Of course, it's all about where you move. The authors argue that it needs to be less populous regions.
- Moving from densely-populated urban regions is more effective in stopping the spreading of disease than closing borders.
- Two researchers from Spain and Italy ran 10,000 simulations to discover that travel bans are ultimately ineffective.
- Smaller cities might suffer high rates of infection, but the nation overall could benefit from this model.
Credit: Alexander Ozerov / Adobe Stock<p>The author realizes this model has limitations. Their focus was purely on population densities. Ideally, mobility during a pandemic coincides with public health measures, such as wearing a mask, washing your hands, and self-quaranting—factors that differ radically depending on what region you happen to be in. </p><p>While their modeling is hypothetical, it does track with real-world migration patterns. A mass exodus has been <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/30/nyregion/nyc-suburbs-housing-demand.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>occurring from New York City</u></a>, for example. The reasons for so many people fleeing are manifold, but the pandemic certainly catalyzed the migration. Similar trends are occurring in <a href="https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/09/23/residents-moving-out-of-california-on-the-rise/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>Los Angeles</u></a> and <a href="https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Yes-people-are-leaving-San-Francisco-After-15635160.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>San Francisco</u></a>.</p><p>In their paper, Zanin and Papo wonder if forced relocation, from high-density to low-density regions, could be proactively enforced. Of course, there would be political pushback for initiating such measures, though it appears it could impact the spread of disease as well. </p><p>The authors also note that their model does not take into account the impact on regional health care systems, which, at least in America, are often not equipped to handle population increases. And they recognize the political concern—hypothetical modeling does not necessarily take ethical considerations into question. </p><p>That said, this is and will remain a political issue. As Zanin <a href="https://publishing.aip.org/publications/latest-content/in-a-pandemic-migration-away-from-dense-cities-more-effective-than-closing-borders/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>says</u></a>, the success of any pandemic response lies in the cooperation between national and regional governments looking at their country as a whole, as well as considering the impact of their actions on the rest of the planet. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Collaboration between different governments and administrations is an essential ingredient towards controlling a pandemic, and one should consider the possibility of small-scale sacrifices to reach a global benefit."</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a>. His new book is</em> "<em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KRVMP2M?pf_rd_r=MDJW43337675SZ0X00FH&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy</a>."</em></p>
Archaeologists suggest this may have been the Americas' "oldest hotel."
- Scientists have found ancient tools as well as plant and animal remains in a high-altitude cave.
- The site is dated to 30,000 years ago, pushing back estimates of the first humans to arrive in the Americas by 15,000 years.
- There is no sign these mysterious people remain in the modern gene pool.
A game-changing puzzle<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUxMTQxOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODc0MjIyNH0.EOi6PulBQXz7mSUfVVOVXlmFPWZfMVzlKjEngYMYNWo/img.jpg?width=980" id="67747" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="436fdbf2db7c960a56b6b22a969b5649" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="carved stone tool" />
Image source: Ciprian Ardelean/St. John's College, University of Cambridge<p>Inside the high-altitude cave some 9,000 feet above sea level, archaeologists found almost 2,000 stone tools. The scientists also found plant and animal remains at the site that radiocarbon dating identified as being from 25,000 to 30,000 years ago. One of the paper's first authors, geneticist <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mikkel_Pedersen" target="_blank">Mikkel Winther Pedersen</a> of the University of Copenhagen, says, "We identified DNA from a wide range of animals including black bears, rodents, bats, voles and even kangaroo rats."</p><p>So, whose tools and animals were they? The researchers have no idea, since no human remains were found in the cave. This suggests the site was not a permanently occupied settlement, but instead a place that people used only periodically. "These early visitors didn't occupy the cave continuously," says Willerslev. "We think people spent part of the year there using it as a winter or summer shelter, or as a base to hunt during migration. This could be the Americas' oldest ever hotel."</p><p>Ardelean says that perhaps the most important thing is who they <em>don't</em> seem to have been, based on the style of tools that were found: the people of the Clovis culture. "We don't know who they were, where they came from or where they went. They are a complete enigma. We falsely assume that the indigenous populations in the Americas today are direct descendants from the earliest Americans, but now we do not think that is the case.</p>
Winter lodgings?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUxMTQyMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDk4MzUyMH0.PY6qDJJ4bQBZul6ilogXUnFKxVcl2e523mJ5agkEX0I/img.jpg?width=980" id="42ae4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4be1c18a7b4c9a7646bc637e82e91038" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Devlin A. Gandy/St. John's College, University of Cambridge<p>The time to which the Chiquihuite Cave specimens date mean people were there during the Last Glacial Maximum — this was a time when continental ice sheets were at their maximum size, making northern Mexico seriously cold. Ardelean says, "There must have been horrible storms, hail, snow." Nonetheless, the archaeologist, who worked the site for 10 years and even spent months living in the cave, tells <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02190-y" target="_blank">Nature</a> that it's well-insulated and would have provided adequate shelter.</p>
Exploring Chiquihuite Cave<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/X18i8HEq3Lc" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>While the excitement in archaeology typically derives from findings constructed bit-by-bit from the painstaking collection of artifacts, the excavation of the difficult-to-reach Chiquihuite Cave was an exceptionally charged experience. The cave is located in a region of Mexico controlled by drug cartels, and the safety of the scientists was by no means assured.</p><p>"It was an unforgettable experience," recalls Pedersen. "It is a very unsafe place to travel, so we were accompanied by Mexican police officers in armored cars to the foot of the mountain. We left before sunrise to climb up to the cave so that we weren't spotted."</p><p>Says Willerslev, "I will never forget being part of this research, it was an unbelievable experience. The implications of these findings are as important, if not more important, than the finding itself. This is only the start of the next chapter in the hotly debated early peopling of the Americas."</p>
A migration-route deal-breaker<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUxMTQyNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzkwNjMzNX0.3bM2lAjKZc3dA_iMd2Yp57IXWi5xnRIhatcGLEpIfv4/img.jpg?width=980" id="a3d06" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c605c85f4878c794cf1d8770ecc3ea33" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="ice on plants" />
Image source: Sarah Cervantes/Unsplash<p>The first few pages of that next chapter may be a <a href="http://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-02137-3" target="_blank">companion paper</a> published by two of the study's contributing authors — <a href="https://www.arch.ox.ac.uk/people/lorena-becerra-valdivia" target="_blank">Lorena Becerra-Valdivia</a> of the University of New South Wales and<a href="https://www.ox.ac.uk/news-and-events/find-an-expert/professor-tom-higham" target="_blank"> Thomas Higham</a> from the University of Oxford. It contains a statistical model of early human settlement of the hemisphere based on the Chiquihuite Cave and 41 other archaeological sites in North America, as well as Beringia, a region of eastern Siberia and western Alaska. Its authors also factored in historical climatic evidence and genetics. Their model presents a history in which humans were in North America far earlier than the previously accepted date of 15,000–16,000 years ago. That the model is based on sometimes ambiguous data from so many sites inevitably means that its conclusions are likely to be controversial, but it is in any event a worthwhile contribution to the discussion.</p><p>The model also supports the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coastal_migration_(Americas)" target="_blank">Costal Migration Hypothesis</a> that visitors traveling the continent during the glacial maximum would have had to hug the coastlines to avoid the ice sheets atop inland areas.</p><p>So, whoever these early humans were, what happened to them? Geneticist <a href="https://reich.hms.harvard.edu" target="_blank">David Reich</a> of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts tell Nature, "There continues to be no convincing genetic evidence of a pre-15,000-years-ago human presence in the Americas." Ardelean, for one, is not dissuaded by this. He proposes that these early populations simply didn't survive long enough to contribute to the modern gene pool. He says, undeterred, "I definitely advocate for the idea of lost groups."</p><p>Ardelean concludes, "The peopling of the Americas is the last holy grail in modern archaeology. Unconventional sites need to be taken seriously, and we need to go out and intentionally look for them. This site doesn't solve anything, it just shows that these early sites exist. We are dealing with a handful of humans from thousands of years ago, so we cannot expect the signals to be very clear. We have literally dug deeper than anyone has done in the past."</p>
A new paper suggests population size and migration explain the sudden bursts of innovation seen 50,000 years ago.
A report by UK's parliamentary committee tackles the issue of non-integration in the country's Muslim communities.
Immigrants into the UK should swear an oath of allegiance and be made to learn English, concluded the Parliament's new group on social integration, which has representatives from all parties.
Slavoj Žižek examines the situation out of which refugees are created, and criticizes conservatives and liberals alike for their "conspiracy theories".
How did we get to this refugee crisis? Newton’s Third Law. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It’s something we may not consciously clock as we hear news and see devastating photographs of migrants crossing dangerous waters in crowded boats, fleeing for their lives. Why is this happening? If you rewind the history of these countries, tracing political event to event, you’ll find the firestarter – and more often than not, it's a long arm that has reached past its own border to interfere in another country.