02 Nov 2015

Predicting the human genome using evolution

To gain a clearer picture of health and disease, scientists have now provided an independent reference for all human variation by looking through the evolutionary lens of our nearest relatives.

CREDIT : Rasmussen et al./Cell 2015
02 Nov 2015

Plague infected humans much earlier than previously thought

Plague infections were common in humans 3,300 years earlier than the historical record suggests, reports a study published October 22 in Cell.

Arrangement of the hands over the skull - Credit : PLOS ONE
23 Sep 2015

9,000-year-old ritualized decapitation found in Brazil

A 9,000 year-old case of human decapitation has been found in the rock shelter of Lapa do Santo in Brazil, according to a study published September 23, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by André Strauss from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany and colleagues.

Inupiat in a kayak, Noatak, Alaska, c. 1929 (photo by Edward S. Curtis)
18 Sep 2015

Human genes adapted to life in the Arctic

Genetic evolution Danish researchers, in collaboration with researchers in the United States and Britain, have studied the DNA of Greenlanders whose Inuit forefathers have been living in the Arctic for tens of thousands of years.

Evidence of a massive injuries shortly before or after death: skull injury in an 8 year old child about. (Photo: PNAS, University of Basel)
18 Aug 2015

Massacres, torture and mutilation: Extreme violence in neolithic conflicts

Violent conflicts in Neolithic Europe were held more brutally than has been known so far.

HMS Erebus and Terror from the expedition by John Wilson Carmichael
11 Aug 2015

Survival Cannibalism in the North-West Passage

A recent reassessment of the skeletal evidence from King William Island supports the 19th century reports of the local Inuit people; that members of Sir John Franklin’s failed expedition resorted to cannibalism in order to survive.

06 Aug 2015

Genders differ dramatically in evolved mate preferences

Men’s and women’s ideas of the perfect mate differ significantly due to evolutionary pressures, according to a cross-cultural study on multiple mate preferences by psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin.

05 Aug 2015

Identifying the Dead: FREE Forensic Science and Human Identification Course

Uncover a grave, examine remains and reveal the victim’s identity in this free online course.

Bering Strait
27 Jul 2015

Past and present genomes tell the story of Native American biological origins

The first human inhabitants of the Americas lived in a time thousands of years before the first written records, and the story of their transcontinental migration is the subject of ongoing debate and active research.

09 Jul 2015

Helping families of war crime victims

A team of forensic anthropologists from the UK have been working with the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala to carry out two exhumations of graves containing victims extra judicially executed by the army during the military dictatorship in the 1980s.

02 Jul 2015

Researchers show how our sense of smell evolved, including in cave men

A group of scientists led by Dr Kara Hoover of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and including Professor Matthew Cobb of The University of Manchester, has studied how our sense of smell has evolved, and has even reconstructed how a long-extinct human relative would have been able to smell.

01 Jul 2015

Injured service personnel to help uncover secrets of premier Roman site on Hadrian’s Wall

The annual excavations at the Roman fort of Vindolanda in Northumberland are starting this year with the help of some very special volunteers.

29 Jun 2015

Research shows how Spanish colonists changed life in the Middle Rio Grande Valley

Spanish settlement of the Middle Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico changed the way people lived, but a new paper in the journal “The Holocene” by UNM Assistant Professor of Anthropology Emily Jones, suggests the change did not come quickly.

24 Jun 2015

Kennewick Man: Solving a scientific controversy

An 8,500-year-old male skeleton discovered in 1996 in Columbia River in Washington State has been the focus of a bitter dispute between Native Americans and American scientists, and even within the American scientific community.

Photo: Prof. Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University
24 Jun 2015

400,000-year-old dental tartar provides earliest evidence of manmade pollution

Most dentists recommend a proper teeth cleaning every six months to prevent, among other things, the implacable buildup of calculus or tartar — hardened dental plaque. Routine calculus buildup can only be removed through the use of ultrasonic tools or dental hand instruments. But what of 400,000-year-old dental tartar?

29 May 2015

Out of Africa via Egypt: Humans migrated north, rather than south, in the main successful migration from Cradle of Humankind

New research suggests that European and Asian (Eurasian) peoples originated when early Africans moved north – through the region that is now Egypt – to expand into the rest of the world.

29 May 2015

Ancient DNA May Provide Clues into How Past Environments Affected Ancient Populations

A new study by anthropologists from The University of Texas at Austin shows for the first time that epigenetic marks on DNA can be detected in a large number of ancient human remains, which may lead to further understanding about the effects of famine and disease in the ancient world.

27 May 2015

Most European men descend from a handful of Bronze Age forefathers

Geneticists from the University of Leicester have discovered that most European men descend from just a handful of Bronze Age forefathers, due to a ‘population explosion’ several thousand years ago.

21 May 2015

The Bronze Age Egtved Girl was not from Denmark

The Bronze Age Egtved Girl came from far away, as revealed by strontium isotope analyses of the girl’s teeth.

19 May 2015

Agriculture, declining mobility drove humans’ shift to lighter bones

Modern lifestyles have famously made humans heavier, but, in one particular way, noticeably lighter weight than our hunter-gatherer ancestors: in the bones. Now a new study of the bones of hundreds of humans who lived during the past 33,000 years in Europe finds the rise of agriculture and a corresponding fall in mobility drove the change, rather than urbanization, nutrition or other factors.

15 May 2015

Ancient skeleton shows leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia

An international team, including archaeologists from the University of Southampton, has found evidence suggesting leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia.

29 Apr 2015

Lower back pain may have ties to our last common ancestor with chimpanzees

A Simon Fraser University researcher has uncovered what may be the first quantified evidence demonstrating a relationship between upright locomotion and spinal health.