Anthropology

A number of midwives believe modern births rely too heavily on medication and technological intervention and they instead have created 'birthing rituals' to send the message that women's bodies know best and that birth is about female empowerment.

It's no surprise the Pacific Northwest, home of progressive anti-vaccine efforts, is also on the vanguard of this latest fad in anthropology. In Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Melissa Cheyney,  assistant professor of medical anthropology at Oregon State University, documented rituals used by midwives and conducted interviews with midwives and new mothers.
A common belief among club-going men is that women choose less attractive friends to make themselves look better. See this clip from that important anthropological documentary "Hall Pass" for context:



Not so, says a group of scientists who have observed the opposite strategy in the Trinidadian guppy, a species of small freshwater fish  - instead, the uglier friends are choosing the prettier females to avoid unwanted male attention. 
An East Asian human fossil from Maba, China and dated to the late Middle Pleistocene age has provided evidence of interhuman aggression and human induced trauma occurred 126,000 years ago.

A report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that a 14 mm ridged, healed lesion with bone depressed inward to the brain resulted from localized blunt force trauma. Was it an accident or interhuman aggression?

The Maba cranium was discovered with the remains of other mammals in June 1958, in a cave at Lion Rock in Guangdong province, China. The Maba cranium and associated animal bones were unearthed at a depth of one meter by farmers removing cave sediments for fertilizer. 

When domesticated agriculture was invented, it took off and revolutionized human expansion but a study of ceramic pots from 15 sites dating to around 4,000 B.C. shows humans may have undergone a gradual rather than an abrupt transition from fishing, hunting and gathering to farming. The researchers analyzed the cooking residues preserved in 133 ceramic vessels from the Western Baltic regions of Northern Europe to establish whether these residues were from terrestrial, marine or freshwater organisms. 

The research team found that fish and other aquatic resources continued to be exploited after the advent of farming and domestication, with pots from coastal locations containing residues enriched in a form of carbon found in marine organisms.

Networking and prompt sharing of knowledge are aspects commonly associated with the development of the Internet but intense intellectual exchange and joint work on projects over large distances happened as early as Habsburg times.

The manuscripts of Court Librarian Peter Lambeck, head of Vienna´s Hofbibliothek (Imperial Library), show he was an expert in content management and social networking. The evaluation of his life and work now traces Austria´s role in the "Republic of Letters" - the combined expertise of Europe´s intellectual elite - as early as the 17th century.

Fossil evidence indicates that approximately 30,000 years ago, humans captured, tamed, and bred gray wolves (Canis lupus), ultimately producing Canis familiarus: the domestic dog. Centuries of breeding to reduce aggression and fear have yielded animals that are not only comfortable in the presence of humans, but may also be overtly friendly, eager to please, and even helpful.

In claims about math performance among females, and the sociological implication that unknown  cultural pressure in schools made the mentally malleable fairer sex believe they couldn't do math even if they could, there was always one inconvenient truth  - in America, over 70% of teachers are women, so if there was sexism women were doing it.

A study at the University of the Basque Country finds a more pervasive link between the sexist attitudes of mothers and that of children - and gender and the family's socio-economic and cultural level to sexism. Mothers teach more gender than discrimination than fathers.

Researchers have sequenced the genome of a man who was an Aboriginal Australian and used that to show that modern day Aboriginal Australians are the direct descendants of the first people who arrived on the continent some 50,000 years ago and that those ancestors left Africa earlier than their European and Asian counterparts. 

Even in our modern world, where transportation and communication technologies can lead to cultural homogenization by making it easy to share ideas and objects, it's still possible to see distinct regional differences. In the US, for instance, adobe houses are primarily found in the Southwest, while brightly painted clapboard houses have a distinctly New England feel. Differences like these are driven partly by culture: Inhabitants of these areas build, or built, houses like those of their ancestors, who built houses like those of their ancestors, and so on. But local ecology also plays a role: Builders are more likely to use materials that are abundant nearby, and will produce homes specifically tailored for comfort in local weather and temperatures.
People communicate in bursts. In communication, our behavior does not happen in a homogenous way over time, but rather there is universal behavior in which there is no communication, followed by short intervals, says a new study.

A new study analyzed around 9,000 million calls throughout a nearly one year period and identified  features of the communication process and attempted to quantify their impact in the diffusion of information.