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Diabetes & Ice Ages

Dateline May 17, 2005

Sources New York Times, & Medical Hypothesis online

Dr. Sharon Moalem of Mt Sinai School of Medicine in New York and an expert in evolutionary medicine believes that the Ice age of 12,000 years ago killed thousands but some may have  adapted to the extreme col. High levels of blood glucose would prevent cells and tissues from forming ice crystals. "Type 1 diabetes would have prevented our ancestors form freezing to death. The Ice Age of which Moalem speaks occurred almost overnight and lasted for 1300 years. Temperatures dropped by 10 degrees within decades.

Many doctors are skeptical citing the incidence of ketoacidosis causing early death. Moalem counters that life expectancy was then  25 years not long enough to suffer complicatoins but long enough to reproduce. He believes in taking an evolutionary perspective in seeking to explain disease.

Type 1 diabetes is most common in those of European descent with the highest incidence in Scandinavians. When those with genetic risk factors move to warmer climates there is a lower incidence.

Some mammals generate internal heat brown fat in their bodies using the glucose present.

The Inuit appear to survive famine as they have "thrifty" genes which cause them to put on weight if they input more than 1000 calories per day.

Comment:  Refer back to my proposition that some Neanderthal/Aspbergers appear to generate a lot of internal heat. When there is such a rapid change as in the one suggested I would propose that the basic gene may well have already been there from the Neanderthals who had coped with such conditions for 100,000 years. Those who carried their heritage would be likely to adapt the fastest. One might then speculate that some Aspergers may have a higher than usual level of blood sugar which for them may be normal and not actually in need of treatment unless it exceeds its  for them proper levels. I would commend Moalem for what I consider an enlightened approach.

I am intrigued by also by the Bushman of the Kalahari who have this unique ability to absorb fat as mentioned in earlier pages here. This is especially so as it is suggested that they are genetically ancient.



Dateline October 29th 1999 

Sources Science Daily & Proceedings of National Academy of Science, Washington University St. Lois.

Carbon Dating shows Neanderthals were at Vindija Cave in Croatia in the Balkans up to 28k BP. The dating moves the previous last defined remains from 34k years BP. Fred Smith paleontologist supports the idea of genetic exchange. there being plenty of time for interchange.

The Vindija site supports my contention in the Neanderthal Pages that at least some would more likely have moved North that the Mediterranean would not have been as comfortable for them. So with the Iberian evidence of children of intermarriage and that of the Mladek site then cohabitation and intermarriage could have taken place over thousands of years.


Prime Real Estate

Spanish Homes for the Neanderthal Hunters

Dateline June 7, 2005 Source NY Times

The Neanderthal Hunters ideal piece of real estate for a Spanish home home was a cave, oriented to the Southwest for sun and warmth, on a hill with a river view. They could watch their mobile dinner below, study the habits of their quarry and devise their hunting strategy while the game drank at the river. Of course the river also supplied their drinking and perhaps bathing needs.

Just such a place was discovered by Dr. Ana Pinto, archeologist at Arizona State University, and winner of the Women of Discovery Award. This remarkable woman had her birthplace in Spain and it was at Sopena in her homeland just 1 hour from her home at Oviedo that she discovered the cave. The cave she discovered appears to have been continuously occupied with 16 layers of sediment covering the time from Neanderthals to the modern era.

Concerning their diet she points out that Neanderthals appear to have had a diet  almost totally composed of meat. (a variant of the Atkins diet).

Dr Pinto is an admirer of the Neanderthals who she points out were able to exist in a  highly inhospitable environment from 200,000 BC to about 40,000 BC They made a living in the midst of repeated glaciations. They hunted and ate big mammals, and they seem to have been healthy." It is unfair to think of them as brutish creatures. They deserve respect".

Dr. Ana came from a family of 8 children and grew up under the despotic Franco regime. Where she was lead to believe that she only had 2 choices to marry or be a prostitute. For her parents she was a difficult child. At age 15 she left home and joined the ant-Franco resistance, worked in factories and fostered the development of unions thereand went to university where she studied Sociology, Politics and Archeology. She did her Doctorate on Cave Bears.

What I think is her most quotable quote "..."it often pays to think like a Neanderthal"

Comment: Many Aspbergers would be able to relate to the courage and integrity of this brave woman. I for one would be happy to include her in our Hall of Fame. 









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Copyright 2005 Aspbergers & Neanderthals
Last modified: December 22, 2006

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