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Humans & Society

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PIANO MAN  Women may have a stronger preference for musical and other talents around the time of ovulation, which one researcher suggests could have even helped drive the evolution of musical ability.

Compared with the backbone of Neandertals, the human spine, shown from the back (left) and side (right) may have a bit more curve in it because of differences in specific genes between the species, a new study shows.

Early Roman plumbing made of lead pipes and taps, such as the segment shown here, increased levels of the metal in the city's drinking water but probably not to concentrations that would have been hazardous to human health, scientists say.

  • Ancestry

  • Anthropology

  • Archaeology

    
    Science Ticker

    Black Death grave reveals secrets of 14th century life

    Skeletons dug up by London Crossrail excavations are giving scientists a more detailed look at the bubonic plague, or Black Death, of the 1300s.

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  • Psychology

    
    Scicurious

    That beard is only hot because it’s not cool

    There’s more to facial hair than whether you can grow it. A new study shows that attractiveness increases when your style of facial hair is rare.

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  • Science & Society

    50 Years Ago

    Millions of working mamas

    It has been a long time since millions of American women working outside the home was big sociological news. Women are now 47 percent of the U.S. workforce.
  • Networks

  • Language

    Feature

    The Tune Wreckers

    People who can’t carry a tune, or can but think they can’t, are a rich resource for researchers studying musical ability.
  • History of Science

    
    Context

    Top 10 scientists of the 13th century

    Modern science began to emerge in Western Europe centuries before the Scientific Revolution, thanks to a few scholars who were ahead of their time.

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    Context

    Medieval cosmology meets modern mathematics

    Applying modern math to Robert Grosseteste’s theory of the heavenly spheres reveals a medieval idea’s similarity to modern cosmology.

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  • Human Evolution

    
    Gory Details

    Could the menstrual cycle have shaped the evolution of music?

    A new study suggesting that women select better musicians shows how women’s role in evolution is being redefined.

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    Science Ticker

    DNA suggests humans moved back into Africa

    About 3,000 years ago, human populations from western Eurasia migrated back into eastern Africa, specifically Ethiopia.

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  • Other

    Letters to the Editor

    Feedback

    Readers respond to disco clams, flying ibises and the changes pot makes on the brain.
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