Ancient

Mysterious ancient humans may have given the people of Papua New Guinea an immune edge

When modern humans first migrated from Africa to the tropical islands of the southwest Pacific, they encountered unknown people and new pathogens. But their immune systems may have learned a few survival tricks when they mated with the locals – the mysterious Denisovans who gave them immune gene variants that could have protected the newcomers’ …

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World's oldest DNA discovered, revealing ancient arctic forest full of behemoths

World’s oldest DNA discovered, revealing ancient arctic forest full of behemoths

The oldest DNA ever recovered has revealed a remarkable two-million-year-old ecosystem in Greenland, including the presence of an unlikely explorer: the mastodon. The DNA, found locked in sediments in an area called Peary Land in the far north of Greenland, shows what life was like during a much warmer time in Earth’s history. The landscape, …

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DNA from 2-million-year-old sediment provides insight into ancient life in northern Greenland

DNA from 2-million-year-old sediment provides insight into ancient life in northern Greenland

NEW YORK – Ancient DNA extracted from sediments found in what is now a polar desert in northern Greenland suggests that the same site 2 million years ago was a more boreal environment with a range of vegetation and d animals like reindeer and mastodons. In an analysis that spanned years, an international team of …

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'Amazing' DNA 2 million years old reveals ancient ecosystem in Greenland

‘Amazing’ DNA 2 million years old reveals ancient ecosystem in Greenland

An illustration of Cape Copenhagen 2 million years ago.Drawing: Beth Zaiken A team of scientists has sequenced the oldest DNA to date, found in permafrost in the far north of Greenland. The DNA is 2 million years old, surpassing the previous oldest DNA record by a million years. The genetic material came from 41 sediment …

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Ancient humans didn't get sunburn.  Here's How Living Inside Has Evolved Our Skin

Ancient humans didn’t get sunburn. Here’s How Living Inside Has Evolved Our Skin

HHuman beings have a conflicted relationship with the sun. People love the sun, but then they get hot. Sweat gets into your eyes. Then there are all the protection rituals: sunscreen, hats, sunglasses. If you stay outside too long or haven’t taken enough precautions, your skin will tell us with a furious sunburn. First warmth, …

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An Ancient Human Relative Used Fire, Startling Findings Suggest

An Ancient Human Relative Used Fire, Startling Findings Suggest

Comment this story Comment Explorers sneaking into cramped, pitch-black caves in South Africa claim to have uncovered evidence that a human relative with a brain a third the size of ours used fire for light and cooking. a few hundred thousand years ago. The unpublished findings – which add new wrinkles to the story of …

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NASA Viking 1 may have landed at the site of an ancient Martian megatsunami |  CNN

NASA Viking 1 may have landed at the site of an ancient Martian megatsunami | CNN

Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news about fascinating discoveries, scientific advancements and more. CNN — When NASA’s Viking 1 lander made history as the first spacecraft to touch down on Mars on July 20, 1976, it returned images of a landscape no one expected. These early images taken …

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Dip!  Ancient Mars had enough water for a world ocean 300 meters deep

Dip! Ancient Mars had enough water for a world ocean 300 meters deep

In the normal course of everyday life, we tend to think of the planets as immobile and unchanging. There are few things more reliable than the ground beneath our feet, but that’s only because our experiences are time-limited. Over fairly long time scales – even brief ones, in geologic time – we see worlds constantly …

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Dip!  Ancient Mars had enough water for a world ocean 300 meters deep

Dip! Ancient Mars had enough water for a world ocean 300 meters deep

In the normal course of everyday life, we tend to think of the planets as immobile and unchanging. There are few things more reliable than the ground beneath our feet, but that’s only because our experiences are time-limited. Over fairly long time scales – even brief ones, in geologic time – we see worlds constantly …

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Ancient humans migrating

The migration of ancient indigenous peoples to South America is a complex story

We know that (excluding the poles) the Americas were the last two continents humans called home. We also know that archaeologically neither North America nor South America was inhabited so long ago – specifically, only about 25,000 years ago. Modern humans congregated in Central Asia, around Mongolia, then traveled to North America during a period …

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