blue-gloved hands pipetting from test tube
What’s Next for Ancient DNA Studies After the Nobel?
The award highlights tremendous opportunities for aDNA as well as challenges related to rapid growth, equity, and misinformation.
What’s Next for Ancient DNA Studies After the Nobel?
What’s Next for Ancient DNA Studies After the Nobel?

The award highlights tremendous opportunities for aDNA as well as challenges related to rapid growth, equity, and misinformation.

The award highlights tremendous opportunities for aDNA as well as challenges related to rapid growth, equity, and misinformation.

paleoanthropology
Svante Pääbo with a skeleton
Svante Pääbo Awarded Nobel for Paleogenomics
Shawna Williams | Oct 3, 2022
The geneticist’s accomplishments include sequencing Neanderthal DNA and leading the project that identified a new species of hominin, the Denisovans.
Elderly African man smiling
Famed “Turkana Boy” Discoverer Kamoya Kimeu Dies
Lisa Winter | Aug 19, 2022
The paleoanthropologist was widely celebrated for his unmatched ability to find and identify fossils.
Yves Coppens gives a speech at a lectern
Paleontologist and “Lucy” Codiscoverer Yves Coppens Dies at 87
Lisa Winter | Jul 11, 2022
Coppens, alongside Donald Johanson and Maurice Taieb, found a 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis fossil in the 1970s.
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.
Composite image of earliest humans and wooly mammoths
New Evidence Complicates the Story of the Peopling of the Americas
Emma Yasinski | May 2, 2022
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
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
Opinion: Another Species of Hominin May Still Be Alive
Gregory Forth | Apr 18, 2022
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 close-up of the eyespot on the wing of a forest mother-of-pearl butterfly (Protogoniomorpha parhassus)
Caught on Camera
The Scientist Staff | Apr 18, 2022
See some of the coolest images recently featured by The Scientist
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.
Collage of those featured in the article
Remembering Those We Lost in 2021
Lisa Winter | Dec 23, 2021
As the year draws to a close, we look back on researchers we bid farewell to, and the contributions they made to their respective fields.
A young Maurice Taieb looks at a fossil.
Maurice Taieb, Geologist Who Discovered “Lucy” Site, Dies at 86
Lisa Winter | Aug 27, 2021
Taieb recognized the potential importance of the Hadar Formation, where remains of the hominin Australopithecus afarensis were found only a few years later.
More Images
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.
Amazonian Secrets
The Scientist Staff | Sep 1, 2020
Watch researchers travel to a cave deep in the Amazon to search for clues about the first humans to populate the Americas.
Aquatic Apes?
The Scientist Staff | Apr 1, 2020
Watch Reading Frames author Peter Rhys-Evans and documentarian Sir David Attenborough discuss the book The Waterside Ape and the impact it may have on our understanding of human evolution.
Book Excerpt from The Waterside Ape
Peter Rhys-Evans | Apr 1, 2020
In Chapter 11, “Surfer’s Ear,” author Peter Rhys-Evans describes a key piece of evidence he says supports his hypothesis of a brief period of semi-aquatic living in early hominins.
Did Human Evolution Include a Semi-Aquatic Phase?
Peter Rhys-Evans | Apr 1, 2020
A recent book outlines fossil evidence supporting the controversial hypothesis.
decade 2019 2020 chimeras crispr neanderthal denisovan genome sequence ancient dna
What A Long, Strange Decade It’s Been
Bob Grant | Dec 20, 2019
For the past 10 years, life science has moved us closer to a complete understanding of what makes us human—our similarities, our differences, and our shared history.