A new paper in Nature Communications documents a strange bottleneck event occurring about 7,000 years ago, where the genetic diversity of the Y chromosome completely collapsed leaving about one male to 17 females. We all know the agricultural revolution happened around 12,000 years ago. Societies grew in size and many organized around patrilineal kinships. Turning... Continue Reading →

The Presence of the Frontal Opercula in Homo naledi

When it comes to the evolution of the human brain, size isn't everything. In fact, shape is a huge determinant. A new study from Hawks in PNAS suggests that morphology may proceeded size in the evolution of hominin brains. Hawks and team performed a comparative anatomy study of Homo and Australopithecus brains based on endocasts. Endocasts... Continue Reading →

Growing ‘Mini-Brains’ With Neanderthal DNA

Svante Pääbo, director of the genetics department at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany wants to grow brain organoids from human stem cells that are edited to contain "Neanderthalized" versions of several genes. These blobs of brain are incapable of thoughts or feelings, but replicate basic structures of the brain, such... Continue Reading →

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