Posts

March 30, 2015

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5:00 PM | Can anthropology defeat self-deception to build better apps?
Last September, I participated in the relaunch of Ignite NYC. These mini-presentations test your game by only allowing you five minutes and 20 slides to share your idea with audience. It’s... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:00 PM | Can anthropology defeat self-deception to build better apps?
Last September, I participated in the relaunch of Ignite NYC. These mini-presentations test your game by only allowing you five minutes and 20 slides to share your idea with audience. It’s... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:56 PM | Early Members of Genus Homo Varied Widely in Body Size
A new study published online March 26 in the Journal of Human Evolution suggests that the genus Homo has come in different sizes since its origins over 2 million years ago, and adds weight to the hypothesis that early human ancestors began to colonize Eurasia while still small and lightweight. The authors of the study, [...]

March 27, 2015

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1:32 PM | Why It Took Big Humans To Populate Europe
One of the dominant hypotheses of evolution is that our genus, Homo, evolved from small-bodied early humans to become the taller, heavier and longer legged Homo erectus that was able to migrate beyond Africa and colonize Eurasia. Not so, according to a new anthropology paper. read more

March 26, 2015

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2:00 PM | How Mayan Civilization Came Together
Archaeologists working in Guatemala have unearthed new information about the Mayan civilization’s transition from a mobile, hunter-gatherer culture to an agrarian lifestyle. Until now, there have been two common assumptions about Mayan civilization: that nomadic and sedentary groups maintained separate communities, and that public buildings were constructed only after a population had fully put down […] The post How Mayan Civilization Came Together appeared first on EH Science. […]

March 24, 2015

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8:00 PM | Big birthdays, big decisions
Have you got a big birthday coming up, one that ends in a zero? And have you made any major life decisions recently? Although we measure time using a continuous scale, research has shown that in the year before a milestone birthday, people are more likely to reflect on their lives and make significant changes.
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1:26 PM | Can We Interpret Smoking Habits in Historic Skeletal Remains?
This semester I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to teach an introductory archaeology course that I designed from scratch. This week of teaching is definitely my favorite […]

Walker, D. & Henderson, M. (2010). Smoking and health in London's East End in the first half of the 19th century, Post-Medieval Archaeology, 44 (1) 209-222. DOI: 10.1179/174581310X12662382629373

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March 20, 2015

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10:19 PM | Can Monkeys Get Depressed?
According to a new study from Chinese neuroscientists Fan Xu and colleagues, some monkeys can experience depression in a similar way to humans. The researchers studied cynomolgus monkeys, also known as crab-eating macaques (Macaca fascicularis), a species native to Southeast Asia. Cynomolgus monkeys are highly social animals. Xu et al. previously showed that isolating a monkey from its companions caused it to develop depression-like behaviors. In their new paper, the authors say that they'v

Xu F, Wu Q, Xie L, Gong W, Zhang J, Zheng P, Zhou Q, Ji Y, Wang T, Li X & Fang L (2015). Macaques exhibit a naturally-occurring depression similar to humans., Scientific reports, 5 9220. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25783476

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9:48 PM | Wealth and power may have played stronger role than ‘survival of the fittest’
In a study led by scientists from Arizona State University, the University of Cambridge, University of Tartu and Estonian Biocentre, researchers discovered a dramatic decline in genetic diversity in male […]
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8:43 PM | Where Did Kissing Come From?
Kissing is so commonplace that most people rarely think to stop and ask where humans picked up the habit in the first place. Where in humanity's evolutionary history did smooshing our faces together come to be regarded as a display of lust, care, friendship, and love?Read more...
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7:40 PM | These 500,000-Year-Old Tools Still Contain Traces Of Animal Fat
Archaeologists working in Israel have made an extraordinary discovery — the earliest instance of Lower Paleolithic-Acheulian stone bifaces and scrapers with the residue of elephant fat still on them. It's considered an archaeological first. Read more...

March 19, 2015

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1:30 AM | Research on Indigenous Australia
        Wiley, along with many of its publishing partners, is proud to present this collection of recent papers on the theme of ‘Research on Indigenous Australia’. As a leading publisher of Australian academic and scientific journals, including a large number of journals owned by Australian research and practitioner organisations, Wiley is in an […] The post Research on Indigenous Australia appeared first on Wiley Asia Blog.
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1:30 AM | Research on Indigenous Australia
        Wiley, along with many of its publishing partners, is proud to present this collection of recent papers on the theme of ‘Research on Indigenous Australia’. As a leading publisher of Australian academic and scientific journals, including a large number of journals owned by Australian research and practitioner organisations, Wiley is in an […] The post Research on Indigenous Australia appeared first on Wiley Asia Blog.
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1:30 AM | Research on Indigenous Australia
        Wiley, along with many of its publishing partners, is proud to present this collection of recent papers on the theme of ‘Research on Indigenous Australia’. As a leading publisher of Australian academic and scientific journals, including a large number of journals owned by Australian research and practitioner organisations, Wiley is in an […] The post Research on Indigenous Australia appeared first on Wiley Asia Blog.

March 18, 2015

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4:15 PM | Honduras pledges forest protection after discovery of ancient site
Earlier this month, National Geographic made big news: the discovery of what it called a 'lost city' below the thick jungles of Honduras. While the coverage has led to scientists crying sensationalism, it also resulted this week in a commitment of protection by the Honduras President, Juan Orlando Hernández, for a long-neglected portion of the country.
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12:00 PM | The Search For The Unicorn - Slightly Off Center
Biology concepts – teeth, narwhals, unicorns, bilateral symmetry, evolution, mechanosensing, asymmetryThe movie Legend starred Tom Cruise and Mia Sara, as well as a bunch of little people – you know, actors that were small, not small actors. The unicorn pair represented light and goodness, and kept the devil at bay. Until Mia got cocky and touched one. Then Cruise had to save the day.It’s no secret that some pretty odd and awful stories have come out of North Korea in the past […]

Christen AG & Christen JA (2011). The unicorn and the narwhal: a tale of the tooth., Journal of the history of dentistry, 59 (3) 135-42. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22372187

Kingsley, M. & Ramsay, M. (1988). The Spiral in the Tusk of the Narwhal, ARCTIC, 41 (3) DOI: 10.14430/arctic1723

Nweeia, M., Eichmiller, F., Hauschka, P., Donahue, G., Orr, J., Ferguson, S., Watt, C., Mead, J., Potter, C., Dietz, R. & Giuseppetti, A. (2014). Sensory ability in the narwhal tooth organ system, The Anatomical Record, 297 (4) 599-617. DOI: 10.1002/ar.22886

Dietz, R., Shapiro, A., Bakhtiari, M., Orr, J., Tyack, P., Richard, P., Eskesen, I. & Marshall, G. (2007). Upside-down swimming behaviour of free-ranging narwhals, BMC Ecology, 7 (1) 14. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6785-7-14

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March 17, 2015

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6:20 PM | The Remains Of Miguel de Cervantes Have Been Found In A Convent
The 400-year old remains of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, have been recovered, Spanish researchers reported today. Read more...
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3:45 AM | Devastation on the Roads of Cambodia
Just before I left Phnom Penh to travel to Laos, a gruesome photograph appeared in my Facebook newsfeed of a young man, laying on a hospital gurney with his eyes closed, intubated, arm dangling and covered in bandages, blood seeping through the linen. This image, posted by his sister, was accompanied by a desperate plea, “Please, brother, please live!”

March 15, 2015

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4:39 PM | Humans adapted to living in rainforests much sooner than thought
An international research team has shed new light on the diet of some of the earliest recorded humans in Sri Lanka. The researchers analyzed the carbon and oxygen isotopes in […]
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4:35 PM | Epoch-defining study pinpoints when humans came to dominate planet Earth
The human-dominated geological epoch known as the Anthropocene probably began around the year 1610, with an unusual drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide and the irreversible exchange of species between the […]

March 14, 2015

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8:28 PM | Genetic data gives a window into the slave trade
DNA from 17th century African skeletons unearthed in the Caribbean.

March 13, 2015

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6:58 PM | Early Foragers Thrived on ‘Rainforest Diet’ 20,000 Years Ago
According to a new study led by Patrick Roberts of the University of Oxford, UK, early human foragers relied primarily on rainforest resources from at least 20,000 years ago. The study, published in the journal Science, analyzed the carbon and oxygen isotopes in the teeth of 26 individuals, with the oldest dating back 20,000 years. [...]
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11:31 AM | How will automation transform our lives? - podcast
What will happen to human skill and sensibility as robots take on more tasks and aspects of human existence? What are the challenges facing inhabitants of remote Pacific Ocean islands, and why does 1610 mark a new human epoch? Continue reading...

March 12, 2015

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10:28 PM | What Makes Something Money? Today we know money as coins, bills,...
What Makes Something Money? Today we know money as coins, bills, and credit cards. But it wasn’t always this way. Over the centuries, money took many bizarre forms—from sea shells to cakes of salt to even giant stone discs, which date back some several hundred years on the island of Yap. HuffPost Science’s Jacqueline Howard reports. By: Talk Nerdy To Me.
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6:40 PM | Neanderthals Used Eagle Talons To Make Some Seriously Badass Jewelry
Archaeologists have identified a remarkable piece of Neanderthal jewelry comprised of eight white-tailed eagle talons. Worn 130,000 years ago, the discovery shows that Neanderthals were capable of making sophisticated ornaments long before modern humans appeared on the scene.Read more...
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1:20 PM | New App adds Virtual Flesh to Victorian-era Bone exhibit
Point your smartphone at the skeleton of a vampire bat mounted in a museum case, wait a minute and you will see it wiggle, jump […] The post New App adds Virtual Flesh to Victorian-era Bone exhibit appeared first on Smithsonian Science.

March 11, 2015

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9:04 PM | The Human Epoch: when did it start? | @BobOHara & @GrrlScientist
A new paper investigates when humans started screwing up the environment, and uses this as the symbol for the beginning of a new geologic age: the Anthropocene, or the Age of Humans.Humans, and scientists in particular, love classifying things. Biologists devised the Linnean system for stuffing species into neat boxes, and a Red List to classify species according to whether we’re killing them off (and to tabulate how we’re doing that). Geologists worked out the passage of time on […]

March 10, 2015

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1:06 PM | The Transition from Living to Dead in Neolithic Italy
I am a huge fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of novels. They are a perfect blend of intellectual references, irreverent creativity and humor that is perfect for breaking down the […]

Robb, J., Elster, E., Isetti, E., Knüsel, C., Tafuri, M. & Traverso, A. (2015). Cleaning the dead: Neolithic ritual processing of human bone at Scaloria Cave, Italy, Antiquity, 89 (343) 39-54. DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2014.35

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11:29 AM | Amid chaos of Libya, newly unearthed fossils give clues to our own evolution
A discovery of mammal fossils uncovered in the Zallah Oasis in the Sirt Basin of central Libya date back to the early Oligocene, between about 30 and 31 million years […]
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11:25 AM | Ancient fossils reveal diversity in the body structure of human ancestors
Recently released research on human evolution has revealed that species of early human ancestors had significant differences in facial features. Now, scientists have found that these early human species also […]
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