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A 'Strong Confirmation of Evolutionary Theory' Has Been Found

In a finding that some are calling an evolutionary "game-changer," researchers say they've found two million-year-old bones in South Africa that belonged to a transitional figure that came before modern humans, reports the AP's Randolph Schmid. The bones, belonging to Australopithecus sediba, is a likely candidate to be the ancestor to humans, as the fossils show a combination of features from Australopithecene and Homo genera, Schmid adds. The study, published in Science, says the brain, hand, and foot have characteristics of both modern and early pre-human forms. "This is what evolutionary theory would predict, this mixture of Australopithecene and Homo," Texas A&M University's Darryl DeRuiter, one of the study's authors, tells Schmid. "It's strong confirmation of evolutionary theory."

The Scan

Tennessee's COVID-19 Sequencing

The Tennessean reports that a state lab there can now run its own genome sequencing analyses of SARS-CoV-2 samples.

Charged with Sanction Violations

A former professor has been charged with exporting genetic sequencing equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions, the Miami Herald reports.

Prenetics to Go Public Through SPAC

Prenetics, a Hong Kong-based genomic and diagnostic company, is going public through a SPAC merger, according to 360Dx.

Nature Papers Examine Genomes of Centenarians, Transcription-Coupled DNA Repair

In Nature this week: analysis of centenarian genomes uncovers longevity-linked variants, and more.