portrait of Marilyn Fogle in front of book case
Marilyn Fogel, Biogeochemist and “Isotope Queen,” Dies at 69
Fogel mined information from isotopes to explore modern and ancient ecosystems, climatic changes, and evolution.
ABOVE: Natasha Metzler / Carnegie Institution for Science
Marilyn Fogel, Biogeochemist and “Isotope Queen,” Dies at 69
Marilyn Fogel, Biogeochemist and “Isotope Queen,” Dies at 69

Fogel mined information from isotopes to explore modern and ancient ecosystems, climatic changes, and evolution.

Fogel mined information from isotopes to explore modern and ancient ecosystems, climatic changes, and evolution.

ABOVE: Natasha Metzler / Carnegie Institution for Science

ancient humans

rock formation rising out of a plain
Ancient DNA Sheds New Light on Africa’s Stone Age
Sophie Fessl | Feb 23, 2022
The oldest DNA yet isolated from humans in Africa reveals long-range migrations around 50,000 years ago, which likely played a role in the Middle to Later Stone Age transition.
man in suit
Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey Dies at Age 77
Chloe Tenn | Jan 3, 2022
The Kenyan fossil finder is known for his discoveries of various Stone Age artifacts and ancient human skulls and skeletons.
group of paleolithic people around a campfire
Gene Variant Points to Starvation’s Evolutionary Legacy
Sophie Fessl | Sep 28, 2021
Ancient and modern genomes reveal that a variant of the human growth hormone receptor likely helped our ancestors survive when food was scarce.
a trench with footprints tagged
Ancient Human Footprints in New Mexico Dated to Ice Age
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Sep 23, 2021
Researchers excavated human footprints out of a small bluff next to a dried-up playa lake and radiocarbon-dated embedded seeds to around 23,000 years ago. Their results suggest that people entered the Americas thousands of years earlier than the accepted estimate.
 Close-up view of the drapery hosting most of the red stains.
65,000-Year-Old Cave Markings Made by Neanderthals: Study
Lisa Winter | Aug 3, 2021
An analysis concludes that pigments were transported into the cave, and the marks were made with intention, though their ultimate meaning remains unknown.
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An artist's depiction of a new species of Homo, H. longi
“Dragon Man” May Replace Neanderthal as Our Closest Relative
Amanda Heidt | Jun 25, 2021
A massive, well-preserved skull discovered in China in the 1930s belongs to a new species called Homo longi, researchers report, but experts remain skeptical about the evidence.
Early Humans’ Brains Were More Apelike than Modern
Abby Olena | Apr 8, 2021
Impressions that ancient brains left in fossilized skulls reveal that the first human ancestors to migrate out of Africa had much more primitive brains than previously thought.
Questions Raised About How an Ancient Hominin Moved
Abby Olena | Feb 24, 2021
A new analysis of the hand of the 4.4-million-year-old partial skeleton of Ardipithecus ramidus indicates that the human ancestor may have climbed and swung through trees like chimpanzees do.
2020 end of year roundup science news wildfire pandemic coronavirus covid-19 salivary glands tubarial mitochondria in blood neanderthal dna in african genome first blood test for alzheimer's inclusivity black in x stem
The Biggest Science News of 2020
Kerry Grens | Dec 23, 2020
Neanderthal DNA surprises in modern humans, the first blood test for Alzheimer’s, a discovery of new human salivary glands, and, oh yeah, a pandemic
Ancient Beads Point to Far-Flung Relationships in Southern Africa
Shawna Williams | Jul 13, 2020
An isotopic analysis of eggshell beads dating back more than 30,000 years indicates that they helped build networks that stretched for hundreds of kilometers.
ixchel chan hol cenote cave skulls skeletons human remains ancient north american settlers mexico speleology
Skulls from the Yucatán Peninsula a Clue to Early American Settlers
Alejandra Manjarrez | Apr 7, 2020
The crania of individuals who lived in the Yucatán Peninsula during the late Pleistocene show a high degree of anatomical diversity among them, and their skull shapes differ from that of other North American populations of the time.
Africans Have More Neanderthal DNA than Previously Thought
Jef Akst | Jan 30, 2020
A new analysis of more than 2,500 human genomes indicates that modern Eurasians who acquired Neanderthal DNA during past interbreeding migrated back to Africa and spread those sequences.
skeleton teeth ancient hominin oral microbe dental plaque calculus
Caution Urged for Comparing Ancient and Modern Humans’ Oral Microbes
Alejandra Manjarrez | Aug 7, 2019
Microbial species that are commonly associated with oral diseases in modern humans are unreliable proxies for determining tooth health status in ancient samples, a new study finds.
ancient ring cereal clay archaeology dig site Austria grains circular
Image of the Day: Stale Cereal
Chia-Yi Hou | Jun 10, 2019
Archaeologists find ring-shaped objects made from grains at a site in Austria thought to date back to 960 BCE.
homo luzonensis teeth callao cave philippines
New Species of Human, Homo luzonensis, Identified in the Philippines
Katarina Zimmer | Apr 10, 2019
Thirteen hominin bones found in a cave are so unique that archaeologists have determined they stem from a distinct hominin species, although others question whether the researchers have enough evidence.
Vallerbæk Valley in Denmark
Modern Human Activities Muddle Analyses of Prehistoric Migrations
Anna Azvolinsky | Mar 22, 2019
Agriculture and other land uses can distort the levels of an earth mineral marker used to map the origins and movements of ancient humans and animals, a new study finds.
What Was Lost in the Fire that Destroyed Brazil’s Largest Museum
Marcia Triunfol | Sep 4, 2018
Scientists work to help relocate colleagues who lost everything.
Ancient Humans Had Hepatitis B
Abby Olena | May 9, 2018
Analyses of more than 300 ancient human genomes show that Hepatitis B virus has infected humans for at least 4,500 years and has much older origins than modern viral genomes would suggest.
Image of the Day: Pleistocene Footprints
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff | Mar 29, 2018
Researchers find impressions left by a human some 13,000 years ago in British Columbia.