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Social and Behavioral Sciences


Apes, Apes and Human Evolution, Intelligence

Apes’ Abilities Misunderstood by Decades of Poor Science

New research argues that what we think we know about apes’ social intelligence is based on wishful thinking and flawed science.



epigentics, Finches, Adaptation, Evolution, Galapagos Islands, Population Genetics

Epigenetics May Explain How Darwin’s Finches Respond to Rapid Environmental Change


Epigenetics may explain how Darwin’s finches respond to rapid environmental changes.



New Computational Model of Chemical Building Blocks May Help Explain the Origins of Life


A research team from Stony Brook University and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developed a computational model explaining how certain molecules fold and bind together to grow and evolve from chemistry to biology.



Genetics, disease alleles, disease variants, genetic variants, loci, allele, Neanderthal DNA , Neandertal, Denisovan, Ötzi, The Iceman, Mental Health, schizophenia, Depression, Manic Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Computational Genetics, computational genomics, Evolution, health evolution, Evolution Biology

You and Some 'Cavemen' Get a Genetic Checkup


Evolution has weeded out genetic variants associated with diseases for millennia and propagated genetic variants that protect against ailments, a comparative genetics study shows. But that good trend may have recently gone in reverse.



Siobhán Cooke, Evolution, Fossils, Extinct Species

Understanding Caribbean Mammal Extinctions of the Past Spurs Renewed Focus on Conservation


A Johns Hopkins paleontologist and her collaborative team of scientists report they have clear evidence that the arrival of humans and subsequent human activity throughout the islands of the Caribbean were likely the primary causes of the extinction of native mammal species there. The evidence, they say, highlights the need for urgent human intervention to protect the native mammal species still inhabiting the region.



Evolution, Coevolution, Herbivores, tropical plants

Evolutionary Arms “Chase”


The study analyzed multiple species of Inga, a genus of tropical trees that produces defensive chemicals, and their various insect herbivores. The researchers found that closely-related plants evolved very different defensive traits. Additionally, their analysis revealed that herbivores may drive evolution of plant defenses, but may not show coevolutionary adaptations. Instead, they may ‘chase’ plants based on the herbivore’s own traits at the time they encounter a new host.



Paleontology, Imaging, X-Ray, neutron imaging, CT imaging

Unique Imaging of a Dinosaur’s Skull Tells Evolutionary Tale


Researchers using Los Alamos’ unique neutron-imaging and high-energy X-ray capabilities have exposed the inner structures of the fossil skull of a 74-million-year-old tyrannosauroid dinosaur nicknamed the Bisti Beast in the highest-resolution scan of tyrannosaur skull ever done.



Fossils, Apes and Human Evolution, Apes, Evolution, Science, Environment, Africa, Kenya, Anthropology, Miocene, South Turkana, Napudet, Nyanzapithecus alesi, Nyanzapithecines, Skull, Geology, Humans, Primates, Hominoids, Cranium, lava, volcanic ash, Basalt, Oligocene, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Rutgers, Rutgers University, RU, New Jersey, NJ, Rutgers Geology Mus

New Ape Species Named After 13-Million-Year-Old Skull Discovery


A 13-million-year-old infant ape skull – the oldest known fossil of its kind – is a new species that enhances knowledge of ape and human evolution, according to a study by an international team of scientists, including Craig S. Feibel at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.



Evolution Biology, Mutation, Drosophila, Fruit Flies, Evolution

Fruit Fly Mutation Foretells 40 Million Years of Evolution


Small, seemingly insignificant mutations in fruit flies may actually hold clues as to how a species will evolve tens of millions of years in the future.



Siobhán Cooke, Monkey, Xenothrix mcgregori, Jamaica, Fossil, evoluion

Extinction Mystery Solved? Fossil Evidence Suggests Humans Played a Role in Monkey’s Demise in Jamaica


Radiocarbon dating of a fossilized leg bone from a Jamaican monkey called Xenothrix mcgregori suggests it may be the one of the most recent primate species anywhere in the world to become extinct, and it may solve a long-standing mystery about the cause of its demise. The short answer: human settlement of its island home.

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