science
One of the Last Mammoths on Earth Was So Mutated, It Lost the Ability to Smell Flowers

The vast majority of woolly mammoths went extinct at the end of the last ice age, but small, isolated populations managed to hold out for a little while longer. New research uncovers the extent to which at least one of these final mammoths suffered due to its many mutations. Read More >>

science
All Humans Are a Little Bit Neanderthal, According to New Research

We’re all a little Neanderthal. That’s the conclusion of a study that used a new statistical technique to revise estimates of the degree to which modern humans have retained Neanderthal DNA. The research suggests that even people of African descent have Neanderthal heritage, something that was previously in doubt. Read More >>

science
Newly Sequenced Giant Squid Genome Raises as Many Questions as It Answers

One the most intriguing and mysterious creatures on the planet – the giant squid – has finally had its genome fully sequenced. But while the genome is helping to explain many of its distinguishing features, including its large size and big brain, we still have much to learn about this near-mythical beast. Read More >>

genetics
A Genetic Mutation is Responsible for Mysterious Deaths in the American Amish Community, Researchers Say

In a new paper this week, doctors at the Mayo Clinic say they’ve uncovered the cause of a mysterious heart condition that had suddenly killed over a dozen young, healthy members of a tight-knit Amish community in the United States. The culprit? A previously undiscovered genetic mutation that runs in families. Read More >>

science
Your Genes Suck at Predicting Your Health, Study Finds

A new study this month is the latest to suggest that our genes really don’t do much to predict our health, at least most of the time. Read More >>

genetics
Scientists Reconstruct ‘Lola’ After Finding Her DNA in 5,700-Year-Old ‘Chewing Gum’

Scientists in Denmark have squeaked out an entire human genome from a prehistoric piece of “chewing gum.” Made from birch tar, the 5,700-year-old gum also contained evidence of diet and disease and is providing a remarkable snapshot of life during the early Neolithic. Read More >>

dating apps
Jeffrey Epstein-Funded Geneticist Is Building a Dating App That Only a Eugenicist Could Love

Renowned Harvard Medical School geneticist George Church has focused his work on reversing the effects of ageing, helping humans become immune to viruses, and eradicating genetic diseases. He’s hoping to come closer to accomplishing at least one of those goals with a disturbing dating app that swipes right on eugenics. Read More >>

Palaeontology
Found Frozen and Almost Perfectly Preserved in Permafrost, this 18,000-Year-Old Puppy Could Be a Huge Deal

The DNA of an exquisitely preserved puppy found in Siberia doesn’t appear to fit the profile of a dog or a wolf, which means the specimen might be something in between. Read More >>

science
Consumer DNA Testing May Be the Biggest Health Scam of the Decade

At the start of this decade, the US government called out consumer DNA testing as a burgeoning scam industry. Little did we know how it would explode in popularity. Read More >>

science
DNA Could Be One of a Million Possible Genetic Molecules

There could be a million different structures with the ability to store genetic information, according to a recent paper. Read More >>

science
Scientists Say New Research Tracing the Origin of Modern Humans to Botswana Is Deeply Flawed

A new paper claiming that modern humans originated in northern Botswana some 200,000 years ago is being criticised by experts, who say the researchers relied on unproven and outdated techniques while also excluding competing lines of evidence. Alarmingly, the paper is also being criticised for its colonial undertones. Read More >>

anthropology
Social Inequality, Marriage Habits, and Other Clues to Bronze Age Life Revealed in New Study

A fascinating new study chronicles the family histories of European Bronze Age households, revealing the presence of surprising marital practices, patterns of inheritance, and the unexpected early emergence of social inequality within these homestead farms – including the possible use of slaves or servants. Read More >>

science
A Study That Linked Shorter Lifespans to CRISPR Baby Mutation Has Been Retracted

An alarming study that added fuel to the fire over a recent controversial genetic experiment in China has now been invalidated. The study, which suggested that a mutation induced by Chinese scientist He Jiankui in human babies could shorten their lives, was retracted late last week, after other scientists failed to find similar results and the study’s authors admitted to a flaw in its design. Read More >>

science
Human Foetuses Develop Lizard-Like Body Parts That Disappear Before Birth

New research this week seems to show that human foetuses develop several muscles in their legs and arms that disappear by the time they’re born. And some of these muscles were last seen in our adult ancestors over 250 million years ago. Read More >>

science
Facial Reconstruction Shows What the Enigmatic Denisovans Might Have Looked Like

A pinky finger bone, some teeth, and a lower jaw. That’s all the physical evidence we have of the mysterious Denisovans, an extinct group of hominins closely related to the Neanderthals. Remarkable new research offers a physical reconstruction of the Denisovans based on genetic evidence, providing our first potential glimpse of this ancient human species. Read More >>