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.

isotope testing
two quails
Chromosomal Rearrangement Linked to Less Mobile Quail
Chloe Tenn | Dec 7, 2021 | 5 min read
The Scientist interviews evolutionary biologist Carles Vilà about how a large genomic inversion detected in common quail affects the birds’ physical characteristics and migratory behaviors.
Ancient Beads Point to Far-Flung Relationships in Southern Africa
Shawna Williams | Jul 13, 2020 | 5 min read
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.
turmeric curcumin bangladesh lead poisoning yellow dye lead chromate
Yellow Dye in Turmeric Linked with Lead Poisoning in Bangladesh
Claire Jarvis | Dec 17, 2019 | 5 min read
Scientists track the spice from the soil to the market to pinpoint the source of contamination in pregnant women’s blood.
Vallerbæk Valley in Denmark
Modern Human Activities Muddle Analyses of Prehistoric Migrations
Anna Azvolinsky | Mar 22, 2019 | 4 min read
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.
Cheese Helped Fuel Early Farmers in Europe
Shawna Williams | Dec 1, 2018 | 4 min read
Scientists have found traces of the dairy product in 7,200-year-old pottery in Croatia.
Rat Remains Reveal Landscape Changes Wrought by Human Settlement of Polynesia
Shawna Williams | Sep 1, 2018 | 4 min read
Isotope changes in the bones demonstrate a similar pattern across far-flung islands.
Forensics 2.0
Bob Grant | Jan 1, 2017 | 5+ min read
Meet the researchers working to untangle the mystery of a Missouri home filled with bones by bringing cutting-edge technologies into the crime lab.
Infographic: Advancing Forensic Science
Bob Grant | Dec 31, 2016 | 1 min read
Forensic scientists have been using rudimentary molecular techniques for decades. But advanced forensic anthropology technologies and
methods are just now coming to the fore in some investigations.
Coral Clocks
Kerry Grens | Mar 1, 2013 | 4 min read
Uranium dating of coral tools used by the earliest settlers of the South Pacific island kingdom of Tonga offers unprecedented precision in reconstructing their history.
You Are Where You Eat
Sabrina Richards | Jul 1, 2012 | 4 min read
Laser-based isotope detection systems are moving into the realm of food authentication.
Warm-Blooded Dinos?
Jef Akst | Jun 24, 2011 | 1 min read
Evidence that large dinosaurs had body temperatures similar to modern-day mammals suggests they were either endothermic or extremely good at conserving body heat.
UK scraps nationality DNA-testing
Tia Ghose | Jun 20, 2011 | 1 min read
The UK’s immigration agency has abandoned a program to develop DNA and isotope testing to assess the nationality of asylum seekers.