Author: AnneH

The Disappearing Y: New Study Uncovers the History and Future of the Y Chromosome

It may be you've heard a rumor that males are on the brink of extinction. Whatever you may think of that prospect, the rumor is false. But over the past decade, numerous studies have hinted that the Y chromosome, a male necessity, is going the way of the dodo. Though other studies have suggested this ...

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Archaeologists Discover Early Example of Domesticated Camels

Most experts agree that the earliest examples of farming and animal domestication lie in the aptly named Fertile Crescent, in present day Iraq.  But still many questions have lingered over the years, especially with regard to remnants of farming or animal domestication that have not survived to the present ...

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DNA Analysis Confirms Remains of Famed 16th Century Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus is probably the second most famous astronomer in history (after Galileo). He is best known for being the first to propose that the Earth circles the sun, and not the other way around. His theory ran into one problem, however. It was contrary both to conventional wisdom and Roman ...

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People of the Veil: New Study Reveals Clues to Origins of the Nomadic Tuaregs

Not many people could survive the harsh conditions of the Sahara Desert.  Yet the Tuareg have lived in the the region for millennia. The Tuareg call themselves the Imazghan, meaning "free people." Today they are known for a distinctive dark blue turban worn by the men, and for their long history as ...

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Ancient DNA Analysis Reveals Family Ties in Ruins of Pompeii

On August 20, 79 AD, a series of small tremors and earthquakes began to shake the two ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.  Lying in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius — about 150 miles south of the Roman capital — the two cities were often hit by tremors and earthquakes, so most residents were ...

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New Study Reveals Complex Origins of the Malagasy

Only 250 miles separates the island of Madagascar from the southeast coast of Africa.  The short distance between the two land masses traditionally led the outside world to assume that the native inhabitants of Madagascar - known as the Malagasy - originally came from the west, probably from the present day ...

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23andMe’s New and Improved Paternal Haplogroups

Science is dynamic and ever changing. As new research is published, theories get revised, and hypotheses retested. The field of genetic ancestry is no exception: The flurry of published research just in the last five years has been staggering, and we can now piece together the histories of many groups from ...

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Recalibrating the Genetic Clock: Scientists Develop New and Improved Method for Timing Prehistoric Human Migrations Using Mitochondrial DNA

Just over 20 years ago, the first study using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to trace prehistoric human migrations was published. In this seminal study, scientists managed to determine that all humans alive today can trace their maternal ancestry back to one woman who lived about 200,000 years ago in Africa. The ...

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New Research on FOXP2 Gene in Mice Reveals Insights to Origins of Language in Humans

It is estimated that there are up to 8,000 distinct languages spoken around the world today.  At birth, the human mind is capable of learning and understanding any of these languages; an impressive feat given how uniquely complex they are.  The fact that humans are able to understand and communicate with one ...

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New Study Uncovers Genetics Behind “Bearded Lady Syndrome”

Congenital general hypertrichosis (CGH) is one of the most unusual genetic conditions found in humans. Sometimes known as "bearded lady syndrome," it leads to excessive hair across the body and face at levels much higher than the normal range for humans.  The condition has been of interest for hundreds of ...

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