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Ancient DNA Provides New Insights into Ashkenazi Jewish History: Analysis reveals medieval genetic diversity, illuminates founder event

December 1, 2022

The largest study to date of ancient DNA from Jewish individuals reveals unexpected genetic subgroups in medieval German Ashkenazi Jews and sheds light on the “founder event” in which a small population gave rise to most present-day Ashkenazi Jews.

 

The findings, spearheaded by geneticists from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Harvard Medical School, were published Nov. 30 in Cell.

About half of Jewish people around the world today identify as Ashkenazi, meaning that...

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Legendary Battle of Himera was triumph of Greek heroism, kind of: Genetics Professor David Reich traces the movements of people who traveled extraordinarily long distances to fight in the Battle of Himera

October 18, 2022

From the Harvard Crimson: 

"The new paper, “The diverse genetic origins of a Classical period Greek army,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, takes a genomic look at those foreign fighters. A previous study used isotopes to identify three-quarters of those in the mass graves as “non-local.” Now, the archaeologists from that study — including Professor of Genetics and Human Evolutionary Biology David Reich, co-first authors ...

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Characterization of Pan social systems reveals in-group/out-group distinction and out-group tolerance in bonobos

September 7, 2022

Abstract: "Human between-group interactions are highly variable, ranging from violent to tolerant and affiliative. Tolerance between groups is linked to our unique capacity for large-scale cooperation and cumulative culture, but its evolutionary origins are understudied. In chimpanzees, one of our closest living relatives, predominantly hostile between-group interactions impede cooperation and information flow across groups. In contrast, in our other closest living relative, the bonobo, tolerant between-group associations are observed. However, as these associations can...

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HEB Assistant Prof. Erin Hecht Wins 2022 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship

February 22, 2022
HEB Assistant Professor Erin Hecht has been awarded a 2022 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Erin was recognized as being an early-career scholar representing the most promising scientific researchers working today. Her achievements and potential place her among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada.  Read more about HEB Assistant Prof. Erin Hecht Wins 2022 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship

"No one outruns death, but hunter-gatherers come closest" - Keep moving as you get older, says evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman, comparing tribal 'healthspans' with outcomes of sedentary Americans

October 14, 2021

"Daniel Lieberman, the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences and an expert in the evolution of physical activity and exercise, says that the difference in activity levels between Western adults and hunter-gatherers is significant throughout the lifespan, but grows particularly glaring as we age. Western adults slow down with age while elders of today’s hunter-gatherer tribes — whose daily exercise is already significantly higher — chalk up six to 10 times more activity than their Western counterparts." (...

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Taking a step toward discovering the cause of joint disease: Study finds switches near GDF5 gene linked to knee osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia

July 14, 2021

Hips2From the Harvard Gazette: 

"Terence D. Capellini has been interested in how joints work for almost three decades. Part of it is due to personal experience, as he suffered several joint injuries as a college ice hockey player and...

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