Tag Archives | humans


Walk this way: how an upright gait made humans musical

Why don’t chimpanzees, our closest primate cousins, have musical ability? Scientists at örebro University in Sweden hypothesize that our musical ability developed only after we had begun to walk upright. Writing in the journal Animal Cognition, researcher Matz Larsson suggests that our musicality stems from the need to deal with the disturbing sounds that are […]

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Families forged from female food fanciers

A new mathematical simulation shows that the most commonly proposed theories for the emergence of human pair-bonding are not biologically feasible. Instead, the new model suggests the emergence of the modern family was likely initiated by females who showed a preference for low-ranking males who were better at providing food, rather than fighting. Author of […]

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Humans may be able to “see” magnetic fields

Humans are not considered to have an innate magnetic sense but new research published inNature Communications shows that a protein expressed in the human retina can sense magnetic fields when implanted into fruit flies (Drosophila). The intriguing discovery may lead to new breakthroughs in the field of human sensory biology. The lead researcher, University of […]

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Religious ritual drives natural selection

A centuries-old religious ceremony carried out in a southern Mexican cave has led to evolutionary changes in a species of fish that dwell in the cave, say researchers from Texas A&M University. Their findings appear in the online journal Biology Letters. Every Easter, over many centuries, the Zoque people of southern Mexico have ventured into […]

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Modern Man In Evolutionary Fast Lane

A new study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison anthropologist John Hawks describes the past 40,000 years as a time of supercharged evolutionary change for humans, driven by exponential population growth and cultural shifts. Using data from an international genomics project, the new study, appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, counters the […]

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Language-Gene Evolution Shared By Humans And Neanderthals

Adaptive changes in a human gene involved in speech and language processing were shared by our closest extinct relatives, the Neanderthals, suggests a study in Current Biology. The finding reveals that the human form of the gene arose much earlier than scientists had estimated previously. It also raises the possibility that Neanderthals possessed some of […]

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Motor Neurons Grown From Stem Cells

After much trial and error, scientists have coaxed human embryonic stem cells into becoming spinal motor neurons, the critical nervous system pathways that relay messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The findings, reported in the journal Nature, are important because they provide guidance for scientists trying to repair damaged or diseased […]

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Genetic Gradient Theory Challenges Evolutionary Ideas

Research published in Science is the first in the world to demonstrate a genetic gradient – or path of gradually changing genetic traits – between two distinct species that have been isolated by distance. The research challenges the prevailing theory among evolutionary biologists that species evolve only when separated by a geographical barrier. The research […]

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