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DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments

New method retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments – even in the absence of skeletal remains

02-May-2017

While there are numerous prehistoric sites in Europe and Asia that contain tools and other human-made artefacts, skeletal remains of ancient humans are scarce. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have therefore looked into new ways to get ...

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New test for ancient DNA authenticity throws doubt on Stone Age wheat trade

09-Nov-2015

A cooperation of scientists at the MPI for Developmental Biology in Tübingen and the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology developed a new test to verify the authenticity of ancient DNA. They applied the test to a sample from submerged sediment off the Isle of Wight, thought to provide evidence of ...

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Kiwi bird genome sequenced

28-Jul-2015

Researchers of the University of Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have now sequenced the genetic code of this endangered species and have identified several sequence changes that underlie the kiwi’s adaptation to a nocturnal lifestyle: They found several genes ...

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Mixed genes

An interactive world map of human genetic history reveals likely genetic impacts of historical events

17-Feb-2014

When individuals from different groups interbreed, their offspring's DNA becomes a mixture of the DNA from each admixing group. Pieces of this DNA are then passed along through subsequent generations, carrying on all the way to the present day. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for ...

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Neandertal genome project reaches its goal

High-quality Neandertal genome provides novel insights into human origins

20-Dec-2013

An international research team led by Kay Prüfer and Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has determined a high-quality genome sequence of a Neandertal woman. The genome allows detailed insights into the relationships and population history ...

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Bonobos stay young longer

Contrary to humans and chimpanzees bonobos retain elevated thyroid hormones well into adulthood

18-Dec-2013

Despite the fact that chimpanzees and bonobos share similar starting conditions at birth they develop different behavioural patterns later in life. These differences might be caused by different hormone levels. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, ...

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An evolutionary compromise for long tooth preservation

During an individual’s lifetime the biomechanical requirements on his or her teeth change

29-Jul-2013

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, have conducted stress analyses on gorilla teeth of differing wear stages. Their findings show that different features of the occlusal ...

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The power of imitation

Researchers show that already in infancy imitation promotes a general pro-social orientation toward others and, in early childhood, is a powerful means of social influence in development

28-Jun-2013

Being mimicked increases pro-social behaviour in adults, yet little is known about its social effect on children. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have now investigated whether the fact of being imitated had an influence on infants’ ...

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Malaria protection in chimpanzees

Researchers found that adult wild chimpanzees have developed a certain immunity against malaria parasites

30-May-2013

Wild great apes are widely infected with malaria parasites. Yet, nothing is known about the biology of these infections in the wild. Using faecal samples collected from wild chimpanzees, an international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig ...

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Material loss protects teeth against fatigue failure

Computer simulation shows that the reduction of natural dental wear might be the main cause for widely spread non-carius cervical lesions in our teeth

26-Apr-2013

Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt together with dental technicians have digitally analysed modern human teeth using an engineering approach, finite element method, to evaluate the biomechanical ...

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