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DNA shows Neanderthals mated with humans in two waves, not just once

[A]ncient humans mated with Neanderthals between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago, well before the more recent, and better-known mixing of the two ...
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Podcast: Rebel Cell: Cancer, evolution and the science of life

Geneticist Dr Kat Arney brings you exclusive excerpts from her new book Rebel Cell, exploring where cancer came from, where ...
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Why do humans mate in private? Instinct or morality?

A debate has emerged as to why humans mate in private while every other animal – except the Arabian babbler ...
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Origins of life: We are getting closer to recreating the bubbling primordial soup

At 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius), the vents are a bit hot for a bubble bath but, it turns ...
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Podcast: From the Black Death to COVID-19—Investigating the ancient war between genes and disease

Kat Arney looks at the ancient war between our genes and the pathogens that infect us, from the Black Death ...
How the Hobbit films illustrate the way human brains evolved

How the Hobbit films illustrate the way human brains evolved

For Northwestern University neuroscientist and engineer Malcolm MacIver, [a scene from the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey where Gandalf and Bilbo ...
Podcast: How male sex drive evolved

Podcast: How male sex drive evolved

For decades, scientists suggested that fatherhood fulfilled a primarily evolutionary function: protecting and providing for offspring in return for sex ...
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Maybe Darwin got it wrong: ‘Survival of the Friendliest’

Most people assume that Darwin was talking about physical strength when referring to “survival of the fittest,” meaning that a ...
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Number instinct: Numerical ability is deeply rooted in our shared animal evolution

Considering the multitude of situations in which we humans use numerical information, life without numbers is inconceivable. But what was ...
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Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
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Evolution heresies: Revisiting Lamarckian and collective evolution

In his most famous work, Charles Darwin proposed that this amazing process is governed by a simple rule: selection of ...
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What are ‘supergenes’ and how do they impact evolution

Biologists identified 37… so-called 'supergenes' in wild sunflower populations, and found they govern the modular transfer of a large range ...
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Where did strawberries comes from? Genomics, art history help trace evolution of fruits and vegetables

Plant geneticists seeking to understand the history of the plants we eat can decode the genomes of ancient crops from ...
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Have any of Earth’s creatures stopped evolving?

Some of the planet's more bizarre creatures have prompted some observers to suggest that evolution, on occasion, is stopped in ...
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Biotechnology gives plant breeders a leg up in ‘evolutionary arms race’ against crop diseases

While crop pests and diseases can be spread by environmental factors, such as the wind, they also move into new ...
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Blame human evolution for corporate jargon and thick academic prose

For anyone who’s ever worked in a large organization, this kind of message will be depressingly familiar: “Do you have ...
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How ancient fish fins gave rise to modern human hands

In 1859 Charles Darwin remarked… in On the Origin of Species: “What can be more curious than that the hand ...
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Humans vs. apes: Women are the secret factor explaining how we evolved to populate the world

The populations of the great apes were once nearly equal. Now, one great ape species—Homo sapiens—outnumbers the rest by almost ...
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Why did fatherhood evolve?

We might take the doting modern dad for granted, but if you take a look at the rest of the ...
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Why did menopause evolve?

To explain menopause, any hypothesis needs a plausible evolutionary scenario. It is reasonable to assume that the chimp/human common ancestor ...
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What caused anatomically modern Homo sapiens to evolve into behaviorally modern people?

At some point, from around 40,000 years ago in Europe, we see evidence of these behaviourally modern humans in a ...
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Ancient African savanna was like a ‘chess board’, broadening the minds of early humans as they hunted for prey

Northwestern University researchers recently discovered that complex landscapes—dotted with trees, bushes, boulders and knolls—might have helped land-dwelling animals evolve higher ...
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Recreating evolution: Human gene triggers bigger brains in monkeys

Researchers in Germany and Japan introduced a human-specific gene to the fetuses of common marmosets, Callithrix jacchus. In turn, that ...
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Waterhemp weed uses genetic ‘tricks’ to outsmart herbicides, threatening farmers’ crop yields

The weed that represents the biggest threat to Midwestern corn and soybean production, waterhemp, has outsmarted almost every kind of ...
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It started with rocks: How we developed belief, our ‘most creative and destructive’ ability

About 20 years ago, the residents of Padangtegal village in Bali, Indonesia, had a problem. The famous, monkey-filled forest surrounding ...
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‘Speech-like signature’: Chimpanzees’ lip-smacks rhythm may offer clues about how we learned to talk

The evolution of speech is one of the longest-standing puzzles of evolution. However, inklings of a possible solution started emerging ...
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Could COVID-19 cause wives to cheat? How pandemics affect sexual desire

The coronavirus has impacted society and affected our behaviour in many ways from an increase in our use of social ...
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Podcast: Out standing in the field – the highs and lows of fieldwork

We talk to the researchers studying genetics and evolution in action, from chasing butterflies up mountains to artificially inseminating kakapos ...