Bournemouth University’s new Institute for Studies in Landscape and Human Evolution (ISLHE) – is exploring how techniques for documenting ancient footprints can help forensic scientists understand modern-day crime scenes.

Professor Matthew Bennett, Head of  the Institute for Studies in Landscape and Human Evolution, explained why the research is needed. “Footwear impressions can provide an important source of evidence from crime scenes. They can help to determine the sequence of events and – if distinctive – can even link a suspect to multiple crime scenes.
 Stone tools, shaped by striking a stone "core" with a piece of bone, antler, or another stone, provide some of the most abundant evidence of human behavioral change over time. Simple Oldowan stone flakes are the earliest things considered tools, dating back 2.6 million years, and the Late Acheulean hand axe goes back 500,000 years.

While it's relatively easy to learn to make an Oldowan flake, the Acheulean hand axe is harder to master, due to its lens-shaped core tapering down to symmetrical edges. 
When you look at a primate or neanderthal skull and compare it to modern humans, it is immediately noticeable that we have a feature they are missing.

In fact, it's missing from all other species: A chin.

Why do we? A new study finds that our chins didn't come from mechanical forces such as chewing, but instead results from an evolutionary adaptation involving face size and shape, possibly linked to changes in hormone levels as we became more societally domesticated. If true, it would settle a debate that's gone on for more than a century, and anthropology would have solved it rather than biology.

African-American women who live in rural areas have lower rates of major depressive disorder (MDD) and mood disorder compared with their urban counterparts, while rural non-Hispanic European-American women have higher rates for both than their urban counterparts, according to a new study.

Major depressive disorder is a debilitating mental illness and the prevalence of depression among both African- and Rural-Americans is understudied, according to background in the study. Addie Weaver, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and coauthors examined the interaction of Urban-American vs.Rural-American residence and race/ethnicity on lifetime and 12-month MDD and mood disorder in African-American and non-Hispanic European-American women.

A new study of 311 childless Danish women initiating assisted reproduction using donor semen finds that single women seeking treatment are no different than cohabiting women seeking treatment when it comes to sociodemographic characteristics or attitudes toward motherhood

The authors used baseline data collection in a multicenter cohort study from alll nine public fertility clinics in Denmark to examine sociodemographic characteristics, family backgrounds, reproductive histories, and attitudes towards motherhood in single vs. cohabiting women seeking treatment with donor semen. 
It may be sexist but when more women are on ballots, political parties do better, according to a new paper.

Whether or not that is because women will vote for gender over the best candidate is unclear, but it does mean that the belief that people will not vote for women is  not true. The authors analyzed changes on municipal election laws in Spain which instituted a quota for female candidates. With other factors being equal, the scholars found that parties that increased their share of female candidates by 10 percentage points more than their opponents enjoyed a 4.2 percentage-point gain at the ballot box, or an outright switch of about 20 votes per 1,000 cast. 
Do you really cherish diversity? Self-identification on that issue tells us little, studies have shown that in America, liberals, for example, who claim to care more about diversity, are far more likely to unfriend people on social media who disagree with their beliefs, while both liberals and conservatives show a large amount of homophily, which makes them more polarized.
Compared to most languages in the developed world, Icelandic is quite conservative. Formal German is almost useless in actual German society due to slang and informal terms, for example, while English has few rules but so many exceptions and colloquial phrases it can be difficult for tourists to understand eating in a restaurant.

Icelandic, by contrast, has a vocabulary well preserved in Old Norse roots and Icelanders want to keep it that way.  The purist tradition of preferring native words to foreign ones is thought to be connected to Iceland’s long process of liberation from Denmark, which was noticeable in the Icelandic language from the second half of the 19th century to some decades after the final independence in 1944.

One of the dominant hypotheses of evolution is that our genus, Homo, evolved from small-bodied early humans to become the taller, heavier and longer legged Homo erectus that was able to migrate beyond Africa and colonize Eurasia.

Not so, according to a new anthropology paper. 

The "average" Australian according to statistics is a 37 year-old woman with two kids, a mortgage and three bedroom house. But how "typical" are her consumer choices? Image from Shutterstock

Who is the “typical” or “average” consumer? Is there such a thing? What do they look like? How do they make decisions? Am I an average (or perhaps a below average) consumer?