Altruism in animals: Why do animals sometimes adopt other species’ unrelated orphans?

Altruism in animals: Why do animals sometimes adopt other species’ unrelated orphans?

Animals don’t have reason or moral accountability but there is abundant evidence that mammals and birds have feelings. And feelings ...
Viewpoint: ‘Dump Dimorphism’ — Challenging orthodoxy, neuroscientists claim 30 years of studies show ‘no meaningful male-female brain differences’

Viewpoint: ‘Dump Dimorphism’ — Challenging orthodoxy, neuroscientists claim 30 years of studies show ‘no meaningful male-female brain differences’

Everyone knows the difference between male and female brains. One is chatty and a little nervous, but never forgets and takes ...
Brain size v body size: ‘There is no single evolutionary path to a bigger brain’

Brain size v body size: ‘There is no single evolutionary path to a bigger brain’

Over nearly 200 million years of mammal evolution… researchers have shown that brain size is actually secondary to body size ...
Evolutionary tradeoffs: Here’s why birthing a child is so difficult

Evolutionary tradeoffs: Here’s why birthing a child is so difficult

To pass through the birth canal, human infants have to perform a series of twists and turns, a process called ...
People with compromised immune systems are likeliest evolutionary source of rogue COVID variants

People with compromised immune systems are likeliest evolutionary source of rogue COVID variants

A coronavirus typically gains mutations on a slow-but-steady pace of about two per month. But this variant, called B.1.1.7, had ...
Did Homo sapiens really outcompete Neanderthals? Genetics is rewriting the story of human evolution

Did Homo sapiens really outcompete Neanderthals? Genetics is rewriting the story of human evolution

Homo sapiens evolved in Africa around 300,000 years ago, and between 177,000 and 194,000 years ago they colonized what is ...
COVID-19 variants pose new threats but our antibodies are evolving to fight them

COVID-19 variants pose new threats but our antibodies are evolving to fight them

The emergence of “variants of concern” has raised questions about our long-term immunity to the coronavirus. Will the antibodies we make ...
Brains make the difference: Here's the root of human self-reflection and self awareness

Brains make the difference: Here’s the root of human self-reflection and self awareness

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from Know Thyself: The Science of Self-Awareness by Stephen M. Fleming. What is it ...
Mars has all the ingredients necessary to support life — in its subsurface

Mars has all the ingredients necessary to support life — in its subsurface

[A] new paper in Astrobiology shows that there might very well be a place where life can sustain itself on ...
Video: Discovery of Homo naledi suggests ‘maybe brain size isn’t all it’s cracked up to be’ when it comes to human evolution

Video: Discovery of Homo naledi suggests ‘maybe brain size isn’t all it’s cracked up to be’ when it comes to human evolution

The small brains of Homo naledi raise new questions about the evolution of human brain size. Big brains were costly ...
Humans lived in caves in Africa and used fire and tools as far as two million years ago

Humans lived in caves in Africa and used fire and tools as far as two million years ago

A large cave nestled in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert might be the first on Earth to have housed human activity, ...
Are rogue COVID variants ahead? ‘It’d be a brave person to say that the virus is nearing the end of its evolutionary route’

Are rogue COVID variants ahead? ‘It’d be a brave person to say that the virus is nearing the end of its evolutionary route’

As the global infection count surges for a seventh consecutive week, after initial optimism that the pandemic had peaked, leading ...
3-D technology is reinventing paleoanthropology and the reconstruction of fossils

3-D technology is reinventing paleoanthropology and the reconstruction of fossils

In 2018 a student excavator, Samantha Good, came upon the adult male skull of a Paranthropus robustus, lying upside down, ...
Viewpoint: A case for moderate exercise — We get the most cognitive benefits by ‘performing activities that we evolved to perform’

Viewpoint: A case for moderate exercise — We get the most cognitive benefits by ‘performing activities that we evolved to perform’

Your body clearly benefits from a daily moderate level of exercising. Does your brain care?  Yes, your brain does pay ...
2.5 billion: That’s how many T. rexes may have roamed the Earth over their 3-million-year reign

2.5 billion: That’s how many T. rexes may have roamed the Earth over their 3-million-year reign

On average, researchers estimate that some 20,000 T. rex lived at any one time and that about 127,000 generations of ...
Sharon Peacock: COVID-19 Variant Hunter

Sharon Peacock: COVID-19 Variant Hunter

The UK is a world leader in sequencing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Of all the coronavirus genomes that ...
Why humans evolved to be the sweatiest of the Great Apes

Why humans evolved to be the sweatiest of the Great Apes

Humans have a uniquely high density of sweat glands embedded in their skin — 10 times the density of chimpanzees ...
Debating the possible origins of COVID-19: A lab-escaped bioweapon? Animal poop? Random mutations of an existing virus?

Debating the possible origins of COVID-19: A lab-escaped bioweapon? Animal poop? Random mutations of an existing virus?

“Virus outbreak: research says COVID-19 likely synthetic,” shouted the headline in the Taipei Times on February 23, 2020. The idea ...
Not only did humans exchange DNA with Neanderthals — we shared culture as well

Not only did humans exchange DNA with Neanderthals — we shared culture as well

Between ~45,000 to 40,000 years ago [humans and Neanderthals were] contemporaries and had ample time to meet and interact. New ...
Bad luck: How the world came close to sidestepping COVID-19

Bad luck: How the world came close to sidestepping COVID-19

[SARS-CoV-2] almost didn't make it as a pandemic virus. Only bad luck and the packed conditions of the Huanan seafood ...
Personalized medicine: ‘Race’ matters when it comes to genetic diseases and hard-wired drug responses

Personalized medicine: ‘Race’ matters when it comes to genetic diseases and hard-wired drug responses

Although race is a social rather than biological construct, there are inherited genetic variations that play a role in drug ...
Humans are ‘super-predators’ hardwired by evolution to hunt our food sources into extinction

Humans are ‘super-predators’ hardwired by evolution to hunt our food sources into extinction

Humans are natural born killers: super-predators designed by evolution to subsist mainly on the meat and fat of large animals, ...
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Worried that GMO seeds are bred in a lab? They’re not as unnatural as you think. 1 in 20 plants are naturally transgenic

Worried that GMO seeds are bred in a lab? They’re not as unnatural as you think. 1 in 20 plants are naturally transgenic

Genetic modification is a process that sometimes happens naturally at the hands of bacteria, a new study concludes. Dozens of ...
Is science racist? Genetics, evolutionary human differences and ‘critical race theory’

Is science racist? Genetics, evolutionary human differences and ‘critical race theory’

The killing of George Floyd at the knee of a policeman last May ignited a global wave of protest. Almost ...
‘Lucy the Human Chimp’: Meet the chimpanzee raised with people and Janice, her caretaker, who tried to integrate her back into the wild

‘Lucy the Human Chimp’: Meet the chimpanzee raised with people and Janice, her caretaker, who tried to integrate her back into the wild

Lucy the Human Chimp, a new television documentary from HBO and Channel 4, explores... the story of one unique relationship: ...
The evolutionary history of human tolerance

The evolutionary history of human tolerance

Environmental pressures may have led humans to become more tolerant and friendly towards each other as the need to share ...
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