Category Archives: Human Evolution

Odd Cause of Humans’ Dark Skin Proposed

Skin cancer could have directly driven the evolution of dark skin in humans, a study on people with albinism in modern Africa suggests. Albinism is an inherited disorder that prevents people from making melanin, a black or brown pigment. Albino people in sub-Saharan Africa almost universally die of skin cancer — and at young ages, according to a…
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Out of Africa … And Back Again?

Every person on the planet can trace their genetic roots to Africa, the source of the great migration of humanity that began some 60,000 years ago. But it turns out that one group may have staged an epic return trek, erased by the sands of time and lost to human memory—until now. Scientists have uncovered…
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At 400,000 Years, Oldest Human DNA Yet Found Raises New Mysteries

Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries. In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported Wednesday that they had retrieved ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years.…
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Ancient, Modern DNA Tell Story of First Humans in the Americas

University of Illinois anthropology professor Ripan Malhi looks to DNA to tell the story of how ancient humans first came to the Americas and what happened to them once they were here. He will share some of his findings at the meeting, "Ancient DNA: The First Three Decades," at The Royal Society in London on…
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