all of the old world,” said Weinstein-Evron.

As to who these early modern humans were and what they were capable of, Hershkovitz said, is impossible to know based purely on this upper jawbone.

“But judging from the sophistication of their tools, which were formed using a very unique technique, that attests to their intellectual capabilities. I personally believe they were as smart as we are today, but that’s just a guess,” said Hershkovitz.

 

The Genome Ball

Feature Story: The Genome Ball

Forget Those X-Shaped Chromosomes

A Genome Looks Like This

Visitors to the Genome exhibition are frequently intrigued by the Genome Ball, a three-dimensional model of the human genome that represents a creative synthesis of scientific knowledge and technical innovation. For students and adults raised on clinically produced karyotypes – those artificially arranged pairs of X-shaped chromosomes photographed during cell division – the Genome Ball will challenge all their previous (mis)conceptions and show the human genome in a new light.

How did we first begin to grasp the structure of the nucleus? It all began in 1682 when Anton van Leeuwenhoek, a fabric merchant in the Dutch city of Delft, examined blood cells of fish. Leeuwenhoek used a microscope with lenses he’d ground himself, and reported his observations in a letter to the Royal Society:

I came to observe the blood of a cod and of a salmon, which I also found to consist of hardly anything but oval figures … it seemed to me that some of them enclosed in a small space a little round body or globule …

If you’ve looked at human blood under a microscope, that description may sound odd:  Mature red blood cells (RBCs) don’t contain nuclei – do they? You’re right! However, the RBCs of fish (and amphibians and reptiles) do indeed have nuclei, and Leeuwenhoek was the first to describe them. Nevertheless, the Royal Society wasn’t blown away by his letter (after all, how much could a business man with “little fortune and no formal education” know about science?). The “little round body or globule” remained nameless for the next 150 years.

Then, in 1831, the Scottish botanist Robert Brown was studying plant fertilization when he noticed that pollen moved in and out of “ovals” in the plant cells. He called each oval a “nucleus,” a Latin word meaning “nut” or “kernel” – a bit like a black walnut surrounded by its thick green hull. Not only did Brown’s name stick, but his 1833 paper even suggested that the nucleus was probably involved in fertilization and the development of embryos.

The next step in our nuclear narrative was taken by Friedrich Miescher, a Swiss physician who extracted and isolated a previously unknown substance from pus-soaked bandages at the hospital where he worked. White blood cells, a major constituent of pus, have very large nuclei, and Miescher correctly concluded that the substance came from those nuclei. He called it “nuclein.” Today we call it DNA.

How many chromosomes in a human cell?

Although the fine points of cell division were still unexplained, scientists in the early 1900s were eager to learn the number of chromosomes in human cells. However, counting the number of human chromosomes during cell division turned out to be quite a challenge. Even when chromosomes were lined up on the “midline” of a cell, scientists’ counts ranged from 16 to 36.

Evidently, Hans von Winiwarter got tired of these wide-ranging approximations. Using the best microscopes available to him in 1912, he produced early karyotypes by capturing and fixing human cells at the moment of cell division. Despite his best efforts, Winiwarter’s counts ranged from 46 to 49; and while noting correctly that women have two X chromosomes, he mistakenly concluded that males had only one X and no Y.  For the next 40+ years, students were generally taught that human cells contained 48 chromosomes.

Finally, in 1956, the correct value of “46” was confirmed – 22 pairs of autosomes and 1 pair of sex chromosomes in human cells other than eggs or sperm. It’s surprising to learn that Watson & Crick had published their model of DNA’s structure, opening the world of modern genetics, several years before the number of human chromosomes was firmly established!

Good things come in small packages

By the end of the 20th century, knowledge of DNA structure and the mechanisms of cell division had advanced dramatically. Yet, based on their school textbooks, most people still tended to picture chromosomes as the condensed “X-shaped” bodies seen in karyotypes. DNA was known to uncoil between cell divisions, but it was hard to imagine how such long straggling threads (more than 2 meters, or 6 feet, per cell) could pack into a nucleus only 6/1,000,000 of a meter in diameter (smaller than the diameter of a human hair).

Eventually, studies showed that DNA decreases in length when regions of about 166 base pairs wrap like twine around small proteins to form complexes known as nucleosomes . A short stretch of non-wound DNA falls between each nucleosomal unit, the result looking a bit like a string of beads. In such a configuration, a 1-meter (3-foot) strand of DNA is reduced to 14 cm (about 6 inches). This shortened strand then coils even more, until an X-shaped chromosome in a dividing cell measures roughly 1/10,000 the length of the DNA strand it contains!

The “fractal globule” (aka ramen noodles)

So what does the 3-dimensional model of the nucleus, as seen in the Genome Ball, have to do with all this?

 

One of the most important discoveries in genome biology has been the demonstration that genomes are non-randomly organized in the nucleus.

Even though chromatin looks like long straggly threads, it is amazingly well organized: Thanks to the organized coiling of chromatin, genes are able to interact with the DNA regions that regulate them.

The genome is organized into “distinct regions of open and closed chromatin regulatory domains,” explains Dr. Laura Elnitski, senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health. Put more simply, chromatin that is less active in a given cell type, or chromosomes containing few genes, are located just inside the nuclear membrane; but more active chromatin (for example, a gene coding for insulin in healthy pancreatic cells), and chromosomes carrying many genes, occupy the center of the nucleus. Overall, the nuclear location of specific genes correlates with their activity in a given cell.

Erez Aiden (who spearheaded the Genome Ball project) also discussed chromatin organization in his prize-winning essay in Science: “Loci on the same chromosome – even at opposite ends – interact more than loci on different chromosomes.” And within individual chromosomes, “open [active] chromatin interacts more with open chromatin and closed with closed,” wrote Aiden. In short:  Genes have more interactions with regions on their own chromosome; and within any given chromosome, active regions group together with other active regions, while quiet or gene-poor areas group with other quiet regions.

Aiden had found a paper theorizing that long polymers – DNA is a good example – are able to form very tight coils with no knots, “a configuration known as the fractal globule.” One of the most striking characteristics of the fractal globule is that it can be folded and refolded without disturbing the rest of the condensed polymer.

 

The fractal globule is easy to explain to graduate students because it closely resembles the only food we can afford: ramen, said Aiden.

Uncooked, the noodles don’t contain any knots. Even when partially cooked, they don’t get tangled in the cooking pan. However, ramen noodles do become tangled after cooking, whereas chromatin stably maintains its unknotted state throughout interphase – the period between cell divisions when chromatin in the nucleus uncoils. In that condensed but non-knotted configuration, sections of chromatin that are far apart on the long strands may be brought into proximity. Thus, interactions between chromatin on the same chromosome, or between sections with similar properties or functions, are made possible by the way chromatin is organized in the interphase nucleus.

These are but a few of the innovative and complex understandings that inspired the creators of the Genome Ball (for more information about the 3-D printing of the Genome Ball displayed at the exhibition, see the feature article “Super 3D Model: How the Genome Ball Was Created” on this website). Our knowledge of the nucleus has come a long way in the 332 years since Leeuwenhoek. But, as Aiden’s Science essay concluded: “at the fringes of our maps the world is full of surprises.”

The same is certainly true of the nucleus.

Source: Unlockinglifescode.org/the-genome-ball. Access November 19, 2017, Genome Project NIH

Resources:

(1) Zoom!” Science 334 (2 December 2011): 1222-1223.

(2) “DNA packaging: Nucleosomes and Chromatin.” Nature Education 1 (2008):26.

(3) “Regulatory and Epigenetic Landscapes of Mammalian Genomes,” Current Topics in Genome Analysis 2014. March 26, 2014.

(4) “Leeuwenhoek Sees the Cell Nucleus.” Science of Aging: Timeline of Discoveries.

(5) Comprehensive Mapping of Long-Range Interactions Reveals Folding Principles of the Human Genome. Science 326 (9 October 2009): 189-324.

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