Common Morning Habit May Be Sign You Have ‘Neanderthal Gene’

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In a fascinating new study published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution, researchers explored the connection between a common morning habit and the presence of Neanderthal DNA in our genetic makeup. While Neanderthals vanished around 40,000 years ago, their genetic legacy seems to linger, influencing certain aspects of our daily lives.

Unraveling Our Genetic Past

The research delved into the genetic makeup of Neanderthals, who lived in Eurasia for hundreds of thousands of years before their extinction. Scientists believe there was an overlap between Neanderthals and our ancient ancestors, leading to interbreeding. It means that genes from both Neanderthals and humans may have been passed down through generations.

The study focused on 246 circadian genes that impact our internal “body clock,” affecting our sleep patterns and energy levels. The results revealed intriguing differences between Neanderthals and modern humans, suggesting that some humans might have inherited their body clocks from Neanderthal ancestors.

John Capra’s Breakthrough Discovery

Lead author John Capra from the University of California in San Francisco explained that by combining ancient DNA, large-scale genetic studies in modern humans, and artificial intelligence, they discovered substantial genetic differences in the circadian systems of modern humans and Neanderthals.

John Capra’s Breakthrough Discovery

The analysis of Neanderthal DNA in modern human genomes revealed a consistent trend: the effects of these genes predominantly lean toward making individuals morning people.

The Reason for Our Morning Habits

Professor Mark Maslin from University College London, not involved in the study, shared that now we have genetic evidence that some of us truly are morning people. This intriguing insight into our genetic heritage sheds light on how ancient adaptations still influence our daily routines.

The study’s findings offer a captivating glimpse into the enduring influence of Neanderthal DNA on our daily lives. It deepens our understanding of the intricate connection between our genetic makeup and the habits we exhibit today, providing a fascinating chapter in the ongoing exploration of human evolution.

Stunning 16th-Century Turkish Bath Reopens in Istanbul

Stunning 16th-Century Turkish Bath Reopens in Istanbul

After a restoration that took 13 years, a 16th-century Turkish bath located in the Zeyrek district of Instanbul reopened this September. The revitalized bath is called Çinili Hamam, and while it won’t offer traditional bathing until 2024, it will feature contemporary art in the Byzantine cisterns that originally fed the baths, as well as beautiful private gardens.

Exhibitions at Çinili Hamam

For the next couple of months, there will be a new exhibition displaying art corresponding to the building’s architecture, called “Healing Ruins.” A new museum close by will display objects used in traditional bathing rituals, such as bowls, towels, and ornately decorated wooden shoes.

The exhibit will also shed more light on the original water and heating systems of the bath. Artifacts from the Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman empires that were uncovered in the process of restoration will also be put on display.

The History of the Çinili Hamam

The restorations have been going on since 2014, and those include archeological excavations that help further understand the history of the building, as well as conservation work for the preservation of this major example of Ottoman bath architecture. The Turkish bath originally opened around 1640 and was built by Mimar Sinan, an Ottoman architect. The Çinili Hamam had separate sections for women and men, as well as breathtakingly beautiful domed rooms.

The Turkish bath got its name from the blue tiles, with which it was originally decorated; in Turkish, çinili means “tiled.” According to research, over 10,000 tiles in 37 unique designs were used to adorn the bath when it first opened. The Çinili Hamam was among the first examples of public places that had such an elaborate tiled design that was, until then, typical for royal palaces.

What Happened to the Tiles?

Many of the tiles were sold to museums and private collectors long before the restoration work began. Some reached London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in the 19th century. The site was long neglected and in poor shape, with green mold covering the plaster, and water dripping down the walls.

What Happened to the Tiles?

As the restoration team started digging, they gradually uncovered fragments of the bath’s tiles and the other artifacts. The conservation work that was done on the interior of the building helped discover 18th and 19th-century wall paintings on the hammam’s walls, that hid behind the plaster for more than two centuries.

A Historic Site Becomes a Contemporary Space

The new art exhibition “Healing Ruins” will focus on the building’s extensive history and the mark that many generations made on the Çinili Hamam.

The Turkish bath contains multiple layers that no one suspected, which modern eyes will now have the opportunity to take in.