December 12th, 2007
By examining patterns of DNA variation in the genome for different human populations, we can determine how much of our evolutionary history was influenced by simple demographic change or, alternatively, by spurts of natural selection.
December 8th, 2007
Teaser: Human offspring take more than twice the time to reach adulthood than do our closest living relatives, chimps and gorillas. This period of delayed maturation results in what we call the teenage years and is a characteristic of modern humans. Paleoanthropologists wonder how far back in the record of bipedal existence this delayed maturation commenced.
October 18th, 2007
Dr Gary Schwartz, professor of paleoanthropology at the Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University, is researching fossil teeth at the micron level and discovering what several million year old teeth can tell us about the individual whose teeth they were and how rapidly our earliest ancestors matured to adulthood as compared with other great apes.
October 17th, 2007
Evidence of early humans living on the coast in South Africa, harvesting food from the sea, employing complex bladelet tools and using red pigments in symbolic behavior 164,000 years ago, far earlier than previously documented, is being reported in the Oct. 18, 2007 issue of the journal Nature.
September 24th, 2007
In a paper appearing on September 20 in Science, analysis of the wrist bones of Homo floresiensis demonstrates this skeleton could not be a dwarf human, as has been argued. The paper also adds to the accumulating evidence the specimen is a strange mix of nearly modern and very primitive characteristics.
September 6th, 2007
The suggestion interbreeding occurred between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens nearly 40,000 years ago, announced in papers published last November in both Science and Nature, has now been called into question.
August 22nd, 2007
Fossils from Kenya, with implications on the relationship between Homo habilis and Homo erectus, and uncovered in the year 2000, wee announced in a letter appearing in the August 9. 2007 issue of Nature. The authors, F. E. Spoor, M. G. Leakey et al.
August 7th, 2007
The Child from Dikika
May 20th, 2007
"The Origin of Species" is almost 150 — a fit survivor of the science canon even if not everyone has seen fit to jump from the Ark to the Beagle on the matter of evolution (three Republican presidential candidates, for example). But Darwin himself was slow to come to his ideas, and slower still to disclose them to a skeptical public.
May 18th, 2007
teaser: By Alan Walker and Pat Shipman
This book, written for the general public, details the history of one of the lesser known branches in our family tree. The subject is the genus Proconsul, a primate that lived in Africa some 18 million years ago during the Miocene epoch.