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Ancient DNA tells tales of humans' migrant history

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:18:51 EST ~ Fueled by advances in analyzing DNA from the bones of ancient humans, scientists have dramatically expanded the number of samples studied -- revealing vast and surprising migrations and genetic mixing of populations in our prehistoric past. Find out more...

Ancient-DNA researchers surpass the 1,000-genome milestone

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:18:48 EST ~ In the last eight years, the field of ancient DNA research has expanded from just one ancient human genome to more than 1,300. The latest 625 of those genomes debut Feb. 21 in Nature, including the largest study of ancient DNA to date. Find out more...

Theory suggests root efficiency, independence drove global spread of flora

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:18:41 EST ~ Researchers suggest that plants spread worldwide thanks to root adaptations that allowed them to become more efficient and independent. As plant species spread, roots became thinner so they could more efficiently explore poor soils for nutrients, and they shed their reliance on symbiotic fungi. The researchers report that root diameter and reliance on fungi most consistently characterize the plant communities across entire biomes such as deserts, savannas and temperate forests. Find out more...

Brain size of human ancestors evolved gradually over 3 million years

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 21:20:21 EST ~ Modern humans have brains that are more than three times larger than our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos. Scientists don't agree on when and how this dramatic increase took place, but new analysis of 94 hominin fossils shows that average brain size increased gradually and consistently over the past three million years. Find out more...

Plants colonized Earth 100 million years earlier than previously thought

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:50:15 EST ~ A new study on the timescale of plant evolution has concluded that the first plants to colonize the Earth originated around 500 million years ago -- 100 million years earlier than previously thought. Find out more...

Did humans domesticate themselves?

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:00:41 EST ~ Human self-domestication is a hypothesis that states that among the driving forces of human evolution, humans selected their companions depending on who had a more pro-social behavior. Researchers have found new genetic evidence for this evolutionary process. Find out more...

New insights into human evolution

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:04:34 EST ~ The evolution of human biology should be considered part and parcel with the evolution of humanity itself, proposes an assistant professor of biological sciences. She explores an interdisciplinary approach to human evolution. Find out more...

Researchers raise a 170-million-year question over mysterious moss gene

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 12:33:28 EST ~ A surprise discovery provides insight into how cells build their external walls and raises questions about a one-of-a-kind, fused gene. Find out more...

Neanderthals' lack of drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 10:07:27 EST ~ Visual imagery used in drawing regulates arm movements in manner similar to how hunters visualize the arc of a spear. Find out more...

Cockroach ancient geographic and genomic history traced back to last supercontinent

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 18:03:59 EST ~ Armed with a vast amount of genomic information, a team of researchers has performed the first molecular dating to gain the clearest picture yet of the biogeographical history of cockroaches. They have traced back the key evolutionary time points of the cockroach -- all the way back almost 300 million years ago when the Earth's mass was organized into the Pangaea supercontinent. Find out more...