Human Evolution

Volume 30 Issue 8 | August 2016

Featured Articles

image: Decoding Human Accelerated Regions

Decoding Human Accelerated Regions

By Katherine S. Pollard | August 1, 2016

Do the portions of our genomes that set us apart from other animals hold the secret to human evolution?

image: Humans Never Stopped Evolving

Humans Never Stopped Evolving

By John Hawks | August 1, 2016

The emergence of blood abnormalities, an adult ability to digest milk, and changes in our physical appearance point to the continued evolution of the human race.

image: The Genes Underlying Autism Are Coming Into Focus

The Genes Underlying Autism Are Coming Into Focus

By Megan Scudellari | August 1, 2016

As researchers sequence the DNA of thousands of kids with autism, dozens of genetic subgroups are emerging.




Meet some of the people featured in the August 2016 issue of The Scientist.


On Becoming Human

Some thoughts on going to the Galápagos

Speaking of Science

Notable Science Quotes

Brexit's effect on science, melding disciplines, and more


New Lyme Disease Test Developed by Summer Student

The high schooler was studying cancer biomarkers in a George Mason University lab when her familial experiences with Lyme disease sparked an idea.

Do Schizophrenic Brains Repair Themselves?

Preliminary research suggests that the brains of schizophrenia patients may regain tissue mass as the illness wears on.

The Hormones and Brain Regions Behind Eye Contact

Can oxytocin help increase eye contact in patients with autism, thus opening up a whole new world of social interaction?

How Your Nose Got Its Shape

Climate variation has sculpted our schnozzes since the earliest humans evolved, but environmental pressures can’t explain everything.

Critic at Large

Opinion: Our Inner Caveman

The modern human brain evolved in social and environmental settings very unlike today’s. Despite our cultural and technological progress, tribal instincts remain.

Thought Experiment

Opinion: Monogamy and Cooperation Are Connected Through Multiple Links

Why does cooperation evolve most often in monogamous animals?

Modus Operandi

Wanted: Transcriptional Regulators

Researchers have designed a screen to find unique molecules, called riboswitches, that determine whether transcription will proceed.

The Literature

Newly Discovered Emergency Responders to Liver Damage

Immune cells called macrophages from the peritoneal cavity of mice migrate to injured livers and aid in repair.

Increasing Seal Pup Numbers Influence Feral-Horse Feeding Habits

Researchers reveal how seals affect vegetation patterns and influence the movement of feral horse populations on Sable Island in Canada.

Pesticide Resistance in a Plant Organelle Drives Down Whole-Genome Diversity

A chloroplast mutation has dramatically affected the genomes of railside populations of Arabidopsis thaliana.


Clyde A. Hutchison III: Genome Sequencer and Synthetic Biologist

From sequencing bacteriophages to synthesizing bacterial genomes to defining a minimal genome

Scientist to Watch

Cullen Buie Parses Pathogens With Passion

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT. Age: 34

Lab Tools

Software for Image Analysis

Profiles of five programs for quantifying data from Westerns, dot blots, gels, and colony cultures

How to Build Bioinformatic Pipelines Using Galaxy

A point-and-click interface alternative to command-line tools that allows researchers to easily create, run, and troubleshoot serial sequence analyses

Bio Business

The Growth of Iowa Biotech

The state’s industry draws inspiration from medicine as well as agriculture.

Reading Frames

The Neanderthal in the Mirror

Our evolutionary cousin is no longer a blundering caveman. Recent research has painted a picture of a human ancestor with culture, art, and advanced cognitive skills.

Capsule Reviews

Hot Off the Presses

Idiot Brain, Wild Sex, Why Diets Make Us Fat, and The Ethics of Invention


First Micrographs of Myxobacteria Forming Fruiting Bodies

By ditching traditional agar-based media, two biochemists captured iconic images of Myxococcus in 1982.

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