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Science and Technology

Ancient DNA is revealing the genetic landscape of people who first settled East Asia

Pulverized ancient bone can provide DNA to scientists for analysis. Xin Xu Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CC BY-ND

Pulverized ancient bone can provide DNA to scientists for analysis. Xin Xu Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CC BY-ND Melinda A. Yang, University of Richmond The very first human beings originally emerged in Africa before spreading across Eurasia about 60,000 years ago. After that, the story of humankind heads down many different paths, some more well-studied than others. Eastern …

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Latest updates: Apple is trying to reclaim its major innovator status (by making you wash your hands)

Apple

Apple Margarietha de Villiers Scheepers, University of the Sunshine Coast and Martie-Louise Verreynne, RMIT University Market commentators view Apple’s announcements at this week’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2020 (WWDC) as one of the company’s most important strategic moves of the past decade. Among the key announcements were details of the watchOS 7 – with a pandemic-inspired handwashing detection feature – and …

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Prehistoric desert footprints are earliest evidence for Homo sapiens on Arabian Peninsula

© Paul Breeze, Author provided

© Paul Breeze, Author provided Richard Clark-Wilson, Royal Holloway Humanity originated on the African continent at least 300,000 years ago. We know from fossil evidence in southern Greece and the Levant (modern-day Israel) that some early members of our species expanded beyond Africa around 200,000 years ago, and again between 120,000 to 90,000 years ago. They likely travelled through the …

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Fossil jawbone from Israel is the oldest modern human found outside Africa

Fossilized teeth from a modern human who lived in Israel close to 200,000 years ago. Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University, CC BY-ND

Fossilized teeth from a modern human who lived in Israel close to 200,000 years ago. Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University, CC BY-ND Rolf Quam, Binghamton University, State University of New York New fossil finds over the past few years have been forcing anthropologists to reexamine our evolutionary path to becoming human. Now the earliest modern human fossil ever found outside …

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Our fossil finger discovery points to earlier human migration in Arabia

: Ian Cartwright/Michael Petraglia/Palaeodeserts Project

: Ian Cartwright/Michael Petraglia/Palaeodeserts Project Huw Groucutt, University of Oxford The Arabian Peninsula is a vast landmass at the crossroads of Africa and Eurasia. Yet until the last decade almost nothing was known about early humans in the area. In the last few years the team I work with have made many remarkable discoveries in Saudi Arabia, but one thing …

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How flu changes within the human body may hint at future global trends

What can a single person’s flu infection tell you about how the virus changes around the world? Xue and Bloom, CC BY-SA

What can a single person’s flu infection tell you about how the virus changes around the world? Xue and Bloom, CC BY-SA Katherine Xue, University of Washington and Jesse Bloom, University of Washington Evolution is usually very slow, a process of change that takes thousands or millions of years to see. But for influenza, evolution is fast – and deadly. …

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How an Iraqi translation project is helping to rebuild science in the Arab world

Topkapi Palace Museum

Topkapi Palace Museum Paul Braterman, University of Glasgow Translations can change the course of civilisations. Caliph al-Mansour’s translation project, begun in the eighth century and accelerated under his grandson Harun al-Rashid, made available in Arabic scholarly writings from Greek, Aramaic, Persian and Indian sources, and laid the foundation for the flowering of science and philosophy in the Islamic world during …

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Turkey bans teaching of evolution – but science is more than a belief system

Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY

Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY James Williams, University of Sussex In the US there have been many attempts to expunge evolution from the school curriculm or demand that creationism – the idea that all life was uniquely created by God – is given equal treatment in science textbooks. While all these have failed, the government in Turkey has now banned …

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