new language Anthropology Human Evolution Linguistics 

Children Create Foundation for New Language in Minutes

By Shelby Nilsen (@shellbeegrace) Human language is unlike any other form of natural communication. It is the fundamental mechanism that we as a society use to exchange information. Using oral sounds and written characters, we express our needs and ask questions. We describe our thoughts and opinions, tell stories, and teach one another new things. Through language, we connect and share common ideas. What humans can communicate through the spoken word is limitless. But how did language come to exist? Researchers at the Leipzig Research Centre for Early Childhood Development…

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Stacks of a nuclear power plant. (Credit: Markus Distelrath/Pixabay) Anthropology Book Reviews Citizen Science Health SciStarter Blog 

Nuclear Radiation, Citizen Science, and Civic Engagement

In Japan after a nuclear radiation disaster Book Review: Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after Fukushima. By Aya Hirata Kimura. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.  Nuclear Radiation and Food Safety In March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami that would result in a tragic loss of life. Water overtook the seawalls at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and damaged critical systems. These events resulted in one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. Survivors near…

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Proof of evolution is in your DNA Anthropology Biology Education Genetics Science Videos 

Proof of Evolution Is in Your DNA

Another great video from our friend Dr. Joe Hanson and the team at It’s Okay to Be Smart, brought to you by PBS Digital Studios. This time, we’re looking at the proof of evolution that’s embedded right there in our DNA. Humans are special, and we got that way thanks to evolution and natural selection. The proof is right there in our bodies! From anatomy to genes, here are some stories of how you got to be the way you are. Dr. Joe Hanson, It’s Okay to Be Smart References…

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Anthropology Biology Botany Chemistry 

Leaf Age Matters for Plant Survival

By Radhika Desikan Does age really matter? For us humans, age seems to be a very sensitive issue relevant to how we live our lives. And while it also matters to plants, it does so at a different level. Some of our tissues, like skin, have cells that are constantly dividing (to replace dead cells) and therefore differ in age, but what defines our age as an organism is not the life span of individual cells in our body, but rather the length of time that has passed since our…

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Cooking, Evolution, and Brain Growth Anthropology Education 

Cooking, Evolution, and Brain Growth

Cooking establishes the difference between animals and people. In fact, we’re not the only social animals that sit down to eat together, but we are the only ones who cook. But how is cooking linked to human brain’s growth and evolution? This is a video from Dr. Joe Hanson’s It’s Okay To Be Smart series. Cooking helped humans strengthen social bonds and cooperation. Although our brain uses one-fifth of the calories that we eat, we spend only 5 percent of our daily lives eating, while Chimpanzees and Gorillas spend more than half…

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