Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2013

From intergalactic neutrinos and invisible brains, to the creation of miniature human "organoids," 2013 was a remarkable year for scientific discovery. Here are 17 of the biggest scientific breakthroughs, innovations and advances of 2013. » 12/20/13 10:49am 12/20/13 10:49am

A chart that sums up who had sex with whom during the Pleistocene

Call it the Pleistocene hanky panky chart. Now that scientists have sequenced a complete Neanderthal genome, we have more evidence than ever that early Homo sapiens had children with Neanderthals and Denisovans tens of thousands of years ago. » 12/19/13 2:50pm 12/19/13 2:50pm

Newly presented evidence shows that early humans interbred with Neanderthals, Denisovans, and now, shockingly, a fourth undocumented hominid species. The paleoarchaeologists who made the discovery are now saying that ancient Eurasia was a "Lord of the Rings-type world," a landmass containing many hominid populations.… » 11/25/13 9:20am 11/25/13 9:20am

Modern humans are still carrying Neanderthal viruses

Neanderthals and Denisovans may be long gone, but their viruses continue to live on inside our bodies. The geneticists who discovered these ancient viruses aren't sure if they're bad for us, but they could make us more susceptible to certain cancers. » 11/19/13 3:40pm 11/19/13 3:40pm

A long anthropological debate may be on the cusp of resolution

Over the past half-century, our understanding of human evolution has changed dramatically. And now, it seems that one of the outstanding debates about Homo sapiens has become a lot more complicated — because both sides may be right. » 6/18/13 11:00am 6/18/13 11:00am

Researchers Sequence Full Neanderthal Genome

By extracting the DNA from a well-preserved toe, scientists in Germany have completed the first high-quality sequencing of a Neanderthal genome. It’s a significant improvement over a partial attempt made in 2010 — one that is now freely available online for other geneticists to study. » 3/20/13 7:40am 3/20/13 7:40am

New DNA evidence could explain what happened to the Neanderthals

One of the great mysteries of early human evolution is what happened to extinct hominin groups like the Neanderthals and Denisovans. These were human groups who lived in Europe and Asia for hundreds of thousands of years before Homo sapiens started streaming out of Africa and taking over the world. Now, an… » 8/30/12 3:21pm 8/30/12 3:21pm

Scientists may have just discovered a brand new species of human

This skull has a weird mix of ancient and modern traits. It was discovered in a cave in southwest China and dates to between 14,500 and 11,500 years ago. And it might represent the newest humanoid species to coexist with humans. » 3/14/12 1:00pm 3/14/12 1:00pm

Does this 150,000 year old skull show the first case of human-on-human…

An ancient human skull found in China shows evidence of blunt force trauma, meaning some other human probably hit him on the head. Considering how old the skull is, this might as well be considered the invention of violence. » 11/21/11 3:07pm 11/21/11 3:07pm

Ancient toe might prove that all ancient humanoid species were…

Late last year, we learned that early humans and Neanderthals once shared Eurasia with a third hominin group, known as Denisovans. Now, the new discovery of a Denisovan toe bone might indicate that these three hominin groups were pretty much constantly interbreeding. » 8/10/11 3:39pm 8/10/11 3:39pm