At altitudes of 15,000 feet, Tibetans live in environments that would incapacitate most humans. New research has uncovered several genetic mutations that appear to be responsible for these high-altitude superpowers—including a trait inherited from an extinct human species.
From intergalactic neutrinos and invisible brains, to the creation of miniature human "organoids," 2013 was a remarkable year for scientific discovery. Here are 17 of the biggest scientific breakthroughs, innovations and advances of 2013.
Call it the Pleistocene hanky panky chart. Now that scientists have sequenced a complete Neanderthal genome, we have more evidence than ever that early Homo sapiens had children with Neanderthals and Denisovans tens of thousands of years ago.
Berkeley scientists just generated a pristine genome sequence of Neanderthal DNA—the most complete ever created—and what they found might gross you out. It might also blow your mind.
Newly presented evidence shows that early humans interbred with Neanderthals, Denisovans, and now, shockingly, a fourth undocumented hominid species. The paleoarchaeologists who made the discovery are now saying that ancient Eurasia was a "Lord of the Rings-type world," a landmass containing many hominid populations.…
Neanderthals and Denisovans may be long gone, but their viruses continue to live on inside our bodies. The geneticists who discovered these ancient viruses aren't sure if they're bad for us, but they could make us more susceptible to certain cancers.
Over the past half-century, our understanding of human evolution has changed dramatically. And now, it seems that one of the outstanding debates about Homo sapiens has become a lot more complicated — because both sides may be right.
By extracting the DNA from a well-preserved toe, scientists in Germany have completed the first high-quality sequencing of a Neanderthal genome. It’s a significant improvement over a partial attempt made in 2010 — one that is now freely available online for other geneticists to study.
One of the great mysteries of early human evolution is what happened to extinct hominin groups like the Neanderthals and Denisovans. These were human groups who lived in Europe and Asia for hundreds of thousands of years before Homo sapiens started streaming out of Africa and taking over the world. Now, an…
This skull has a weird mix of ancient and modern traits. It was discovered in a cave in southwest China and dates to between 14,500 and 11,500 years ago. And it might represent the newest humanoid species to coexist with humans.
An ancient human skull found in China shows evidence of blunt force trauma, meaning some other human probably hit him on the head. Considering how old the skull is, this might as well be considered the invention of violence.
Late last year, we learned that early humans and Neanderthals once shared Eurasia with a third hominin group, known as Denisovans. Now, the new discovery of a Denisovan toe bone might indicate that these three hominin groups were pretty much constantly interbreeding.