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Writer Fuel: Who Were the Denosovans?

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The Denisovans, together with the Neanderthals, are the closest extinct relatives of modern humans. It wasn’t until 2010 that scientists announced that the they existed, so much about them remains unknown. However, fossil and genetic evidence suggests the Denisovans lived across a wide range of areas and conditions, from the cold mountains of Siberia and … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Where Are All the Giant Animals?

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Prehistoric giants used to populate the Earth. These behemoths included mighty dinosaurs, airplane-size pterosaurs, massive crocodiles and snakes, and even armadillos the size of cars. But today, there are just a few big animals on our planet. What happened? Why aren’t there many giants left anymore? First of all, there’s plenty of fossil evidence that … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: Researchers Build Giant Human Family Tree

human family tree

A new, enormous family tree for all of humanity attempts to summarize how all humans alive today relate both to one another and to our ancient ancestors.   To build this family tree, or genealogy, researchers sifted through thousands of genome sequences collected from both modern and ancient humans, as well as ancient human relatives, according to … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: Scientists Find Evidence of Non-Random Mutations

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Genetic changes that crop up in an organism’s DNA may not be completely random, new research suggests. That would upend one of the key assumptions of the theory of evolution. Researchers studying the genetic mutations in a common roadside weed, thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), have discovered that the plant can shield the most “essential” genes … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: How Close Are We to Unlocking Immortality?

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If you are human, you are going to die. This isn’t the most comforting thought, but death is the inevitable price we must pay for being alive. Humans are, however, getting better at pushing back our expiration date, as our medicines and technologies advance. If the human life span continues to stretch, could we one … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: What’s Hiding In Our Genetic “Dark DNA”?

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We’re launching a brand new feature on Liminal Fiction – “Writer Fuel – cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Today:  Genetic “dark matter” may drive the emergence of new species, new research finds. These long, repeating stretches of the genome, called satellite DNA, may ultimately prevent incompatible animals from mating by … Read more