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Artist’s rendering of a reflective metallic DNA double helix.
Humans Are Still Evolving Thanks to Microgenes
A study sheds light on the tiny genes that have evolved in human genomes since we split from our mammalian ancestors.
Humans Are Still Evolving Thanks to Microgenes
Humans Are Still Evolving Thanks to Microgenes

A study sheds light on the tiny genes that have evolved in human genomes since we split from our mammalian ancestors.

A study sheds light on the tiny genes that have evolved in human genomes since we split from our mammalian ancestors.

human evolution
Illustration of people dying from the Black Death
Genes that Aided Black Death Survival Linked to Autoimmunity
Jef Akst | Oct 20, 2022 | 2 min read
A new study points to repercussions of the Medieval pandemic for the health of modern humans.
illustration of virus particles and DNA strands
Ancient Viral DNA Plays a Role in Human Disease and Development
Aidan Burn, The Conversation | Oct 19, 2022 | 4 min read
Viral remnants make up 8 percent of the human genome, and a new study finds that these sequences are still active in healthy people.
illustration of DNA strands
Mitochondrial DNA Sneaks into Nuclear Genome
Holly Barker | Oct 17, 2022 | 3 min read
Genetic material pilfered from mitochondria may seal cracks in our genetic code, a study suggests.
Svante Pääbo with a skeleton
Svante Pääbo Awarded Nobel for Paleogenomics
Shawna Williams | Oct 3, 2022 | 3 min read
The geneticist’s accomplishments include sequencing Neanderthal DNA and leading the project that identified a new species of hominin, the Denisovans.
Various primate 
Science Snapshot: An Arm and A Leg
Lisa Winter | Aug 24, 2022 | 1 min read
3D modeling of 7 million-year-old hominin bones hints at bipedality occurring earlier than previously thought.
Elderly African man smiling
Famed “Turkana Boy” Discoverer Kamoya Kimeu Dies
Lisa Winter | Aug 19, 2022 | 3 min read
The paleoanthropologist was widely celebrated for his unmatched ability to find and identify fossils.
Woman with buns and blue sweater chewing gum, smiling, and stretching it out of her mouth.
The Energetic Cost of Chewing May Have Shaped Hominin Evolution
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Aug 17, 2022 | 4 min read
The simple act of chewing gum can raise the body’s metabolic rate by as much as 15 percent, a study finds.
Yves Coppens gives a speech at a lectern
Paleontologist and “Lucy” Codiscoverer Yves Coppens Dies at 87
Lisa Winter | Jul 11, 2022 | 2 min read
Coppens, alongside Donald Johanson and Maurice Taieb, found a 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis fossil in the 1970s.
Four fossil skulls<br><br>
South African Hominin Fossils Predate Lucy, Analysis Suggests
Andy Carstens | Jun 29, 2022 | 2 min read
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.
The fossil tooth found in the Annamite Mountains in Laos
Ancient Tooth Could Be Clue in Denisovan Migration Mystery
Andy Carstens | May 18, 2022 | 2 min read
The new fossil from Laos helps answer the question of how some people from Oceania carry DNA from the ancient hominin.
Composite image of earliest humans and wooly mammoths
New Evidence Complicates the Story of the Peopling of the Americas
Emma Yasinski | May 2, 2022 | 10+ min read
New techniques have shown that people reached the New World far earlier than the long-standing estimate of 13,000 years ago, but scientists still debate exactly when humans arrived on the continent—and how.
Illustrated map showing where evidence was found of the earliest humans
Infographic: Mixed Evidence on Human Occupation of the Americas
Emma Yasinski | May 2, 2022 | 3 min read
Diverse lines of evidence point to humans’ presence in the New World long before the dawn of Clovis culture. But rewriting this chapter of human history raises many questions about how these early people came to inhabit these continents.
Between Ape and Human book cover
Book Excerpt from Between Ape and Human
Gregory Forth | Apr 18, 2022 | 8 min read
In Chapter 7, “More Remarkable Encounters,” author Gregory Forth relays a story told to him by Tegu, a Lio man who says he found and disposed of a dead organism that might fit the description of an "ape-man."
Between Ape and Human book cover
Opinion: Another Species of Hominin May Still Be Alive
Gregory Forth | Apr 18, 2022 | 5 min read
Do members of Homo floresiensis still inhabit the Indonesian island where their fossils helped identify a new human species fewer than 20 years ago?
A photo of a skeleton on a black background
Ancient DNA Boom Underlines a Need for Ethical Frameworks
Amanda Heidt | Jan 27, 2022 | 10+ min read
The field of ancient DNA, which combines archaeology and anthropology with cutting-edge genetics, is requiring scientists to have frank conversations about when research is justified and who it benefits.
man in suit
Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey Dies at Age 77
Chloe Tenn | Jan 3, 2022 | 3 min read
The Kenyan fossil finder is known for his discoveries of various Stone Age artifacts and ancient human skulls and skeletons.
Opening of Leang Panninge cave in Indonesia
7,200-Year-Old Skeleton Offers Clues to Early Human Migration
Catherine Offord | Aug 29, 2021 | 2 min read
Analysis of DNA from remains found in an Indonesian cave provides new insight into human movements among the islands between East Asia and Australia.
A young Maurice Taieb looks at a fossil.
Maurice Taieb, Geologist Who Discovered “Lucy” Site, Dies at 86
Lisa Winter | Aug 27, 2021 | 2 min read
Taieb recognized the potential importance of the Hadar Formation, where remains of the hominin Australopithecus afarensis were found only a few years later.
3 by 5 grid of black and white photos of indigenous Filipino portraits
Indigenous Filipino Group Has Highest Known Denisovan Ancestry
Annie Melchor | Aug 13, 2021 | 3 min read
Researchers found the relatively high proportion of DNA from a hominin cousin—nearly 5 percent—when they scanned more than 1,000 genomes from 118 distinct ethnic groups.
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