Posts

July 20, 2014

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7:43 PM | Babylonian Neurology and Psychiatry
A fascinating little paper in Brain examines Neurology and psychiatry in Babylon. It’s a collaboration by British neurologist Edward H. Reynolds and Assyriologist James V. Kinnier Wilson. The sources they discuss are almost 4,000 years old, dating to the Old Babylonian Dynasty of 1894 – 1595 BC. Writing in cuneiform script impressed into clay tablets, […]The post Babylonian Neurology and Psychiatry appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Reynolds EH & Kinnier Wilson JV (2014). Neurology and psychiatry in Babylon., Brain : a journal of neurology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25037816

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July 16, 2014

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7:07 PM | What can teeth tell us about our prehistoric ancestors?
Our distant past is just that: the distant past. It’s this murky place that science is slowly filling in but the landscape still largely exists just on the periphery of our imagination, and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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7:07 PM | What can teeth tell us about our prehistoric ancestors?
Our distant past is just that: the distant past. It’s this murky place that science is slowly filling in but the landscape still largely exists just on the periphery of our imagination, and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

July 15, 2014

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5:11 PM | “Rethinking Home” with Citizen Anthropologists
There is something to be said for having a space that you call home. It grounds you in social and cultural ways. As much as your home is a reflection of who you are, it also becomes a mirror for... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:11 PM | “Rethinking Home” with Citizen Anthropologists
There is something to be said for having a space that you call home. It grounds you in social and cultural ways. As much as your home is a reflection of who you are, it also becomes a mirror for... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:53 PM | Using the Dead to Understand Access to Water
As humans, we cannot survive without water. In the first world, we are privileged to have consistent access to fresh clean water. In many countries, access to water is based […]

Lightfoot, E., Šlaus, M. & O'Connell, T. (2014). Water consumption in Iron Age, Roman, and Early Medieval Croatia, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 154 (4) 535-543. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22544

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Editor's Pick

July 14, 2014

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7:48 PM | North America's First Foragers Hunted These Elephant-like Creatures
A recent archeological dig in Mexico shows that gomphotheres — an extinct elephant-like animal believed to have disappeared from North America long before humans got there — actually roamed the continent longer than previously thought. Incredibly, the new evidence suggests these large mammals were hunted by the Clovis people.Read more...
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6:18 PM | The Most Popular Sport in North America 900 Years Ago
Beneath the freeways of East St. Louis in Illinois there lie the ruins of a city built nearly a millennium ago, around towering earthen pyramids. Today called Cahokia, it held as many as 40 thousand people, and their influence spread throughout the southeast U.S. — mostly due the popularity of a game called chunkey.Read more...

July 13, 2014

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4:00 PM | The Ulterior Motive In Baboon Grooming
Social animals often develop relationships with other group members to reduce aggression and gain access to scarce resources. In wild chacma baboons the strategy for grooming activities shows a certain pattern across the day - they have ulterior motives. read more

July 12, 2014

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10:01 AM | Media and the Mind: Emotional Contagion
Social media has tremendous power to share ideas, information and emotions to almost anyone or any audience you choose to reach. In the past it was the high level of communication and trade that, […]

Kramer, A., Guillory, J. & Hancock, J. (2014). Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (24) 8788-8790. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1320040111

Woolley, A., Chabris, C., Pentland, A., Hashmi, N. & Malone, T. (2010). Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups, Science, 330 (6004) 686-688. DOI: 10.1126/science.1193147

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July 11, 2014

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7:28 PM | Humanity on a high
Altitude sickness comes from lack of oxygen in the atmosphere, but lack of oxygen can cause other complications. Despite this, some specific populations across the globe compensate through biochemical specialisations in the way their bodies operate. This is particularly obvious in tribes living the Andes or high up on the Tibetan plateau, some 4000m above […]
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2:50 PM | Apes vs. humans: Finding common ground
Is war ever truly inevitable?That question is central to “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” opening this weekend. The movie is the latest in the “Apes” drama series featuring a character named Caesar, an ape raised by humans who leads a simian rebellion against the human race.Fear and misunderstanding can easily lead to violence, says Emory political scientist Shawn Ramirez, an expert on conflict resolution. In this video, Ramirez considers the plot to “Dawn of the […]

July 10, 2014

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8:45 PM | Modern humans emerged from complex labyrinth of biology and peoples
Re-examination of a circa 100,000-year-old archaic early human skull found 35 years ago in Northern China has revealed the surprising presence of an inner-ear formation long thought to occur only in Neandertals. “The discovery places into question a whole suite of scenarios of later Pleistocene human population dispersals and interconnections based on tracing isolated anatomical …

July 09, 2014

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4:06 PM | Horse Bones, Chicken Bones… and Some Mystery Bones!
Sarah Kennedy is using animal remains to dig through Peru's colonial past. Sifting through the multitude of strange animal bones, she and her team find some that are a sheer mystery!
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3:19 PM | Say No to Nocebo: How Doctors Can Keep Patients’ Minds from Making Them Sicker
“First, do no harm,” the saying goes, but that might be close to impossible. Just as our expectations can make us feel better, they can also make us feel much worse. This means that how doctors phrase their instructions or introduce new drugs may have a real impact on our health. But some doctors are […]The post Say No to Nocebo: How Doctors Can Keep Patients’ Minds from Making Them Sicker appeared first on Inkfish.

Bingel, U. (2014). Avoiding Nocebo Effects to Optimize Treatment Outcome, JAMA, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.8342

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1:21 PM | Clothing the Dead in Ancient Peru
Why is clothing on the dead so important? Because what we choose to put on our bodies conveys social meanings about our wealth, our status, and the social groups we […]

Baitzel, S. & Goldstein, P. (2014). More than the sum of its parts: Dress and social identity in a provincial Tiwanaku child burial, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 35 51-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaa.2014.04.001

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12:30 PM | Science Of The Swarm: Crowdsourcing Crowd Behavior
Sociology is too uncontrolled to be meaningful science but controlled scenarios don't lead to realistic behavior.  The Virtual Environment Navigation lab at Brown University thinks they can bridge the gap between them. They have developed a wireless virtual reality system to study a phenomenon that scientists don't yet understand: how pedestrians interact with each other and how those individual behaviors, in turn, generate patterns of crowd movement. It's an everyday experience for all […]

July 08, 2014

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2:05 PM | 100,000-Year-Old Human Skull with Neanderthal-Like Inner Ear Found in China
Anthropologists are surprised by the presence of a unique inner-ear formation – long thought to occur only in Neanderthals – in an early human skull, dating back as far as 100,000 years and found at the Xujiayao site in Nihewan Basin, China. “The discovery places into question a whole suite of scenarios of later Pleistocene [...]
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1:11 PM | Indigenous Transitions: From Behind the Lens
National Geographic Young Explorer Hannah Reyes is studying and visually documenting the transitions to modernity of indigenous culture in the Northern Philippines. The project's cinematography director, Bianca Natola, has created a video that shows the team's moments in the field.

July 07, 2014

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5:36 PM | Teen Dating Violence: Girls More Likely To Be Aggressors And Victims
When did teen dating get so violent? It used to be the kind of thing that was a plot linchpin for movies but now estimates are that 1 in 6 young people report acts like punching, pulling hair, shoving, and throwing things. read more
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12:59 AM | Why We Grew Bigger Brains - To Stop Having To Eat Bugs
If you call yourself a paleo diet aficionado, you probably eat a lot of bugs. As many as you can. Because finding enough food was the kind of struggle only dinosaurs can sympathize with - an ant diet is a struggle.read more

July 05, 2014

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2:07 PM | Chimps Develop Traditions: How Grass In Ears Started A New Fashion Trend
Chimpanzees are copycats but sometimes it is more than copying, it becomes new traditions particular to only one specific group of these primates, according to a paper in Animal Cognition.  In 2010, Edwin van Leeuwen of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in The Netherlands  noticed how a female chimp named Julie repeatedly put a stiff, strawlike blade of grass for no apparent reason in one or both of her ears. She left it there even when she was grooming, playing or […]

July 04, 2014

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9:30 PM | Our distant hominid ancestors were far more human-like than we thought.
Our distant hominid ancestors were far more human-like than we thought. A revision of the human origins timeline shows that many traits, like long limbs, a large brain, and the ability to craft tools, did not arise at the same time. Surprisingly, some traits appeared as long as 3 to 4 million years ago.Read more...
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7:33 PM | A Look at the Accuracy of Dental Age Estimation Charts
So it’s now the 4th of July and I haven’t created a new skull of the month and I don’t think I will. Over the past few months I’ve been really rubbish at updating my blog and the reason behind that – I’ve been applying for jobs and working out what I’m going to do […]
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5:49 PM | Many People Would Rather Do The Wrong Thing Than Nothing
In business, the saying goes there are good decisions, bad decisions and no decisions, and they are in that order of being problematic. This lacks common sense to some; how can doing the wrong thing be better than doing no thing? Companies who don't try and fail are not trying enough, that's why. Most people would rather do something than nothing. Disney theme parks know this. You may may be in line for an hour but you are always moving. And then psychologists say we're just not comfortable in […]
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3:52 PM | Homo’s evolutionary adaptability: timeline of human origins revised
Many traits unique to humans were long thought to have originated in the genus Homo between 2.4 and 1.8 million years ago in Africa. Although scientists have recognized these characteristics for decades, they are reconsidering the true evolutionary factors that drove them. A large brain, long legs, the ability to craft tools and prolonged maturation …
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3:41 PM | Insect diet helped early humans build bigger brains
Figuring out how to survive on a lean-season diet of hard-to-reach ants, slugs and other bugs may have spurred the development of bigger brains and higher-level cognitive functions in the ancestors of humans and other primates. “Our work suggests that digging for insects when food was scarce may have contributed to hominid cognitive evolution and …

July 03, 2014

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6:01 PM | Human Evolution Rewritten: We owe our existence to our ancestor’s flexible response to climate change
Many traits unique to humans were long thought to have originated in the genus Homo between 2.4 and 1.8 million years ago in Africa. A […] The post Human Evolution Rewritten: We owe our existence to our ancestor’s flexible response to climate change appeared first on Smithsonian Science.

July 02, 2014

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5:50 PM | A Fascinating Study of How Creationists Understand Early Human Fossils
Young-earth creationists don't ignore science. Instead, they reinterpret it to fit their belief system. One paleontologist was curious to find out what they teach about human ancestry, and how they interpret early human fossils. Here's what he found out.Read more...
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1:37 AM | DNA analysis reveals Bigfoot is a big fake | @GrrlScientist
A newly-published genetic analysis of hair samples suspected as being from a cryptic primate known by various names such as "bigfoot" or "yeti", has revealed they actually originated from dogs, horses, bears or other well known mammals. A newly-published genetic analysis of hair samples suspected as being from a cryptic primate known by various names such as "bigfoot" or "yeti", has revealed they actually originated from dogs, horses, bears or other, well known, mammals. The analysis was […]

Sykes B.C., Mullis R.A., Hagenmuller C., Melton T.W. & Sartori M. (2014). Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0161

MacLeod N. (2014). Molecular analysis of ‘anomalous primate’ hair samples (commentary), Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0843

Hailer F., B. M. Hallstrom, D. Klassert, S. R. Fain, J. A. Leonard, U. Arnason & A. Janke (2012). Nuclear Genomic Sequences Reveal that Polar Bears Are an Old and Distinct Bear Lineage, Science, 336 (6079) 344-347. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1216424

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