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Preview: Brightsurf Science News :: Anthropology News

Anthropology Current Events and Anthropology News from Brightsurf

Anthropology Current Events and Anthropology News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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How aerial thermal imagery is revolutionizing archaeology

Sun, 24 Sep 17 00:08:30 -0700

A Dartmouth-led study has demonstrated how the latest aerial thermal imagery is transforming archaeology due to advancements in technology. Today's thermal cameras, commercial drones and photogrammetric software has introduced a new realm of possibilities for collecting site data-- field survey data across a much larger area can now be obtained in much less time. The findings in Advances in Archaeological Practice serve as a manual on how to use aerial thermography.

Managing negative emotions can help pregnant smokers quit

Tue, 19 Sep 17 00:07:40 -0700

A new study by scientists in the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions has shown that pregnant smokers are more likely to quit if they can learn to manage negative emotions that lead to smoking.

Huge genetic diversity among Papuan New Guinean peoples revealed

Thu, 14 Sep 17 00:15:10 -0700

The first large-scale genetic study of people in Papua New Guinea has shown that different groups within the country are genetically highly different from each other. Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their colleagues reveal that the people there have remained genetically independent from Europe and Asia for most of the last 50,000 years, and that people from the country's isolated highlands region have been completely independent even until the present day.

An officer and a gentlewoman from the Viking army in Birka

Fri, 08 Sep 17 00:11:20 -0700

War was not an activity exclusive to males in the Viking world. A new study conducted by researchers at Stockholm and Uppsala universities shows that women could be found in the higher ranks at the battlefield.

Study documents continued decline in use of hormone therapy by Canadian women

Tue, 22 Aug 17 00:04:20 -0700

Ever since menopause was first discussed publicly, the debate over the use of hormone therapy (HT) has monopolized headlines. Recognized as the most effective option for managing hot flashes and other menopause symptoms, the use of HT has continued to decline, largely as a result of the data released from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) in 2002. New study results published in Menopause, documents the decline, along with the factors affecting a Canadian woman's likelihood of using HT.

New study reassures women about the safety of vaginal estrogen

Thu, 17 Aug 17 00:03:40 -0700

Although hot flashes are the most commonly reported problem associated with menopause, between 20 percent and 45 percent of women also complain of sexual and urinary issues. There is good news. A recent study documents that vaginal estrogen is not only effective but also safe for the treatment of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause. The study results have been published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Archaeologists uncover ancient trading network in Vietnam

Thu, 17 Aug 17 00:03:20 -0700

A team of archaeologists from The Australian National University has uncovered a vast trading network which operated in Vietnam from around 4,500 years ago up until around 3,000 years ago.

Maize from El Gigante Rock Shelter shows early transition to staple crop

Mon, 07 Aug 17 00:13:40 -0700

Mid-summer corn on the cob is everywhere, but where did it all come from and how did it get to be the big, sweet, yellow ears we eat today? Some of the answers come from carbon dating ancient maize and other organic material from the El Gigante rock shelter in Honduras, according to a team of anthropologists who show that 4,300 years ago maize was sufficiently domesticated to serve as a staple crop in the Honduran highlands.

New look at archaic DNA rewrites human evolution story

Mon, 07 Aug 17 00:11:20 -0700

A U-led team developed a method for analyzing DNA sequence data to reconstruct early history of archaic human populations, revealing an evolutionary story that contradicts conventional wisdom about modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans. They found that Neanderthal-Denisovan lineage nearly went extinct after separating from modern humans. Just 300 generations later, Neanderthals and Denisovans diverged around 744,000 years ago. The global Neanderthal population grew to tens of thousands of individuals living in fragmented, isolated populations.

Researchers find pathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease in aged chimpanzee brains

Mon, 07 Aug 17 00:07:00 -0700

The brains of aged chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, show pathology similar to the human Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain, according to a new, multi-institution research study.

Origin of human genus may have occurred by chance

Fri, 04 Aug 17 00:05:30 -0700

An often cited claim that humans, who are smarter and more technologically advanced than their ancestors, originated in response to climate change is challenged in a new report by a Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology researcher at George Washington University.

Anthrax: A hidden threat to wildlife in the tropics

Wed, 02 Aug 17 00:10:40 -0700

Researchers illuminate the epidemiology of a cryptic pathogen.

Kent State researchers help find pathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer's in aged chimpanzee brains

Tue, 01 Aug 17 00:07:40 -0700

Humans are considered uniquely susceptible to Alzheimer's disease, potentially due to genetic differences, changes in brain structure and function during evolution, and an increased lifespan. However, a new study published Aug. 1 in Neurobiology of Aging provides the most extensive evidence of Alzheimer's disease brain pathology in a primate species to date. Researchers found that the brains of aged chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, show pathology similar to the human Alzheimer's disease brain.

Traces of adaptation and cultural diversification found among early North American stone tools

Wed, 26 Jul 17 00:10:20 -0700

Using new 3-D methods to analyze stone projectile points crafted by North America's earliest human inhabitants, Smithsonian scientists have found that these tools show evidence of a shift toward more experimentation about 12,500 years ago, following hundreds of years of consistent stone-tool production. The findings provide clues into changes in social interactions during a time when people are thought to have been spreading into new parts of North America.

Why some women are more likely to feel depressed

Wed, 19 Jul 17 00:09:50 -0700

It's no secret that the risk of depression increases for women when their hormones are fluctuating. Especially vulnerable times include the menopause transition and onset of postmenopause. There's also postpartum depression that can erupt shortly after childbirth. But why do some women feel blue while others seem to skate through these transitions? One answer is provided through study results being published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

FOXI3 gene is involved in dental cusp formation

Mon, 17 Jul 17 00:10:00 -0700

The teeth of hairless dogs teach researchers about the development and evolution of mammalian teeth.

Diet of the ancient people of Rapa Nui shows adaptation and resilience not 'ecocide'

Thu, 13 Jul 17 00:01:40 -0700

Research by an international team, led by the University of Bristol, has shed new light on the fate of the ancient people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

Easter Island not victim of 'ecocide', analysis of remains shows

Tue, 11 Jul 17 00:15:30 -0700

Analysis of remains found on Rapa Nui, Chile (Easter Island) provides evidence contrary to the widely-held belief that the ancient civilization recklessly destroyed its environment, according to new research co-conducted by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Live-in grandparents helped human ancestors get a safer night's sleep

Tue, 11 Jul 17 00:08:30 -0700

A sound night's sleep grows more elusive as people get older. But what some call insomnia may actually be an age-old survival mechanism, researchers report. A study of modern hunter-gatherers in Tanzania finds that, for people who live in groups, differences in sleep patterns commonly associated with age help ensure that at least one person is awake at all times.

Researchers document early, permananet human settlement in Andes

Wed, 28 Jun 17 00:03:50 -0700

Examining human remains and other archaeological evidence from a site at nearly 12,500 feet above sea level in Peru, the scientists show that intrepid hunter-gatherers -- men, women and children -- managed to survive at high elevation before the advent of agriculture, in spite of lack of oxygen, frigid temperatures and exposure to elements.

Analysis of Neanderthal teeth grooves uncovers evidence of prehistoric dentistry

Wed, 28 Jun 17 00:14:40 -0700

A discovery of multiple toothpick grooves on teeth and signs of other manipulations by a Neanderthal of 130,000 years ago are evidence of a kind of prehistoric dentistry, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher.

In Turkey, carved skulls provide the first evidence of a neolithic 'skull cult'

Wed, 28 Jun 17 00:00:50 -0700

Three carved skull fragments uncovered at a Neolithic dig site in Turkey feature modifications not seen before among human remains of the time, researchers say. Thus, these modified skull fragments could point to a new 'skull cult' -- or ritual group -- from the Neolithic period. Throughout history, people have valued skulls for different reasons, from ancestor worship to the belief that.

New study links hot flashes with depression

Mon, 26 Jun 17 00:01:20 -0700

With age comes a greater risk of depression, especially in women. With 15% of the female population in the US being 65 or older, and the number expected to double in the next 50 years, there is a major focus on age-related disorders, including depression. A new study published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), documents an association between hot flashes and a greater risk of depression.

Wild monkeys use loud calls to assess the relative strength of rivals

Wed, 21 Jun 17 00:02:30 -0700

Gelada males -- a close relative to baboons -- pay attention to the loud calls of a rival to gain information about his relative fighting ability compared to themselves, a new study indicated.

Chimpanzees modify grooming behavior when near higher ranking members

Wed, 21 Jun 17 00:04:00 -0700

Chimpanzees modify grooming behavior when near higher ranking members.

Ancient skulls shed light on migration in the Roman empire

Tue, 20 Jun 17 00:04:00 -0700

Skeletal evidence shows that, hundreds of years after the Roman Republic conquered most of the Mediterranean world, coastal communities in what is now south and central Italy still bore distinct physical differences to one another -- though the same could not be said of the area around Rome itself.

Looking for trouble: Territorial aggressions and trespasses pay off among primates

Mon, 19 Jun 17 00:10:50 -0700

Two decades of research show group augmentation, increased offspring or propensity for offspring, and other rewards outweigh risks in territorial boundary patrols by male chimpanzees.

Loss of estrogen a risk factor for disc degeneration and lower back pain

Wed, 14 Jun 17 00:13:30 -0700

'Oh, my aching back!' It's not an uncommon complaint heard from both men and women as they age and experience lumbar disc degeneration. Now a new study out of China suggests that menopause is associated with severity of disc degeneration in the lumbar spine. The study outcomes are being published in an article available online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Bioengineered human livers mimic natural development

Wed, 14 Jun 17 00:11:30 -0700

An international team of researchers bioengineering human liver tissues uncovered previously unknown networks of genetic-molecular crosstalk that control the organ's developmental processes -- greatly advancing efforts to generate healthy and usable human liver tissue from human pluripotent stem cells. The scientists report online in Nature on June 14 that their bioengineered human liver tissues still need additional rounds of molecular fine tuning before they can be tested in clinical trials.

Monkey see, monkey do, depending on age, experience and efficiency

Wed, 07 Jun 17 00:16:20 -0700

Wild capuchin monkeys readily learn skills from each other -- but that social learning is driven home by the payoff of learning a useful new skill.

Moroccan fossils show human ancestors' diet of game

Wed, 07 Jun 17 00:07:20 -0700

New fossil finds from the Jebel Irhoud archaeological site in Morocco do more than push back the origins of our species by 100,000 years. They also reveal what was on the menu for our oldest-known Homo sapiens ancestors 300,000 years ago: Plenty of gazelle.

The first of our kind

Wed, 07 Jun 17 00:07:00 -0700

New finds of fossils and stone tools from the archaeological site of Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, push back the origins of our species by one hundred thousand years and show that by about 300 thousand years ago important changes in our biology and behaviour had taken place across most of Africa.

Geology and biology agree on Pangaea supercontinent breakup dates

Wed, 07 Jun 17 00:02:10 -0700

Scientists at The Australian National University have found that independent estimates from geology and biology agree on the timing of the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent into today's continents.

Higher alcohol consumption leads to greater loss of muscle tissue in postmenopausal women

Wed, 07 Jun 17 00:07:40 -0700

Both aging and menopause are known to affect sarcopenia, which is a loss of muscle mass and strength, which in turn affects balance, gait, and overall ability to perform tasks of daily living. A new study is one of the first to link alcohol consumption with a higher prevalence of sarcopenia in postmenopausal women. The study outcomes are being published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Forensic technique uses forehead X-rays to assess age of juvenile remains

Mon, 05 Jun 17 00:11:00 -0700

Forensic anthropology researchers have developed a technique that can provide an approximate age for juveniles and young people based on an X-ray of the frontal sinus region of the skull. The technique can be used to help identify human remains in forensic cases, as well as to determine age ranges in archaeological research or for living people for whom no records are available.

Obesity can lead to more severe hot flashes and other menopause symptoms

Wed, 31 May 17 00:02:10 -0700

Vasomotor symptoms (VMS), such as hot flashes and night sweats, cause serious discomfort in many women at menopause. Studies show a higher frequency of VMS in women who gain weight during the postmenopause period, and the effect of obesity on VMS has been studied for many years. A new study finds that hot flashes are associated with a higher body mass index (BMI). The details were published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Fossil skeleton confirms earliest primates were tree dwellers

Tue, 30 May 17 00:01:20 -0700

Earth's earliest primates dwelled in treetops, not on the ground, according to an analysis of a 62-million-year-old partial skeleton discovered in New Mexico -- the oldest-known primate skeleton.

Religious devotion as predictor of behavior

Wed, 24 May 17 00:05:50 -0700

'Religious Devotion and Extrinsic Religiosity Affect In-group Altruism and Out-group Hostility Oppositely in Rural Jamaica,' suggests that a sincere belief in God -- religious devotion -- is unrelated to feelings of prejudice. Rather, Lynch's research finds that those whose religious beliefs are extrinsic -- who use religion as a way to achieve non-religious goals such as attaining status or joining a social group -- and who regularly attend religious services are more likely to hold hostile attitudes toward outsiders.

Tooth truth

Thu, 18 May 17 00:16:30 -0700

Researchers have developed a new method to read imperfections in teeth caused by a lack of sunlight, creating a powerful tool to trace events ranging from human evolution and migration out of Africa to the silent damage of vitamin D deficiency that continues to affect 1 billion worldwide.

Study confirms benefits of fennel in reducing postmenopause symptoms

Wed, 17 May 17 00:01:00 -0700

Fennel, an anise-flavored herb used for cooking, has long been known for its health benefits for a variety of issues, including digestion and premenstrual symptoms. A new study confirms that it is also effective in the management of postmenopause symptoms such as hot flashes, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, and anxiety, without serious side effects. The study outcomes are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Three-year-olds understand, value obligations of joint commitment

Tue, 16 May 17 00:15:40 -0700

The ability to engage in joint actions is a critical step toward becoming a cooperative human being. In particular, forming a commitment with a partner to achieve a goal that one cannot achieve alone is important for functioning in society. Previous research has shown that children begin collaborating with others between ages 2 and 3 years. However, it's less clear whether they understand the concept of joint commitments with binding obligations.

Estimating the size of animal populations from camera trap surveys

Wed, 10 May 17 00:04:00 -0700

Camera traps are a useful means to observe the behaviour of animal populations in the wild at remote locations. Researchers from the University of St Andrews, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) recently extended distance sampling analytical methods to accommodate data from camera traps. This allows abundances of multiple species to be estimated from camera trapping data -- information critical to effective wildlife management and conservation.

Older age at menopause and use of hormone therapy produce increased risk of hearing loss

Wed, 10 May 17 00:13:20 -0700

It has long been suspected that menopause and the use of hormones had a direct effect on hearing. However, findings from previous studies have been conflicting, with some suggesting that hearing worsens at menopause but that there is benefit with hormone therapy (HT). Now results from the first large population study conducted to assess the association show that older age at natural menopause and the use of oral HT are each associated with a higher risk of hearing loss.

Aging gracefully in the rainforest

Tue, 09 May 17 00:07:20 -0700

In an article that appears in the current issue of Evolutionary Anthropology, researchers synthesize over 15 years of theoretical and empirical findings from long-term study of the Tsimane forager-farmers. In they find productivity and social status peak long after physical strength.

A global movement championing science

Thu, 04 May 17 00:09:20 -0700

Wiley, publishing partners engage to support science.

Report: Even in death, indigenous border crossers marginalized

Wed, 03 May 17 00:00:10 -0700

Of the hundreds of people who die trying to cross into the US from Mexico each year, those with indigenous backgrounds are less likely to be identified than those with more European ancestry, a new analysis reveals.

Study could provide first clues about the social lives of extinct human relatives

Wed, 03 May 17 00:09:30 -0700

A new study from The Australian National University (ANU) of the bony head-crests of male gorillas could provide some of the first clues about the social structures of our extinct human relatives, including how they chose their sexual partners.

DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments

Thu, 27 Apr 17 00:04:40 -0700

Researchers have developed a new method to retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments -- even in the absence of skeletal remains.

Origins of Indonesian hobbits finally revealed

Fri, 21 Apr 17 00:04:50 -0700

The most comprehensive study on the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed.

Hot flashes could signal increased risk of heart disease

Wed, 12 Apr 17 00:11:20 -0700

Hot flashes, one of the most common symptoms of menopause, have already been shown to interfere with a woman's overall quality of life. A new study shows that, particularly for younger midlife women (age 40-53 years), frequent hot flashes may also signal emerging vascular dysfunction that can lead to heart disease. The study outcomes are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).