1997-98
NEW MEXICO
HIGH SCHOOL
SUPERCOMPUTING
CHALLENGE

Interim Report


Team Number: 076
School Name: High School
Area of Science: Biology
Project Title: Bone and Brain Sizes
Project Abstract: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/abstracts/076.html
Interim Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/interims/076.html
Final Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/finalreports/076/finalreport.html

Our team is going to be working on the bone and brain size of the human population. We are focusing on the decline in size of the bone and brain of present day humans compared to ou ancestors. We have researched the sizes of the brain of our ancestors. The brain peaked in such peopl who lived in the caves at Skhul and Qafzeh in Israel 90,000 years ago as well as the cave painters at the Cro-Magnon rock shelter in France 30,000 years ago. This increase was ten percent from the modern human brain.

We have discovered that the brain size has shrunk at a slower rate than that of the bone structure. The bones gradually began getting larger due to the colder climate. The climate has made a person's body and bone structure increase, as one theory stated by Chris Ruff suggests. He has teammed up with Erik Trinkaus, a paleoanthropolist of the University of New Mexico. We are in the process of trying to contact Mr. Trinkaus in order to get a possible formula for our program.

Our program is going to be focusing on taking variables of time, cranial capacity, and body size of the early man, the anatomically modern human, neandertals, and present day humans. We will use the formula given to come up with a program that will allow us to predict if , in the future, our brain and bone structure will increase or decrease in size.

Although the brain and bone structure of the body in our ancestors has decreased, the ratio of brain size to that of body size points out that our brain today is proportioned larger thatn that of early man. This is due in part because of the fact that early man did not use his brain to the extent that we are using it today. Today we are using our brain more efficiently than before.

We are trying to predict if the brain and body size of the future human will be bigger or smaller in the future. With the data we have discovered and the help of Erik Trinkaus we hope that we will find a solution to theis problem.

Team Members:

Sponsoring Teacher:

Project Advisor(s):


New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge
http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us