Neanderthals Didn’t Give Us Red Hair But They Certainly Changed the Way We sleep

Geneticists have now firmly established that roughly two percent of the DNA of all living non-African people comes from our Neanderthal cousins. It’s difficult to imagine why our early ancestors would have mated with them. Neanderthals were a different species to us after all, and the thought of it seems distasteful to us today. Hindsight […]

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Our Uniquely Lopsided Brain

We all know that the human brain is ridiculously large, but how many of us realise that it’s lopsided as well? It turns out that the cockeyed shape of our brains is as important to understanding human evolution as its size is. The brain’s lopsidedness is most evident through our hand preferences. Roughly nine out […]

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Food for Thought? Diet Helps Explain Unique Human Brainpower

It’s the mystery of all mysteries of science. Why is it that humans are so unusual compared to all other life? The key to solving this riddle lies in explaining the evolution of our large brains and exceptional intelligence. For as long as humanity has been contemplating our existence we must surely have been struck […]

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Without Grandmothers We Might Not Be Here At All

As adults, we’re often nostalgic for our childhood. A time when life seemed so much simpler. When we were free from the hassles of money, pressures of work and responsibilities of family and care. When we were free to play and imagine people and worlds far from reality, and almost everything we did was new, […]

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Why Are Humans Unique? It’s the Small Things That Count

Can there be any more important a question than, ‘How did we get here?’ Of course, I don’t mean those books we all gawked at as tweens desperate to understand our transforming pubescent bodies. I mean, ‘How did we get here, as a species?’ ‘How did we come to be so different to all other […]

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The Long Reach of the Past: Did Prehistoric Humans Shape Today’s Ecosystems?

We all know that humans are having a massive impact on the planet. Our effects include altering the Earth’s rotation by damming large amounts of surface water; changing the composition of the atmosphere by punching a hole in the ozone layer and adding vast amounts of CO2, methane and other pollutants; transforming the composition and […]

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Our Ancient Obsession with Food: Humans as Evolutionary Master Chefs

Amateur cook-offs like the hugely popular MasterChef series now in its seventh season in Australia have been part of our TV diet for almost two decades. These shows celebrate the remarkable lengths we humans will go to to whet the appetite, stimulate the senses, fire our neural reward systems and sustain the body. Yet, few […]

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