Humans

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Some people are morning larks. Others are night owls. But not everybody falls neatly into those two categories, scientists say – and a new study suggests there are actually multiple distinct ‘chronotypes’ that define people’s wakefulness and rest. Chronotypes are the behavioural manifestations of the circadian rhythms we experience throughout the day and the night.
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The question of whether a 7-million-year-old primate, nicknamed ‘Toumai,’ walked on two or four legs has whipped up drama amongst palaeontologists – complete with a vanishing femur. Since the discovery of Sahelanthropus tchadensis’s first fossil back in 2001, it has often been cited as our earliest known hominin ancestor. Initial analysis suggested that Sahelanthropus regularly walked upright
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An Egyptian mummy that was decorated with a woman’s portrait contained a surprise – the body of a child who was only 5 years old when she died. Now, scientists have learned more about the mysterious girl and her burial, thanks to high-resolution scans and X-ray ”microbeams” that targeted very small regions in the intact artifact. Computed X-ray tomography (CT)
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Just before going into a hallucinogenic trance, Indigenous Californians who had gathered in a cave likely looked up toward the rocky ceiling, where a pinwheel and big-eyed moth were painted in red. This mysterious “pinwheel,” is likely a depiction of the delicate, white flower of Datura wrightii, a powerful hallucinogen that the Chumash people took not
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The discovery of a 2-million-year-old skull in a South African cave is changing what we think we know about one of humanity’s primitive ancestors, scientists report in a new study. But the newly unearthed fossil specimen from the extinct human species Paranthropus robustus is also giving researchers a unique snapshot on the transformations that climate
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Nobody likes being interrupted when they’re busy, let alone being randomised at work when they’re trying to get important jobs done. But what’s going on under people’s skin when workplace interruptions keep diverting workers from the task they’re trying to concentrate on? An experiment in Switzerland investigated this all-too-common scenario, and found the effects of
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Water is essential for basic human survival. But it can also be dangerous; contaminated water can spread deadly diseases that have the potential to eradicate whole communities. Safe, clean water offers humanity one of its best chances to thrive. Several ancient civilisations, including the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans, filtered their water. Sanskrit writings dating back