A history of the Crusades, as told by crusaders' DNA

History can tell us a lot about the Crusades, the series of religious wars fought between 1095 and 1291, in which Christian invaders tried to claim the Near East. But the DNA of nine 13th century Crusaders buried in a pit ...

Deep-sea drillers investigate shedding of Antarctic icebergs

The 5.4 million square-mile Antarctic ice sheet is by far the greatest mass of fresh water on earth. If all it were to melt, it would raise global sea levels some 70 meters (220 feet), driving human civilization inland, and ...

A snapshot of our mysterious ancestor Homo erectus

If you bumped into a Homo erectus in the street you might not recognise them as being very different from you. You'd see a certain "human-ness" in the stance, and his or her size and shape might be similar to yours.

Beards, business and a history of facial hair in the workplace

Recording the human face in art is a long-held tradition, from the Roman Bust to the 15th century Dutch painting. The portrait signals power, prestige and wealth. Corporations have also used portraits to depict their leaders. ...

Prehistoric teeth give up their secrets

The isotope values of food consumed are reflected in the individual's tissues. As bone is constantly being turned over by remodelling, analysing the stable isotope ratios of bone collagen can shine a light on the main dietary ...

Details of protein evolution investigated

Proteins govern the biology of the cell. Through random mutation the sequences of our proteins slowly change over time, usually without affecting function. But sometimes new functions will be invented in this process. Scientists ...

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