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AMAZIANS OF THE WEEK! Tibetans The Fastest Evolved Humans EVAR

July 6th, 2010 | 1 comment | Posted by Jen

Okay, first the good news: Tibetans are superhuman!

Tibetan pilgrims–or hipsters?

About 3,000 years ago, when Tibetans split off from the Han Chinese, they developed a unique ability to survive in altitudes above 13,000 feet, where oxygen levels are 40% lower, a genetic change a recent study cites as the fastest ever observed in humans.

Now, for the bad: “For such a very strong change, a lot of people would have had to die simply due to the fact that they had the wrong version of a gene,” said Rasmus Nielsen, a professor of integrative biology at Berkeley who led the statistical analysis.

This may not come as a surprise to anyone nominally aware of Tibetan history, which has been marked by struggle and loss. On that note, today marks the 75th birthday of the Dalai Lama.

Happy birthday, Your Holiness!

[CNN: Tibetan DNA study reveals human evolution]

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Uihere Uiill the Uighurs Go?

June 1st, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

So, here’s the deal. There are these 17 Uighurs (or Uyghurs, pronounced “wee-grr”), right? They’re part of a Muslim minority group who come from the far-western province of Xinjiang, China. And they’ve been detained at Guantanamo for the last 6 years after getting rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the course of that time, it’s been determined that they aren’t enemy combatants–enemies of the U.S. or our allies–nor is there significant evidence demonstrating that they’re any kind of threat, nor do they have ties to al Qaeda. They have been cleared for release and are free to go. But if they return home to China, they’ll likely be tortured and persecuted. Like Tibetans, Uighurs have suffered plenty of human rights-abuses at the hands of the Chinese government but received far less attention for them, probably because they believe in a religion that scares people instead of one that, say, attracts a beautiful Hollywood following. While the 17 Uighurs have petitioned for asylum in the U.S., they’ve been denied twice, most recently by Obama.


Ever the dickish troll, Newt Gingrich has said that the Uighurs are not an “American problem,” despite the fact that they have been unlawfully detained by our government for the last 6 years. So whose problem are they? And uihere in the uiorld uiill the Uighurs go now?

[NY Times: Chinese Inmates at Guantánamo Pose a Dilemma]

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