Clues to Our Unknown Ancestors Are Hiding in Our Genome

Could deep learning help paleontologists and geneticists hunt for ghosts?

When modern humans first migrated out of Africa 70,000 years ago, at least two related species, now extinct, were already waiting for them on the Eurasian landmass. These were the Neanderthals and Denisovans, archaic humans who interbred with those early moderns, leaving bits of their DNA behind today in the genomes of people of non-African descent.

Quanta Magazine

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Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research developments and trends in mathematics and the physical and life sciences.

But there have been growing hints of an even more convoluted and colorful history: A team of researchers reported in Nature last summer, for instance, that a bone fragment found in a Siberian cave belonged to the daughter of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father. The finding marked the first fossil evidence of a first-generation human hybrid.

Unfortunately, it’s very rare to find such fossils. (Our knowledge of Denisovans, for instance, is based on DNA extracted from a mere finger bone.) Many other ancestral pairings could easily have transpired, [...]  read more

Slack Goes Public, FreshBooks Expands…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and chief executive officer of Slack Technologies Inc.© 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1— Workplace messaging app Slack to go public.


Early this week, California-based workplace messaging startup Slack said it had filed a confidential registration for an IPO. The company claims to have 10 million users in 150 countries and has raised more than $1 billion from investors, meaning it is now valued at $7.1 billion and is one of the most richly valued ‘unicorns’ in the country. (Source: France 24)

Why this is important for your business:

The workplace collaboration market is worth billions and Slack has, for years, been the undisputed leader in that space. But the company faces stiff competition from others – most particularly Microsoft Teams – and will likely see its market share decline a bit in the coming [...]  read more

How to watch the 2019 Grammys: live stream the awards ceremony from anywhere

Music’s so-called biggest night is here with the 61st annual Grammy Awards taking place tonight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This year’s award ceremony will be hosted by 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys and this will be her first time hosting the ceremony. Want to know how to get a Grammys live stream? You’re in the right place…

2019 Grammy Awards – when and where
This year’s Grammy Awards will be held tonight (Sunday, February 10) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. 

The award ceremony will begin at 5pm local time (8pm ET, 1am GMT) and will conclude around 8.30pm ET.

The three-and-a-half hour extravaganza will feature performances from nominees Chloe X Halle, Grammy-winner Lady Gaga (choosing this over the Bafta film awards), fellow winner Mark Ronson and Grammy nominee Travis Scott fresh off his performance at Super Bowl LIII. The legendary Aretha Franklin, best known for her hit song ‘Respect’ among many, many others, will also be honored by Grammy winners Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and past Grammy-nominee Andra Day.

Drake and Kendrick Lamar have the most nominations this year [...]  read more

Companies raising supergiant VC aren’t getting any younger

This week, point-to-point “microtransit” service company Lime announced it raised $310 million in a Series D round, which valued the company at $2.4 billion, post-money. That is pretty impressive for a startup founded just a couple of years ago. Since 2017, Lime has raised more than $765 million in venture funding, which is due in part to the pretty daunting economics of the bike and scooter business. It takes a lot of capital to acquire and deploy that hardware.

Lime isn’t the only company to raise supergiant ($100 million or more) VC rounds right out of the gate. Despite the fact that supergiant venture capital rounds have recently become an almost everyday occurrence, the age at which companies close their first nine-figure funding deal hasn’t really changed over the past several years.

In the chart below, we plot the distribution of startups’ age at the time of their first supergiant venture round of $100 million or more. (The age of a company at any subsequent supergiant [...]  read more

How to watch the 2019 Baftas: live stream the film awards ceremony from anywhere

The 2019 Baftas – or the 72nd British Academy Film Awards, to give it its full name – is the penultimate major ceremony of this year’s awards season, with only the Oscars left to follow in a fortnight. Joanna Lumley is hosting for the second year running and we’ll tell you how to watch all …

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