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Lunel-Viel (Languedoc-Southern France). Victim of the plague thrown into a demolition trench of a Gallo-Roman house; end of the 6th-early 7th century. Source: 1990; CNRS - Claude Raynaud

Details of First Historically Recorded Plague Pandemic Revealed by Ancient Genomes

An international team of researchers have analysed human remains from 21 archaeological sites to learn more about the impact and evolution of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis during the...
The mass grave of 15 skeletons and grave goods at the Koszyce burial. Source: H Schroeder et al / PNAS.

5000-Year-Old Family Found In Mass Burial Was Brutally Murdered

New research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ( PNAS ) entitled “Unravelling ancestry , kinship, and violence in a Late...
Ancient secrets of medicinal mint unlocked through science. Source: Yü Lan / Adobe.

Medicinal Mint Decoded: Scientists Learn Ancient Secrets of Chinese Skullcap Mint

The precious chemistry of a plant used for 2000 years in traditional Chinese medicine has been unlocked in a project that raises the prospect of rapid access to a wide array of therapeutic drugs ...
DNA molecule representation

Ancient DNA Data Fills in Thousands of Years of Human Movement and Genetic Adaptation in Africa

By sequencing the ancient genomes of 15 individuals from different parts of Africa, researchers reporting in the journal Cell in September 2017 reconstructed the prehistory of humans on the continent...
Adam and Eve (rudall30 / Adobe Stock)

One Hundred Thousand Adams and Eves?

When the journalist Roger Lewin in 1987 dubbed the common maternal ancestor of all people living today “ Mitochondrial Eve ,” he evoked a creation story —that of a woman who was the mother of us all...
DNA molecule spiral structure with unique connection.

Study Proves Human Mutation Rate Is Slower Than Believed Posing New Date For Human-Neanderthal Separation

By Christina Troelsen / Science Daily Researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, and Copenhagen Zoo have discovered that the human mutation rate is significantly slower than for our closest primate...
Silhouette of a person under an arch. (CC0)  Background: DNA.

Twelve Degrees of Separation: Do Human Haplogroups Lead Us to Adam or Perhaps the Adityas?

From the creation of Adam, until the birth of Noah (as a significant proportion of the world believes), there are eleven generations of his line; Adam, Cain and his brother Abel, Seth, Enosh, Cainain...
First Americans, photo of mural in the Page Museum, Los Angeles by Travis S.

Previous Models of Ancient Populations in the Americas were ‘Unrealistically Simple’

A new genetic study of ancient individuals in the Americas and their contemporary descendants finds that two populations that diverged from one another 18,000 to 15,000 years ago remained apart for...
Neanderthal man at the Natural History Museum London

Spectacular Science! Lab-Grown Mini Neanderthal Brains Could Explain What Makes Humans Different

We’re living in an age when many people believe there are no limits to what technology can do. Apply that to paleogenetics and you’ll see research into ancient disease, the domestication of animals,...
A modern human, left, and Neanderthal woman, right.

Research Confirms that Neanderthal DNA Makes Up About 20% of the Modern Human Genome

Though it was disputed for many years, there is conclusive evidence that Neanderthals bred with modern humans (Homo sapiens). The first complete mapping of a Neanderthal genome took place about five...
 Preserved Megalapteryx (moa) foot, Natural History Museum

Extinct Bird with Dinosaur-Like Claw May Soon Be Resurrected

A clawed, flightless bird that went extinct in New Zealand in the late 13th century might be brought back to life, claim scientists at Harvard University. Nearly three decades ago, archaeologists...
Neanderthals (CC0)

Five Surprising Things DNA has Revealed About our Ancestors

Researchers recently used DNA from the 10,000-year-old “Cheddar Man”, one of Britain’s oldest skeletons, to unveil what the first inhabitants of what now is Britain actually looked like. But this isn...
Modern Humans Emerged More than 300,000 Years Ago New Study Suggests

Modern Humans Emerged More than 300,000 Years Ago New Study Suggests

A genomic analysis of ancient human remains from KwaZulu-Natal revealed that southern Africa has an important role to play in writing the history of humankind. A research team from Uppsala University...
Weakened Neanderthal amongst plant foodstuff

New Studies Clash with Previous Analyses On the Life and Fate of Neanderthals

Two new studies have emerged in the past week claiming to provide more details than ever about the Neanderthal’s genetic contribution to the modern population plus a new theory on how it eventually...
Egyptian sarcophagus containing mummified remains

The First Genome Data from Ancient Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Egyptians Were Most Closely Related to Ancient Populations from the Near East

An international team of scientists, led by researchers from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, successfully recovered and analyzed...
Vindija Cave in Croatia where Neanderthal DNA was found in cave sediment

DNA Can Now be Extracted from Dirt! New Tech May Solve Many Mysteries of Human Origins

An amazing technological innovation in the study of DNA has been called a ‘game changer’ in the research into ancient humans and hominids. It may solve many of the mysteries that exist in relation to...

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