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News About The Human Species
April 29, 2016
Chimp study explores the early origins of human hand dexterity
Hanover NH (SPX) Apr 28, 2016
Chimpanzees use manipulative dexterity to evaluate and select figs, a vital resource when preferred foods are scarce, according to a new Dartmouth-led study just published by Interface Focus. The action resembles that of humans shopping for fruits, and the study demonstrates the foraging advantages of opposable fingers and careful manual prehension, or the act of grasping an object with precision. The findings shed new light on the ecological origins of hands with fine motor control, a trait that ... read more

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Bigger brains led to bigger bodies in our ancestors
New research suggests that humans became the large-brained, large-bodied animals we are today because of natural selection to increase brain size. The work, published in the journal Current Anthropo ... more
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How the brain consolidates memory during deep sleep
Research strongly suggests that sleep, which constitutes about a third of our lives, is crucial for learning and forming long-term memories. But exactly how such memory is formed is not well underst ... more
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Brain observed filing memories during sleep
Rest and sleep are vital for brain health. New research suggests the brain uses downtime to consolidate memories, or transfer recent memories from one part of the brain to another - to back up its hard drive, so to speak. ... more
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Study: Some words sound farther away than others
Words have meanings beyond those found in the dictionary. The very sounds of the syllables that form everyday words carry symbolic meaning. ... more
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Are humans the new supercomputer
The saying of philosopher Rene Descartes of what makes humans unique is beginning to sound hollow. 'I think - therefore soon I am obsolete' seems more appropriate. When a computer routinely beats us ... more
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Study: Electrical brain stimulation enhances creativity
In a series of recent tests, team of psychologists and neurologists at Georgetown University showed electric brain stimulation can enhance creativity. ... more
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Headdress study highlights ancient hunter-gatherer rituals
Researchers in England have spent the last four years reconstructing ancient shamanic headdresses found at an Early Mesolithic archaeological site in North Yorkshire. ... more
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Humans likely delivered diseases to Neanderthals
The first humans out of Africa likely brought disease with them that infected the populations of Neanderthals they encountered in Europe and Eurasia. ... more
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The pyrophilic primate
Fire, a tool broadly used for cooking, constructing, hunting and even communicating, was arguably one of the earliest discoveries in human history. But when, how and why it came to be used is hotly ... more
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Primate evolution in the fast lane
The pace of evolution is typically measured in millions of years, as random, individual mutations accumulate over generations, but researchers at Cornell and Bar-Ilan Universities have uncovered a n ... more
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Neanderthal Y chromosome offers clues to what kept us separate species
Researchers reporting in the American Journal of Human Genetics, published by Cell Press, have completed the first in-depth genetic analysis of a Neanderthal Y chromosome. The findings offer new ins ... more
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Early humans colonized South America like an invasive species
The growth of early human societies in South America look a lot an invasive species' conquest of new habitat. ... more
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Global competition shows technology aids weight loss
A friendly international competition to encourage exercise using pedometers and online tools was successful in helping people lose weight and improve their fitness over the course of three months, researchers said Sunday. ... more
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Neuronal feedback could change what we 'see'
Ever see something that isn't really there? Could your mind be playing tricks on you? The "tricks" might be your brain reacting to feedback between neurons in different parts of the visual system, a ... more
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Study of Japanese hunter-gatherers suggests violence isn't inherent
There's plenty of evidence of violence perpetrated by and against early humans. Scientists have long grappled over the evolutionary significance of violence. Are violent conflict and warfare inherent? ... more
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Study: Indonesian 'hobbits' likely died out sooner than thought
Previous studies have suggested Indonesia "hobbits," Homo floresiensis, live alongside humans for several thousand years. ... more
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Diet shaped human evolution
Homo sapiens, the ancestor of modern humans, shared the planet with Neanderthals, a close, heavy-set relative that dwelled almost exclusively in Ice-Age Europe, until some 40,000 years ago. Neandert ... more
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Human ancestors explored 'out of Africa' despite impaired nasal faculties
In humans inhaled air is conditioned poorly in the nasal cavity in comparison with primates, such as chimpanzees and macaques, according a recent study published in PLOS Computational Biology. ... more
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World map of Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry in modern humans
Most non-Africans possess at least a little bit Neanderthal DNA. But a new map of archaic ancestry - published March 28 in Current Biology - suggests that many bloodlines around the world, particula ... more
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Australopithecus fossils found east of the Great Rift Valley
New fossils from Kenya suggest that an early hominid species - Australopithecus afarensis - lived far eastward beyond the Great Rift Valley and much farther than previously thought. An international ... more
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Caveman's best friends? Preserved Ice Age puppies awe scientists
The hunters searching for mammoth tusks were drawn to the steep riverbank by a deposit of ancient bones. To their astonishment, they discovered an Ice Age puppy's snout peeking out from the permafrost. ... more
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Boosting Synaptic Plasticity to Accelerate Learning
The body's branching network of peripheral nerves connects neurons in the brain and spinal cord to organs, skin, and muscles, regulating a host of biological functions from digestion to sensation to ... more
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Why did humans make more pottery after the last ice age?
Archaeologists believe pottery was invented by the people of ancient Japan some 16,000 years ago. But production was slow until the end the ice age. Around 11,500 years ago, the amount of pottery made by ancient hunter-gatherers rose dramatically. ... more
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Researchers find ancient DNA preserved in modern-day humans
Residents of the remote equatorial islands of Melanesia share fragments of genetic code with two extinct human species. That's the key finding of a new study published in the journal Science. An int ... more
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