Category Archives: Human Evolution

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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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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