Sandra Toussaint

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Just A Bit Of DNA Helps Explain Humans' Big Brains

Scientists studying the difference between human and chimpanzee DNA have found one stretch of human DNA that can make the brains of mice grow significantly bigger.<p>"It's likely to be one of many DNA regions that's critical for controlling how the human brain develops," says Debra Silver, a …

Archaeologists Stumble Across a Hoard of Gold

A cache of medieval Arab gold coins may already be the largest in the eastern Mediterranean, and there's probably more to come.<p>An unprecedented discovery of more than 2,000 gold coins off the north-central coast of Israel might be part of the largest gold hoard ever found in the eastern …

Cultural Evolution: Literary History, Popular Music, Cultural Beings, Temporality, and the Mesh

Another working paper (title above):<p>Abstract and introduction below.<p><b>Abstract:</b> Culture is implemented in a material and biological substrate but has a …

Human Ancestors May Have Used Tools Half-Million Years Earlier Than Thought

Fossil hand bones show evidence of tool use more than three million years ago.<p>Who swung the first hammer stone? Early human ancestors may have hefted tools more than three million years ago, ancient hand bones suggest. That’s roughly half a million years earlier than the oldest stone tools yet …

Tool making arose earlier among human ancestors

Our ape-like ancestors may have stopped dragging their knuckles and started making tools a half million years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study.<p>The study, published online Thursday in the journal Science, suggests that the art of tool making may not be exclusive to the genus …

From The Mouths Of Apes, Babble Hints At Origins of Human Speech

An orangutan named Tilda is providing scientists with fresh evidence that even early human ancestors had the ability to make speechlike vocalizations.<p>Tilda has learned to produce vocalizations with striking similarities to human speech, scientists report in the journal <i>PLOS ONE</i>. If you listen …

Friendliness, Not Savageness, Is What Makes Humans Human

<i>Human culture is about survival of the friendliest, says</i> <i>John Edward Terrell</i><i>, the curator of oceanic archaeology and ethnology at the Field Museum of</i> …

January 2015

Locked Away for Years, Skeleton's Secrets Rewrite Prehistory of North America

People came to the New World thousands of years earlier and by different means of locomotion than expected, says the Sherlock Holmes of old bones.<p>In the summer of 1996, while wading in the shallows of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington, two students stumbled onto a skeleton. Dated to …

Story of man and dagger found in UK field is finally told – 4,200 years on

Twenty-three years after Racton Man was found, archaeologists realised his dagger was oldest bronze object ever found in UK<p>For more than 4,000 years a man lay buried in a corner of a Sussex field, far from the land of his childhood, holding a rare and precious object. Then for another 23 years he …

World's earliest known engraving reveals sophistication of Homo erectus

A single photograph helped an Australian researcher stumble across what’s thought to be the earliest known engraving by a human ancestor.<p>The simple zigzag pattern, found on a fossilised shell from the Indonesian island of Java, has been dated to at least 430,000 years.<p>The find, reported in the …

Homo floresiensis: scientists clash over claims 'hobbit man' was modern human with Down's syndrome

Tiny skeleton from Indonesia's Flores island is unique ancient species, insist researchers<p>A furious international dispute has erupted over the publication of a paper that claims the hobbit man of Flores was a modern human who had Down's syndrome. Published in the <i>Proceedings of the</i> <i>National Academy</i> …

6,500-Year Old 'Noah' Found in Museum Basement

A digitization project led a museum to discover a 6,500-year-old skeleton in its own basement.<p>Scientists at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia found …

How Cultures Move Across Continents

Where were the artists, politicians and religious leaders? A blue light denotes a birth while a red light signals a death. The lines connect the two.<p>Credit: Maximillian Schich and Mauro Martino<p>They may look like flight paths around North America and Europe. Or perhaps nighttime satellite photos, …

Record-breaking cosmic 'magnifying glass' found by Hubble telescope

In a surprising discovery, astronomers have found a faraway galaxy that doubles as a cosmic "magnifying glass." At 9.6 billion light-years away, it could be the most distant such object known to science, NASA announced July 31.<p>Spotted in observations from the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the …

Archaeologist happens upon Roman bone fragments – at the end of his road

Mike Heyworth, president of the Council for British Archaeology, was trudging home after a long, hot day in the office when he was startled to find fragments of Roman bone and pottery lying on a heap of soil at the end of his road.<p>The trench dug by a utilities company in York, which had sliced …

Peru: Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Astronomy Lab In Peruvian Ruins

Archeologists have stumbled upon a site where ancient people observed the stars thousands of years ago in Peru, a country famous for using drones to …

Misconceptions About Conception

<b>Modern women have taken sex education</b> since middle school, and can ask their friends, parents and the Internet for reproductive health advice. But when today's ladies want to try conceiving, it turns out, getting tips online and getting it on aren't always sufficient. There are still a lot of facts …

Middle School

Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health

Medical tests are rarely a pleasant experience, especially if you're worried that something could be seriously wrong. That's true even though we know that regular screenings and tests often help doctors catch issues early.<p>But of course, humans don't always behave rationally. Sometimes people will …

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: an evolutionary perspective | Carole Jahme

Primatology,Evolution,Biology,Science,Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,Film,Andy Serkis<p><b>Carole Jahme</b> interviewed Planet of the Apes star <b>Andy Serkis</b> about talking apes, motion capture and extinction<p>"Evolution" is emblazoned across the publicity for the rebooted Planet of the Apes prequels, but is that …

Why coffee drinkers generally live longer

The greatest health benefits come from black coffee, so ease up on cream, sugar and other additives to get the full benefit.<p>Drinking coffee might …

Scientists: We're 'very close' to finding another Earth

Scientists looking for signs of life in the universe -- as well as another planet like our own -- are a lot closer to their goal than people realize.<p>That was the consensus of a panel on the search for life in the universe held at NASA headquarters Monday in Washington. The discussion focused not …

Skeletons of war dead from 11,000 BC go on show at the British Museum

Lying on their left sides, curled together, the two skeletons on display for the first time at the British Museum look peacefully laid to rest. But the razor-sharp stone flakes scattered around and among the bones are the remains of ancient weapons, with a myriad breaks and slash marks on the …

Ancient Skull Reveals Human Ancestors Had Odd Neanderthal-Like Inner Ear

The remains of an ancient human in China not thought to be Neanderthal has an inner ear much like that of humans' closest extinct relatives, according to a new study. These new findings could be evidence of interbreeding between Neanderthals and other species of archaic humans in China; however, …

The ultimate comeback: Bringing the dead back to life

A radical procedure that involves replacing a patient's blood with cold salt water could retrieve people from the brink of death, says David Robson.<p>“When you are at 10C, with no brain activity, no heartbeat, no blood – everyone would agree that you’re dead,” says Peter Rhee at the University of …

2,500-year-old erotic graffiti found in unlikely setting on Aegean island

Wild, windswept, rocky and remote, Astypalaia is not an obvious place for the unearthing of some of the world's earliest erotic graffiti.<p>Certainly, Dr Andreas Vlachopoulos, a specialist in prehistoric archaeology, didn't think so when he began fieldwork on the Aegean island four years ago. Until he …

A Convincing Theory About Human Evolution

No ape had done that before.<p>It was an important milestone in the story of human evolution.<p>The ancestor in question, Homo erectus, could use simple tools and hunt. His diet was more meat-based than plant-based. Meat has more calories than food derived from plants. Humans had transformed themselves …

Anthropology

One of the Most Earthlike Planets Ever Found May Not Exist

What was thought to be a planet in the "Goldilocks Zone" of its star may have just been starspots.<p>All sorts of excitement accompanied astronomers' discovery of Gliese 581g in 2010—the alien world looked like Earth in both size and temperature, and thus seemed potentially hospitable to life.<p>But …