The Evolution of a Theory: Darwin and Evolution 150 Year Later

February 12, 2009
Biology has changed a lot over the past 150 years. Scientists have discovered entirely new forms of life, deciphered the molecular code of heredity and observed the machinery of life...
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Bicentennial Birthday: Darwin Day 2009!

February 11, 2009
Put on your party hat.   Tomorrow, in universities and public auditoriums, at festivals and museums, people around the world will be celebrating the life and works of one of...
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Thinking Outside the Box: Bacterial Genetics and the Peopling of the Pacific

January 22, 2009
Not all bacteria are bad.   Sure, there are plenty of nasty bugs that can make life pretty unpleasant; the ones that cause leprosy, anthrax, and cholera immediately come to...
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Reading Between the Lines: An Unlikely Use for Mitochondrial DNA Analysis

January 13, 2009
At the Spittoon we love to hear how scientists are using our DNA to unlock the mysteries of our ancestors.   In fact, hardly a week goes by when we...
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One if by Land, Two if by Sea: New Genetics Study Indicates Multiple Paleo-Indian Migration Routes

January 08, 2009
It seems like new discoveries about the peopling of the Americas are a dime a dozen these days.   Without a doubt, the journey those first Americans took from the...
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Across the Pillars of Hercules: Recent Study Confirms Prehistoric Connection between Iberia and North Africa

January 07, 2009
Less than eight nautical miles wide, the Strait of Gibraltar is an easily surmountable barrier between northwest Africa and Spain. Military invaders such as Hannibal of Carthage and the caliphs...
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What’s in a Name: Surnames and the Y-Chromosome

December 29, 2008
My surname – Holden – has gone through many incarnations since it originated in England nearly 700 years ago.   Letters were added, then dropped.   Some branches of my...
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Hidden in Plain Sight: New Genetic Discoveries Shed Light on the Spread of Farming in Eastern Europe

December 24, 2008
Before genetics came into the picture, researchers interested in the introduction of agriculture to Europe had only the archaeological record to go on – a limited collection of primarily stone...
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X Marks the Spot: New Study Reveals Value of X-Chromosome in Tracing Prehistoric Human Migrations

December 22, 2008
In the world of genetic anthropology, mitochondrial DNA and the Y-chromosome are the major players.   They are regions of our genome scientists use most frequently when tracing both ancient...
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Where Today Meets Yesterday: A New Approach to Studying the Genetic History of Southeast Asia

December 10, 2008
Archaeologists rarely agree on anything.   So it’s no surprise that for years two groups of scholars have drawn completely opposite conclusions about the relationship between the ancient people of...
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