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Replicas of artifacts discovered at a site at least 12,600 years old are displayed at the Montana Historical Society in Helena, Mont., on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. The exhibit opened in conjunction with the release of research that found that people from the ancient Clovis culture were direct ancestors of many of today's native peoples in the Americas. (AP Photo/Matt Volz)

Clovis People Were Ancestors to Nearly All Native Americans

Genetic analysis of a skeleton from a Clovis skeleton discovered in the United States has revealed that almost all living Native Americans can trace their lineage back to this group of people. This had been suspected for quite some time and now it has been confirmed. The study was led by Eske Willerslev of the Natural History Museum of Denmark and was published in Nature. The analysis also provided insight into the origins of the Clovis people themselves. When their ancestors first crossed from Siberia into North America, they were part of a larger group. Half of the people remained up north and spread throughout Alaska and Canada while the other half (which would become the Clovis) moved south, eventually reaching South America. This means that the Clovis people were the first Native Americans and did not come from Europe, Asia, or Melanesia as has been previously hypothesized. It is still unclear who the very first people to cross into North America were.

The Clovis people are regarded as the first group of people to really expand out in North America and down into South America. Signs of Clovis culture died out approximately 500 years after they arrived and their disappearance is considered fairly mysterious. The remains of a toddler Clovis boy, discovered on privately owned land in Montana nearly 50 years ago, is the only Clovis skeleton in America to be studied. A new genetic study has finally provided answers as to his peoples’ fate.  Genetic analysis revealed that around 80% of all living Native Americans in Mexico and throughout South America can trace their roots directly back to the Clovis people. The remaining 20% isn’t as directly related, yet they are still incredibly closely linked. These results provide a concrete link to the end of the Clovis and the beginning of the Native Americans; both of which had been hotly debated for years. It is still unclear how the Clovis influenced the genealogy of Natives currently living in the United States.  The international press conference is set to be held on a reservation in Montana, not far from where the Clovis boy was discovered. The scientists have been working with members of the Apsaalooke (Crow) tribe in order to establish a dialogue about the findings, which the researchers hope to continue with future studies. A spokesman for the tribe celebrates the result and commended the researchers on their respect and commitment throughout the study. Per the request of the tribe, the remains of the small Clovis boy will be reburied later this year.
Galileo discovered a point of light near Jupiter in 1610, which he initially thought was a star. A few days later he corrected himself and named the satellite Ganymede, which is not only the largest moon around Jupiter, but the largest in the entire solar system.  Over 400 years later, scientists have finally been able to complete a geologic map of the entire moon. The study was led by Wes Patterson from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and was published by the U. S. Geological Survey. Ganymede’s surface is composed mostly of ice with a mantle of rock surrounding the molten core, but there are incredibly interesting geological features. The darker areas are the oldest regions of the moon. There is a considerable number of craters due to impacts over the course of the solar system’s history. The lighter regions are relatively younger and are thought to have been formed by tectonic activity which was influenced by a dynamic gravitational relationship with Jupiter’s other satellites. The gravitational pull likely caused tectonic friction, which heat up the ice enough to crack it and for water to escape out. Once at the surface the water could freeze over again, essentially making ice scars.

Replicas of artifacts discovered at a site at least 12,600 years old are displayed at the Montana Historical Society in Helena, Mont., on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. The exhibit opened in conjunction with the release of research that found that people from the ancient Clovis culture were direct ancestors of many of today’s native peoples in the Americas. (AP Photo/Matt Volz)
Ganymede is the third of the Galilean satellites and takes about a week to revolve around Jupiter. Its diameter is actually larger than the planet Mercury but it has just one quarter of Mercury’s mass. Ganymede also has a special property that no other moon in our solar system has: a magnetosphere. Scientists believe that Ganymede’s core is made of molten iron, just like Earth. Ganymede has been imaged thoroughly during the Voyager and Galileo missions, images which were integral to making the geological map. This is the fourth map of its kind to be created, which categorize differences of the terrain which formed at different times. Geologic maps exist of two of Jupiter’s other moons, Io and Callisto, as well as Earth’s moon. The information will be used in order to help understand how the moon was formed and how it changed over time due to collisions. Scientists have noted that nearly every geological feature discovered on an icy moon can also be found on Ganymede, making this map an incredibly useful tool in understanding how the surface topography formed and evolved.

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The Red Tea Detox