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Seventy thousand years ago, when modern humans were on the verge of migrating from Africa and before Neanderthals died out, an alien star flew through the outer reaches of the solar system.
Alt: Alien star system buzzed the Sun
Neanderthal communities divided some of their tasks according to their sex. This study, which analyzed 99 incisors and canine teeth of 19 individuals from three different sites, reveals that the dental grooves present in the female fossils follow the same pattern, which is different to that found in male individuals.
Alt: Women were expected to do household chores 100,000 years ago: Neanderthal females fixed clothing while men made tools
Women's bodies may have evolved to make them better at looking after children because men did not put enough effort in, a new study has suggested.
When you whack yourself with a hammer, it feels like the pain is in your thumb. But really it's in your brain.
If you’re like most people, you probably think that looks are mostly genetic–either you’re genetically “blessed” with good looks, or you’re not. But apparently it’s not as simple as that. According to this study, facial attractiveness in high school yearbook photographs increases with paternal education and parental income, “with the latter effect being stronger for female subjects.” In other words, rich kids tend to be more attractive, and especially girls. Whether the parents themselves being rich was related to their looks (which might make the effect genetic after all)…well, we’ll leave that for another study.
The DNA of bacteria that live in the body can pass a trait to offspring in a way that’s similar to that of the parents’ own DNA.
Alt: Inflammatory Bowel Disease May Be from Mom's Bacteria, not DNA
Using marijuana can sometimes compel a person to scoff down large quantities of food. A mouse study published in Nature today (February 18) may reveal part of the reason why. Researchers have found that cannabinoid-induced bouts of “the munchies” occur in mice when the compounds subvert brain cells that normally produce an appetite-suppressing hormone and redirect them to produce an appetite stimulator.
Until fairly recently, the use of ayahuasca has been the purview of native people living in villages in recondite spots throughout the Amazon rainforest. But over the past decade especially, non-native people have sought the ayahuasca experience, and now this accounts for a full-on tourist boom in some places, most notably Iquitos, Peru, where one can find at least fifty or more ayahuasca-based lodges.
Related: The UK needs common sense about ketamine, by David Nutt
We might think of state supported health care as an innovation of the 20th century, but it's a much older tradition than that. In fact, texts from a village dating back to Egypt's New Kingdom period, about 3,100-3,600 years ago, suggest that in ancient Egypt there was a state-supported health care network designed to ensure that workers making the king's tomb were productive.
Reconstructions of human evolution are prone to simple, overly-tidy scenarios. Our ancestors, for example, stood on two legs to look over tall grass, or began to speak because, well, they finally had something to say. Like much of our understanding of early hominid behavior, the imagined diet of our ancestors has also been over-simplified.
A rich burgundy or crisp chardonnay may be your tipple of choice. But a handful of 1,500-year-old charred grape seeds could help scientists recreate one of the finest ancient wines.
Related: Divers in Caesarea find largest treasure of gold coins ever discovered in Israel
A "mystery manuscript" which has been held in Trafford Archives for more than 120 years has finally been identified.
Related: Ancient animal bone suggests Himiko adopted Chinese fortunetelling method
German authorities on Friday returned 500 historical books including original works by Renaissance scientists Galileo Galilei and Nicolaus Copernicus, stolen from Italian libraries three years ago, to Naples prosecutors.
Related: Rare bibles and Shakespeare folios in $300m 'wow factor' Princeton bequest
Related: Indigenous leaders fight for return of relics featuring in major new exhibition
She won the heart of King Henry VIII, divided the church and lost her head. But nearly 500 years after Anne Boleyn met her death, only one uncontested portrait of her remains.
Technology could mean that our lives are lost to history, according to experts.
IF YOU must preserve messages for people in the far future to read, Blu-ray discs and USB sticks are no good. For real long-term storage, you want a DNA time capsule.
As scientists seek to make crops resilient against disease and the effects of climate change, they are turning to what may seem like an unlikely champion: fungi.
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