Paleoanthropologist Louise Leakey’s TEDtalk

Every year TED invites esteemed academics, thinkers, doers, entrepreneurs, etc. to give an exclusive 15-18 minute long talk about what they do and why it is important for the rest of the world. I've shared one of these talks with you before, Zeresenay Alemseged's. In this year's conference, Louise Leakey, of the Leakey family lineage... Continue Reading →

Ancient Chilean Chicken May Not Be Of Polynesian Origin

It is coincidental that a regular commenter, Terry, just posted a comment about last year's study on the origins of early American chicken because PNAS published a new paper on this topic today. Razib pointed out the link to the new paper, "Indo-European and Asian origins for Chilean and Pacific chickens revealed by mtDNA."... Continue Reading →

The 28,000 Year Old Paglicci 23 Cro-Magnon mtDNA Ain’t Neandertal — It Is More Modern Than Anything Else

The open access journal PLoS One has published a new ancient DNA paper, "A 28,000 Years Old Cro-Magnon mtDNA Sequence Differs from All Potentially Contaminating Modern Sequences." One which establishes, yet again, that the Neandertal mitochondrial hypervariable region I is much different from modern humans. This was done by extracting mtDNA from the Paglicci 23... Continue Reading →

Charles Lockwood In Memoriam

From John Lynch, of Stranger Fruit, comes the upsetting news of Charles Lockwood's untimely death. He died in a motorcycle accident in London. For those that don't know who Charles Lockwood was, he was a paleoanthropologist who investigated the evolution of skull anatomy in hominins. Last year, his book "The Human Story: Where We Come... Continue Reading →

Homo heidelbergensis Ear Anatomy Indicates They Could Have Heard The Same Frequency of Sounds As Modern Humans

Pinpointing when language became a prevalent trait during human evolution has been tricky. Last fall we read a paper which documented that Neandertals have the same FOXP2 sequence as modern humans. FOXP2 is a transcription factor associated with language. Two recent papers have shown that chimpanzees and humans have very similar structures in the brain... Continue Reading →

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