Researchers have discovered an ancient Japanese pottery vessel from the late Jomon period (4500-3300 BP) with an estimated 500 maize weevils incorporated into its design. The vessel was discovered in February 2016 from ruins in Hokkaido, Japan. This extremely rare discovery provides clues on the cultivation and distribution of chestnuts, food in the Jomon era, and the spirituality of ancient Japanese people.
Plant scientists at the University of East Anglia have succeeded in unraveling the complete genome sequence of the common primrose -- the plant whose reproductive biology captivated the Victorian naturalist Charles Darwin. The research team has identified, for the first time, the landscape of genes which operate within the primrose's two different flowering forms that are involved in the reproductive process. This adds fresh insight to a puzzle that scientists have been grappling with for over 150 years.
Approximately one-third of all US-born US citizens living in the US are considering leaving to live abroad. Drawing on data collected in 2014, researchers Dr. Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels from the University of Kent's Brussels School of International Studies, and Dr. Helen Marrow of Tufts University, USA, identified the reasons for this as: exploration (87.4 percent); retirement (50.8 percent); leaving a bad or disappointing situation in the US (49.0 percent); and working (48.3 percent).
The domestication of maize, a process which began in what is now central Mexico nearly 9,000 years ago, was far more complex and nuanced than once previously thought, a new study finds. The results of an analysis of the ancient grain's genetic heritage reveals southwestern Amazonia as a secondary improvement center for early maize.
A distinctive feature of modern humans is our round (globular) skulls and brains. On Dec. 13, in the journal Current Biology, researchers report that present-day humans who carry particular Neandertal DNA fragments have heads that are slightly less rounded, revealing genetic clues to the evolution of modern brain shape and function.
A new study of the progress made over the last 25 years in documenting and revitalizing endangered languages shows both significant advances and critical shortfalls. The article, "Language documentation twenty-five years on", will be published in the December, 2018 issue of the scholarly journal Language.
A team of researchers from France, Sweden, and Denmark have identified a new strain of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague, in DNA extracted from 5,000-year-old human remains. Their analyses, publishing Dec. 6 in the journal Cell, suggest that this strain is the closest ever identified to the genetic origin of plague. Their work also suggests that plague may have been spread among Neolithic European settlements by traders, contributing to their decline.
More than two centuries before initiatives to increase the number of women in STEM fields, Maria Sibylla Merian was a professional artist and naturalist whose close observations and illustrations were the first to accurately portray the metamorphosis of butterflies and moths and emphasize the intimate relationship between insects and their host plants. Now, a new Central American butterfly species has been named in her honor.
In a new study, Robert Schwaller, KU associate professor history, argues that Spanish colonial records reveal that resistance by indigenous and African maroons, who were runaway slaves, not only tested Spanish economic and labor arrangements but also challenged European conquest itself.
Linguistic study finds 'the I's have it' when it comes to education rates.