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Walking trees and swimming spiders: Why evolution on Earth could travel ‘some truly mind-boggling paths’

What creatures could develop in, say, 100 million years, given what we know about life on Earth and the principles ...
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DNA testing of ancient Gibraltar Neanderthal remains reveals sex, relationship with other European Neanderthals

Two skulls from Gibraltar were among the first Neanderthal remains ever found, and have since become some of the best-studied ...
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Long-term partnership or quickie hookup: Can evolution explain why a woman chooses one over the other?

For women, a short-term fling may involve a quest for good genes or just a good time. It’s a puzzle ...
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Sleep may have originated underwater 450 million years ago

No one should have to sleep with the fishes, but new research on zebrafish suggests that we sleep like them.  ...
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Directed evolution tool could force viruses to churn out new drugs ‘in a matter of days’

Evolution is one of nature's most impressive forces, allowing organisms to adapt to changing environments to survive. By harnessing and ...
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Podcast: Nobel prize winner Sir Paul Nurse on his ‘barking mad’ discovery of the genes responsible for cell division

Leading geneticist and Nobel prizewinner Sir Paul Nurse reveals the audacious experiment that everyone said was crazy ...
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Biblical Philistines came from southern Europe, suggests analysis of ancient DNA

“[P]hilistine” is still sometimes lobbed as an insult for an uncultured or crass person. But who were the Philistines, exactly? ...
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Horizontal gene transfer: The tricky part of evolution never imagined by Charles Darwin

Biologists have long recognized that the boundaries of one species may blur into another—by the process of hybridism, for instance ...
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Are plants conscious? Experts say trendy theory in biology based on misunderstanding of evolution

If a tree falls, and no one's there to hear it, does it feel pain and loneliness? No, experts argue ...
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How genes from long-extinct Neanderthals and Denisovans live on in modern human DNA

When the Neanderthal genome was first sequenced in 2010 and compared with ours, scientists noticed that genes from Homo neanderthalensis ...
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Women are more likely to get autoimmune diseases. Is the placenta to blame?

In the United States alone, women represent 80 percent of all cases of autoimmune disease. ... Some scientists now think ...
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Remembering that fossils once had lives—long before we discovered their ancient bones

Fossils are the only remaining traces of once-living beings, and their collective and individual lived experiences simply cannot be known ...
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Why scientists are hesitant to declare a species extinct

If so many species are going extinct, why don’t we hear about new extinctions every day?  The answer to that ...
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‘Origins’: Humans have been shaped more by Earth’s evolving geography than by genetics

In astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell's newest book, Origins: How the Earth Made Us, he outlines how geology has shaped human evolution ...
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Cell phones may be causing horns to grow on our skulls

Mobile technology has transformed the way we live — how we read, work, communicate, shop and date. But we already ...
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Video: Exploring the riddle of consciousness

Consciousness is perhaps the biggest riddle in nature. In the first part of this three part video series, we explore ...
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Can we teach evolutionary biology without making students ‘choose between their faith and evolution’?

Michael Reiss, a professor of science education at University College London and an Anglican Priest, suggests that “we need to ...
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Why did sex evolve? It may protect against rare cancers, researchers suggest

In an essay published in the journal PLOS Biology, scientists presented a theory which they say could answer a 50-year ...
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Studies of ancient DNA offer new insights into human migration between Siberia and North America

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that humans migrated to the North American continent via Beringia, a land mass ...
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Were hominids making stone tools 2.6 million years ago? Controversy greets discovery

Discoveries in East Africa of what may be the oldest expertly sharpened stone implements suggest that early members of the ...
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‘Evolution in action’: How ancient humans developed a mutation to protect against diabetes

An ancient mutation that spread through humans after the advent of cooking may protect people against high blood sugar and ...
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This tech start-up wants to ‘hack’ efforts to save endangered species, ecosystems

After an unorthodox career in science that has included setting up a national park in an active war zone in ...
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Dinosaur hike: How a Montana family found a ‘nearly complete’ T. rex

“It was right over there, just a bit of it sticking from the earth that caught my eye,” [Kathy] Wankel ...
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Who’s your daddy (or mommy)? What’s the chance you inherited DNA from Caligula, Genghis Khan or Henry I?

Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the United States ...
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Inside the brains of Neanderthals: Were they capable of ‘symbolic and abstract thinking’?

We know from the archaeological record that much of Neanderthal hunting, foraging, and toolmaking behavior was quite similar to that ...
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Environmental DNA offers glimpses of the ‘ancient world in a few grains of sand’

Somewhere in a remote cave in western Georgia, a few dozen miles east of the Black Sea shore, scientists on ...
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DNA found in 10,000-year-old ‘chewing gum’ sheds light on ancient Sweden

In the 1990s, archaeologists recovered a few chewed-up lumps of birch bark pitch, some of which still held fingerprints and ...
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Searching for genetic answers: What makes monkeys different from humans?

Less than 50 of our 20,000 genes are unique to humans. What separates us from monkeys? ...