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Neanderthal genes give clues to human brain evolution

A distinctive feature of modern humans is our round (globular) skulls and brains. On December 13, in the journal Current Biology, researchers report that present-day humans who carry particular Neanderthal DNA fragments have heads that are slightly less rounded, revealing genetic clues to the evolution of modern brain shape and ...

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What’s the Fastest 100 Meter Dash a Human Can Run?

More than 130 years ago, at the first Olympic Games in Athens, Boston University law student Thomas Burke took his mark at the 100-meter dash not in a standing position, but a crouch—what was then considered an unusual starting stance. But far more unusual, by today’s standards, was his gold-medal ...

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The Human Cell Atlas Is Biologists’ Latest Grand Project

Aviv Regev speaks with the urgent velocity of someone who has seen the world with an extraordinary new acuity, and can’t wait for you to hurry up and see it too. At a meeting of 460 international scientists gathered last week in San Francisco, the computational biologist bombarded her audience ...

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Scientists identify a new kind of human brain cell

One of the most intriguing questions about the human brain is also one of the most difficult for neuroscientists to answer: What sets our brains apart from those of other animals? “We really don’t understand what makes the human brain special,” said Ed Lein, Ph.D., Investigator at the Allen Institute ...

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This Robot Hand Taught Itself How to Grab Stuff Like a Human

Elon Musk is kinda worried about AI. (“AI is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization and I don’t think people fully appreciate that,” as he put it in 2017.) So he helped found a research nonprofit, OpenAI, to help cut a path to “safe” artificial general intelligence, as opposed ...

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Robots grow mini-organs from human stem cells

An automated system that uses robots has been designed to rapidly produce human mini-organs derived from stem cells. Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle developed the new system. The advance promises to greatly expand the use of mini-organs in basic research and drug discovery, according ...

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