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Are we reaching the limits of human life expectancy?

With life expectancies steadily rising in most countries, high quality care is essential for aging populations ...
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98.5% of our DNA is ‘junk’: But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t play a key role in disease, evolution

Would you purchase a book with over 98 percent of the text written in gibberish? Biology has no business in ...
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Podcast: Why did we survive, when the Denisovans and Neanderthals did not?

The Denisovans have long been one of the most elusive ancient human cousins, until now. In May 2019, scientists revealed ...
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‘Utterly magical’: This ‘two-step dance’ may explain the origins of life

Go back far enough in time, before animals and plants and even bacteria existed, and you’d find that the precursor ...
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Darwin’s theory of evolution suggests a new approach for treating cancer

Cancers that have spread, known as metastatic disease, are rarely curable. The reasons that patients die despite effective treatment are ...
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Podcast: Francis Galton: Brilliant scientist—and eugenics pioneer. How do we address his racist legacy?

Geneticist Dr Kat Arney explores how Francis Galton's eugenic ideas led directly to some of the 20th century's worst atrocities ...
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Did evolution lead us down the path to heart disease?

The reason our species finds itself in the ever-constricting clutches of atherosclerosis — the insidious buildup of cholesterol-filled plaques in ...
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Can these turtle embryos change their sex by finding warmer or cooler spots within their eggs?

At 27.9 °C, roughly equal numbers of female and male turtles will emerge from the nests of the Chinese pond ...
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Much more than an ‘itchy pest’: Mosquitoes have played a major role in human history

Fifty-two billion people—almost half of the cumulative human population—are thought to have perished at the hands of a creature no ...
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Did God create humans within the last 10,000 years? 40% of Americans still think so, Gallup poll shows

A new Gallup poll shows that 40 percent of American adults comply to a strict view of creationism, in which ...
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Reconstructing the Neanderthal throat—did they have their own language?

At the very least, in order for spoken language to be a possibility, a species has to have the right ...
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2 million years ago, we lost this gene. That may be why humans are so prone to heart attacks

One-third of global deaths are due to cardiovascular disease caused by atherosclerosis, when arteries are clogged with fat deposits. Although ...
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If humans never evolved, would Earth still have intelligent life? This evidence suggests the answer is yes

The paths available to evolving organisms are far from limitless ...
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Walking trees and swimming spiders: Why evolution on Earth could travel ‘some truly mind-boggling paths’

What creatures could develop in, say, 100 million years, given what we know about life on Earth and the principles ...
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DNA testing of ancient Gibraltar Neanderthal remains reveals sex, relationship with other European Neanderthals

Two skulls from Gibraltar were among the first Neanderthal remains ever found, and have since become some of the best-studied ...
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Long-term partnership or quickie hookup: Can evolution explain why a woman chooses one over the other?

For women, a short-term fling may involve a quest for good genes or just a good time. It’s a puzzle ...
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Sleep may have originated underwater 450 million years ago

No one should have to sleep with the fishes, but new research on zebrafish suggests that we sleep like them.  ...
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Directed evolution tool could force viruses to churn out new drugs ‘in a matter of days’

Evolution is one of nature's most impressive forces, allowing organisms to adapt to changing environments to survive. By harnessing and ...
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Podcast: Nobel prize winner Sir Paul Nurse on his ‘barking mad’ discovery of the genes responsible for cell division

Leading geneticist and Nobel prizewinner Sir Paul Nurse reveals the audacious experiment that everyone said was crazy ...
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Biblical Philistines came from southern Europe, suggests analysis of ancient DNA

“[P]hilistine” is still sometimes lobbed as an insult for an uncultured or crass person. But who were the Philistines, exactly? ...
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Horizontal gene transfer: The tricky part of evolution never imagined by Charles Darwin

Biologists have long recognized that the boundaries of one species may blur into another—by the process of hybridism, for instance ...
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Are plants conscious? Experts say trendy theory in biology based on misunderstanding of evolution

If a tree falls, and no one's there to hear it, does it feel pain and loneliness? No, experts argue ...
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How genes from long-extinct Neanderthals and Denisovans live on in modern human DNA

When the Neanderthal genome was first sequenced in 2010 and compared with ours, scientists noticed that genes from Homo neanderthalensis ...
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Women are more likely to get autoimmune diseases. Is the placenta to blame?

In the United States alone, women represent 80 percent of all cases of autoimmune disease. ... Some scientists now think ...
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Remembering that fossils once had lives—long before we discovered their ancient bones

Fossils are the only remaining traces of once-living beings, and their collective and individual lived experiences simply cannot be known ...
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Why scientists are hesitant to declare a species extinct

If so many species are going extinct, why don’t we hear about new extinctions every day?  The answer to that ...
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‘Origins’: Humans have been shaped more by Earth’s evolving geography than by genetics

In astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell's newest book, Origins: How the Earth Made Us, he outlines how geology has shaped human evolution ...