📰 Understand human evolution thanks to proteins

Over the past decade, the family tree of our prehistoric ancestors has become more complex. New species have been added to Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, causing much debate among paleontologists. Without having an answer through the bones, studying proteins could lift the veil a little on the connection between “them” and “us”.

DNA analyzes have already revolutionized our knowledge of human evolution: We were able to confirm that several types of people existed at the same time and could multiply among themselves. However, DNA is broken down in just a few thousand years, especially in hot and humid regions. Therefore, no genetic testing has yet been done (the day or day is the interval between sunrise and sunset; it is the period between two nights when the rays …) than for specimens that are less than 50,000 years old and in temperate ones Regions of Europe were discovered (Europe is a terrestrial region that can be viewed as an independent continent, but also as the western end of the Eurasian continent as …) and Asia (Asia is one of the five continents or part of the Eurasian or Afro-Eurasian Supercontinent of the earth.It is the largest continent (8.6% of the total land area) or 29.4% of …).

Researchers are therefore turning to studying proteins that we can read in the New Scientist. This is because proteins are made up of several small molecules called amino acids, and they are arranged in a specific order given by genes. The sequence of the amino acids therefore partly reflects that of the DNA.

These scientists are interested in proteins in bones and teeth such as collagen (collagen is a fibrous glycoprotein whose role can be compared to a scaffold. It is the most abundant protein in the body. It is made by connective tissue cells (as opposed to …) or keratin. These proteins have the advantage that they remain intact longer than DNA and are present in larger quantities in certain tissues. For example, researchers have succeeded in extracting good quality collagen from a sample ( In general, a sample is a small amount of material, information, or solution. The word is used in various fields 🙂 3.8 million years old. Once the proteins have been collected, their sequencing (in biochemistry which consists of Sequencing is the linear order of the components of a macromolecule (the amino acids of a protein, the nucleotides of a nucleic acid like …) Compare the differences and similarities with people today.

This technique has been successfully applied to animals such as the sloth (The term sloth or Ai (folivora) is the slang name given to certain mammals of tropical America belonging to the Xenarthra family.). These results were then confirmed by DNA studies, suggesting that protein sequencing is as reliable as genetic analysis. The method also showed a connection between Gigantopithecus, an ape (a monkey (from the Latin Simius, plural Simia) is an animal belonging to the group formed by the order of primates. This is not easy among primates .. .) 1.9 million old (one million (1,000,000) is the natural number after nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine (999,999) and which became extinct a million and one …) years ago, and the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus ), also written orangutan, is sometimes a great ape with long arms and red fur brown, classified in the category …) modern.

Promising results

Scientists have also used this method to identify a 160,000 year old jawbone found in Tibet. According to analysis, the bone came from a member of the Denisovans’ group who once lived in Asia.

Another team succeeded in describing the whole thing (in set theory a set intuitively denotes a collection of objects (the elements of the set), “a multitude that can be understood as a whole”, such as …) proteins that ( In intonation, changes in the fundamental frequency are perceived as fluctuations in pitch: the higher the frequency, the higher the perceived pitch and vice versa. In each case …) the tooth enamel (a tooth is an organ covered with bone, hard, whitish, generally consisting of a free crown and one or more roots implanted in the oral cavity, …) from 950,000 years ago that would have belonged to Homo (Homo is the genus that unites modern humans and related species. The genus occurs between about 2.5 and 2 Ma. All species are extinct except Homo sapiens; the last one …) Antezessor, a possible relative of our common ancestor (In phylogeny, an ancestor that is common to several species is most commonly E. s is near the time from which all the species in question descended. For example, humans and chimpanzees have an ancestor …) with the Neanderthals and Denisovans.

Scientists now want to use this technique to establish the relationship between us and still enigmatic human species like Homo floresiensis and Homo naledi. The strange mixture (a mixture is an association of two or more solid, liquid or gaseous substances that do not interact chemically. The result of the operation is a …) of human and ape-like characteristics of these individuals actually complicates the work of paleontologists. Plus, they don’t have any DNA samples to solve the puzzle.

The protein sequencing would therefore be an avenue (An avenue is a large city street. It is basically planted with trees and leads to a monument.) Interesting for the placement of H. floresiensis and H. naledi in the tree (A tree is a land plant that can develop by itself to a height of usually more than seven meters Trees are given a rigid structure consisting of a trunk that …) can be genealogical. And understand when our species went their separate ways.

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