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The hand of a person with Viking’s disease, a.k.a. Dupuytren’s contracture, a condition of the hand that can cause some of a person’s fingers to become permanently bent at an angle. Source: Artwell / Adobe Stock

‘Viking’s Disease’ Hand Condition Traced Back to Ancestral Neanderthals

Researchers have discovered a link between Neanderthal genetic material and an unusual health disorder that affects modern humans. The disorder in question is Dupuytren’s disease, a.k.a. Viking’s...
Redheads have attracted unwanted attention throughout history. Source: Anastasiia / Adobe Stock

Redheads Have Been Scarlet Underdogs Throughout History

Whether you call them carrot tops, strawberry blondes or gingers, redheads have attracted unwanted attention throughout history. The target of objectification and abuse, animosity towards fiery locks...
Hairless cat and a human hand. Source: vita / Adobe Stock

How and Why Humans (and Other Mammals) Lost Most of their Body Hair

For decades scientists have been puzzled and intrigued by a most fascinating question, which is: why do human beings have so much less body hair than other primates, and most other land mammals in...
We have remains of Tibetan Plateau Denisovans, who lived for long periods in this landscape. But now we know that they passed their high-altitude adaptability genes on to Tibetans and other peoples that ultimately settled in the Himalayas.						Source: zah108 / Adobe Stock

Tibetan Plateau Denisovans Gave Modern Tibetans Altitude Superpowers

Little is known about our extinct archaic hominin cousins, the Denisovans, who populated Asia during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic, due to limited DNA fragments and evidence. This makes...
Do you have royal genes? Source: master1305 / Adobe Stock

Do You Have Royal Genes? Almost Certainly, Statisticians Say

For the past 18 seasons, viewers of the BBC television show “Who Do You Think You Are?” have been watching with interest as guests from all walks of life discover surprising facts about their genetic...
Is it possible the ancient Greeks knew of the New World thousands of years ago? Courtesy Christos A. Djonis

The Legendary Hyperborea and the Ancient Greeks: Who Really Discovered America?

In his story of Atlantis, written at around 360 BC, Plato mentioned a grand island or continent across the Atlantic, one larger than Libya and Asia combined. This continent was so enormous, he said...
Anglo-Saxon chieftain. Who were the Anglo-Saxons? Source: Archivist /Adobe Stock

Who were the Anglo-Saxons? Peaceful Settlers or Barbarians?

The skull shapes of ancient Anglo-Saxons have revealed that they were bonded not so much by genetic heritage as their shared language and culture. What they farmed and how they fought is well...
Innovative DNA analysis has unlocked genetic secrets to human history in the Americas. Source: svetlaborovko / Adobe Stock

Decade of DNA Analysis Reveals Astonishing Truths About Our Past

It was a little over a decade ago that the evolutionary biologist Eske Willerslev successfully applied innovative DNA analysis and decoding technology to unlock genetic secrets from the past. In that...
Discovery of Genetic Mutation Separating Humans and Neanderthals

Discovery of Genetic Mutation That Separates Humans and Neanderthals

An international team of scientists representing Russia, Germany, and the United States have found a unique mechanism at work in the DNA of human beings that helped shape our species’ evolution, the...
10,000-years-ago Irish Hunter-Gatherers Were Dark-Skinned

10,000-years-ago Irish Hunter-Gatherers Were Dark-Skinned

RTÉ, Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster, recently brought to our screens filmmaker Katrina Costello’s bold and groundbreaking two-part documentary – The Burren: Heart of Stone ...
10,000-Year-Old Dog Bone Supports Theory of Coastal Route to the Americas

10,000-Year-Old Dog Bone Supports Theory of Coastal Route to the Americas

Researchers have found the oldest known dog remains in the Americas and they believe the ancient dog bone fragment reveals how the canine and its brethren likely reached that part of the world. How...
Mammoth DNA Breaks Record for World’s Oldest Sequence

Mammoth DNA Breaks Record for World’s Oldest Sequence

Researchers have sequenced the oldest known DNA in the world. Using material from the Early and Middle Pleistocene sub-epochs, the ancient DNA analysis shatters the record for the world’s oldest...
Evolutionary geneticists conducting a genome study have found that Neanderthals had a lower pain threshold than the majority of modern humans. Source: proct_ab / Adobe Stock

Do You Have a Low Pain Threshold? Blame Your Neanderthal Genes

Researchers believe that Neanderthals had a lower pain threshold than modern humans. A study has shown that because of genetic mutations our extinct relatives were more sensitive to pain. We...
Wild Atlantic way, Sligo, Ireland. Is Ireland the legendary Atlantis? Source: Bruno Biancardi /Adobe Stock

Ireland as Atlantis – Ancient Egyptian and Greek Clues

Read Part One Here Scientists used to work on the assumption that Ireland was completely frozen over during the Ice Age, and therefore uninhabitable, until around 10,000 years ago. This assumption...
The researchers found surprising examples of genetic continuity of ancient Andean genes to some modern groups. Source: SL-Photography /Adobe Stock

Ancient Andean Genes Reveal DNA Continuity Amid Cultural Clashes

An international research team has conducted the first in-depth, wide-scale study of ancient Andean genes before European contact. The findings, published online May 7 in Cell , reveal early genetic...
Research shows that Egypt’s pyramids and other megaliths worldwide are able to collect and focus electromagnetic energy. Could this be linked to accessing genetic memory and savant-like abilities? Pictured: a representation of the power of the mind. Source: agsandrew / Adobe stock

How the Ancients Accessed Genetic Memory and Savant-Like Abilities

The concept known as “genetic memory” is much less studied and far more controversial than what we know as “regular” memory. Whilst there are a multitude of other examples in animals (see: Gallagher...
Young chimpanzee. On Right - Human Embryo. Source: Left, Public Domain; Right, CC BY-SA 2.0.

World’s First Human-Monkey Hybrid Created In China

A team of American and Spanish scientists relocated to China to jump European laws and they have created the world’s first human-monkey embryo, in the next step in the controversial breeding of...
Representative image of a Denisovan. Several studies have recently explored the spread of Denisovan genes. Source: ginettigino /Adobe Stock

March of the Denisovans: Evidence of Archaic Human Gene Now Detected In the Orient

The Denisovan story keeps evolving. This group of ancient hominins has been something of a mystery ever since they were first discovered in 2010 as an extinct sister group to the Neanderthals. Bits...
A skull from a 10th-9th century BC burial in the excavation of the Philistine cemetery in Ashkelon. New research on Philistine DNA reveals their southern European origins. Source: Tsafrir Abayov/Leon Levy Expedition

DNA Shows Biblical Philistines Came From Europe

New research on Philistine DNA reveals that the Biblical enemies of the Israelites were newcomers to the region in the 12th century BC. Where did they come from? Their genes suggest Southern Europe...
A new study explores why humans are ‘the fat primates.’ Source: Vadym / Adobe Stock

What Made Humans 'The Fat Primate'? (It’s Far Deeper Than Diet)

Blame junk food or a lack of exercise. But long before the modern obesity epidemic, evolution made us fat too. "We're the fat primates," said Devi Swain-Lenz, a postdoctoral associate in biology at...
Neanderthals and woolly mammoths seem to have shared more than just an environment.

Convergent Evolution: Neanderthals and Woolly Mammoths May Have Shared Genetic Traits

A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that the genetic profiles of two extinct mammals with African ancestry - woolly mammoths, elephant-like animals that evolved in the arctic peninsula of...
‘Indian Barbers Saharanpore’ by Edwin Lord Weeks. Scientists have recently found just how diverse both Indian and Jewish genes really are.

Unity in Diversity: Studies Reveal Surprising Stories for the Genes of Ancient Hindus and Jews

New research using ancient DNA is rewriting the genetic history of two ancient peoples; the Hindus and the Jews - and it shows that their two religious civilizations are the result of multiple...
Three different Jewish people giving Selichot prayers at the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem

Can Jewish People be a Nation, and a Religion, and a Race?

Although Jewish people usually, but not always, share a common gene pool, they are not a race because any non-Jew who converts to Judaism will be recognized as being Jewish by all those rabbis who...
Prehistoric Man Hunting Bears by Emmanuel Benner the Younger.

Neolithic Male Genetic Diversity Plummeted – Here’s Why

Starting about 7,000 years ago, something weird seems to have happened to men: Over the next two millennia, recent studies suggest, their genetic diversity - specifically, the diversity of their Y...

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