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Walking on two feet

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A sea of humans at a sporting match (Image: “orange and blue” by Rhett Maxwell"). Wikimedia Commons

Humans are still evolving but in ways that might surprise you

It’s often said that through our innovations in science, agriculture and medicine humans have become masters of our biological destiny. That we’ve seized control of our evolution, eliminating most of the…
Male and female Neanderthals in the Neanderthal Museum, Mettmann, Germany (montage: background rock from original different location). Wikimedia Commons

Paying a heavy price for loving the Neanderthals

One of the biggest surprises about our evolution revealed over just the last decade is the extent to which our ancestors engaged in amorous congress with the evolutionary cousins. Bonking the Neanderthals…
A 3D printer model of the human clitoris to be used for teaching sex education in French schools (Image: Marie Docher). Sun Herald, Image by: Marie Docher

The human clitoris is an object of beauty, pleasure and intrigue

It seems remarkable to me that well into the 21st century we still have so much to learn about many parts of the human body. Organs we’re all very familiar with - ones we take for granted - still have…
Our past was like a scene from a Star Trek Episode: Ferengi (left) and Bajoran (right) character costumes from Star Trek, at the QTXP Destination Star Trek London MG. Wikimedia Commons

Why are there so many species of bugs, but so few species of human?

Looking around at the natural world, have you ever wondered why some groups of organisms contain huge numbers of species while others are seemingly barren? Take insects as an example, animals which evolved…
The ‘gang’ of researchers implicated in the ‘Piltdown Man’ fraud. Despite 104 years since it was perpetrated, only one person (Charles Dawson) remains the key suspect. Back row: (left to right) F. O. Barlow, G. Elliot Smith, Charles Dawson, Arthur Smith Woodward. Front row: A. S. Underwood, Arthur Keith, W. P. Pycraft, and Sir Ray Lankester. Wikimedia Commons

Fabricating science: discussing fraud can rebuild community confidence and deepen understanding of how science works

It’s an exceptionally rewarding, and also challenging, time to be practising science. Science has never enjoyed the level of public interest it does today thanks to rising education levels and that wonder…
Homo floresiensis skull from Liang Bua (left) and modern human skull (right). Peter Brown (University of New England).

The Hobbit took our breath away: now it’s the new normal

It’s been a big year for the early human species Homo floresiensis - aka ‘the Hobbit’ - and the scientists who found it. Way back in 2004 this was the discovery that threatened to rewrite the textbooks…