Asteroid that killed dinosaurs had only 1-in-10 chance of causing extinction

Asteroid that killed dinosaurs had only 1-in-10 chance of causing extinction

The smack of the asteroid against Earth released energy on the order of billions of atomic bombs. Dinosaurs were the cataclysm's most famous ...
Dog genome project: How your breed originated

Dog genome project: How your breed originated

From the 80-kilogram Great Dane to the 1-kilogram tiny teacup poodle, there seems to be a dog for everyone. Now, ...
Rodent-like creature may be our earliest ancestor

Rodent-like creature may be our earliest ancestor

The earliest known ancestors of the mammal lineage that includes everything from humans, to blue whales, to pygmy shrews may ...
Challenging the RNA origin of life theory

Challenging the RNA origin of life theory

The current consensus holds that life emerged from an ‘RNA-world’, first named by Nobel Laureate Walter Gilbert in 1986. This ...
Oldest known human fossils rewrite Homo sapiens history

Oldest known human fossils rewrite Homo sapiens history

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, around 62 miles west of what would eventually become Marrakesh, a group of people ...
Gut microbiome could influence response to cancer treatment

Gut microbiome could influence response to cancer treatment

When [cancer] drugs work, the immune system tramples tumors into oblivion. But they don’t always work—in fact, cancer drugs can ...
Can't get motivated? You may be able to blame your genes

Can’t get motivated? You may be able to blame your genes

Being apathetic may feel like following the path of least resistance. But studies of apathy in the brain show otherwise ...
Deep freeze: Will climate change awaken long-frozen diseases?

Deep freeze: Will climate change awaken long-frozen diseases?

I visited Greenland because, lately, the land here has gone soft, and disquieting things threaten to wake in it. … ...
Getting behind the genetics of high-altitude adjustments

Getting behind the genetics of high-altitude adjustments

People who both travel to and live at high altitudes typically cope with lower oxygen levels by increasing red blood ...
Alcohol addiction: Can we blame our ancient ancestors?

Alcohol addiction: Can we blame our ancient ancestors?

[M]illions of years ago, being able to consume alcohol was likely vital to survival: our ancestors evolved to metabolize booze right around ...
'Kelp highway'--not a land bridge--likely brought first humans to the Americas

‘Kelp highway’–not a land bridge–likely brought first humans to the Americas

For decades, students were taught that the first people in the Americas were a group called the Clovis who walked ...
Epigenetics and addiction: Enzyme could help treat cocaine, alcohol and opioid dependence

Epigenetics and addiction: Enzyme could help treat cocaine, alcohol and opioid dependence

Previously, it had been studied that an epigenetic drug could alter DNA methylation in the brain during drug withdrawal with hopes in ...
Immortal dictators: Is there a downside to life-extending technologies?

Immortal dictators: Is there a downside to life-extending technologies?

Suppose there was a country ruled by an evil dictator. Further, suppose the entire world was plagued by a terrible ...
Neurologic disorders may be linked to brain's immune system

Neurologic disorders may be linked to brain’s immune system

New research suggests there could be a link between certain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, and the brain's inability to clear ...
Fate of Neanderthals may have been sealed when early humans started migrating

Fate of Neanderthals may have been sealed when early humans started migrating

What killed off the Neanderthals? It’s a big debate, and now a study says that no matter what the answer, ...
How do you define 'species’? Turns out, it's not so easy

How do you define ‘species’? Turns out, it’s not so easy

At first glance, “species” is a basic vocabulary word school children can ace on a test by reciting something close ...
Two of a kind? Twins offer unique glimpse into human development

Two of a kind? Twins offer unique glimpse into human development

In the world of genetics, identical twins offer a valuable source for study. And they've shown that our genetic makeup ...
IQ debate: How much of intelligence is determined by genetics?

IQ debate: How much of intelligence is determined by genetics?

[Editor's note: Robert Plomin is deputy director of the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Center at King’s College London.] ...
There's a reason you have trouble thinking and remembering when hunger sets in

There’s a reason you have trouble thinking and remembering when hunger sets in

Why is it so hard to think while you're hungry? Researchers now believe it may come down to one protein ...
Viewpoint: Gender equity debate demands understanding of biological differences

Viewpoint: Gender equity debate demands understanding of biological differences

[Editor's notes: Marta Iglesias is a predoctoral researcher in the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Lisbon. Her research is focused on how ...
If you aren't a morning person, evolution may be to blame

If you aren’t a morning person, evolution may be to blame

[A] study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences in July suggests our bodies and ...
Argument for rolling our clocks back: Your brain needs the morning boost

Argument for rolling our clocks back: Your brain needs the morning boost

Shifting the clock back one hour means more people won't have to wake up before sunrise. When you wake to ...
Controversy walks hand-in-hand with the artificial womb, but is it warranted?

Controversy walks hand-in-hand with the artificial womb, but is it warranted?

Research into the development of an artificial womb has sparked a wide range of conjecture from bioethicists who worry about ...
Ancient incompatibility: Why human females and Neanderthal males had difficulty conceiving

Ancient incompatibility: Why human females and Neanderthal males had difficulty conceiving

After years of sequencing the genomes of female Neandertals, researchers have finally got their first good look at the Y ...
Life-forming water droplets could have jump-started early evolution

Life-forming water droplets could have jump-started early evolution

Reactions in tiny droplets of water may have given rise to some of the molecules essential for the origin of ...
Genetic predisposition to high triglycerides can be mitigated with healthy BMI, diet

Genetic predisposition to high triglycerides can be mitigated with healthy BMI, diet

Triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, are important for good health. But having high triglycerides might increase a ...
Gay conversion? Grotesque brain implants used to try to 'cure' homosexuality

Gay conversion? Grotesque brain implants used to try to ‘cure’ homosexuality

[Editor's note: John Horgan directs the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology.] Homosexuality has been treated with lobotomies, ...
Neanderthal-human mating reintroduced lost African genes, for better and worse

Neanderthal-human mating reintroduced lost African genes, for better and worse

When Neandertals mated with modern humans, they shared more than an intimate moment and their own DNA. They also gave ...