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Recreating the Neanderthal Y chromosome helps explain how modern humans emerged

One hurdle in deciphering human prehistory is the absence of evidence of a Neanderthal Y chromosome in the genetic record ...
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Colorants used in tattoos could play a role in detecting cancer

Currently, only three dyes with fluorescent properties used as optical imaging contrast agents—methylene blue, indocyanine green and fluorescein—are approved for ...
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‘Everything smells like a more disgusting version of Spaghetti O’s’: Recovered COVID patients report awful phantom smells

Instead of a scentless world, an increasing number of people who lost their sense of smell because of Covid-19 are ...
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After prehistoric asteroid destroyed most life on Earth, why were birds able to survive?

With hindsight, birds can be categorized as avian dinosaurs and all the other sorts—from Stegosaurus to Brontosaurus—are non-avian dinosaurs. The ...
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What’s happening to viruses, bacteria and mites that exist in our socially-isolated home islands?

We may feel isolated now, in our homes, or apart in parks, or behind plexiglass shields in stores. But we are ...
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‘From pipsqueaks to titans’: The complicated evolution of dinosaurs

For tens of millions of years, even as other dinosaur species grew to huge sizes, 40-foot carnivores weren't around. How, ...
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7 things we learned about human evolution in the past decade, including that we are older than we thought

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s “David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins,” here are some of the ...
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How a 19th-century typhus outbreak helped doctors fight the coronavirus and other pandemics

It was a truism among 19th-century physicians that, in the words of German epidemiologist August Hirsch, “[t]he history of typhus ...
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These 2 ‘crucial and very different’ tests could help us contain the coronavirus

Amidst a slew of shortages and logistical hurdles, American researchers are now slowly rolling out two crucial and very different ...
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If you survive the coronavirus, do you gain immunity? And for how long?

Scientists don’t yet have definitive answers about SARS-CoV-2 immunity. For now, people who have had the disease appear unlikely to ...
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Searching for signs of Earth’s earliest life more than ‘a needle-in-the-haystack’ problem

The search for signs of Earth’s earliest forms of life isn’t quite like looking for dinosaur bones protruding out from ...
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Strange cave-fellows? Unexpected discovery suggests 3 early human species lived together in South Africa

Two million years ago, three different early humans—Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and the earliest-known Homo erectus—appear to have lived at the same time in ...
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Warm weather won’t solve COVID-19 pandemic by itself

Many infectious diseases wax and wane with the changing months. Some, like flu, spike when the weather turns cold, while others, ...
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Chance of extraterrestrial contact will multiply by 1,000 in coming decade, says SETI scientist

[H]owever small the probability of seeing a signal from E.T. is, those chances are soon going to be a lot ...
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1918 Spanish flu redux? ‘Unprepared for the deluge of death’, politicians rejected ‘social distancing’ in bungled handling of the pandemic

It was a parade like none Philadelphia had ever seen.... When the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive parade stepped off on September ...
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Trends that will shape the 2020s: Psychedelics as medicine, diagnostic cell phone apps and AI prediction of disease outbreaks

Clearly, a lot can happen in a decade—but innovation has to start somewhere. Based on what’s breaking through now, here ...
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Before Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop: 19th century’s Madame Yale and her ‘Religion of Beauty’

On an April afternoon in 1897, thousands of women packed the Boston Theatre to see the nation’s most beguiling female entrepreneur, ...
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Exploring the uneasy relationship between Charles Darwin and his skeptical publisher

Charles Darwin’s ideas about evolution shook up Britain’s Victorian establishment upon the release of On the Origin of Species, the 1859 ...
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‘Simple blood test’ could give us an early warning system for cancer

As of 2020, there are now targeted therapy drugs for 30 kinds of cancer. As part of this whirlwind of innovation, ...
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