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Podcast: Bird poop, pus, and the Manhattan project—the surprising origins of the genetic alphabet

Kat Arney explores the origins of the genetic alphabet: A, C, T and G - the four 'letters' that spell ...
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Visit Mars and bring back alien life? Troubles containing coronavirus should make us wary of bringing microbes to Earth

You know what? Maybe we ought to reconsider this whole thing about looking for life on other worlds. It would ...
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‘Warrior gene’: Some people may be genetically wired for aggressiveness. Should we do anything about it?

“Some people have real problems right out of the starting block. We can't dodge the responsibility for social action." ...
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Human-chimp hybrid fossil discovery rewrites human evolutionary history! Uhm, maybe not.

Does the anatomy of this ancient ape upend assumptions about how human ancestors learned to walk? ...
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Something’s fishy: We got arms, legs and other skeletal features from our aquatic ancestors

In his 20 years as an ichthyologist, [John Sparks has] seen a lot of fish—intact and not. He’s traveled to ...
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Searching for your doppelgänger: Why it’s not so unusual to find a twin

The global reach of the web has allowed people to find others who look like an identical twin, yet share ...
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Early humans may have mated with Neanderthals and Denisovans a lot more than we thought

Before we became the only remaining humans on the planet, Homo sapiens mated with Neanderthals and the closely related Denisovans. New research is now revealing ...
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Iraqi excavation rekindles debate over whether Neanderthals buried their dead

The excavation of an adult Neandertal’s partial upper-body skeleton in Iraqi Kurdistan has revived a decades-long debate over whether Neandertals intentionally buried ...
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Human brains have more in common with our ‘ape cousins’ than previously thought

Our brains could have more in common with our ape cousins than previously thought, which might require us to rethink ...
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Exploring the uneasy relationship between Charles Darwin and his skeptical publisher

Charles Darwin’s ideas about evolution shook up Britain’s Victorian establishment upon the release of On the Origin of Species, the 1859 ...
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Viewpoint: Biologist Jerry Coyne challenges view that sex is ‘a spectrum⁠, not a binary’⁠—such claims ‘undermine public trust in science’

As a biologist, I get especially irked at the repeated claim that sex in humans is “a spectrum, not a ...
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Why it’s unlikely that humans gained the ability to speak through a single gene mutation

One of the most controversial hypotheses for the origin of the human language faculty is the evolutionary conjecture that language ...
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Fossilized eggs suggest that dinosaurs were ‘decisively’ warm-blooded

The mysteries surrounding dinosaurs have fascinated generations of scholars and lay people alike. A group of Israeli scientists, led by ...
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Video: Look inside Siberia’s Denisova cave, where researchers discovered bones of our mysterious relatives

The Denisovans are named after Denisova Cave in Siberia. Until 2019, it was the only place where archaeologists found bones ...
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Podcast: ‘How to argue with a racist’—geneticist Adam Rutherford challenges what he calls ‘pseudoscience’ in genetics and politics

Adam Rutherford explains how to argue with a racist, hunting for the ghosts in the human genome, and recreating the ...
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Another human species? Still undiscovered hominid line left ‘ghost DNA’ in West African genomes

About 50,000 years ago, ancient humans in what is now West Africa apparently procreated with another group of ancient humans ...
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Viewpoint: Challenging those who claim evolution is ‘just a theory’

Such widespread rejection of the theory of evolution is fueled in part by the notion that evolution is “just a ...
screenshot scientists are waging a war against human aging but what happens next

New ‘DNA clock’ finds that if our genes had their way, humans would have a ‘natural’ lifespan of 38 years

A genetic “clock” lets scientists estimate how long extinct creatures lived ...
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Humans are ‘biologically built’ to seek out friends

We humans are biologically built to seek friends, and we can see suggestions of our evolutionary past in the social ...
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Why do humans have tailbones?

Though it’s currently useless, the human coccyx—commonly referred to as the tailbone—remains nestled at the bottom of the spine, a ...
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3 modern adaptations that prove humans are still evolving

Genetic mutations lead to new traits — and with the world population now above 7 billion and rising, the chances ...
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Were the mythical ‘ebu gogo’ creatures of New Zealand distant human relatives?

An ancient legend from the Indonesian island of Flores speaks of a mysterious, wild grandmother of the forest who eats ...
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Modern Africans have more Neanderthal ancestry than previously thought, study says

Modern Africans have an average of 17 megabases of Neanderthal DNA in their genomes, according to an analysis published [January ...
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‘They weren’t just surviving’: Gibraltar caves give unprecedented peek into daily lives of last Neanderthals

Neanderthals were a resilient group. They existed for about 200,000 years longer than we modern humans (Homo sapiens) have been ...
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Podcast: One of the most infamous fakes in biology? How Ernst Haeckel’s disputed embryo images sows confusion about evolution

Kat Arney takes a closer look at some of the most controversial images in science - Ernst Haeckel's illustrations of ...
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Can DNA predict who might be a mass murderer?

There have been repeated attempts over the past 50 years to find genetic links to criminal behavior or mass murderers ...
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‘Intrepid explorers’: Neanderthals hunted their way across thousands of miles in Europe

Neandertals were epic wanderers. These ancient hominids took a 3,000- to 4,000-kilometer hike from Eastern Europe to the Altai Mountains ...
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Ancient mummy ‘speaks’ with reconstructed vocal tract

David Howard at Royal Holloway, University of London, and his colleagues have reconstructed the vocal tract of Nesyamun, a priest ...