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  • Chimp study offers new clues to language

    Why don’t chimpanzees have language the way humans do? Researchers are confident that it has something to do with differences in their brains that arose sometime in the past 5 million to 7 million years, when the chimp and human lines went their evolutionary ways. But exactly what differences account for human language are not… Read More
  • Darwin, women and science

    In Charles Darwin’s 19th century, things were changing for women, as campaigns for equality and feminist ideals emerged. During this time of social transition, Darwin encouraged many aspiring female scientists of the day to push on with, and even publish, their own work. Now, a new project run by the Darwin Correspondence Project (DCP) at the U… Read More
  • The prehistory of cartoons

    We all loved cartoons as children, and many adults still do. They are funny, and they usually tell a story, either in consecutive panels, as in comic strips, or by using animation techniques, as in motion-picture cartoons. The modern comic strip dates from the late 19th century, when artists such as Rudolph Dirks, inventor of… Read More
  • A Streetcar Named Darwin

    From the Random Samples page in the current issue of Science: Some streetcar riders in Cologne, Germany, are getting a dose of evolutionary biology during their daily commute. Twenty art students at the University of Cologne, directed by biologist Daniel Dreesmann, artist Volker Saul, and art professor Silke Leverkühne, celebrated the Darwin Yea… Read More
  • How Darwin’s book “evolved”

    Charles Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life contained his first thoughts on evolution. Now, 150 years later, computer scientist Greg McInerny is turning the idea on its head, drawing diagrams showing the “evolution” of the book as new editions… Read More
  • On the Origins of Plant Immunity

    The May Origins essay examined the origins of the immune system but focused exclusively on the microbial defenses animals use. Here, Claire Thomas examines what scientists are learning about the evolution of plant immunity—and whether there are any connections with animal immunity. Most of us know the basics behind the “adaptive” immune sys… Read More
  • Bringing our ancestors back to life

    In my article in last week’s issue of Science, ”Bringing Hominins Back to Life,” I feature several “paleoartists” who create lifelike models of our ancestors for museum displays, magazine covers, and documentaries. All of these artists owe their credibility and success to close collaborations with human evolution experts, who serve a… Read More
  • This View of Life: Darwin’s bulldog takes the stage

    In Victorian England, biologist Thomas Huxley battled to promote the theory of evolution so much that he was sometimes called “Darwin’s bulldog.” Now, a new play follows Huxley throughout his fight, highlighting vicious debates with adversaries opposed to evolution, such as biologist Sir Richard Owen. Written by zoologist and playw… Read More
  • Inspiring careers

    One of our colleagues at ScienceCareers also has some thoughts on the Darwin Festival, noting how the naturalist and one of his greatest fans, David Attenborough, inspire people to love science—and even pursue it as a career. Read More
  • ReDesign: a play on letters

    I am conscious that I am in an utterly hopeless muddle. I cannot think that the world, as we see it, is the result of chance. And yet I cannot look at each separate thing as the result of Design. —Charles Darwin, letter to Asa Gray, 1860 Asa Gray, an American botanist, was one of… Read More