Four fossil skulls
South African Hominin Fossils Predate Lucy, Analysis Suggests
A newer dating technique using cosmogenic isotopes finds Australopithecus remains from the Sterkfontein caves to be about 1 million years older than previous estimates, potentially changing scientists’ understanding of humanity’s origins.
South African Hominin Fossils Predate Lucy, Analysis Suggests
South African Hominin Fossils Predate Lucy, Analysis Suggests

A newer dating technique using cosmogenic isotopes finds Australopithecus remains from the Sterkfontein caves to be about 1 million years older than previous estimates, potentially changing scientists’ understanding of humanity’s origins.

A newer dating technique using cosmogenic isotopes finds Australopithecus remains from the Sterkfontein caves to be about 1 million years older than previous estimates, potentially changing scientists’ understanding of humanity’s origins.

ABOVE: Jason Heaton and Ronald Clarke, in cooperation with the Ditsong Museum of Natural History
Biomedical Research, evolution, ecology
Close-up of the head of the Aldabra Giant Tortoise. Her face is dirty from eating grass on a sandy beach.
How Slow Can You Go?
Hannah Thomasy | Jun 23, 2022
Two studies show negligible rates of aging in some types of turtles and other cold-blooded creatures, but that doesn’t mean they’re immortal.
beagle
Research Beagle Facility Ordered to Clean Up, Halt Breeding
Andy Carstens | Jun 20, 2022
A federal judge ruled that Envigo can finalize the sales for 500 of its remaining 3,000 research dogs, but it needs to improve the safety and health of the animals remaining at its facilities while federal officials decide their fate.
John Glass describes why researchers constructed a synthetic unicellular organism and how it unravels the secrets of evolution.
The Scientist Speaks - DIY Cells: Understanding Life with a Synthetic Minimal Cell
Sejal Davla, PhD | Feb 25, 2022
John Glass describes why researchers constructed a synthetic unicellular organism and how it unravels the secrets of evolution.
Black and white photo of excavation<br><br>
Black Death Likely Originated in Central Asia
Andy Carstens | Jun 15, 2022
Genetic testing of people who died in Kyrgyzstan eight years before plague reached Europe reveals an ancient strain of the bacterium Yersinia pestis.
teabag with green tag on a white background
Spilling the Tea: Insect DNA Shows Up in World’s Top Beverage
Shawna Williams | Jun 14, 2022
The Scientist speaks with Trier University’s Henrik Krehenwinkel, whose group recently detected traces of hundreds of arthropod species from a sample of dried plants—in this case, the contents of a tea bag.
Uncovering Ancient Residual DNA
Uncovering Ancient Residual DNA
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Aug 27, 2021
A look at how ancient events crafted modern human DNA and their potential impact on human health.
A rooster crowing in a tree
Domesticated Chickens Were Initially Friends, Not Food
Amanda Heidt | Jun 7, 2022
Analyses of bones found across the world suggest that the birds entered human settlements more recently than previously thought. But they don’t seem to have immediately made their way to the table, raising questions as to why people started keeping them.
early giraffe relative at the bottom and modern giraffes at top
“Necks for Sex” May Explain Giraffes’ Distinctive Anatomy 
Andy Carstens | Jun 3, 2022
An analysis of skull and vertebrae fossils suggests that an early relative of giraffes butted heads to compete for mates, which may reveal why modern giraffes are so throaty.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast – Episode 6
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Jun 30, 2020
A Game of Cancer and Evolution
GFP highlighting mouse neurons
Science Snapshot: How Brains Handle Surprise Parties
Lisa Winter | Jun 3, 2022
When unexpected events occur, norepinephrine signals mouse brains to pay attention to key details.
Ribbon weed meadow in Shark Bay, Western Australia
World’s Largest Organism Discovered Underwater
Andy Carstens | Jun 2, 2022
Off the western Australian coast, in Shark Bay, a field of seagrass big enough to cover Washington, DC, has flourished for more than four millennia, a new study finds.
A pair of zebra finches in a cage
Animal Divorce: When and Why Pairs Break Up
Catherine Offord | Jun 1, 2022
Many species of birds and other vertebrates form pair bonds and mate with just one other individual for much of their lives. But the unions don’t always work out. Scientists want to know the underlying factors.
An artist's rendering of the ancient arthropod Erratus sperare
Anatomical Firsts in Early Arthropods
Clare Watson | Jun 1, 2022
A team of scientists have discovered an ancient arthropod that may show the origins of branched limbs and the first gill-like breathing structures in the clade.
Infographic showing genetic and social monogamy in birds
Infographic: A New Look at Monogamy Across the Animal Kingdom
Catherine Offord | Jun 1, 2022
Advances in genetics in recent years has revealed that many apparently exclusive pairs in fact sometimes mate with individuals other than their partner, but social monogamy is widespread.
Illustration of a Tyrannosaurus rex on a rock on a mountain
Most Dinosaurs Were Warm-Blooded After All
Catherine Offord | May 26, 2022
Endothermy was widespread among both avian and non-avian dinosaurs, a study suggests, so the metabolic strategy is unlikely to account for birds’ survival through the mass extinction event that wiped out their dinosaur cousins.
Salamander on log
Science Snapshot: Free Fallin’ Salamanders
Lisa Winter | May 26, 2022
Arboreal salamanders use skydiving techniques to avoid smashing to the ground after a fall.
Outlines of people in multiple colors
HHMI to Award More than $1 Billion to Promote Equity in Research
Andy Carstens | May 26, 2022
A new program will provide 150 early-career scientists committed to advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity up to $8.6 million each.
portrait of Marilyn Fogel in front of bookcase
Marilyn Fogel, Biogeochemist and “Isotope Queen,” Dies at 69
Andy Carstens | May 25, 2022
Fogel mined information from isotopes to explore modern and ancient ecosystems, climatic changes, and evolution.
The fossil tooth found in the Annamite Mountains in Laos
Ancient Tooth Could Be Clue in Denisovan Migration Mystery
Andy Carstens | May 18, 2022
The new fossil from Laos helps answer the question of how some people from Oceania carry DNA from the ancient hominin.