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Ancient African DNA reveals insights before slavery, colonialism

[B]ones between 5,000 and 15,000 years old — surrounding the start of the Holocene, our current geologic epoch — can ...
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Learn while sleeping? Listening to foreign words could ‘enhance’ language abilities

[L]istening to French on tape while you sleep is unlikely to instantly give you the ability to order a vanilla ...
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Why does human skin color have so much variation?

Human skin color reflects an evolutionary balancing act tens of thousands of years in the making. There’s a convincing explanation ...
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Bad decision: Did your genes make you do it?

Studies have picked out groups of genes associated with intelligence, academic achievement, criminal activity and other life outcomes. It now ...
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Did Neanderthals have their own language?

Did Neanderthals have language? Before trying to answer that, I should admit my bias: I’m team Neanderthal. As an anthropologist ...
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DNA of God: Did humans evolve a need for religion?

[H]ow does evolution explain religion? Leading scholars propose a two-phase hypothesis (here, here): First, our ancestors evolved certain mental abilities, useful ...
climate

Is there a link between climate change and human evolution?

[W]hile all the talk nowadays focuses on how to change the course of the climate’s evolution, a study out [October 11] ...
fear

Fear-free life? Removing a part of your brain could make it possible—in theory

Brain surgery is not usually something that people actively seek out. However, there may be an exception: the idea of ...
space

Deep space travelers could face ‘significant’ gastrointestinal damage from radiation

Deep-space travel could even cause significant gastrointestinal (GI) damage to astronauts, according to one new study. Researchers at Georgetown University ...
mental

Are mental disorders linked to the tweaking of genes in human evolution?

The same recent evolutionary changes that make humans prone to bad backs and impacted wisdom teeth may also tweak genes ...
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Jack of all environments: Is this why Homo sapiens survived and thrived?

When paleoanthropologists and archaeologists define what makes our species unique, they usually focus on our use of symbolism and language, ...
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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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Making a ‘monster’ with artificial intelligence—on purpose

Researchers at MIT have created a psychopath. They call him Norman. He’s a computer. Actually, that’s not really right. Though ...
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‘Absolutely no evidence’ that power leads to brain damage

An Atlantic article from July 2017 has been widely discussed on Twitter over the past few days. It’s called Power Causes Brain Damage ...
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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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Viewpoint: Slug ‘memory transfer’ study may be too good to be true

A study claiming that a “memory” could be transferred from one animal to another in form of an injection has ...
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Not a nightmare: It’s possible to sweat blood

A medical case report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal from Italian researchers last year details a 21-year-old patient who began mysteriously sweating ...
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Recording brain activity gets easier with novel device

An improved method for recording brain activity could prove a major asset to neuroscience, according to a Nature paper just out: Moving magnetoencephalography ...
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Recording and playing back dreams isn’t here yet, but may be on the way

[W]hat if you could record your dreams, and play them back for analysis, or even share them with friends? Theoretically, ...