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The fossil finder extraordinaire who’s rewriting human evolution

Posted on 27 Sep 2017 in Human Origins, Journalism, Uncategorized

Lee Berger is the palaeoanthropologist behind the recent discoveries of not one but two new species of human ancestor. The finds were so remarkable that, by some accounts, they are rewriting the story of human evolution, and Berger, his team and his methods are at the centre of it. Image: pijpers662

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Asian stone tools hint humans left Africa earlier than thought

Posted on 2 Feb 2016 in Archaeology, Human Origins, Journalism, Uncategorized

The first early humans to leave Africa did so half a million years earlier than we thought, according to an analysis of simple stone tools and three cow bones with cut marks found in Asia. But not everyone is convinced yet. Image: Cea.

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Mushroom kills with cookie cutter trick

Posted on 5 Feb 2015 in Uncategorized

We may be a step closer to understanding how some meat-eating fungi turned predator. It turns out that the edible oyster mushroom uses a special class of immune system proteins to kill its parasites – and possibly its prey. We carry similar proteins, as do many of our pathogens, and understanding their action could help us fight common diseases. Image: a.bower

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Famous meteorites fail to make a splash

Posted on 3 Nov 2007 in Earth Science, Journalism, Uncategorized

Fifteen minutes of fame doesn’t always translate into big bucks. This was spectacularly true of two meteorites which, though exceptional in size, failed to fetch sky-high prices at auction on Sunday. Bidding for both rocks stalled at around one-third of their valuations, and they were withdrawn from sale at Bonhams auction house in New York. Image: jtaylor14368

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Tree sap makes a formidable underwater insect trap

Posted on 17 Oct 2007 in Earth Science, Journalism, Palaeontology, Uncategorized

Getting fossilised in tree sap seems an odd way for an aquatic insect to meet its maker. Biologists have been left scratching their heads over how it happened. “Most previous studies have focused on non-aquatic insects, assuming that most resin solidifies at the tree bark,” says Alexander Schmidt of the Museum of Natural History in Berlin, Germany. Image: Rockman of Zymurgy

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