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How well the ecology, zoogeography and evolution of modern biotas is understood depends substantially on knowledge of the Pleistocene. Australia has one of the most distinctive, but least understood, Pleistocene faunas. Records from the western half of the continent are especially rare. Here we report on a diverse and exceptionally well preserved middle(More)
The Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT) eruption, which occurred in Indonesia 74,000 years ago, is one of Earth's largest known volcanic events. The effect of the YTT eruption on existing populations of humans, and accordingly on the course of human evolution, is debated. Here we associate the YTT with archaeological assemblages at Jwalapuram, in the Jurreru River(More)
Causes of late Quaternary extinctions of large mammals ("megafauna") continue to be debated, especially for continental losses, because spatial and temporal patterns of extinction are poorly known. Accurate latest appearance dates (LADs) for such taxa are critical for interpreting the process of extinction. The extinction of woolly mammoth and horse in(More)
Seventeen Middle Pleistocene crania from the Sima de los Huesos site (Atapuerca, Spain) are analyzed, including seven new specimens. This sample makes it possible to thoroughly characterize a Middle Pleistocene hominin paleodeme and to address hypotheses about the origin and evolution of the Neandertals. Using a variety of techniques, the hominin-bearing(More)
We describe the development of several hybridization assay formats involving acridinium-ester-labeled DNA probes. The simplest of these is a homogeneous assay procedure that requires only three steps to complete, including a 5-s detection step. Using this format, we have detected target sequences in the 10(-16) to 10(-17) mol range; when rRNA is the target,(More)
Deprotection of methylphosphonate oligonucleotides with ethylenediamine was evaluated in a model system. Methylphosphonate sequences of the form 5'-TTTNNTTT, where N was either N4-bz-dC, N4-ibu-dC, N2-ibu-O6-DPC-dG, N2-ibu-dG, N6-bz-dA, or T, were used to determine the extent of modifications that occur during deprotection. Up to 15% of N4-bz-dC was found(More)
Methylphosphonate (MP) oligodeoxynucleotides (MPOs) are metabolically stable analogs of conventional DNA containing a methyl group in place of one of the non-bonding phosphoryl oxygens. All 16 possible chiral R(P) MP dinucleotides were synthesized and derivatized for automated oligonucleotide synthesis. These dimer synthons can be used to prepare (i) all-MP(More)
Channels on the north-facing piedmont of the Sierra Madre range in Cuyama Valley, California have alternated between three process regimes during the late Quaternary: (1) vertical incision into piedmont alluvium and older sedimentary deposits; (2) lateral erosion; and (3) sediment accumulation. The state of the piedmont system at a given time has been(More)
The archaeological karstic infill site of Galería Complex, located within the Atapuerca system (Spain), has produced a large faunal and archaeological record (Homo sp. aff. heidelbergensis fossils and Mode II lithic artefacts) belonging to the Middle Pleistocene. Extended-range luminescence dating techniques, namely post-infrared infrared stimulated(More)
Elucidating the material culture of early people in arid Australia and the nature of their environmental interactions is essential for understanding the adaptability of populations and the potential causes of megafaunal extinctions 50-40 thousand years ago (ka). Humans colonized the continent by 50 ka, but an apparent lack of cultural innovations compared(More)