Anthropology

Article excerpt

Diversity of a Superimposed Alu Dimorphic Variant in Human Populations. Nageswara R. Alla and David H. Kass, Eastern Michigan University, Department of Biology, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Alu represents the predominant family of short interspersed DNA dements SINEs) within primate genomes. These are considered retrotransposons as they accumulate within the genome via an RNA intermediate. This process referred to as retrotranspositioncontinues within the human genome, with estimates of about one new integration event in one hundred births. Recent integrations may not he fixed within human populations and therefore provide useful presence/absence DNA markers. These dimorphic Alu elements have been utilized in a variety of regional and global human population studies. In this study, we have identified an Alu presence allele that demonstrates three different small-length variants. Therefore, this superimposed variant can potentially enhance the usefulness of this marker, and add to a small but growing number of these types of markers. We are investigating the nature of the variation and analyzing DNA samples from a variety of ethnic groups to assess its potential as a population marker. Superimposed Alu markers may provide a unique tool in the study of human populations.

Biostratigraphy of Early Paleogene Primate Localities in the Great Divide Basin, Southwestern Wyoming. John Van Regenmorter and Robert Anemone, Department of Anthropology, Western Michigan University

The Great Divide Basin of southwestern Wyoming plays host to the fossil remains of early Paleogene terrestrial faunas. This period of time represents the early evolution and radiation of Primate and other mammalian faunas in North America, and a detailed knowledge of the biostratigraphy is essential to determine phylogenetic relationships and speciation during this interval. Recent fieldwork has been focused on examining the stratigraphic relationships between fossil localities and laterally continuous geological marker beds in the Great Divide Basin. The correlation of fossil localities in the basin is based on their relative positions with respect to these marker beds, and the faunal assemblages are compared to the standard biostrarigraphic chronology developed in the nearby Bighorn Basin. This biostratigraphic correlation allows for more detailed evolutionary studies of these early mammalian faunas, and provides further insight into the overall biostratigraphy of the region during this critical time in mammalian evolution. Of particular interest is the co-occurrence of two plesiadapiforms (Plesiadapis cookei and Carpolestes nigridens), at a Clarkforkian age (latest Paleocene) locality. This co-occurrence is unexpected based on the biochronology of the Bighorn Basin, and mandates a revision of our understanding of the transition between the early and middle Clarkforkian land mammal age.

The 'Stitch N' Bitch Revolution': The Reversal of Gender Roles in a Michigan Twenty-something Knitting Group. Meghan Cook, Western Michigan University, Department of Anrhropology, Kalamazoo, MI 49006

The "Stitch N' Bitch" revolution is at the forefront of the recent crafting craze. A social knitting organization originated by Stitch N' Bitch author Debbie Stoller, the first group was formed in New York City and quickly spread across the nation. This is an ethnographic study of one such group in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Comprised mainly of college-age people and young professionals, the gender ratio of the group is surprisingly equal, as more and more men are beginning to publicly show an interest in knitting and other crafts. This paper focused on gender issues and stereotypes amongst the group. Traditional gender roles were reversed as women exerted control over the men, and men exposed their softer, craftier side. Research into gender stereotypes and identity issues as they are reflected in youth subcultures provided insight into this new paradigm of roles and community building. …