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Smarter than we thought: Neanderthals hunted in groups, ancient deer skeletons show

A group of Neanderthals used their hand-crafted wooden spears to kill two male fallow deer, both in the prime of ...
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What genetics tell us about the evolution of wolves to dogs

Who’s a good dog? The very first dogs, apparently, as a new genetic study reveals the sequence of events, begun ...
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Linked at last? 4-million-year-old skull connects humans to ‘Lucy’ ancestor

Long before Neanderthals or Homo erectus wandered the Earth, there lived an early human species called Australopithecus afarensis. Most famously represented by the specimen known ...
Carl Zimmer's new book walks us deep into the 'thickets of genetics and genomics'

Carl Zimmer’s new book walks us deep into the ‘thickets of genetics and genomics’

Our word for a diagram of the lines of descent—pedigree—is probably derived from the French pé de grue, or “crane’s foot,” ...
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Resurrecting the northern white rhino and other lost species. But at what cost?

Time has been called on the northern white rhinoceros, but this call is already being challenged. When the last male ...
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3 explanations for why we haven’t found aliens yet

[Enrico] Fermi wasn’t the first person to ask a variant of this question about alien intelligence. But he owns it ...
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‘Trying to recreate Neanderthal minds’ using minibrains

[R]esearch teams are engineering stem cells to include Neanderthal genes and growing them into "minibrains" that reflect the influence of ...
6-21-2018 jurassic-park-trex-759

Jurassic Park showed how ‘science and science fiction can collide in the real world’

The prestigious science journal Nature published [a] breathtaking new discovery [about the oldest DNA ever recovered] in June 1993, a single day before ...
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Giant panda discovery: DNA from 22,000-year-old skull suggests unknown lineage in China

DNA from a 22,000-year-old fossilized panda skull suggests an entirely separate lineage of giant pandas once roamed the area that ...
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Better ape genome assemblies could help us understand what ‘make us uniquely human’

New, higher-quality assemblies of great ape genomes have now been generated without the guidance of the human reference genome. The ...
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Using evolution to break barriers in an ‘increasingly polarized, politicized world’

Rick Potts is no atheist-evolutionist-Darwinist. That often comes as a surprise to the faith communities he works with as head ...
Helpless at birth: Why human babies are different than other animals

Helpless at birth: Why human babies are different than other animals

Big brains and narrow hips were long blamed for the relative helplessness of human babies at birth. But the energy ...
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What can we learn about ourselves from studying the way animals communicate?

If you listen closely to the sound of birds chirping, you’ll hear that they’re taking turns. The same goes for ...
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We’ve been dealing with bubonic plague for 4,000 years, DNA analysis of ancient skeletons shows

Recently, the examination of two 3,800-year old skeletons revealed the presence of a Yersinia pestis strain, famously the bacterium that causes plague. This ...
6-13-2018 ancientstone

Did our ancestors’ development of complex tools spur the growth of language?

[A] new body of research [is] arguing that if not for our hominin ancestors’ hard-earned ability to produce complex tools, ...
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We may owe our existence to plate tectonics

[T]here’s more to plate tectonics than earthquakes and eruptions. A wave of new research is increasingly hinting that Earth’s external ...
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Are we closer to finding life on Mars?

Organic matter has been found on Mars in soil samples taken from 3 billion-year-old mudstone in the Gale crater by ...
6-3-2018 Aging-graciously-intercepting-falls

Are age-related diseases the result of evolutionary tradeoffs favoring the young?

While granting human species some advantages over our primate cousins, recent genomic adaptations appear to have come at a cost ...
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How did our brains get so big?

By studying [brain organoids, researcher Frank] Jacobs could look for genes that are switched on more strongly in the growing ...
5-31-2018 European bison, Bison bonasus, Drawsko Military area, Western Pomerania, Poland

For all types of life, genetic diversity is ‘about the same’

Who would have suspected that a handheld genetic test used to unmask sushi bars pawning off tilapia for tuna could ...
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17,000-year-old route to North America could redefine human migration history

The first people to cross into North America from Eurasia did so by traveling through the Bering Strait, or so ...
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Inca origins: DNA analysis supports a pair of foundational myths

Researchers from Peru, Brazil and Bolivia, who have been tracing the origins of the Inca civilization, have confirmed two of the ...
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Humans have always been overwhelmingly right-handed. We still aren’t sure why.

Nine out of 10 humans are considered right-handed. “It doesn’t matter where you find them, humans have that ratio,” says ...
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Are humans truly evolving or are we just genetically ‘drifting’?

Evolution may be responsible for a range of complex traits, including height and waist-to-hip ratio, and diseases such as schizophrenia, ...
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Big data meets taxonomy: Classifying animal species with ‘DNA barcoding’

[T]axonomy – the science of classifying organisms – would be so much easier if life forms came with barcodes… Interestingly enough, ...
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Ancient human species with orange-sized brain could have possessed modern human intelligence

An ancient species of human with a brain no larger than an orange may have possessed intelligence to rival that ...
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Astronomical cycles may have influenced animal evolution on Earth

A team of researchers from the United States and New Zealand took a look at how likely species were to ...
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Who owns the DNA of ancient humans—and do they have rights?

The remains of a 6-inch long mummy from Chile are not those of a space alien, according to recently reported ...