Monday, December 12, 2005

AAARGH! PNAS is Driving Me Crazy!

No Really, it's a plot! You see MSNBC has an article on some 7,500-11,000 year old Brazillian skulls. That's one below:

It's of a female the discoverers have nicknamed Luzia:

However, a new study examining the largest collection of South American skulls ever assembled suggests that a different population may have crossed the bridge to the New World 3,000 years before those Siberians.

Scientists occasionally discover skulls in South America that look more like those belonging to indigenous Australians and Melanesians than Northern Asians, but researchers tend to regard these skulls as anomalies due to natural variation rather than a norm, mainly because there were too few to study.


Now scientists have compared 81 skulls from the Lagoa Santa region of Brazil to worldwide data on human variation.

While the skulls of Native Americans and Northern Asians — the descendents of the early Siberian settlers — generally feature short, wide craniums, a broader face and high, narrow eye sockets and noses, this collection was remarkably different.

You get the picture, it's totally my cup of tea. Unfortunately, it's published in PNAS Early Online See! just scroll down a little and you'll find it - right above the OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE on "Introduction of an additional pathway for lactate oxidation in the treatment of lactic acidosis and mitochondrial dysfunction in Caenorhabditis elegans" like anyone would choose to read an article on lactic acidosis in nematodes when they could be reading about old bones and dirt! AAARGH! Come on PNAS make "Cranial morphology of early Americans from Lagoa Santa, Brazil: Implications for the settlement of the New World" Open access too...

Added a few minutes later: I apologize for to any Caenorhabditis elegans that I may have offended by implying they were less than interesting...