DNA fragments from ancient hominins reveal new branches of the Denisovan lineage

It's widely accepted that anatomically modern humans interbred with their close relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans, as they dispersed out of Africa. But a study examining DNA fragments passed down from these ancient hominins to modern people living in Island Southeast Asia and New Guinea now suggests that the ancestry of Papuans includes not just … Read more

On the Sahara’s edge, the fight to protect children against measles

Health workers are doing their best to administer the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to poor children in eastern Chad. (Photo: AFP/Amaury Hauchard) ADRÉ, Chad: Dinar Tchere is fighting time and the sun, and he fears he may be losing. This morning, the health worker is expected in a remote village of eastern Chad, where he … Read more

Key gene involved in transmission of African sleeping sickness identified

Life scientists from UCLA and the University of Bern have identified a key gene in the transmission of African sleeping sickness — a severe disease transmitted by the bite of infected tsetse flies, which are common in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is fatal if untreated, as the parasite responsible moves from the bloodstream to the … Read more

Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey making mental health documentary for Apple

Harry, who had come close to a breakdown after the death of his mother Princess Diana when he was 12, has made mental health campaigning one of his priorities. Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attends a Commonwealth Day Youth Event at Canada House in London, Britain, March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS/Files Oprah … Read more

Helping, listening, caring: Japanese prefecture leads dramatic decrease in suicides

Taeko Watanabe, whose son Yuki who committed suicide in 2008, talks in front of his portrait at her home in Akita, Japan. (REUTERS/Elaine Lies) AKITA, Japan: Taeko Watanabe awoke one cold March night and found a trail of blood in the hallway, a bloody cleaver on her son Yuki’s bed and no trace of him in … Read more

Up to 1 in 13 boys in US have sex before adolescence

While it’s possible that as many as one in 13 boys in the U.S. have sex before reaching their teens, the chance that they will do this varies widely depending on where they live, a study suggests. Researchers examined data from two nationwide surveys – one with almost 20,000 male high school students and another … Read more

How a grade-school field trip led to Harvard professorship

Divinity School professor retains her grade-school wonder “We tend to think of the practices of academic life … as only disciplines of the mind, and in fact … they’re formative of who you are as a person,” says Divinity School Professor Anne Monius. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer For Anne Monius, an early field trip led to … Read more

Did ‘Beowulf’ have one author? Researchers find clues in stylometry

Breaking down ‘Beowulf’ In a bid to resolve one of literature's oldest mysteries, a team of researchers led by Harvard's Madison Krieger turned to stylometry. Photo by María F. Sánchez Researchers use statistical technique to find evidence that Old English poem had a single author It’s been a towering landmark in the world of English … Read more

Harvard study shows parrots can pass classic test of intelligence

Brainy birds Irene Pepperberg, a research associate in Harvard’s Psychology Department, with African grey parrot Griffin. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer Study shows parrots can pass classic test of intelligence Usually, calling someone a bird-brain is meant as an insult, but an African grey parrot named Griffin is rewriting the rules when it comes to avian … Read more

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