By Rebecca Stefoff
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Extra info for Modern Humans (Humans: An Evolutionary History)
Nuclear DNA The genetic material that forms our chromosomes is called nuclear DNA because it is found inside the nucleus, or enclosed center, of each cell. Nuclear DNA was the subject of the Human Genome Project, which produced a complete map, or sequence, of the Homo sapiens genome. 35 MODERN HUMANS Part of the human gene sequence, as displayed on a computer screen. Each color represents one of DNA’s four bases, or chemical codes. X and Y Chromosomes The human genome contains two general types of chromosomes.
Scientists have used Homo sapiens fossils from various regions of the Old World to argue in favor of both theories or some combination of the two. The fossil record in other parts of the Old World should show continuous evolution from early humans to modern humans, with transitional stages along the way. Fossils from China and Europe, some paleoanthropologists have argued, do show signs of evolution in those regions or of interbreeding between modern humans and earlier species. China The oldest-known fossils of fully modern humans found in eastern Asia come from China.
45 If this identification is correct, did Heidelberg Man die out in China or evolve there into H. sapiens? The fossil record has not yet answered that question. Teeth have been cited as another piece of evidence for regional evolution in China. Many modern Chinese people share a distinctive feature of the incisors, or front teeth, in their upper jaws. These teeth are “shovel shaped,” or slightly curved rather than completely flat. Because this feature also appears in Chinese H. erectus fossils, some paleoanthropologists see the 56 BONES OF OUR ANCESTORS shovel-shaped incisor as a sign of continuous evolution from H.