Why grandmothers might be a driving force behind human evolution

Why grandmothers might be a driving force behind human evolution

[Kristen] Hawkes, a professor of anthropology at the University of Utah, has extensively studied the Hadza, a group of hunter-gatherers ...
Acting rash or unwise? Don't blame your 'lizard brain', claims ‘Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain’ book

Acting rash or unwise? Don’t blame your ‘lizard brain’, claims ‘Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain’ book

Scientists have long posited that time and evolution stratified the human brain, with the oldest and crudest lizard layer lurking ...
Book review: Who knew the world of paleoanthropology could be so cutthroat?

Book review: Who knew the world of paleoanthropology could be so cutthroat?

[T]he scientists looking for ever older bones of our ancestors always seem to be squabbling. At least that’s their reputation ...
Cave bears: Neanderthals may have survived harsh winters by hibernating

Cave bears: Neanderthals may have survived harsh winters by hibernating

Evidence from bones found at one of the world’s most important fossil sites suggests that our hominid predecessors may have ...
How honest are you? When do you think it’s okay to deceive? It may be hard-wired

How honest are you? When do you think it’s okay to deceive? It may be hard-wired

Humans are a social species. There is pretty compelling evidence that without cooperation, people are much less likely to survive ...
Humans and chimpanzees share 99% of the same DNA. This is the 1% difference

Humans and chimpanzees share 99% of the same DNA. This is the 1% difference

With only 1% difference, the human and chimpanzee protein-coding genomes are remarkably similar. Understanding the biological features that make us ...
Video: How the unique immune system of prehistoric-like jawless lamprey fish may unlock cures for brain diseases

Video: How the unique immune system of prehistoric-like jawless lamprey fish may unlock cures for brain diseases

You might expect to find these fish at the core of an ancient, distant asteroid, but we find them instead ...
Neanderthals, COVID-19 and you: Exploring how our inherited genes are harming us and could have decimated our hominid ancestors

Neanderthals, COVID-19 and you: Exploring how our inherited genes are harming us and could have decimated our hominid ancestors

[Researchers Svante] Pääbo and colleague Hugo Zeberg announced that the major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals… By ...
Nature’s mistake? Meet the ‘world’s ugliest orchid’

Nature’s mistake? Meet the ‘world’s ugliest orchid’

[A new species], Gastrodia agnicellus, was discovered earlier this year in the deep shade underneath leaves on the forest floor in Madagascar ...
When did modern humans emerge? 350,000-year-old tool discovered in Israel may challenge date for debut of Homo sapiens

When did modern humans emerge? 350,000-year-old tool discovered in Israel may challenge date for debut of Homo sapiens

Archaeologists believe they've found the oldest known tool used for grinding or scraping, dating back some 350,000 years. Found in ...
Advanced cancers in humans linked to rogue evolutionary mutation

Advanced cancers in humans linked to rogue evolutionary mutation

Compared to chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary cousins, humans are particularly prone to developing advanced carcinomas — the type of tumors ...
When did pre-modern humans begin using fire?

When did pre-modern humans begin using fire?

Circumstantial evidence suggests that archaic humans’ ability to cook food and consume more calories may have played a pivotal role ...
10 top dinosaur discoveries of 2020

10 top dinosaur discoveries of 2020

As we anticipate what the fossil record might reveal in 2021, here’s a look back at ten dinosaur discoveries that ...
‘The Pattern Seekers’: What autism can tell us about the evolutionary tipping point that made us human

‘The Pattern Seekers’: What autism can tell us about the evolutionary tipping point that made us human

[In “The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention,” psychologist Simon] Baron-Cohen argues that humans split off from all other ...
How nature evolved blue tigers and other quirks of ‘neutral theory’

How nature evolved blue tigers and other quirks of ‘neutral theory’

As late as the 1950s, hunters reported spotting their blue hairs alongside the traditional orange fur of other South China ...
2020's most important human evolution discoveries

2020’s most important human evolution discoveries

Since many scientific articles are years in the making, a lot of exciting discoveries were still revealed in 2020! … ...
‘Fossil Men’: Did humans evolve from apes or apes from humans?

‘Fossil Men’: Did humans evolve from apes or apes from humans?

In “Fossil Men: [The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind,” Kermit] Pattison weaves the multiple intrigues ...
Reopening cold cases: The new tools revolutionizing DNA crime detection

Reopening cold cases: The new tools revolutionizing DNA crime detection

Puzzle solvers by nature, genealogists tie the loose ends of a person’s familial tapestry for answers… It’s an emerging practice ...
13 discoveries in 2020 that have transformed what we know about human evolution

13 discoveries in 2020 that have transformed what we know about human evolution

Here are some of the most eye-raising anthropological findings of 2020. … 2) Certain Neanderthal genes, researchers found, code for proteins ...
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Why humanity will likely be around for a long time

Will our species go extinct? The short answer is yes. The fossil record shows everything goes extinct, eventually. Almost all ...
How Neanderthal genes found in most non-Africans impact the health of modern humans

How Neanderthal genes found in most non-Africans impact the health of modern humans

A researcher at the University of Tartu described new associations between Neandertal DNA and autoimmune diseases, prostate cancer and type ...
Pigs are ‘hot’ as family pets. Are they as social as dogs?

Pigs are ‘hot’ as family pets. Are they as social as dogs?

Pork is now the most widely eaten meat in the world. At the same time, owing to the creation of novel, smaller ...
‘Extinguishing of other species is one of our defining traits’: How humans are destroying the world’s animals, insects and plants

‘Extinguishing of other species is one of our defining traits’: How humans are destroying the world’s animals, insects and plants

If extinctions are events, they are so only in geological time, and geological time is rather vast. The late Devonian ...
We assume life originated as a freak occurrence in a disordered, primordial soup of chemicals. Is this model wrong?

We assume life originated as a freak occurrence in a disordered, primordial soup of chemicals. Is this model wrong?

What is becoming increasingly clear is that interacting collectives of “dumb” particles can evolve into specialized structures with fine-tuned relationships ...
Skull of two-million-year old human cousin found in South Africa illustrates how ancient species adapted to new challenges

Skull of two-million-year old human cousin found in South Africa illustrates how ancient species adapted to new challenges

Academics from La Trobe University’s Archaeology Department in Melbourne, Australia led the excavation and reconstruction of the large-toothed rare skull from the Drimolen ...
How evolution and genetics shape human morality

How evolution and genetics shape human morality

There is a large body of research demonstrating and delineating the complex moral instincts of young children, including babies far ...
Viewpoint: Why Earth is almost certainly the universe’s only example of intelligent life

Viewpoint: Why Earth is almost certainly the universe’s only example of intelligent life

In newly published research from Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute, scientists study the likelihood of key times for evolution of life ...
Sordid ledger: Humans’ destructive history of wiping out other species

Sordid ledger: Humans’ destructive history of wiping out other species

Sometime in the late 1600s, in the lush forests of Mauritius, the very last dodo took its last breath. After ...
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