Polygamous Footprints in Our Genes

September 26, 2008
The practice of monogamy — the most popular mating practice on the planet today — is nothing new. In fact, anthropologists have found evidence of monogamous relationships in Homo erectus,...
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What it Means to be Human

September 24, 2008
What is it about humans that distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom?   Is it our upright walking?   Our language?   Our love of Reality TV?...
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More than Just a Parable: The Genetic History of the Samaritans

September 05, 2008
Upon hearing the name “Samaritans,” many people are immediately reminded of the famous passage from the Gospel of Luke (10: 25-37), the so called ‘Good Samaritan’ parable. Jesus tells of...
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Recommended Reading: Mapping Human History

September 04, 2008
For more than a century anthropologists have studied the multitude of cultures and ethnicities that exist across the globe, delving deep into the various ways that populations develop their own...
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Is That a Peacock Feather under your Coat … Or are You Just Happy to See Me?

August 21, 2008
An animal’s ability to survive often depends on how well it can avoid predators.   Many species of fish, birds, and mammals have evolved ingenious methods of staying hidden from...
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Genes and Languages: Not So Strange Bedfellows?

August 18, 2008
Throughout the history of our species there has been one constant:   movement.   Since the origin of Homo sapiens nearly 200,000 years ago in East Africa, humans have journeyed...
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Recommended Reading: “The Seven Daughters of Eve”

August 14, 2008
If anybody could turn the history of genetic anthropology into a page-turner, it would be Bryan Sykes. Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, has spent the...
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The Ultimate Trade-off: Genes, Environment, and Why We Crave Twinkies

July 22, 2008
Last week in the Spittoon we reported on a new study that identified an interesting genetic trade-off – a genetic variant known that has one effect on a person’s vulnerability...
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Iceland’s Deadly Disease Mystery

June 21, 2008
For the past 100 years, there has been a mysterious disease afflicting Icelanders. Called Hereditary Cystatin C Amyloid Angiopathy (or HCCAA), it causes severe brain hemorrhages and dementia in young...
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Haplogroups of the Rich and Famous

June 16, 2008
Jesse James Editor’s note: This post has been corrected from the original, which gave the incorrect location of Jesse James’ grave. One of the most engaging features of 23andMe’s Personal...
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