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The site for this Study Center is near Mumbai (Bombay) at Village Dongaran Hawa in Murbad Taluka, in Thane District at the foothills of the Western Ghats. They live irregular, indisciplined lives and fill their stomachs with sweets, pastries, and so on. In the Western Hemisphere, the Anasazi and Mayan civilization collapses of around a thousand years ago, or the Mississippian civilization collapse of 500 years ago, have elicited a great deal of investigation.� From New Age ideas that the Anasazi and Mayan peoples �ascended� to the Eurocentric conceit that the Mississippian culture was European in origin, many speculations arose that have been disproven by the evidence.� It is now known that the Anasazi and Mayan culture collapses were influenced by epic droughts, but that was only the proximate cause.� The ultimate cause was that those civilizations were not energetically sustainable, and the unsustainable Mississippian culture was in decline long before Europeans invaded North America.� The Anasazi used logs to build their dwellings that today are famous ruins .� Scientists have used strontium ratios in the wood to determine where the logs came from, as well as dating the wood with tree-ring analysis and analyzing pack rat middens, and a sobering picture emerged.� Th e region was already arid, but agriculture and deforestation desertified the region around Chaco Canyon, which was the heart of Anasazi civilization.� When Anasazi civilization collapsed, at Chaco Canyon they were hauling in timber from mountains more than 70 kilometers away (the strontium ratios could trace each log from the particular mountain that it came from).� When the epic droughts delivered their final blows, Anasazi civilization collapsed into a morass of starvation, warfare, and cannibalism, and the forest has yet to begin to recover, nearly a millennium later.  Another major advance happened in the late 20th century: the ability to analyze DNA.� DNA�s double-helical structure was discovered in 1953.� In 1973, the first amino acid sequence for a gene was determined .� In 2003, the entire human genome was sequenced .� Sequencing the chimpanzee genome was accomplished in 2005, for orangutans in 2011, and for gorillas in 2012.� The comparisons of human and great ape DNA have yielded many insights, but the science of DNA analysis is still young.� What has yielded far more immediately relevant information has been studying human DNA.� The genetic bases of many diseases have been identified.� Hundreds of falsely convicted Americans have been released from prison, and nearly 20 from death row, due to DNA evidence's proving their innocence. � Human DNA testing has provided startling insights into humanity's past. �For instance, in Europe it appears that after the ice sheets receded 16,000 to 13,000 years ago, humans repopulated Europe, and for all the bloody history of Europe over the millennia since then, there have not really been mass population replacements in Europe by invasion, migration, genocide, and the like.� Europeans just endlessly fought each other and honed the talents that helped them conquer humanity.� There were some migrations of Fertile Crescent agriculturalists into Europe, but other than hunter-gatherers being displaced or absorbed by the more numerous agriculturalists, there do not appear to be many population replacements.� In 2 010, a study suggested that male farmers from the Fertile Crescent founded the paternal line for most European men as they mated with the local women.� DN A testing has demonstrated that all of today�s humans are descended from a founder population of about five-to-ten thousand people, of whom a few hundred left Africa around 60-50 thousand years ago and conquered Earth.� The Neanderthal genome has been sequenced, as well as genomes of other extinct species, and for a brief, exuberant moment, some scientists thought that they could recover dinosaur DNA, Jurassic-Park-style.� Although dinosaur DNA is unrecoverable, organic dinosaur remains have been recovered, and even some proteins have been sequenced, which probably no scientist believed possible in the 1980s.  Since 1992, scientists have discovered planets in other star systems by using a variety of methods that reflect the improving toolset that scientists can use, especially space-based telescopes.� Before those discoveries, there was controversy whether planets were rare phenomena, but scientists now admit that planets are typical members of star systems.� Extraterrestrial civilizations are probably visiting Earth, so planets hosting intelligent life may not be all that rare.
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