Berlin [Germany], March 5 (ANI): A new large-scale study led by researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology uncovered recent genetic connectivity between chimpanzee subspecies despite past isolation events.
Chimpanzees are divided into four subspecies separated by geographic barriers like rivers. Previous studies attempting to understand chimpanzee population histories have been limited either by a poor geographic distribution of samples, samples of uncertain origin or different types of genetic markers.
Due to these obstacles, some studies have shown clear separations between chimpanzee subspecies while others suggest a genetic gradient across the species as in humans.
Researchers from the Pan African Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee (PanAf) at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) and a team of international researchers, collected over 5000 fecal samples from 55 sites in 18 countries across the chimpanzee range over 8 years.
This is by far the most complete sampling of the species to date, with a known location of origin for every sample, thus addressing the sampling limitations of previous studies. “Collecting these samples was often a daunting task for our amazing field teams.
The chimpanzees were almost all unhabituated to human presence, so it took a lot of patience, skill and luck to find chimpanzee dung at each of the sites,” explains Mimi Arandjelovic, co-director of the PanAf and senior author of the study.
Jack Lester, first author of the study, explains: “We used rapidly-evolving genetic markers that reflect the recent population history of species and, in combination with the dense sampling from across their range, we show that chimpanzee subspecies have been connected, or, more likely, reconnected, for extended periods during the most recent maximal expansion of African forests.”
So although chimpanzees were separated into different subspecies in their distant past, prior to the rise of recent anthropogenic disturbances, the proposed subspecies-specific geographic barriers were permeable to chimpanzee dispersal.
Paolo Gratton, co-author of the study and researcher at the Universita di Roma “Tor Vergata” adds: “It is widely thought that chimpanzees persisted in forest refugia during glacial periods, which has likely been responsible for isolating groups of populations which we now recognize as subspecies.
Our results from fast-evolving microsatellite DNA markers however indicate that genetic connectivity in the most recent millennia mainly mirrors geographic distance and local factors, masking the older subspecies subdivisions.”
Furthermore, “these results suggest that the great behavioural diversity observed in chimpanzees are therefore not due to local genetic adaptation but that they rely on behavioural flexibility, much like humans, to respond to changes in their environment,” notes Hjalmar Kuehl, co-director of the PanAf and researcher at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv).
The team also observed signals of reductions in diversity at some sites that appeared to be associated with recent anthropogenic pressures. In fact, at some locations PanAf teams visited no, or few, chimpanzees were detected despite recordings of their presence within the last decades.
“Although not unforeseen, we were disheartened to already find the influence of human impacts at some field sites where genetic diversity was markedly lower than what we expected,” says Jack Lester.
These results highlight the importance of genetic connectivity for chimpanzees in their recent history. “Every effort should be made to re-establish and maintain dispersal corridors across their range, with perhaps special attention to trans-national protected areas,” notes Christophe Boesch, co-director of the PanAf and director of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation.
Chimpanzees are known to be adaptable to human disturbance and can survive in human-modified landscapes, however, habitat loss, zoonotic diseases, bushmeat and pet trades are all threats to chimpanzee survival. These results warn of future critical impacts on their genetic health and viability if habitat fragmentation and isolation continue unabated. (ANI)
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RAHMAN DEDICATES LAGAAN’S ‘CHALE CHALO’ TO DHONI
MUMBAI: Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman has dedicated ‘Chale Chalo’ from the movie Lagaan to CSK skipper M.S. Dhoni as it motivates the team to play together. Rahman also dedicated the song ‘Mangta Hai Kya’ from the movie Rangeela to CSK all-rounder Suresh Raina.
Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Live, Rahman said, “I would like to dedicate the song ‘Chale Chalo’ from the movie Lagaan to M.S. Dhoni, as it motivates people to play cricket together. And for Suresh Raina, I would like to dedicate the song ‘Mangta Hai Kya’, because whenever I went to Bangalore, they were listening to songs from Rangeela.”
AJAY DEVGN, SIDDHARTH ROY KAPUR JOIN HANDS TO PRODUCE COMEDY-DRAMA ‘GOBAR!’
MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn has joined hands with Siddharth Roy Kapur, and announced his upcoming comedy-drama ‘GOBAR!’ on Friday.
The ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ star took to Twitter and shared a picture featuring him, Siddharth and filmmaker Sabal Shekhawat as he announced the team of his upcoming venture. With a common endeavour to create quality entertainment, the two stalwarts have announced this exciting new collaboration. The forthcoming film will be directed by renowned ad filmmaker Sabal Shekhawat and is written by Sabal Shekhawat and Sambhit Mishra.
He wrote, “Joining forces with @roykapurfilms to bring you an aMOOsing story from the heartland of India – GOBAR! #SiddharthRoyKapur #SabalShekhawat #SambitMishra @Meena_Iyer@KumarMangat@malvika25.”
Set in the cow belt of India during the 1990s, ‘GOBAR!’ is an amusing satire inspired by true events that transpire when an idiosyncratic animal-loving veterinary doctor chances upon a tangled web of corruption in his local state hospital. The film is a one-of-a-kind comedy themed on one man’s hilariously bumbling and ridiculously brave journey to stand up against corruption.
Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur shares, “GOBAR! is a story that chronicles the seemingly pointless but ultimately heroic journey of a simple citizen who deals with corruption in a way that will bring on many laughs, much adventure, and ultimately a simple message about the power of the common man.
JENNIFER LOPEZ STILL HAS A-ROD’S ENGAGEMENT RING IN HER POSSESSION
WASHINGTON [US]: American stars Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez may have broken up, but her possession of the engagement ring may prove to be a binding source between them. While as per the traditions, when a couple breaks up before hitting the alter, the person who proposes gets the ring back. But this is not the case with J Lo and Ro and the ‘Second Act’ actor has not returned her USD 1 million ring back to his ex-fiance yet. Sources told TMZ that “J Lo still has the ring in her possession” and there has been no discussion between both the stars over the fate of the ring.
However, sources added that the former couple exchanged “massive amounts of jewellery” during their 2 years of engagement. “A-Rod bedazzled J Lo with all sorts of bling, and she fortified his watch collection. So, they could just call it a wash, but they haven’t decided yet.”
TMZ also reported that the ring is not in the Dominican Republic even. “She didn’t want it lying around every day while she films … for security reasons,” the source explained.
The American singer Jennifer Lopez and New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez had confirmed their split on Thursday. The two issued a joint statement that read, “We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so. We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared projects.”
KANGANA RANAUT PAYS TRIBUTE TO COMEDY LEGEND CHARLIE CHAPLIN
NEW DELHI: On the 132nd birth anniversary of comedy legend Charlie Chaplin, Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut commemorated the occasion by paying a tribute to the late artist on her social media.
The ‘Queen’ actor took to her Twitter handle on Friday and marked Chaplin’s birth anniversary by sharing a few black and white pictures of him, describing the comic as one of the most dynamic artists ever. Kangana tweeted, “Today is the birth anniversary of the greatest most dynamic multifaceted artist, an actor/comedian, an extraordinary storyteller/director a super successful film producer, highly skilled editor and par excellence screen writer n composer, Happy birthday Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin.”
Actor Ranvir Shorey responded to Kangana’s tweet with his own tribute, and called Chaplin the “greatest”. He tweeted, “The greatest. Happy Birthday!”
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was an English comedian, actor, and filmmaker, who managed to achieve tons of affection and praises in 75 years of his career. He was born in London in 1889 and is still known worldwide for his signature style of silent comedy. Chaplin is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant comics, as well as acting figures in the history of the cinema.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Kangana Ranaut’s much-awaited project ‘Thalaivi’ which was slated to get a theatrical release on April 23, this year got postponed due to the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. Apart from this she also has ‘Tejas’, ‘Dhaakad’, and ‘Manikarnika Returns: The Legend Of Didda’ in the pipeline.
Kangana has also signed up to play the role of former PM Indira Gandhi in an upcoming political drama.
PARINEETI-STARRER ‘SAINA’ TO PREMIERE ON AMAZON PRIME ON 23 APRIL
MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Parineeti Chopra starrer biographical sports film based on life of badminton champion Saina Nehwal ‘Saina’ is set to premiere on April 23 on Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon Prime Video took to Instagram on Friday and announced the digital premiere of the recently released Bollywood sports biopic, ‘Saina’.
With Parineeti Chopra as the lead, the film follows the career highs and lows of Saina Nehwal, one of India’s ace shuttlers and one of the most celebrated badminton players in the country. The biopic highlights the people who have been an integral part of Sania’s professional journey and contributed to building her resilience and unbreakable spirit.
The ‘Ishqzaade’ star shared how she feels about the film’s digital release. She said, “I am extremely thrilled with the film having a global digital premiere on Amazon Prime Video, bringing such an inspirational story to audiences across the world. With this film, I have learnt that a biographical film comes with many challenges; my biggest challenge as an actor was to get into Saina Nehwal’s shoes and recreate her accomplishments and hardships”
“As an actor, I embraced each challenge, and I do think that I learnt a lot as a professional. I worked on the physical appearance and the right body language, and I am glad it worked out in my favour. I had a great time working on this film,” she added .
Producer Bhushan Kumar said, “Saina is a story of a young girl who dared to dream and dared to achieve. Her story needs to be heard and seen and we are glad through the platform of Amazon Prime Video everyone can witness this journey of success.”
HAS KARTIK AARYAN BEEN DROPPED FROM ‘DOSTANA 2’?
NEW DELHI: If Bollywood sources are to be believed, actor Kartik Aaryan has been dropped from Dharma Productions’ Dostana 2. Sources say that the producers had to take this drastic decision because Kartik Aaryan has been acting difficult with the makers.
The film is already half shot and now it’s going to be a challenge for the makers to reshoot it with a new actor who fits the part. This means a huge monetary loss for Dharma Productions as they have to reshoot half a film all over again and also cover-up on the lost time. There were also rumours of Kartik and Janhvi Kapoor’s break, could have played a role in this huge professional debacle.
Kartik, who was excited to be a part of the project, had told news agency PTI: “The evolution is from one Dostana to the other. Dostana one that released in 2008 and the Dostana 2 that’s releasing in 2020, you will see that the representation is accurate, non-caricaturish and on point, talking about sexuality in a way that will not make you cringe while watching it. So therein lies the fact that in last 12 years, there has been a change in the way we depict gay characters. Even in Kapoor & Sons and the way it was depicted.”
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