Scientists Publish Largest-Ever Study on the Genetics of Modern Africans

April 30, 2009
When scientific research is published, the authors often confess that they wish they’d collected more data. Critical reviews of research studies often say the same thing. Indeed, if there’s anything...
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Recommended Reading: The Stuff of Life

April 29, 2009
I spent the better part of my undergraduate career lugging around massive biology textbooks.   General biology, genetics, embryology: It didn’t matter, they all weighed a ton. I pored over...
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The End of a Dynasty: How Inbreeding Doomed the House of Habsburg

April 17, 2009
The Royal House of Habsburg, one of the most powerful dynasties of Medieval and Renaissance Europe, reigned over much of Europe for centuries. Beginning in the early 12th century they...
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There’s More to Neanderthals than Meets the Eye

April 15, 2009
Over the past decade, there has been no shortage of studies focused on the relationship between Neanderthals and our own species, Homo sapiens. Researchers have dug deep into the fossil...
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New Study Provides More Genetic Evidence for Origins of African Pygmies

April 10, 2009
Ever since European explorers first came upon the African Pygmies in the mid-19th century, they have fascinated anthropologists and other researchers.   Their short stature (they rarely grow to over...
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The Genetics of Globalization

March 17, 2009
Before 500 years ago people rarely went far to find a mate, choosing a husband or wife from the locally available pool of men and women. But with the dawn...
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Don’t Call it a Comeback: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of the Human IRGM Gene

March 06, 2009
Throughout the course of human evolution, there have been plenty of firsts. Small changes in our genetic code have laid the groundwork for our bipedal gait, our large brains, and...
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History’s Mysteries: Finding Answers in our DNA

February 24, 2009
As we have shown time and again here at the Spittoon, our DNA can greatly illuminate the lives of our most ancient ancestors.   We’ve learned how the ancient Phoenicians...
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Leaving No Stone Unturned: DNA Analysis Confirms Identities of Missing Romanovs

February 23, 2009
There are many mysteries surrounding the final days of the last Emperor of Russia, Tsar Nicholas, and his family.   The most perplexing of them all is the fate of...
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Researchers Announce Draft Version of Complete Neanderthal Genome

February 12, 2009
First came the Human Genome Project when, in the year 2000, an international team of scientists began mapping all 23 pairs of our chromosomes.   Then in 2005, the Chimpanzee...
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