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We don’t know which species should be classed as ‘human’

Posted on 11 Jan 2016 in Featured, Human Origins, Journalism

What literally makes us human? Surprisingly, there is no official answer. Some say our human genus should exclude even Neanderthals – others say that it should include chimpanzees and even gorillas. Image: Jack at Wikipedia

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Geckos have superpowers, starting with running along ceilings

Posted on 28 Nov 2015 in Animal Behaviour, Journalism

Many animals have one superpower. Geckos are blessed with several. Their eyes can distinguish colours by the light of the moon, they can instantly shed their tail if they are caught by a predator, and most famously of all, they can walk effortlessly up walls and along ceilings. Image: chrisheidenreich

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We know the city where the HIV pandemic emerged

Posted on 19 Nov 2015 in Disease, Health, Journalism

Today we know much more how and why HIV – the virus that leads to AIDS – has become a global pandemic. Image: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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Mystery microbes in our gut could be a whole new form of life

Posted on 11 Nov 2015 in Evolution, Featured, Health, Journalism, Life

Inside each one of us lies a mystery. An analysis of genes from the human gut has found DNA so unusual it could belong to microbes unlike anything that science has encountered before – microbes that don’t seem to fit into any of the three known domains of life. Image: ssoosay

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Meet a lamprey. Your ancestors looked just like it

Posted on 2 Nov 2015 in Evolution, Featured, Journalism, Life

It might come as a surprise just how highly scientists regard lampreys. Ecologists know that they maintain the health of rivers. And medical researchers study lampreys, which have a remarkable ability to heal themselves even after severe nerve damage: an ability that could offer a way to heal spinal cord injuries. Image: mccun934

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Frodo’s basement: Secret chamber found where hobbit humans lived

Posted on 29 Oct 2015 in Archaeology, Featured, Human Origins, Journalism

The diminutive human hobbits of Flores had a basement. And early signs hint at the tantalising possibility of more Homo floresiensis bones in this newly discovered chamber. Image: Bryn Pinzgauer

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