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Francesc Ribot Trafí, Mario García Bartual and Qian Wang
The phylogenetic affinities of Homo antecessor, a hominin dating from the early Middle Pleistocene of Europe, are still unclear. In this study we conducted a comprehensive review of the TD6 hypodigm within the context of the historical development of paleoanthropological issues concerning this species. H. antecessor, based on all available craniofacial features to date, displays a midfacial morphology very similar to specimens attributed to Classic Homo erectus, suggesting that H. antecessor is the geographical European variant of Classic H. erectus.
Shaila Bhardwaj, Deepali Verma and Satwanti Kapoor
Pregnancy, a milieu of physiological and metabolic adaptation, is associated with enhanced basal metabolic rate by alteration in maternal tissue and metabolism to ensure foetal growth and development. A cross-sectional study of Indian Baniya females was conducted to assess the relationship between basal metabolic rate and body composition during pregnancy. The 20-40 year old female subjects were broadly categorized in two groups; pregnant (N=198) and non-pregnant (N=35).Anthropometric measurements of each subject included height and weight, with basal metabolic rate (BMR), fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM) and total body water (TBW) assayed by bioelectric impedance body composition analyzer. The descriptive statistics revealed pregnancy associated weight gain, increased FFM, FM, TBW and BMR with marked changes during the second and third trimesters. Although multiple linear regression analysis showed substantial change in BMR due to both FM and FFM, fat-free mass contributed to a much lesser extent. Pregnancy, as an anabolic phase of the female reproductive cycle, is associated with metabolic flexibility which alters the relationship between body composition and BMR. These findings however require further validation in longitudinal design studies.
Sławomir Kozieł, Dariusz P. Danel, Antonina Dziedzic-Danel and Monika Zaręba
Marital distance (MD), the geographical distance between birthplaces of spouses, is considered an agent favouring occurrence of heterosis and can be used as a measure of its level. Heterosis itself is a phenomenon of hybrid vigour and seems to be an important factor regulating human growth and development. The main aim of the study is to examine potential effects of MD on birth weight and length of offspring, controlling for socioeconomic status (SES), mother’s age and birth order. Birth weight (2562 boys and 2572 girls) and length (2526 boys, 2542 girls) of children born in Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski (Poland) in 1980, 1983, 1985 and 1988 were recorded during cross-sectional surveys carried out between 1994-1999. Data regarding the socio-demographic variables of families were provided by the parents. Analysis of covariance showed that MD significantly affected both birth weight and length, allowing for sex, birth order, mother’s age and SES of family. For both sexes, a greater marital distance was associated with a higher birth weight and a longer birth length. Our results support the hypothesis that a greater geographical distance between the birth places of parents may contribute to the heterosis effects in offspring. Better birth outcomes may be one of the manifestations of these effects.