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East Asians got a double dose of Neandertal ancestry. That’s the conclusion of two new studies seeking to explain why East Asians inherited 15 to 30 percent more Neandertal DNA than Europeans did. The results appear in the March 5 American Journal of Human Genetics.
A recent spate of appalling weather in northern Spain has led to the discovery of perfectly preserved fossilised trees, which scientists believe could be 300 million years old – a period well before dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
In this article, John McCauley uses his experience as an Architect and Construction Manager to critically analyse the construction scheme for building the Khufu pyramid and the popular theory of the use of an internal ramp.
Related: Inside Tutankhamun's Tomb: Photos from the day archaeologists opened the burial chamber
Recent archaeological digs at Barrow Island and the Montebello Islands off the Pilbara coast have revealed a number of artefacts which have helped build a unique record of coastal habitation by early humans.
Archeologist Jonathan Driver was part of the team that uncovered, more than 30 years ago, what was at that time one of the rarest archeological finds in Canadian history: A treasure trove of evidence of human occupation in Northern B.C. that dates back to the end of the last ice age.
A spark from a lightning bolt, interstellar dust, or a subsea volcano could have triggered the very first life on Earth. But what happened next? Life can exist without oxygen, but without plentiful nitrogen to build genes - essential to viruses, bacteria and all other organisms - life on the early Earth would have been scarce.
Scientists are to scan the Amazon forest in Brazil to look for evidence of occupation by ancient civilisations.
Alt: Drones and satellites spot lost civilizations in unlikely places
What do you call a male sibling? If you speak English, he is your “brother.” Greek? Call him “phrater.” Sanskrit, Latin, Old Irish? “Bhrater,” “frater,” or “brathir,” respectively. Ever since the mid-17th century, scholars have noted such similarities among the so-called Indo-European languages, which span the world and number more than 400 if dialects are included. Researchers agree that they can probably all be traced back to one ancestral language, called Proto-Indo-European (PIE). But for nearly 20 years, scholars have debated vehemently when and where PIE arose.
Alt: European languages linked to migration from the east
To die, sometimes you need only believe you are ill, and as David Robson discovers, we can unwittingly ‘catch’ such fears, often with terrifying consequences.
PUSH! It's a familiar instruction to women giving birth, and an important one for those on body-numbing drugs. Epidurals and spinal injections can make it a struggle for women to push their baby out. But a new device that signals the baby's progress can help women to learn when and how to push, speeding up labour and reducing the risk of problems.
True adulthood does not begin in the western world until 25 because young people are putting off settling down for longer, a psychiatrist has claimed.
Related: Revealed: the science behind teenage laziness
For chimpanzees, just like humans, teasing, taunting and bullying are familiar parts of playground politics. An analysis of 12 years of observations of playground fights between young chimpanzees in East Africa finds that chimps with higher-ranked moms are more likely to win.
Jane Goodall discovered 40 years ago that chimpanzees wage war. Until then, she thought they were “rather nicer” than humans. But her shocking observation of animal warfare was not the first. It was the second. By then scientists had known for at least 80 years that we were not the only species to kill others of our own kind. Some insects do it, too.
Related: When bees grow up too fast, the colony collapses
As anyone who’s made valentines for a whole elementary-school class knows, kids are often pushed into social groups not of their choosing. Scientists tried the same thing with wild birds and found it pretty easy to coax them into new cliques. The birds hung out with their new social circles even when they didn’t have to. But once the experiment ended, those friendships dissolved faster than a candy conversation heart.
Living deep underground ain't easy. In addition to hellish temperatures and pressures, there's not a lot to eat. Which is why oil reservoirs are the microbes’ cornucopia in this hidden realm.
Biologists have proposed the existence of a “shadow biosphere”—an undiscovered group of living things with biochemistry different from what we’re used to. Most of life’s diversity on our planet is too small to see, making microbes the most likely place to look for these new types of life. Already, new discoveries are shaking our beliefs about what life is. Recently discovered giant, amoeba-infecting viruses blur the line between life and nonlife—although they rely on their hosts for essential biological functions, the bacteria-sized viruses have complex genomes. Such unexpected discoveries suggest that we shouldn’t define what we are searching for by what we know is already out there.
Love growing potatoes and tomatoes? This spring, gardeners in the U.S. (and Europe) will be able to get both tuber and fruit from a single plant.
Related: Monarch butterfly endangered, Monsanto product zaps 900 million
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