January 26th, 2005

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Harvard researchers have concluded after careful scientific studies that Coca-Cola is not an effective spermicide.
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Lice are Nice?

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6489

The story of modern humans’ final interactions with the extinct Homo erectus may have been revealed by research into the evolution of lice.


The genetic differences between two types of human lice – which share a common ancestor – suggest that they spent most of the last 1.18 million years living on two distinct hominid species, but places their divergence into two distinct lice species slightly later than the split between Homo sapiens and Homo erectus.


The results suggest that our ancestors must have interacted with H. erectus either through fighting, sharing clothes or having sex, since both types of lice are now found on modern man and lice can only jump from one species to another if there is direct contact.


“We know that Homo erectus and Homo sapiens were both living in Asia 50 to 25 thousand years ago,” says lead author David Reed of the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Florida.


New World louse


Of the two types of lice found on humans today, one lives on the body or the head of people all around the world, while the other is found only on the head and is unique to the Americas.


Reed and colleagues found that the two louse lineages were very different, making it extremely unlikely that they evolved to their current state on the same species. It is probable, he says, that the louse found only in the Americas evolved on H. erectus while the worldwide louse evolved on the line that eventually became H. sapiens.


Relatively recently - approximately 100,000 years ago - the New World louse found its way back onto H. sapiens in Asia who then carried it with them to the Americas. The researchers say there must have been some contact between the two hominid species before H. erectus finally died out.


Population estimates


But there are alternative explanations for the findings. Mark Stoneking, an expert on human evolution from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, says the findings depend on the last common ancestor of the two species of lice having lived almost 1.2 million years ago. The calculation to obtain this figure depends on the size of the lice population at that time. So if the population estimates are inaccurate, the results may be misleading, he says.


“I have serious reservations about their conclusions,” says Stoneking. “While contact between modern and archaic humans is still a possible explanation for their results, other explanations are more likely in my view.”


Lice and other parasites are useful for studying human evolution because, although their life span is much shorter, they often only get a chance to breed with lice on a different host when both hosts mate, says Reed. “Whatever forces of nature humans are exposed to, lice record the same history,” he adds.


Work with pubic lice could provide an even better insight into the possible interactions of early humans. “I think there are a lot more stories to tell from lice - and parasites in general,” says Reed. “Pthirus pubis could lead us to the holy grail of anthropology: whether or not Homo sapiens and Homo erectus interbred.”


Journal reference: Public Library of Science Biology (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020378)
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It's that time again...

25th Annual Golden Raspberry (RAZZIE®) Award Nominations


 


WORST PICTURE


 


ALEXANDER (Warner Bros.)


CATWOMAN (Warner Bros.)


SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2 (Triumph Films)


SURVIVING CHRISTMAS (DreamWorks)


WHITE CHICKS (Columbia/Revolution)


 


WORST ACTOR


 


Ben Affleck / JERSEY GIRL and SURVIVING CHRISTMAS


George W. Bush / FAHRENHEIT 9/11


Vin Diesel / CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK


Colin Farrell / ALEXANDER


Ben Stiller / ALONG CAME POLLY, ANCHORMAN, DODGEBALL,


ENVY and STARSKY & HUTCH


 


WORST ACTRESS


 


Halle Berry / CATWOMAN   


Hilary Duff / CINDERELLA STORY and RAISE YOUR VOICE


Angelina Jolie / ALEXANDER and TAKING LIVES


Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen / NEW YORK MINUTE


Shawn & Marlon (The Wayans Sisters) / WHITE CHICKS


 


WORST SCREEN COUPLE


 


Ben Affleck & EITHER Jennifer Lopez OR Liv Tyler / JERSEY GIRL


Halle Berry & EITHER Benjamin Bratt OR Sharon Stone / CATWOMAN


George W. Bush & EITHER Condoleeza Rice OR His Pet Goat / FAHRENHEIT 9/11


Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen / NEW YORK MINUTE


The Wayans Brothers (In or Out of Drag) WHITE CHICKS


 


WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS


 


Carmen Electra / STARKSY & HUTCH


Jennifer Lopez / JERSEY GIRL


Condoleeza Rice / FAHRENHEIT 9/11


Britney Spears / FAHRENHEIT 9/11


Sharon Stone / CATWOMAN


 


WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR


 


Val Kilmer / ALEXANDER


Ah-Nuld Schwarzenegger  / AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAZE


Donald Rumsfeld / FAHRENHEIT 9/11


Jon Voight / SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2


Lambert Wilson / CATWOMAN


 


WORST DIRECTOR


 


            Bob Clark / SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2


            Renny Harlin and/or Paul Schrader / EXORCIST 4: THE BEGINNING


“Pitof” / CATWOMAN


Oliver Stone / ALEXANDER


Keenan Ivory Wayans / WHITE CHICKS


 


WORST REMAKE OR SEQUEL


 


ALIEN v PREDATOR (20th Century-Fox)


ANACONDAS: HUNT FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID (Screen Gems)


AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAZE (Disney)


EXORCIST 4: THE BEGINNING (Warner Bros.)


SCOOBY DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED (Warner Bros.)


 


WORST SCREENPLAY


 


ALEXANDER, Written by Oliver Stone, Christopher Kyle and Laeta Kalogridis


CATWOMAN, Written by Theresa Rebeck and John Brancato & Michael Ferris and John Rogers


SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2, Written by Steven Paul and Gregory Poppen


SURVIVING CHRISTMAS, Written by Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont and Jeffrey Ventimilia & Joshua Sternin


WHITE CHICKS, Written by Keenan & Shawn & Marlon Wayans and Andy McElfresh, Michael Anthony Snowden


and Xavier Cook
 


 


Special “Worst of Our First 25 Years” Awards



 


WORST RAZZIE LOSER of Our First 25 YEARS





Kim Basinger (With 6 Nominations Total)


Angelina Jolie (With 7 Nominations, including 2 for 2004)


Ryan O’Neal (With 6 Nominations Total)


Keanu Reeves (With 7 Nominations Total)


Ah-Nuld Schwarzenegger (With 8 Nominations, including 1 for 2004)





WORST ‘DRAMA’ of Our First 25 YEARS





BATTLEFIELD EARTH (2000)


THE LONELY LADY (1983)


MOMMIE DEAREST (1981)


SHOWGIRLS (1995)


SWEPT AWAY (2002)





WORST ‘COMEDY’ of Our First 25 YEARS





ADVENTURES of PLUTO NASH (2002)


THE CAT IN THE HAT          (2003)


FREDDY GOT FINGERED (2001)


GIGLI (2003)


LEONARD PART 6 (1987)





WORST ‘MUSICAL’ of Our First 25 YEARS





CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC (1980)


FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY (2003)


GLITTER (2001)


RHINESTONE (1984)


SPICE WORLD (1998)


XANADU (1980)





NOMINATIONS PER PICTURE





CATWOMAN = 7  (Picture, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Couple, Director, Screenplay)


ALEXANDER = 6  (Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Director, Screenplay)


WHITE CHICKS = 5 (Picture, Actress, Director, Couple, Screenplay)


FAHRENHEIT 9/11 = 5 (Actor, Couple, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress 2x)


SUPERBABIES = 4  (Picture, Supporting Actor, Director, Screenplay)


SURVIVING CHRISTMAS = 3   (Picture, Actor, Screenplay)


JERSEY GIRL = 3 (Actor, Supporting Actress, Couple)


AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAZE = 2 (Supporting Actor, Remake or Sequel)


EXORCIST 4: THE BEGNINNING = 2 (Director, Remake or Sequel)


NEW YORK MINUTE = 2 (Actress, Couple)


STARSKY & HUTCH = 2 (Actor, Supporting Actress)








©2005, Golden Raspberry Award Foundation and John Wilson
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    some bad movie with girls in lots of pink.