Jewish pilgrims are stuck on the border with Ukraine

Dhe Ukraine fears a rush of up to 4,000 Jewish pilgrims who want to celebrate the New Year’s festival Rosh Hashanah in the Ukrainian city of Uman as they do every year, but are not allowed to enter legally due to the corona pandemic. About 800 Hasidic pilgrims have been stuck north of Chernihiv in the no man’s land on the border between Belarus and Ukraine since Tuesday night. This emerges from reports distributed by the Ukrainian border guards.

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania based in Warsaw.

One of the videos shows how the head of the border guard, General Serhiy Dejneko, explains to representatives of the pilgrims that it has long been known that citizens of other countries have not been allowed to enter since August 28th. In the meantime, pilgrims gathered in front of a chain of Ukrainian border officials, some singing and praying, while dozens of trucks that wanted to cross the border were jammed behind the chain. Kiev appealed to the Belarusian border guards not to let other travelers through.

During the course of Tuesday, a Belarusian spokesman announced that the pilgrims who were in no man’s land would be allowed back into Belarus. Dejneko expected several flights to the Belarusian capital Minsk on Tuesday and several thousand more pilgrims who wanted to travel around 700 kilometers to their destination in Ukraine through various border crossings by land.

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The governments of Israel and Ukraine – new corona record numbers have been reported from both countries for days – had jointly appealed weeks ago not to go to Uman this year. There is the grave of the tzaddik Nachman von Brazlaw (1772 to 1810), a rabbi revered by Hasidic Jews. The festival of Rosh Hashanah begins on Friday. Israel has announced that it will send its own police officers to Uman.

In the past few days, pilgrims who had already arrived at the grave in Uman tore down a cordon that had been erected because of the corona pandemic; two of those involved were expelled from Ukraine. Because it is apparently expected that pilgrims will continue to arrive, medical controls are to apply on the streets around Uman and strict regulations for crowds in the city itself.

In the past seven days, between 2,400 and 3,200 new infections per day were counted in Ukraine. That is almost four times more infections per head of the population than in Germany. The mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, said on Monday there was the “highest number of fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic” in the capital of three million people, namely eleven deaths in one day. A corona hotspot is the sparsely populated area around the western Ukrainian city of Ternopil, with around 300 new cases every day.


In Mexico City, Feminists Occupy National Human Rights Commission

A woman sits proudly behind a desk, a cup in her hand. Sitting on a thick black armchair, a balaclava of the same color on her face. She is a member of the collective Not one less Mexico (“Not one less Mexico”) which since Thursday, September 3 has occupied the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), an independent body responsible in particular for collecting complaints about human rights violations, a stone’s throw from the Zocalo, the central square of Mexico.

This action aims to make visible the mothers of the disappeared in the country, like Martha Castillo, 56, without news of seven of her children and nephews. Or Maria icela Valdez, who has been looking for her son Roberto since 2014. “We do not forget and do not forgive”said a bombshell message on the wall behind the activist.

In the play, another snapshot by photojournalist Andrea Murcia shows a woman holding a grimaced portrait of Francisco Madero, one of the instigators of the 1910 revolution. But this revolution is definitely feminist. “About fifty women are in this place transformed into a refuge”, explains Erika Martinez, one of their leaders. On the cold brick pediment, the collective’s “Ocupa” banner is overlooked by the portrait of one of these missing young people. “We are not vandals but victims, because the government forgets us”, she laments.

The President’s broken promises

The promises of justice tinged with humanism of President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) during his electoral campaign in 2018, indeed succeeds denial. As during feminist demonstrations in August 2019 during which monuments had been tagged, AMLO reacted by protesting against the degradations, at the CDNH this time. 1is September, in his annual report on the state of Mexico, the head of state shocked by ensuring: “There are fewer kidnappings, fewer femicides”.

→ REPORT. In Mexico, “Republican austerity” is controversial

Words quickly refuted by Amnesty International, for whom “The first step to ending human rights violations is to recognize and report them”. Since AMLO took office on December 1, 2018, Amnesty has identified 11,653 people who have not been found, and who will probably never be.

State symbol, Tamaulipas, on the American border

One state in particular worries: that of Tamaulipas, on the border with the United States, facing the Gulf of Mexico. In the town of Reynosa, a demonstration took place on Sunday, August 31, on the International Day for Missing Persons. In this state plagued by organized crime, México Evalua, a study program on justice, lists 11,000.

Sunday, Erika Martinez and her colleagues discovered refined food, quality meat and pastries in the CNDH refrigerators. “This is what they do with our taxes, she launches, her eyes black. They stuff themselves, while we are still waiting for an appointment to deal with an investigation “. As long as a promise to reopen certain cases is not made, these women will sit in their new fiefdom. One more symbol in a Mexico where the ghosts of the disappeared hover.


Goirigolzarri, the human ‘iceberg’ | The mail

Life takes so many turns that it can make you dizzy. If the operation is consolidated José Ignacio Goirigolzarri will end up presiding over the largest bank in Spain after having abandoned another that already was, BBVA, precisely because he sensed that his chances of reaching the top of the dome were over.

There is no José Ignacio Goi


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COVID-19 research: double-acting antiviral strategy


Frankfurt scientists identify possible weaknesses of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

by Adolf Albus

(30.07.2020) When the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters human cells, it has its own proteins made by the human host cell. One of these virus proteins called PLpro is essential for the virus to multiply and spread quickly.

An international team of scientists led by the Goethe University Frankfurt and the University Hospital Frankfurt has now found that the pharmacological inhibition of this viral enzyme not only blocks the virus multiplication, but also strengthens the antiviral immune response (Nature, DOI 10.1038 / s41586-020 -2601-5).

When infected, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has to overcome various defense mechanisms in the human body. This includes the unspecific or innate immune defense. Affected body cells release messenger substances, so-called type I interferons. These attract natural killer cells, which kill the infected cells.

One of the reasons why the SARS-CoV-2 virus is so successful – and therefore dangerous – is because it can suppress the non-specific immune response. For this purpose, the human cell has the virus protein PLpro (papain-like protease) produced. PLpro has two functions: it contributes to the maturation and release of new virus particles, and it suppresses the formation of type I interferons. The German and Dutch scientists have now been able to observe these processes in cell culture experiments. If they also blocked PLpro, virus production was inhibited and at the same time the innate immune response of human cells was strengthened.

Prof. Ivan Đikić, director of the Institute of Biochemistry II at the University Clinic Frankfurt and last author of the thesis, explains: “We used the active ingredient GRL-0617, a non-covalent inhibitor of PLpro, and examined its mode of action biochemically, structurally and functionally. We concluded that inhibition of PLpro is a promising “double strike” therapeutic strategy for the treatment of COVID-19. The further development of PLpro-inhibiting substance classes for use in clinical studies is now a central challenge for this therapeutic approach. “

Another important finding of this work is that the PLpro virus protein from SARS-CoV-2 with higher activity cleaves ISG-15 (interferon-stimulated gene-15) from cellular proteins than the SARS equivalent, which leads to a stronger inhibition of Interferon Type I production leads. This is in line with recent clinical observations that show that COVID-19 has a reduced interferon response compared to other respiratory viruses such as influenza and SARS.

In order to understand in detail how PLpro inhibition stops the virus, scientists in Frankfurt, Munich, Mainz, Freiburg and Leiden have combined their biochemical, structural, computer-aided and virological expertise in close cooperation.

Donghyuk Shin, postdoc and first author of the manuscript, comments: “Personally, I would like to underline the importance of science and, in particular, highlight the potential that emerges from a culture of collaboration. When I saw our joint results, I was really grateful to be a scientist. ”

Prof. Sandra Ciesek, director of the Institute for Medical Virology at the University Hospital Frankfurt, explains that the papain-like protease is an extremely attractive antiviral target for her as a doctor, since its inhibition would be a “double strike” against SARS-CoV-2. She emphasizes the excellent cooperation between the two institutes: “Especially when researching a new clinical picture, everyone benefits from the interdisciplinary cooperation and the different experiences and perspectives.”

Publikation: Donghyuk Shin, Rukmini Mukherjee, Diana Grewe, Denisa Bojkova, Kheewoong Baek, Anshu Bhattacharya, Laura Schulz, Marek Widera, Ahmad Reza Mehdipour, Georg Tascher, Klaus-Peter Knobeloch, Krishnaraj Rajalingam, Huib Ovaa, Brenda Schulman, Jindrich Cinatl, Gerhard Hummer, Sandra Ciesek, Ivan Dikic. Inhibition of papain-like protease PLpro blocks 1 SARS-CoV-2 spread and 2 promotes anti-viral immunity. Nature, DOI 10.1038/s41586-020-2601-5,


In Spain, the coronavirus “proof of human fragility”

He comes out of an experience that has “Make you grow as a priest”, sums up Fr. Oscar Diaz Ruiz with precise words, a deep look, cheeks that flush with every memory of the past three months.

→ TESTIMONIALS. The coronavirus, such a spiritual ordeal

This parish priest of Notre-Dame de Terramelar replaced at short notice a chaplain from one of the hospitals in Valence, suffering from Covid-19: “I was named, no doubt, because I was young and therefore less exposed to the disease. Also, maybe, because I am a professor in the faculty of medicine. I teach bioethics there ”.

“Eighty sick people died while I was chaplain”

This thirty-something, originally from Catalonia, describes the experience he has just gone through: “I dressed in plastic and I wore five pairs of gloves on top of each other, so the equipment we were given was of poor quality”, he says, showing his photo in the hospital.

→ PODCAST. “At Mulhouse hospital, I listen to the fears and the prayers of Covid-19 patients”

“Dressed like this, I could see the fear in the eyes of the sick when I entered their room. Patients with Alzheimer’s or mental illness did not understand what was going on. “ A silence, and he resumes: “Eighty deaths due to Covid took place during my ministry in this hospital”.

Connection by camera of the patient and his family

The fear of a wave that overwhelms: this is also what feared José Luis Argudo, the director of social health services in Esplugues de Llobregat, near Barcelona. “I became aware of the extent of the tragedy, when, after the first two weeks of the state of emergency, at the end of March, all the patients who were sent to me by the central hospital arrived with the Covid- 19. We had about fifty affected patients. Where was it going to end? “ he asked himself.

Its mid-stay service is one of the establishments of the Saint-Jean-de-Dieu hospital order. José Luis Argudo lost five patients during these three months. He remembers this fight “ the union of all: from the cleaning staff to the nurse who provided a spiritual assistance service; doctors from other departments who came to support resuscitation, to the three nurses who provided around thirty video conferences per day. “

“I gave a general absolution by loudspeaker”

Using a tablet, the caregiver put a patient and his family in contact by camera for half an hour. This service was intended primarily for patients with Alzheimer’s or those who did not know how to use a smartphone. “This allowed families to see their patients and their patients to see something other than the plastic of our full protective equipment”, continues José Luis Argudo.

→ READ. Italy finds itself alone in managing migrants carrying Covid-19

“I learned the power from my eyes alone. It was difficult to provide support without touching a hand ”, remembers Fr. Oscar Diaz Ruiz. He had to be tested for Covid-19 five weeks in a row because his plastic packaging had cracked while he was at the bedside of a patient. “The quality of the equipment has improved after Holy Week”, remembers the Father.

He continued his ministry despite the obstacles. “Sick people wanted to go to confession. I gave a blanket discharge, over the loudspeaker in the hospital, so that everyone could hear it. “

Extreme unction behind glass

In Spain, each hospital, public or private, has its own chapel and chaplain. Fr. Oscar Diaz Ruiz also had to administer extreme unction. “I gave it behind a glass, when I was prohibited from entering for health reasons. One of the caregivers then placed a soaked cotton ball on the patient’s forehead. “

Today, Fr. Oscar has found his parishioners in his chapel. During confinement, he celebrated mass in front of empty chairs. “The faithful connected to the site of the parish. They were a hundred while the chapel contains only sixty. ” During all this time, he has also provided the bioethics courses he teaches at the Catholic Faculty of Valencia via the Internet.

What does he remember from this adventure? “Proof of human fragility. It showed us how a virus, a tiny thing, can put a world construction overboard. Recognizing this weakness helps to draw closer to God. “


“If you don’t care about plants, you may not know how to take care of another human being” | Science

Hundreds of children visit the Arnold Arboretum, the botanical garden of Harvard University in Boston (USA) every year, where there is a norm: everyone is capable of teaching, from university students, to staff and scientists .

One of them is the biologist William Friedman, who visited Spain during the Passion for Knowledge (P4K) festival held in San Sebastián. Passionate about plants, Friedman is a professor of Evolutionary and Organism Biology at Harvard University and has devoted his entire career to studying the evolutionary diversification of plants.

Question. Plants have been shown to have special relationships and help each other. In that sense, are they better than us?

Reply. From an evolutionary biologist’s point of view, a large number of premature deaths occur among plants. For every bird you see out the window, 199 have died. For each plant you see, how many seeds have fallen or grown a little and have not managed to do so? Plants do wonderful things by cooperating with each other, but sometimes they have a dark side.

P. What aspect of plants has surprised you the most throughout your career?

R. I have had incredible surprises throughout my life, especially with the study of the evolutionary origin of flower plants, which are a very recent group, the youngest. How is it possible then that they are everywhere? I studied the inner tissue of the seeds in which the mothers put their food and which then goes to the embryo. It is something that we have tamed to eat, the so-called endosperm. We eat a grain of rice or corn because it is full of nutrients. I have discovered many things about this process.

P. Like what?

R. That mothers and fathers disagree regarding the nutritional contribution of this tissue, and we can see it with genetic analysis. When I look at a seed I can see the genes of the mother and those of the father, how they debate about how much food it should have. For twenty years I have been wondering if fathers and mothers are arguing about how to feed their offspring and in the last five years we have discovered …

“Can plants adapt to the speed at which we are changing the planet? We’ll find out. “

P. And who wins?

R. Ah [risas]Well, the truth is that it depends. That is the question. In general, fathers are sperm donors and mothers are ovules, but they also have to feed. One is more involved than the other, who only gives their genes. This occurs with animals, but also with plants.

P. So what does a father want when he gives his genes to a mother’s seed?

R. That seed has all the food possible. Mothers have many seeds, but they select and reject those they think are not good because they have limited resources and must decide where to invest their food.

P. And when analyzing those seeds, what else can you see?

R. In molecular genetic studies you can even see how all this happens. Because they make different investments, fathers are selfish and mothers try to make universal decisions. If a mother with a hundred seeds only has food for fifty, which ones will she invest in? You will wonder which ones are the best. Females recognize seeds that may be genetically related and shut off pollen arrival biochemically. They are continually filtering parents. It is one of the great stories of plants and I don’t think many people know it.

P. When they reject a parent, can they choose another?

R. In the case of pines, which pollinate by means of the wind, the mother receives the sperm of many parents and so she can choose. If insects come into play, parents of different origins come to each flower and mothers make them compete with each other.

P. But how do they know if they are good parents?

R. They know the genetic attributes of the father, it is incredible. In some cases, they will know if the father is a direct relative; in others they will know if it is not a good match, and then the mothers will stop fertilizing. And even when fertilization has started they can abort the seeds. For many years I have enjoyed understanding that plants, like humans and other animals, have conversations between parents and make decisions.

P. When did you first become interested in plants?

R. I grew up in the field, but it was in high school biology classes that I became most interested. It was not good, but I liked it so much … One morning we were in the laboratory and we had a hairy pig killed in formalin that we had to dissect. I didn’t like anything. I had no idea how animals worked. So I thought I probably shouldn’t be a biologist [risas]. But suddenly the plants appeared and I felt an instinctive and deep connection with them. I was very lucky to experience that feeling with the plants and move on.

P. So actually the plants chose you …

R. The truth is, yes, and I feel very lucky to have discovered his world [Risas].

Plants do wonderful things by cooperating with each other, but sometimes they have a dark side. “

P. Of all the characteristics of plants, which one was unimaginable to you when you started studying them?

R. Plants do a lot of weird things. Do you know ginkgo It is a very old tree present in cities. It has two sexes (those who make pollen, males, and those who make seeds, females), but you will not see them together in Madrid. You will not see any seeds in the city and the reason is that they smell very strong, so people only plant males. In the Harvard Botanical Garden we have females and they smell vomit from the butyric acid inside. The seeds are scattered across the ground and it smells like everyone in the city has vomited there. It is very powerful.

P. And what sense does it make for females to do this?

R. Some extinct animal thought they smelled very good and started eating the seeds to disperse them. The plant stuck with that code, which smells terrible to us, but you can see all kinds of flies, scattering seeds, flying around.

P. It has been their way of adapting and surviving, but plants generally face many threats …

R. Yes, like invasive pathogens that move on wooden pallets carried on ships. Because we move things around the world and sometimes don’t care, we keep introducing threats that could annihilate a whole species. They can be insects, fungi or bacteria in the most unsuspected places, like the soles of my shoes.

P. All this will be worsened by the climate crisis.

R. Of course. Climate change exacerbates the situation. I can give you an example. In the botanical garden we have magnificent beech trees that suffer from a disease caused by an invasive fungus. Trees can fight the epidemic, as you and I do if we are healthy, but what if we are stressed, old, or poorly fed? In this sense, plants are exactly the same as humans. Three years ago we had the worst drought in the area. For two months we suffered arid conditions and in the following two years, the diseased trees perished. The disease won. The beech trees were so stressed by the drought that they were unable to fight. We had to cut down three-meter-wide trees that had died. And this is being seen with insects and birds all over the world. The question is whether or not this concerns us. I think most do, but not those who have the power to make decisions.

P. Why worry about plants, many will ask?

R. Sure, it’s not us. The birds are not us, the insects are not us. If you can’t care about a plant, you may not be able to care for another human being. It is said that we should care about nature because if we do not, we will lose the ability to feed the world, but I do not think that is the main reason.

“In high school I wasn’t good at biology, but I had an instinctive and deep connection to plants. I could understand them through the microscope ”

P. And what would it be?

R. To think that all these organisms are our food and depend on our exploitation is to be short-sighted. There is a deeper value. We must worry because we share the Earth with them.

P. Plants have been adapting for millions of years, but are they still maintaining that capacity now?

R. Plants can adapt, yes. Can they do it quickly? Yes. Can they adapt to the speed at which we are changing the planet? We’ll find out. 20,000 years ago in Boston there were neither plants nor trees, there was a glacier, and now the city is full of vegetation. Plants move, change, grow, and adapt. However, the changes we are introducing now are so rapid that certain ecosystems will collapse.

P. What will happen? Can’t we go back to where we started?

R. If it finally goes wrong, it will certainly be our fault. We will not be able to return. It will be a new future.

P. And what will that future be like?

R. I don’t know … Maybe it’ll be one without humans. But I am sure of one thing, and that is that the future will be very rich thanks to evolution. The most incredible thing about life is that it is resilient. Balance can return. We may not be resilient enough, but in millions of years the planet may continue to be green and still have animals. If we want to remain part of it, we have to be more careful.

P. We may now be starting to change. Have you not noticed?

R. Yes, there is an increasing environmental awareness. 40 years ago, when I started my studies, scientists did not speak to the public, they thought it was not part of their work. In the last 20 years, science journalism has become a very powerful way of helping scientists – who were not good at explaining things – connect with people. Being a scientist is not just doing science. We are citizens responsible for raising awareness.

P. Will we someday know everything about plants?

R. I don’t think so … There is an Alfred Tennyson poem called Flower in the Crannied Wall from 1863 which is the answer to your question. If I could fully know each of the plants, I would know the entire universe. But we can not. Each plant is so complicated that it is impossible. That makes nature so wonderful.


Some dog breeds prefer to work with people than others

Some dog breeds prefer to work with people than others


Test China vaccine anticovid in human


The inactivated vaccine against the coronavirus that developed the Institute of Medical Biology of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences has entered the second phase of clinical trials, according to the Journal of Science and Technology chinese.

This phase assesses more in depth the immunogenicity and safety of the vaccine in humans; trials are being carried out in the province of Yunnan, in the south of the country.

The study in phase one in the course has had about 200 participants from may. Phase two determines the dose of the vaccine and continues to evaluate the immune response that it causes in healthy people.

Five vaccine candidates for the covid-19 have been approved for clinical trials in China, which represents 40 percent of the world total, according to data from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Until now, none of the tests that are practiced on a global scale has passed the stage three the last stage of large scale clinical trials and is a necessary step before obtaining regulatory approval for their sale.

The most optimistic projections estimate that by the end of this year could be ready the first vaccine against the coronavirus.

At the end of this year, certain groups of people with special needs may be vacunadss with compounds experimental if there is a situation of urgency, said the director of the Center for the Prevention and Control of Diseases of China, Gao Fu.

Control regrowth of virus in Beijing

• After several days of fear a renewed outbreak of coronavirus, the health situation in Beijing appears to have stabilized in terms of new infectious after adding 22 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases of a new outbreak to 227 from the past 11 June.


Achieve a model similar to that of a human embryo from stem cells





At the beginning of the development, when the human embryo is just a small ball of cells is folded upon itself to form a three-layer structure with a front end and another rear, called a gastrula. This process is called gastrulationand the layers go on to form different types of body tissue: ectoderm gives rise to the nervous system, the mesoderm to the muscles and the endoderm to the gut.

Although it had been made standard in 3D of this process using mouse cells, these have limitations for studying human development. Scientists from the University of Cambridge (Uk), led by the Spanish Alfonso Martinez Arias, have developed a new model of early embryonic development in our species.

Gastrulation is the key moment of the embryogenesis. It is when it comes to the body itself, when you organise the cells with respect to a series of virtual axes that organize the development of tissues and organs,” explains Sinc Martinez Arias.

The team has been able to generate three-dimensional structures –so-called gastruloides– from stem cells of human embryos. The model, published this week in the journal “Nature”, represents some key elements of an embryo of about 18 to 21 days and allows to observe the processes that underlie the formation of the human body never before seen.

For researchers, a gastruloide 3 days mimics certain key features of a human embryo of 20 days. As well, suggest that this model represents a first step towards the modelling of the human body in 3D. “The knowledge of these procedures has the potential to reveal the causes of birth defects and human diseases, as well as create tests for its detection in pregnant women”.

“This new model system will allow to investigate for the first time in the laboratory the processes of human embryonic development early,” adds Naomi Moris, first author and an expert of the University of Cambridge.

Our work allows to study ethics this important phase of development in humans

In recent years several techniques have been developed to produce models similar to the embryos from stem cells in animals and humans. This has led researchers to ask for specific guidelines to provide an ethical oversight more clear of this field in rapid development. For the moment, the legislation in this regard varies greatly in different countries.

Until now, the gastrulation is known as the period ‘black box’ of human development, as legal restrictions prevent the cultivation of human embryos when start this process

“Our work allows to study ethics this important phase of development in humans,” says Martínez Arias. “We have found a way to recap the key elements of gastrulation in our species, opening the possibility to analyze the time in which they have their origin many diseases”.

Thus, many birth defects originate during this short period of time, with causes ranging from ingestion or exposure to alcohol, drugs, chemicals and infections. For this reason, the authors stress that understanding the gastrulation human could also shed light on infertility, miscarriage and genetic disorders.

Model organisms, including mice and zebrafish, have previously allowed the scientists to obtain some knowledge about gastrulation in human. However, these models may behave differently to human embryos when the cells start to differentiate.

The gastruloides not have the potential to develop into an embryo fully formed

An example is thalidomide, used for the treatment of nausea in pregnant women. The drug passed all the clinical trials after being tested on mice, but subsequently caused severe birth defects in babies. “For this reason it is important to develop better models of human development“highlights the authors.

The gastruloides not have the potential to develop into an embryo fully formed. Have No brain cells or any of the other tissues necessary for implantation in the uterus. This means that they could never move from the early stages of development and, therefore, conform to the ethical standards current.


Search for human fossils, how is that what it is? | Science

Spaniards have an attitude somewhat reluctant to recognize the benefits generated by the scientific culture. Since the already classic “create other”, to the incredulity of the average citizen that question and asks us: “… and that you do, what is it?”. Collectively, we don’t have very clear the need to invest in basic research.

With funds from the call Explores Science of the Ministry that is dedicated to the promotion of science in Spain, whose acronym mutate faster than the mitochondrial DNA, we have initiated a research project in the heart of the rainforests of central Africa, in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. From here our gratitude to the institutions scientific-technical ecuatoguineanas for their essential logistic support.

We seek to answer the question of what was the original ecosystem where did the bipedal locomotion, the human trait par excellence. We want to know where and how it is produced the transformation of a few apes that left its life in the trees and started walking across the floor making use exclusively of the legs. What was right Darwin when he predicted that the remains of our ancestors prehumanos should be found in regions where they live today, the great african apes, gorillas, and chimpanzees?

Paradoxically, all of the documentation fossil on the evolution of homininos previous two million years comes from the east and south of Africa, and almost nothing we know what happened with apes and humans that inhabited the rainforests of the Congo and gulf of Guinea in the past million years. The unexplored of these areas, linked to the unlikely preservation of organic remains in the soils of these forests, has been the almost total absence of records paleontological. Therefore, any record archaeological-paleontological that we could find in these areas will represent a considerable advance in our knowledge of human evolution. It is there where you can join our project. Following the custom socratic of “know thyself”, new evidence would help us in the company know how we have travelled that long evolutionary path dotted with complex processes, local extinctions, adaptations, genetic drift and hybridization between species. In summary, it would serve to know more of the human nature.

What was right Darwin when he predicted that the remains of our ancestors pre-human should be found in regions where they live today, the great african apes, gorillas, and chimpanzees?

And beyond that, discover prehistoric bones in the heart of the jungles of equatorial and subsequent analysis would help us to generate knowledge in such a wide frame and interconnected that we call culture. In the tension of the economic interest between the material and the cultural, the story reveals a single equation: the more you know greater well-being and thus greater longevity. Simply because some realized that the ignorance and cultural prejudices, the bondage of the soul, impoverish and shorten the lives without us apercibamos. But in addition, the story also provides us with clear examples of the possible material benefits generated by the research basic paleontological.

Let’s look at an example. For decades, the discovery of new remains neanderthals could be considered an act of playfulness devoid of all useful material. Years later, the advancement of molecular biology, put in the head of a few visionaries with the ability to extract DNA from those bones, the same that in the eyes of some not useful for anything. Today we know that human beings present us hibridamos with the human species, archaic (discovered only thanks to the paleontological research) and that those species which are today extinct, we transferred some of their genes; a good part of the readers of these lines have in their chromosomes a 2% DNA neanderthal. Well, possibly a knowledge playful. But it turns out that in addition to those genes affect our lives, expressed in our body and determine part of our biology, and pathology. There is already an entire branch of biomedical science that is clarifying the way in which the inheritance of those fossils determines our state of health. A derivative of the paleontology…

From a utilitarianism of short-term, it is possible to investigate about the fossils have little value. However, thanks to them we face the depth of geological time and the timescales in which the unfolding of the story. Ultimately the reality in which we live, our being evolutionary, it is but a mosaic of realities overlap each from a different time. The fossil bones lost in the jungles serve the effort of composing the mosaic of who we are.

Antonio Rosas it is Group director of Paleoanthropology at the National Museum of Natural sciences, CSIC.