DNA Decoding Sheds Light on Neanderthal Life

DNA decoding is a powerful technique. It is a molecular level investigation tool about the life. It has helped the life scientists to say with confidence that at the molecular level, all life is identical to 99.9%. The remaining 0.1 % is all which is responsible for the vivid diversity of life.

According to one report, Neanderthals, our distant cousins, used natural drugs to alleviate the pain and diseases. 50000 years ago, they were depending on the natural cures. The ancient fossil of jaw had been studied genetically and it has been found that genetic material collected from the plaque of teeth belonged to oral bacteria and leaf pieces of  medicinal compounds.

They have found methanobrevibactor which indicates abscess. These bacteria damage the teeth and cause severe pain.

Also DNA material belonging to the bacteria Enterocytozoon bieneusi. These are intestinal bacteria and cause diarrhoea.

Populus trichocarpa Popolar tree pieces which contain salicylic acid which is an ingredient of aspirin the pain killer. It would have been effective against the pain in abscess.

Penicillium rubens are food fungus and source of medical penicillin. This natural antibiotic would have been effective against gut parasites.

Most of the material has been published in the Times of India newspaper.

Fascination to Coloring their World

“Thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of twisted linen, and blue and purple and scarlet…(Exodus 26:1)”
These lines from Holy book “Bible” show the human desire for colors. It has been always been fascinated with color. The competitors of our forefather “homo sapiens”, prepared their dead for burial by coating their bodies with red ochre, which is actually Ferric oxide. After them, Cro-Magnon made cave paintings using for colors yellow and red iron oxides, black manganese dioxide and white clays. These are natural material available as rocks and salts for tens of thousands of years. This continued until the invention of weaving and clothes.

Pigments had been made by combining colored minerals with a vehicle, such as oil or mud, that would adhere to a surface. When the paste-like pigments were applied to fabric, the cloth became stiff, and the coloring material soon washed or fell out. Pigments wouldn’t
work—cloth could only be colored by dyes, organic molecules that bond directly to the textile. So colors which adhered to cloth and became insoluble afterwards. And also they should be soluble in the water. This was usually achieved by adding chemical compounds like alum which contain metallic ions which act as binder for cloth and dye.