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Your search has returned 87 articles:
  • Feature

    Birth control research is moving beyond the pill

    Mention “the pill,” and only one kind of drug comes to mind. The claim that oral contraceptives have on that simple noun testifies to the pill’s singular effect in the United States. Introduced in 1960, the pill gave women reliable access to birth control for the first time. The opportunity to delay having children opened the door to higher education and professional careers for many women....

    08/22/2017 - 12:30 Health, Human Development
  • News

    Earliest evidence of monkeys’ use of stone tools found

    Using tools is very old monkey business.

    Capuchins in northeast Brazil have wielded stones to crack open cashew nuts for 600 to 700 years, researchers report July 11 in Current Biology. Unearthed “hammers” and “anvils” are the earliest evidence of monkey tool use to date. Today, Brazilian bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) still open cashews by placing them on the flat...

    07/11/2016 - 16:06 Anthropology
  • Feature

    Apes do the darndest things

    View the video

    Wildfires dart through tall grass and tree stands at Fongoli, Senegal, during a roughly seven-month dry season. Chimpanzees living in this West African savanna coolly monitor the approaching fires from perches in trees or from ravines. As flames near, the apes retreat just enough to stay safe, sometimes climbing a tree or scurrying into nearby woods.

    Because they...

    09/09/2015 - 14:22 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Baby marmosets imitate parents’ sounds

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    Small monkeys with white tufts of ear hair and long, striped tails may reveal some surprising new insights into how human infants learn to make speech sounds.

    During the first two months of life, common marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) transform their initial cries into whistlelike calls known as “phees,” at least in part by imitating their parents’ well-timed...

    08/13/2015 - 14:00 Psychology, Animals, Human Evolution
  • Feature

    Old drug, new tricks

    Like an aging actor rediscovered after being typecast for years, the long-standing diabetes drug metformin is poised to reinvent itself. A wealth of studies suggests the drug has cancer-fighting properties, and clinical trials are now under way to prove it.

    Metformin’s impact could be huge. “We believe that if this drug works, it will save between 100,000 and 150,000 lives a year...

    11/15/2013 - 15:00 Cancer, Biomedicine
  • Becoming Human

    The last common ancestor of humans and chimps probably wasn’t much like either

    Picture it: an African forest 7 million years ago. An evolutionary split is under way. One species of ape is about to give rise to two distinct lineages; one leading to humans, the other to chimpanzees. What does this last common ancestor of humans and their closest living relatives look like?

    For years, many researchers have just imagined a chimpanzee.

    At first glance, that seems...

    09/30/2013 - 00:00 Human Evolution, Ancestry
  • Feature

    Little Mind Benders

    Imagining tiny creatures infiltrating human brains is creepy enough. But Marion Vittecoq knows she has been invaded. Her inner companions may be just hanging out — or they may be subtly changing her personality, manipulating her behavior or altering her risk of disease. Yet she doesn’t sound particularly upset.

    Not once in the course of a...

    01/10/2013 - 17:02 Body & Brain
  • News

    Gone fishing, orangutan-style

    MINNEAPOLIS — Orangutans swim about as well as they fly, but research on three Indonesian islands shows that these long-limbed apes nonetheless catch and eat fish.

    Orangutans living in Borneo scavenge fish that wash up along the shore and scoop catfish out of small ponds for fresh meals, anthropologist Anne Russon of York University in Toronto reported on April 14 at a...

    04/15/2011 - 15:12 Life & Evolution
  • Feature

    The unusual suspects

    It’s a high-stakes version of the board game Clue. Scientist-detectives probing the origins of autism must contend with an enormous cast of characters. Within the past year, researchers have found dozens, possibly hundreds, of rare genetic mutations that may contribute to the disorder, and a handful of common mutations may also be involved.


    10/08/2010 - 11:25 Genes & Cells, Body & Brain
  • Feature

    Aping the Stone Age

    For chimpanzees living in a forest surrounding the village of Bossou in Guinea, cracking nuts is a serious task with important steps. They are: First, lug large rocks to a spot near a nut-bearing tree, such as an oil palm. Next, gather the nuts and place them on the rocks. Then, obtain a smaller, graspable rock. Finally, smash the armored treats and let the shells fly. As clutches of apes...

    11/06/2009 - 12:14