Humans

By Quill, Elizabeth | Science News, January 3, 2009 | Go to article overview

Humans


Quill, Elizabeth, Science News


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Domain of the dead An investigation of England's Stonehenge (shown above) reveals that the site served as a cemetery from its inception nearly 5,000 years ago until well after its large stones were put in place 500 years later (SN: 6/21/08, p. 13).

Shifting priorities Even the simplest multitasking disrupts a person's ability to drive a car safely, scientists show (SN: 5/10/08,19. 7).

Toddlers triumphant Studies of toddlers indicate that basic mental capacities, such as perceiving and exploring objects, give rise to youngsters' rapid grasp of object names (SN: 8/16/08, p. 12).

Commitment-phobia Scientists report a link between a common gene variant and some men's inability to form strong romantic relationships and avoid marital conflict (SN: 9/27/08, p. 12).

Hobbit wars Anthropologists continue to debate whether hobbits that lived on an Indonesian island about 90,000 to 12,000 years ago are a separate species, Homo floresiensis, or just small Homo sapiens. A study shows the hobbits display no signs of several growth disorders that would result in an unusually small brain (SN: 3/15/08, p. 165), (SN: 5/10/08, p. 7), (SN Online: 8/26/08).

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Deciphering DNA Researchers sequence the largest strand to date of Neandertal mitochondrial DNA, revealing that humans diverged from these relatives 660,000 years ago (SN Online: 8/7/08).

European roots A fossil jaw and tooth found in a cave in Spain date to between 1.2 million and 1.1 million years ago, yielding the earliest known skeletal evidence of human ancestors in Europe (SN: 3/29/08, p. …

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