viking

Crime, violence and DNA: The many faces of MAOA, the so-called ‘warrior gene’

A near certainty whenever monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) rears its ugly head in popular science writing is that an ugly ...
Screen Shot at PM

Teaching of evolution under siege in Turkey, Israel and India

In recent weeks there have been alarming reports from both Israel and Turkey of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution being erased from school curriculums ...
web

Diagnosing deadly medieval fever epidemics through ancient DNA

Many epidemics of fever ravaged Europe from ancient times through the early 20th century. But one disease stands out in ...
Jinguofortis perplexus IVPP V novataxa Wang Stidham et Zhou paleoArt Chung Tat Cheung

This ‘hot mess’ bird links dinosaur and avian evolution

Yes, birds are technically modern dinosaurs. But sometimes it’s tough to tell where the non-avian dino ends and the bird begins ...
life

Is it time to rethink evolutionary timeline for Earth’s animals?

New research suggests that animal origins happened much earlier than previously thought ...
dna

Viewpoint: Why consumer DNA tests are more dangerous than you might think

Commercial DNA testing isn’t just harmless entertainment. It’s keeping alive ideas that deserve to die ...
ancient

Documenting the rise and fall of populations through human poop

The city that vanished about 700 years ago presents a captivating question for archaeologists: What happened to the Mississippian people who built ...
million year old fat molecule reveals worlds earliest animal

Mysterious fossil could be oldest known animal—if scientists can agree it is one

An international team of researchers is claiming to have discovered traces of cholesterol on a fossil of Dickinsonia—a mysterious creature that ...
a ff z

Why the fossil record may be misleading when explaining mass extinctions

Paleontologists are able to determine when a species went extinct based on its last appearance in the fossil record. Any variations ...
alboin entering pavia

Ancient Italian cemeteries tell tales of barbarian migration

We know very little of [Longobards] or any of the other barbarian tribes that roared through Western Europe other than ...
monkey

Why are humans so much smarter than other primates?

By counting the number of neurons in brains, one scientist revolutionized our view of why Homo sapiens and nonhuman primates ...
b fd

Controversial study: Humans were in Madagascar 6,000 years earlier than previously thought

The butchered remains of extinct elephant birds could push back the date of human habitation of Madagascar by 6,000 years, according ...
Screen Shot at AM

Sexual reproduction may not be the best evolutionary strategy. So why do we do it?

In many ways asexual reproduction is a better evolutionary strategy: only one parent is needed, and all of their genes ...
centauri

Proxima Centauri b: Why Earth’s cosmic neighbor could be suitable for life

Ever since the discovery of the exoplanet—known as Proxima Centauri b—in 2016, people have wondered whether it could be capable of ...
p dw

What do toddlers and chimpanzees have in common? They use the same unspoken language

Prior to developing the capacity for speech, toddlers communicate their desires, demands, and discontent using a diverse repertoire of physical ...
runner

How a broken gene may have given us the ability to become ‘marathoners’

A new study in mice pinpoints how a stretch of DNA likely turned our ancestors into marathoners, giving us the ...
kepler f

Searching for alien life: Why we shouldn’t ignore low-oxygen ‘dead planets’

Until recently, little was known about oxygen’s abundance in the atmosphere [when] microbes were the only life on the planet ...
ancient foal video

‘Incredibly rare’ extinct Siberian horse to be cloned

Scientists recently extracted an almost perfectly preserved prehistoric baby horse from the permafrost of Siberia’s “Mouth of Hell” crater in Yakutia. At ...
climate

How human evolution—and racism—could be altered by climate change

Evidence suggests that a warming planet could melt away differences between human races — or population groups, as scientists more ...
Red Poppy Sturgis

Poppy genome reveals ‘bizarre’ biological errors that gave us ‘intoxicating medicines’

A series of bizarre events and biological errors over evolutionary history were responsible for the intoxicating medicines found inside the ...
aboriginal

National identity and what the genes of Aboriginal Australians tell us about ‘what it is to be human’

Recent genetic research suggests that Aboriginal Australians have lived on their island continent for at least 50,000 years (with some ...
bb warrior feat

Medieval graves yield genetic clues about kinship of Germanic warrior family

A dozen lavish medieval graves holding the remains of 13 people have finally spilled their genetic secrets, now that researchers ...
Were Neanderthals wiped out by icy climate change?

Were Neanderthals wiped out by icy climate change?

About 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals began disappearing from Europe, but exactly why they died out is a mystery. … Researchers propose ...
brains png

Was human brain growth driven by ecological challenges?

Most animals have brains in proportion to their body size – species with larger bodies often have larger brains. But ...
ocean heat waves are increasing e

Water world: Does the evolution of intelligent life require land?

Exoplanets come in a variety of types, and so-called “water worlds”—planets with at least ten percent of their total mass ...
IMG

Cooperation in a time of chaos: Ancient Kenyan burial ground shows evidence of ‘social unity’

For millions of years, the Turkana Basin in northern Kenya has been a cradle of humanity. … Around 5,000 years ago, the ...
sahelanthropus top

Was a gene mutation responsible for bigger human brains?

One of the major features that distinguish humans from other primates is the size of our brains, which underwent rapid ...
future

Video: Why gene editing could change the path of human evolution

Most people think the genetics revolution is primarily about healthcare. But what's really at play is the evolutionary trajectory of ...