Endocast of Sambungmacan 3 (Sm 3): a new Homo erectus from Indonesia.
A new fossil calvaria, Sambungmacan 3 (Sm 3), described in New Fossil Hominid Calvaria From Indonesia--Sambungmacan 3 by Marquez et al., this volume, yields one of the most advanced and complete endocasts yet recovered from Java. This communication provides a thorough interpretation of the external anatomical landmarks observable on Sm 3. Using computer tomography (CT) and traditional morphological measurements, our comparative paleoneurological analyses show that while Sm 3 has a mosaic of features that are similar to both Indonesian and Chinese H. erectus, it also possesses significant characters reminiscent of later hominins. These include a greater degree of asymmetry characterized by a possible left-occipital, right-frontal petalial pattern, left-right volumetric cerebral asymmetry, and marked asymmetry in Broca's cap. Moreover, the frontal lobe offers a more rounded, shortened appearance in contrast to the flat, elongated appearance of other Indonesian fossils (e.g., Sangiran 17). Another unique trait is exhibited in the transverse plane where the widest breadth of Sm 3 occurs more superiorly than in other Indonesian H. erectus. Thus, the endocast of Sm 3 presents a unique morphology not seen previously in the hominin fossil record. While the strong modern human characteristics in this endocast may not represent a particular ancestry, they do allow us to recognize a new dimension of the remarkable variation in Indonesian Homo erectus. (+info)
The Sambungmacan 3 Homo erectus calvaria: a comparative morphometric and morphological analysis.
The Sambungmacan (Sm) 3 calvaria, discovered on Java in 1977, was illegally removed from Indonesia in 1998 and appeared in New York City in early 1999 at the Maxilla & Mandible, Ltd. natural history shop. Here we undertake an analysis of its phylogenetic and systematic position using geometric morphometrics and comparative morphology. The coordinates of points in the sagittal plane from glabella to opisthion were resampled to yield "lines" of 50 semi-landmarks. Coordinates of glabella, bregma, lambda, inion, and opisthion were also collected and analyzed separately. Casts of Homo erectus fossils from Indonesia, China, and Kenya and of "archaic H. sapiens" from Kabwe and Petralona, as well as 10 modern human crania, were used as the primary comparative sample. The modern humans were well separated from the fossils in a graphical superimposition of Procrustes-aligned semi-landmarks as well as in principal component and canonical discriminant analyses. In all of these, Sm 3 falls intermediate between the fossil and modern groups. Morphological comparisons of Sm 3 with a selection of Homo erectus fossils revealed its greatest similarity to specimens from Ngandong and the Sm 1 calvaria. Compared to all other H. erectus, Sm 3 was distinctive in its more vertical supratoral plane, less anteriorly projecting glabella and less sharply angled occiput. In these features it was somewhat similar to modern humans. It is not yet possible to determine if this similarity implies an evolutionary relationship or (more likely) individual or local populational variation. Several features of Sm 3 (small size, gracile supraorbital torus and lack of angular torus, and position in principal component analysis) suggest that it was a female. The use of geometric morphometrics provides a means to statistically test the shapes of such fossils in a manner not easily duplicated by other methods. The intermediate position of Sm 3 between fossil and modern samples in several different subanalyses exemplifies the value of this approach. (+info)
Trypanosoma evansi in Indonesian buffaloes: evaluation of simple models of natural immunity to infection.
Deterministic models were employed to investigate the biology of Trypanosoma evansi infection in the Indonesian buffalo. Models were fitted to two age-structured data sets of infection. The Susceptible-Infected-Susceptible (SIS) model was the best supported description of this infection, although the results of the analysis depended on the serological test used; the Tr7 Ag-ELISA was judged the most reliable indicator of infection. Estimated forces of infection increase with age from 1.2 to 2.0 acquisitions per buffalo per year. The buffaloes would clear infection in an estimated mean time period of 16.8 months (95% CIs: 12.5-25.9 months) since acquisition, either by drug treatment by owners or self-cure. A general discussion on the role of immunity in protozoan infections includes consideration that the fitted SIS model would be consistent with strain-specific immunity. The model may become a useful tool for the evaluation of control programmes. (+info)
Weekly supplementation with iron and vitamin A during pregnancy increases hemoglobin concentration but decreases serum ferritin concentration in Indonesian pregnant women.
We investigated whether weekly iron supplementation was as effective as the national daily iron supplementation program in Indonesia in improving iron status at near term in pregnancy. In addition, we examined whether weekly vitamin A and iron supplementation was more efficacious than weekly supplementation with iron alone. One group of pregnant women (n = 122)was supplemented weekly with iron (120 mg Fe as FeSO4) and folic acid (500 microg); another group (n = 121) received the same amount of iron and folic acid plus vitamin A [4800 retinol equivalents (RE)]. A third ("daily") group (n = 123), participating in the national iron plus folic acid supplementation program, was also recruited. Data on subjects with complete biochemical data are reported (n = 190). At near term, hemoglobin concentrations increased, whereas serum ferritin concentrations decreased significantly in the weekly vitamin A and iron group, suggesting that vitamin A improved utilization of iron for hematopoiesis. Iron status in the weekly iron group was not different from that of the "daily" group. However, iron status decreased with daily supplementation if <50 iron tablets were ingested. Serum transferrin receptor concentrations increased in all groups (P < 0.01). Serum retinol concentrations were maintained in the weekly vitamin A and iron group, but decreased in the other two groups (P < 0.01). Thus, delivery of iron supplements on a weekly basis can be as effective as ona daily basis if compliance can be ensured. Addition of vitamin A to the supplement improved hemoglobin concentration. (+info)
Early Pleistocene 40Ar/39Ar ages for Bapang Formation hominins, Central Jawa, Indonesia.
The Sangiran dome is the primary stratigraphic window for the Plio-Pleistocene deposits of the Solo basin of Central Jawa. The dome has yielded nearly 80 Homo erectus fossils, around 50 of which have known findspots. With a hornblende (40)Ar/(39)Ar plateau age of 1.66 +/- 0.04 mega-annum (Ma) reportedly associated with two fossils [Swisher, C.C., III, Curtis, G. H., Jacob, T., Getty, A. G., Suprijo, A. & Widiasmoro (1994) Science 263, 1118-1121), the dome offers evidence that early Homo dispersed to East Asia during the earliest Pleistocene. Unfortunately, the hornblende pumice was sampled at Jokotingkir Hill, a central locality with complex lithostratigraphic deformation and dubious specimen provenance. To address the antiquity of Sangiran H. erectus more systematically, we investigate the sedimentary framework and hornblende (40)Ar/(39)Ar age for volcanic deposits in the southeast quadrant of the dome. In this sector, Bapang (Kabuh) sediments have their largest exposure, least deformation, and most complete tephrostratigraphy. At five locations, we identify a sequence of sedimentary cycles in which H. erectus fossils are associated with epiclastic pumice. From sampled pumice, eight hornblende separates produced (40)Ar/(39)Ar plateau ages ranging from 1.51 +/- 0.08 Ma at the Bapang/Sangiran Formation contact, to 1.02 +/- 0.06 Ma, at a point above the hominin-bearing sequence. The chronological sequence of (40)Ar/(39)Ar ages follows stratigraphic order across the southeast quadrant. An intermediate level yielding four nearly complete crania has an age of about 1.25 Ma. (+info)
Microorganisms with a taste for vanilla: microbial ecology of traditional Indonesian vanilla curing.
The microbial ecology of traditional postharvesting processing of vanilla beans (curing) was examined using a polyphasic approach consisting of conventional cultivation, substrate utilization-based and molecular identification of isolates, and cultivation-independent community profiling by 16S ribosomal DNA based PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. At two different locations, a batch of curing beans was monitored. In both batches a major shift in microbial communities occurred after short-term scalding of the beans in hot water. Fungi and yeast disappeared, although regrowth of fungi occurred in one batch during a period in which process conditions were temporarily not optimal. Conventional plating showed that microbial communities consisting of thermophilic and thermotolerant bacilli (mainly closely related to Bacillus subtilis, B. licheniformis, and B. smithii) developed under the high temperatures (up to 65 degrees C) that were maintained for over a week after scalding. Only small changes in the communities of culturable bacteria occurred after this period. Molecular analysis revealed that a proportion of the microbial communities could not be cultured on conventional agar medium, especially during the high-temperature period. Large differences between both batches were observed in the numbers of microorganisms, in species composition, and in the enzymatic abilities of isolated bacteria. These large differences indicate that the effects of microbial activities on the development of vanilla flavor could be different for each batch of cured vanilla beans. (+info)
Asaia siamensis sp. nov., an acetic acid bacterium in the alpha-proteobacteria.
Five bacterial strains were isolated from tropical flowers collected in Thailand and Indonesia by the enrichment culture approach for acetic acid bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that the isolates were located within the cluster of the genus Asaia. The isolates constituted a group separate from Asaia bogorensis on the basis of DNA relatedness values. Their DNA G+C contents were 58.6-59.7 mol%, with a range of 1.1 mol%, which were slightly lower than that of A. bogorensis (59.3-61.0 mol%), the type species of the genus Asaia. The isolates had morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics similar to A. bogorensis strains, but the isolates did not produce acid from dulcitol. On the basis of the results obtained, the name Asaia siamensis sp. nov. is proposed for these isolates. Strain S60-1T, isolated from a flower of crown flower (dok rak, Calotropis gigantea) collected in Bangkok, Thailand, was designated the type strain ( = NRIC 0323T = JCM 10715T = IFO 16457T). (+info)
Bioefficacy of beta-carotene dissolved in oil studied in children in Indonesia.
BACKGROUND: More information on the bioefficacy of carotenoids in foods ingested by humans is needed. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to measure the time required for isotopic enrichment of beta-carotene and retinol in serum to reach a plateau, the extent of conversion of beta-carotene dissolved in oil with use of beta-carotene and retinol specifically labeled with 10 (13)C atoms, and the intraindividual variation in response. DESIGN: Indonesian children aged 8--11 y (n = 35) consumed 2 capsules/d, 7 d/wk, for < or =10 wk. Each capsule contained 80 microg [12,13,14,15,20,12',13',14',15',20'-(13)C(10)]beta-carotene and 80 microg [8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,19,20-(13)C(10)]retinyl palmitate. Three blood samples were drawn per child over a period of < or =10 wk. HPLC coupled with atmospheric pressure chemical ionization liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to measure the isotopic enrichment in serum of retinol with [(13)C(5)]retinol and [(13)C(10)]retinol and of beta-carotene with [(13)C(10)]beta-carotene. The beta-carotene in the capsules used had a cis-trans ratio of 3:1. RESULTS: Plateau isotopic enrichment was reached by day 21. The amount of beta-carotene in oil required to form 1 microg retinol was 2.4 microg (95% CI: 2.1, 2.7). The amount of all-trans-beta-carotene required to form 1 microg retinol may be lower. CONCLUSIONS: The efficiency of conversion of this beta-carotene in oil was 27% better than that estimated previously (1.0 microg retinol from 3.3 microg beta-carotene with an unknown cis-trans ratio). The method described can be extended to measure the bioefficacy of carotenoids in foods with high precision, requiring fewer subjects than other methods. (+info)