Prehistoric human footprints reveal a rare snapshot of ancient human group behavior

The footprints of over 20 different prehistoric people, pressed into volcanic ash thousands of years ago in Tanzania, show possible evidence for sexual division of labor in this ancient community.

Briana Pobiner, Research Scientist and Museum Educator, Smithsonian Institution • conversation
May 14, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: anthropology paleontology archaeology human-evolution tanzania human-behavior paleoanthropology hominins prehistory behavior

What's the point of grief?

A bereavement counsellor on grief, loss and longing.

John Frederick Wilson, Honorary Research Fellow, Director of Bereavement Services Counselling & Mental Health Clinic, York St John University • conversation
May 13, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: evolution depression grief grieving evolutionary-biology trauma bereavement five-stages-of-grief

Lockdown challenges – what evolution tells us about our need for personal space

Freedom of movement for survival.

Isabelle Catherine Winder, Lecturer in Zoology, Bangor University • conversation
May 1, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: evolution primates zoos coronavirus self-isolation lockdown

The Sun: study shows it's less active than sibling stars – here's what that could mean

Has the Sun entered a stage of old age?

Andrew Norton, Professor of Astrophysics Education, The Open University • conversation
April 30, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: exoplanets stars stellar-evolution the-sun solar-flare space-weather coronal-mass-ejection

Play fighting helps equip animals for later life – new research

Female piglets with more play fighting experience did better in adult contests – but for males the opposite was true.

Gareth Arnott, Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Queen's University Belfast • conversation
April 28, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: evolutionary-biology pigs wild-boar

The coronavirus genome is like a shipping label that lets epidemiologists track where it's been

Every time the virus copies itself it makes mistakes, creating a trail that researchers can use to build a family tree with information about where it's traveled, and when.

Taylor Carter, PhD Student in Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina • conversation
April 27, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: epidemiology coronavirus viruses mutation-rate viral-evolution mutation wuhan coronavirus-2020 sars-cov-2 disease-spread viral-spread

Screens are keeping us connected now – but they're still disruptive to in-person communication

Research shows smartphone use disrupts an essential facet of human connection – eye contact.

Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, Professor of Psychology, Hunter College • conversation
April 15, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: parenting teamwork smartphones human-evolution homo-sapiens parents mobile-technology young-children cell-phones

Monkey teeth fossils hint several extinct species crossed the Atlantic

New research suggests African monkeys crossed the ocean to South America earlier than previously thought.

Isabelle Catherine Winder, Lecturer in Zoology, Bangor University • conversation
April 9, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  evolution  primates  palaeontology  monkeys  non-human-primates  palaeobiology

Social distancing increased over the course of human history – but so did empathy and new ways to connect

People have changed over time, growing ever more distant and isolated from others – while at the same time finding new ways and technologies that let individuals connect and feel with others.

Fritz Breithaupt, Provost Professor in Cognitive Science and Germanic Studies, Indiana University, Indiana University • conversation
April 8, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  human-evolution  cognitive-science  empathy  novels  evolutionary-psychology  grooming  robert-koch  social-connection  social-ties  social-distancing

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly mutating. What do this mutations reveal about this virus's evolution? And will this knowledge help us to develop a long-lasting vaccine?

Niema Moshiri, Assistant Teaching Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, University of California San Diego • conversation
April 6, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  evolution  vaccines  rna  coronavirus  mutation  covid-19  coronavirus2020

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