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8,000-Year-Old Mutation Key to Human Life at High Altitudes

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In an environment where others struggle to survive, Tibetans thrive in the thin air of the Tibetan Plateau, with an average elevation of 14,800 feet. A study led by University of Utah scientists is the first to find a genetic cause for the adaptation and demonstrate how it contributes to the Tibetans’ ability to live in low oxygen conditions. The work appears online in the journal Nature Genetics on Aug. 17, 2014.

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Beyond Po-TA-to and Po-TAH-to

The sounds of a 7,000-year-old language now echo through the halls of the University of Kentucky. Professors and students work together to reconstruct a spoken version of PIE (Proto-Indo-European).

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Boise State Engineering Professor Works to Help Solve Mystery Surrounding Portrait of a Mummy

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Using a $1.5 million ion beam microscope, a team of Boise State University materials scientists is analyzing a nano-sized fragment from a Roman-Egyptian mummy portrait to help discover its provenance.

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Excavation of Ancient Well Yields Insight Into Etruscan, Roman and Medieval Times

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During a four-year excavation of an Etruscan well at the ancient Italian settlement of Cetamura del Chianti, a team led by a Florida State University archaeologist and art historian unearthed artifacts spanning more than 15 centuries of Etruscan, Roman and medieval civilization in Tuscany.

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Collateral Damage to the Past

Countless lives have been lost due to civil wars, political instability, and conflict in the Middle East. While the world's attention is quite naturally focused on the human toll, the destruction of cultural heritage goes largely unreported.

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Did Lower Testosterone Help Civilize Humanity?

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A study of 1,400 ancient and modern human skulls suggests that a reduction in testosterone hormone levels accompanied the development of cooperation, complex communication and modern culture some 50,000 years ago.

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Lead in Teeth Can Tell a Body’s Tale, UF Study Finds

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Your teeth can tell stories about you, and not just that you always forget to floss.

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Smithsonian Scientist and Collaborators Revise Timeline of Human Origins

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A large brain, long legs, the ability to craft tools and prolonged maturation periods were all thought to have evolved together at the start of the Homo lineage as African grasslands expanded and Earth’s climate became cooler and drier. However, new climate and fossil evidence analyzed by a team of researchers suggests that these traits did not arise as a single package. Rather, several key ingredients once thought to define Homo evolved in earlier Australopithecus ancestors between 3 and 4 million years ago, while others emerged significantly later.

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Insect Diet Helped Early Humans Build Bigger Brains, Study Suggests

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Figuring out how to survive on a lean-season diet of hard-to-reach ants, slugs and other bugs may have spurred the development of bigger brains and higher-level cognitive functions in the ancestors of humans and other primates, suggests research from Washington University in St. Louis.

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In Human Evolution, Changes in Skin’s Barrier Set Northern Europeans Apart

The popular idea that Northern Europeans developed light skin to absorb more UV light so they could make more vitamin D – vital for healthy bones and immune function – is questioned by UC San Francisco researchers in a new study published online in the journal Evolutionary Biology.

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