By looking at temperature fluctuations and reduced agricultural production in eastern China's past, David Zhang from the University of Hong Kong and his colleagues say they can predict the geopolitics of global warming's future.
They found that warfare frequency in eastern China, and the southern part in particular, significantly correlated with temperature oscillations. Almost all peaks of warfare and dynastic changes coincided with cold phases.
Looking to the future and applying their findings, Zhang and colleagues suggest that shortages of essential resources, such as fresh water, agricultural land, energy sources and minerals may trigger more armed conflicts among human societies.
Freeloaders can live on the fruits of the cooperation of others, but their selfishness can have long-term consequences, reports an evolutionary biologist from The University of Texas at Austin in a new study.
“There is a historical dimension to cooperation,” says Dr. Sam Brown, the Human Frontier Science Foundation Fellow in the Section of Integrative Biology. “The act of a cooperator can continue to give benefits even after the cooperator is dead. Conversely, cheating will have consequences in the future.”
African societies, including those of the Bwaba of Burkina Faso and the Bassar of northern Togo, consider certain natural sites located on their territory as sacred. With each of these places these communities associate supernatural beings, kinds of spirits, that they have to come to terms with.
Maintenance of relations with these spirits requires strict preservation of the sites that they occupy. This is the case notably for the sacred groves, where wood cutting and all forms of removal of materials or organisms are strictly forbidden.
The Genographic Project is studying the genetic signatures of ancient human migrations and creating an open-source research database. It allows members of the public to participate in a real-time anthropological genetics study by submitting personal samples for analysis and donating the genetic results to the database.
In the first scientific publication from the project they report on genotyping human mitochondrial DNA during the first 18 months of the project.
To making sorting and cataloguing so much data easier, they created the Nearest Neighbor haplogroup prediction tool. The accurate classification of genetic lineages into distinct branches on the human family tree, known as haplogroups, has long been a struggle for anthropologists.
Toddlers learn their first words better from people than from Teletubbies, according to new research at Wake Forest University.
The study was published in the June 21 issue of Media Psychology.
Children younger than 22 months may be entertained, but they do not learn words from the television program, said Marina Krcmar, associate professor of communication at Wake Forest and author of the study.
When white Americans were asked in a new study to pick a dollar amount they would have to be paid to live the rest of their lives as a black person, most requested less than $10,000. A minor thing.
In contrast, study participants said they would have to be paid about $1 million to give up television for the rest of their lives.
This would seem to state that white people don't think being black is such a big deal in 2007. Not the case at all, says Philip Mazzocco, co-author of a new study study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University's Mansfield campus. Instead, he says the results suggest most white Americans don't truly comprehend the persisting racial disparities in our country.
Women cheat on men for their own needs but superb starling females stray from their mates for the sake of their chicks, according to recent Cornell research. This reasoning includes being able to know if mates are too 'genetically similar' for breeding.
That gives 'doing it for the kids' a whole new layer of meaning. The study found that superb starling females (Lamprotornis superbus) cheat on their mates based on these factors:
Superb starlings are cooperative breeders, meaning breeding pairs get help in raising chicks from other family group members. Some females mate with subordinate males when they need help to raise their chicks.
Looking at fossils of long-dead creatures, it's easy to understand how anthropologists determine the way an animal looked. But how do they determine how one moved?
Alan Walker,Professor of Anthropology and Biology at Penn State University, and a team of researchers studied 91 separate primate species, including all taxonomic families. The study also included 119 additional species, most of which are mammals ranging in size from mouse to elephant, that habitually move in diverse ways in varied environments.
Their goal was to document the relationship of the dimensions of the semicircular canals to locomotion. These structures are filled with a fluid, which moves within the canals when the animal moves.
The long-running controversy about the origins of the Etruscan people appears to be very close to being settled once and for all.
Professor Alberto Piazza, from the University of Turin, Italy, will say that there is overwhelming evidence that the Etruscans, whose brilliant civilisation flourished 3000 years ago in what is now Tuscany, were settlers from old Anatolia (now in southern Turkey).
Etruscan culture was very advanced and quite different from other known Italian cultures that flourished at the same time, and highly influential in the development of Roman civilisation. Its origins have been debated by archaeologists, historians and linguists since time immemorial.
How social or altruistic behavior evolved has been a central and hotly debated question, particularly by those researchers engaged in the study of social insect societies of ants, bees and wasps.