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Lab-grown Mini Brains Shed Light On How Humans Split From Great Apes

Humans diverged from chimpanzees and other great apes roughly 6m years ago. But despite us being closely related, human brains are vastly different – enabling us to engage in complex language, science, art, morality and much more. But what exactly was it that enabled our brains to reach such mindboggling heights? We know that the […]

Why Speech Is A Human Innovation

Except for various cartoon characters, the Geico Gecko and Mr. Ed, animals can’t speak. Yet they have a lot to say to scientists trying to figure out the origins of human language. Speaking isn’t the only avenue for language. After all, linguistic messaging can be transmitted by hand signals. Or handwriting. Or texting. But speech […]

Cephalopod Genome Evolution Sheds Light On Symbiotic Organs

By investigating symbiotic organs in cephalopods – octopuses and their kin – researchers have found that there may be many evolutionary paths towards the current forms of organs that host symbiotic microbes. Many animals have specialized symbiotic organs. In humans, the appendix may even be one example, safeguarding beneficial bacteria when the gastrointestinal tract is […]