Started to 'Walk' Six Million Years Ago
recent fossil evidences, American scientists have claimed
that a chimp-sized hominid walked upright on two legs in
Kenya's Tugen Hills over six million years ago, nearly three
million years earlier than currently believed. "We
have solid evidence of the earliest upright posture and
bipedalism securely dated to six million years, about three
million years earlier than Lucy, the most famous early biped
in our lineage," writes the lead researcher, Dr. Robert
Eckhardt, in the recent issue of Science. Measurements,
carried out by Dr. Galik, showed that the fossil bone was
about the same size as a chimpanzee's. However, CT scans
of the interior of the bone reveal that the neck connecting
the ball to the shaft is thinner on top than it is on the
bottom, which shows that the individual from which it came
walked on two legs. "In present day chimps and gorillas,
the thickness in the upper and lower parts of that bone
are approximately equal. In modern humans, the bone on top
is thinner than on the bottom by a ratio of one to four
or more. The ratio in this fossil is one to three,"
said Eckhardt. He said that as walking upright is the essential
mark of a hominid, the ratio is functional evidence that
the bones fossilised at Lukeino were from hominids.
results of a new super pill, known as Rimonabant, have found
the drug to be highly effective in the treatment of lipid
disorders, obesity and in helping quitting smoking. The
results showed that the pill lessens risk factors associated
with the development of deadly diseases like heart disease,
strokes and diabetes. The first year analysis of the two-year
study showed people taking 20mg once a day lost an average
of 19lbs in weight, 11lbs more than those on dummy pills.
And the results appeared to show improved levels of "good",
or HDL, cholesterol in patients, independent of weight loss.
Results announced earlier this year showed use of the drug
doubled the chances of quitting cigarettes without weight
gain. The drug could be a major advance in the management,
not just of obesity, but of the risk factors of obesity.
"We are excited for several reasons. One is the trial
has given superb results in terms of weight loss. Two, it
actually incredibly closely mirrors the result of an earlier
trial of people who had lipid disorders. Three, this information
about the effects of the drug performing independent of
weight loss in improving HDL cholesterol by about 25 percent,
that is a huge increase and that is something we don't have
drugs for at the moment," he added.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004