Category Archives: Human Evolution

Oldest DNA ever found sheds light on humans’ global trek

  Scientists said Wednesday they had unravelled the oldest DNA ever retrieved from a Homo sapiens bone, a feat that sheds light on modern humans' colonisation of the planet. A femur found by chance on the banks of a west Siberian river in 2008 is that of a man who died around 45,000 years ago,…
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Marmoset sequence sheds new light on primate biology and evolution

  A team of scientists from around the world led by Baylor College of Medicine and Washington University in St. Louis has completed the genome sequence of the common marmoset -- the first sequence of a New World Monkey -- providing new information about the marmoset's unique rapid reproductive system, physiology and growth, shedding new…
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Human Ancestors Got Herpes from Chimps’ Ancestors

  A herpes virus that infects humans originated in chimpanzees before it jumped into our early human ancestors, according to a new study. Researchers found that herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infected hominids before their evolutionary split from chimpanzees 6 million years ago, whereas herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) was transferred from ancient chimpanzees to human ancestors such…
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Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn

The cognitive differences between humans and our closest living cousins, the chimpanzees, are staggeringly obvious. Although we share strong superficial physical similarities, we have been able to use our incredible mental abilities to construct civilisations and manipulate our environment to our will, allowing us to take over our planet and walk on the moon while…
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Humans May Have Dispersed Out of Africa Earlier Than Thought

Modern humans may have dispersed in more than one wave of migration out of Africa, and they may have done so earlier than scientists had long thought, researchers now say. Modern humans first arose between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago in Africa. But when and how the modern human lineage then dispersed out of Africa…
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Neanderthals Had Shallow Gene Pool, Study Says

Neanderthals were remarkably less genetically diverse than modern humans, with Neanderthal populations typically smaller and more isolated, researchers say. Although Neanderthals underwent more genetic changes involving their skeletons, they had fewer such changes in behavior and pigmentation, scientists added. Modern humans are the only humans alive today, but Earth was once home to a variety of other…
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Drunken Monkeys: Does Alcoholism Have an Evolutionary Basis?

As the child of an alcoholic father, Robert Dudley long wondered what caused the destructive allure of alcohol. Then while working in the Panamanian forest as a biologist, Dudley saw monkeys eating ripe fruit, which likely contained small amounts of the stuff, and an answer occurred to him: Maybe alcoholism is an evolutionary hangover. Had…
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First Out of Africa – The totally isolated Tribe of the Andaman

The Andamanese people are the various aboriginal inhabitants of the Andaman Islands, a district of India located in the southeastern part of the Bay of Bengal. The Andamanese have been classified as Negritos, together with a few other isolated groups in Asia by raciologist theories. They are pygmies, and are the only modern people outside…
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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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