Seven Million Years of Human Evolution

This fascinating visual presentation from the American Museum of Natural History outlines what we know about human evolution by combining a timeline, a map, animation, photographs, and artistic representations of various hominins.

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 →

Five Neanderthal Genomes Tell Us More Than Ever

We've been quite limited by our ancient DNA of Neanderthals due to limited sample size from the fossil record and then compounded with degradation and contamination of DNA. Last week, Nature, published a fantastic article ultimately from Svante Pääbo and Janet Kelso on a novel way to extract more DNA from less fossil sample; using... Continue Reading →

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