Oral vaccine offers hope for ape species ravaged by Ebola and other diseases, as it can be widely dispersed to save more wild animals. However, scientists say recent law changes on captive chimpanzee testing may stop the conservation work in its tracks.
A project exploring the role of East Africa in the evolution of modern humans has amassed the largest and most diverse collection of prehistoric bone harpoons ever assembled from the area. The collection offers clues about the behaviour and technology of prehistoric hunter-gatherers.
Piers Mitchell (Department of Biological Anthropology) discusses what we can learn from rummaging around in 2,000-year-old toilets.
A study of the University of Cambridge anatomy collection dating from the 1700s and 1800s shows how the bodies of stillborn foetuses and babies were valued for research into human development, and preserved as important teaching aids.
The flexible physiology of Barbary macaques in responding to extreme environmental conditions of their natural habitat may help shed light on the mechanisms that allowed our ancestors to thrive outside Africa, say researchers. New study also presents the first evidence for male primates boosting their metabolic physiology for mating.
Review of latest genetic evidence suggests infectious diseases are tens of thousands of years older than previously thought, and that they could jump between species of ‘hominin’. Researchers says that humans migrating out of Africa would have been ‘reservoirs of tropical disease’ – disease that may have sped up Neanderthal extinction.
Archaeological evidence shows that intestinal parasites such as whipworm became increasingly common across Europe during the Roman Period, despite the apparent improvements the empire brought in sanitation technologies.
Piers Mitchell (Department of Biological Anthroplogy) discusses what Roman toilets did for the health of the population.
Evolutionary ‘trade-off’ between size of throat and testes discovered in howler monkeys furthers Darwin’s theory of sexual selection and corresponds to mating systems: males with larger throats but smaller testes often have exclusive access to females, while those with larger testes share mates.
Research into differences between chimpanzees and bonobos in ‘preparation’ for tool use reveals intriguing sex bias in object manipulation in young chimpanzees – one that is partly mirrored in human children.