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trackways

Studying human evolution faces major challenge: Our ancestors lived in ‘ecosystems unlike any found today’

To understand the environmental pressures that shaped human evolution, scientists must first piece together the details of the ancient plant and animal ...
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How can ‘water bears’ survive in outer space? ‘Fluffy cloud’ of protein may shield tardigrade DNA

Tardigrades may partly owe their ability to survive outer space to having the molecular equivalent of cotton candy. Water bears, ...
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‘Marsupial-enabled time machine’: How a Koala virus is giving researchers insights into the human genome

A koala retrovirus, or KoRV, has been rolling through koala populations in Australia from the north to south. It’s passed among the ...
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Would the discovery of life on Mars be ‘world-shaking’?

In a recent interview with the Telegraph, NASA chief scientist Jim Green said it’s possible we’ll soon find evidence of life on ...
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Russia birthplace of 500-year Black Death plague, genetic analysis suggests

The Black Death was only the beginning. Countless millions perished in this terrible early wave – an estimated 60 percent of Europe ...
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Many plants are naturally GMO, research finds

GMOs are less 'unnatural' than you might think ...
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Fossilized ape pelvis suggests human ancestors walked upright much earlier than previously thought

Scientists have long thought that humans evolved from an ape that moved about on all fours like a chimpanzee, and ...
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Evolution in motion: Before birth, human fetuses develop—and then lose—lizard-like body parts

The evolutionary journey of any species is littered with detours and dead-ends. Humans, for instance, have vestigial body parts that ...
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Infographic: Our skulls have been shrinking for 250 years—’our faces have begun to deform’

Science suggests that crooked teeth, overbites, narrow jaws, and crimped nasal airways are a modern phenomenon. Skeletal remains show that just 300 years ago, humans ...
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From hominids to animals: Who lived in Siberia’s famous Denisova Cave?

For thousands of years, Siberia’s Denisova Cave was home to various bands of Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans. But as ...
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Evolution doesn’t want you to be happy or satisfied. We’re supposed to ‘survive and reproduce.’

While the pursuit of happiness seems like a worthwhile goal, evolution thinks otherwise ...
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‘Fight or flight’: How your bones may help you make that decision

In the face of fear, whether it be caused by a grizzly bear or an audience waiting to hear you ...
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Did whales gain the ability to live in the water by shedding genes?

Like stripping down to swim, the ancestors of whales and dolphins may have shed some genes during their transition from ...
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Viewpoint: ‘Ancient grains’ can transform your health? Probably not—and they’re more recent than you think

KHORASAN, teff, emmer and amaranth. No, these aren’t planets in the next Star Wars movie, but some of the growing ...
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New DNA analysis technique may tell us how ‘hundreds of species’ evolved

Researchers say they identified an almost complete set of proteins – a proteome – in the dental enamel of the ...
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We haven’t found a Denisovan skull yet. But thanks to genetic analysis, we can predict what their faces looked like

A pinky finger bone, some teeth, and a lower jaw. That’s all the physical evidence we have of the mysterious ...
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Infographic: How an asteroid killed the dinosaurs

The Cenozoic is the name geologists give to the era spanning the last 66 million years, and it started with the mass ...
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Podcast: Where did GMOs come from? The fascinating history of genetic engineering

Forget the headlines about ‘Frankenfoods’ - there's a much richer and more nuanced story to be told about the history ...
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Making the case for a sixth major mass extinction–the end-Guadalupian event

Life on Earth has diversified into countless forms over the course of billions of years, but it hasn’t always been ...
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Evolution, the human diet and the meat vs. plant conundrum

Evidence suggests our hominin ancestors turned to meat when climate change reduced resource-rich vegetation. The signatures of these changes may ...
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Evolutionary quirk: Humans are defined by ‘singular vulnerability’ to heart attacks

There are many things that set us humans apart from other species: large brains, bipedalism, a predilection for puns. But ...
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Evolution takes time: ‘Relatively recent’ gene variant helps some humans cope with high-sugar diets

It’s well known among palaeontologists and nutrition experts that the human diet began to change after our distant ancestors transitioned ...
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How early farmers helped barnyard grass become one of the ‘world’s worst’ weeds

Vavilovian mimicry allowed barnyard grass to become the scourge of rice cultivation ...
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Tackling Stone Age stereotypes and misconceptions including this: They made tools out of more than just stone

Although most depictions of Stone Age hunters are male, women and children played a huge part in the creation and ...
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Scientists reconstruct yet-to-be-found skull of humans’ last common ancestor entirely through computer imaging

[R]esearchers like Dr. [Aurélien] Mounier are using computers and mathematical techniques to reconstruct the appearance of fossils they have yet ...
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Polydactylism: Six fingers and toes may be better than five

In a thrilling paper published recently in Nature Communications, researchers set out to study the abilities of people with extra fingers. This condition, known ...
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‘Beneficial archaic DNA’ still present and impacting humans today

Most Neanderthal variants exist in only around 2 percent of modern people of non-African descent. But some archaic DNA is ...
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Neanderthal children footprints: In French quarry, largest group of hominin footprints ever found

They walked and perhaps played along the beach in a prehistoric world; we know this as archaeologists have discovered hundreds ...