Pre-Historic Briton Breakthrough

Scientific analysis shows a Briton’s remains from 10,000 years ago had dark skin and blue eyes.

Academics from London’s Natural History Museum extracted DNA from Cheddar Man-Britain’s oldest full skeleton-was discovered in 1903. College  researchers used the succeeding genome analysis for facial reconstruction.

The research reinstates the fact that the lighter skin characteristics of the more recent Europeans is a modern phenomenon. This analysis provides important insights into the very first people to resettle Britain after the last Ice Age.

The research into the Cheddar Man’s genome – the “blueprint” for a human, contained in the nuclei of our cells – will be published in a journal as well as feature in a Channel 4 documentary The First Brit, Secrets Of the 10,000-year-old Man.

The museum’s research leader in human origins, Prof Chris Stringer said:

“I’ve been studying the skeleton of Cheddar Man for about 40 years, so to come face-to-face with what this guy could have looked like – and that striking combination of the hair, the face, the eye colour and that dark skin: something a few years ago we couldn’t have imagined and yet that’s what the scientific data show.”

This is the first genome analysed from a prehistoric Briton of this age.

Updates to Follow.

Can we Trump climate change?

A 7.6 magnitude Earthquake struck the Caribbean sea on Tuesday, causing a Tsunami warning to be issued for the already disaster-struck Puerto Rico, as well as the British and US Virgin Islands.

The US Tsunami Center later cancelled this alert, although they still warn of waves of up to a metre high in parts of Honduras and Belize. The Earthquake hit at approximately 10:52pm, local time, and was felt at least as far as north of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, but no damage was immediately felt.

Aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Credit: US DoD

Further natural disasters also struck North America, with heavy rain hitting the hills of Santa Barbara prompting horrendous mudslides. At least 13 people have been killed and more than two dozen have been injured in the West of Los Angeles. One boy was swept hundreds of yards in the mud before being rescued under a freeway overpass. A 14-year-old girl was also rescued after being buried in mud. It is the area’s heaviest rainstorm in nearly a year following the state’s largest wildfire on record.

These reoccurring natural disasters have made incidents like road closures, evacuations, broken power lines, rescues and searches a routine in America. So what’s the cause and solution of these increasingly occurring natural disasters?

It’s no coincidence that the US is less than prepared for these reoccurring disasters following many republican elected officials’ wanting to stop funding climate science, meaning they won’t be prepared for these sorts of repeated environmental procedures.

I’m eager to see how Trump plans on helping the people of Puerto Rico once again after his abysmal display of throwing paper towels into a crowd of desperate, disaster stricken citizens, following Hurricane Maria. He also, ‘honoured’ the people of Puerto Rico by dedicating a golf trophy to them. Just what they needed. I’d say a golf trophy is just as essential to the people of Puerto Rico as another hurricane.

It will be interesting to see his response to the mudslides in California compared to Hurricane Maria as Puerto Ricans’ have repeatedly stated they feel like second class citizens – implying a disregard for the islands of America, not the states. The inefficiency of Trump’s aid and preparation for climate change disasters is baffling.

Research makes it very clear that the planet has reached a new threshold in which climate change has become not only a component of extreme weather disasters but an essential factor for some. Trump and the republicans are oblivious to these issues as they set out to cut funding for research.

I realise these disasters aren’t unique to the US but the amount of climate change cataclysms that have taken place in such a small amount of time in America, in addition to the ignorance of Trump, makes the US’s situation all the more prominent.  It’s as if he is trying to figure out which is worse, apathy or ignorance, but then he realised he doesn’t know and doesn’t care.

In the past, the Presidents’ responses to these sorts of tragedies have been vital in deciding their overall approval ratings. So Mr. Trump, stop implying that people trying to rebuild their country are lazy, stop playing golf (the only sport with an actual assistant) and grasp this opportunity to improve your disgraceful approval rating, sincerely aid the increasingly deprived victims of these natural disasters and actually fund climate science so you’re more prepared for these catastrophes – and perhaps even decrease their occurrences.

Autistic children need ‘Super-Parents’ to improve their disability

Do children with autism need special care at home as well as in school? So do parents need ‘special’ training to support autistic kids? According to a research published in the Lancet, the parents’ better understanding of what autism is and how it affects their children will improve the autistic child’s disability.

The study focused on children with severe autism, who were often unable to talk to their parents. The training consisted in recording the parents and the autistic child while playing then watching the video back with a therapist to pull out information and highlight easily-missed moments when the autistic child nearly imperceptibly moved to play/interact with their parents.

What this research wants to achieve is improving mum and dad’s parenting to increase and develop the social skills and help the child communicate. This training slowly moved on to getting the child to speak more.

Erin Hall-Gardiner social worker at Supportive Positives Paths based in Edinburgh after two years of experience working with children and adults with disabilities and in particular with autistic children and their families totally agrees with this research. Parents should have access to this kind of help and its through this studies that they have the chance to understand how they can best support their children, can bring out the best in them and allow their relationships to flourish.

Super-Parenting seems like a great therapy as it is an early intervention that incorporates the whole family’

Megan Casson social worker and carer at Supportive Positive Paths as well believes instead that autism is not really about improvement, its about the child becoming slowly more confident and doing things more easily in their own time.

‘I don’t really agree with a specific training to become “special parents”. When a child is diagnosed with autism the whole family automatically develops an interest in the topic, inform itself and starts a mutual process of learning and understanding through a trial-error technique’.

Many parents see this as a very controversial and very sensitive topic. Some families could take the ‘train to improve the understanding of your child’ the wrong way. Families will have to choose freely if taking part in this sessions is beneficial for their autistic kid and for the harmony of their relationship.



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