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Notable: Tuberculosis strains in seventeenth-century Hungary

Notable paper: Kay, G. L. et al. (2015) Eighteenth-century genomes show that mixed infections were common at time of peak tuberculosis in Europe. Nat. Commun. 6:6717 doi:10.1038/ncomms7717. Synopsis: Gemma Kay and colleagues used a metagenomic...Show More Summary

Link: Sandpile dynamics explained

My UW-Madison mathematics colleague Jordan Ellenberg has an interesting feature in Nautilus that describes a simple model capable of generating very complex behavior: “The Amazing, Autotuning Sandpile”. The dynamics of sand tumblingShow More Summary

Notable: Inheritance of fitness in patrilineal societies

Notable paper: Heyer, E., Brandenburg, J.-T., Leonardi, M., Toupance, B., Balaresque, P., Hegay, T., Aldashev, A. and Austerlitz, F. (2015), Patrilineal populations show more male transmission of reproductive success than cognatic populations in Central Asia, which reduces their genetic diversity. Show More Summary

Who got the NSF GRFPs? And are we ok with that?

NSF recently awarded the latest round of the NSF GRFP, aka the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. These awards are given to graduating anthropology undergrads or first year graduate students. To make a long story...Show More Summary

Domestication Now!

In the late 1990s, the study of kinship got zapped. A similar surge of new thinking is transforming another classic anthropological concept—domestication. In both cases, breaches in the fine lines between biology and culture open up generative possibilities. Show More Summary

The Nuclear Option: For Anthropologists Who Have Considered Humor When the Drive to Modernity is Not Enough

[Savage Minds is pleased to run this essay by guest author Donna Goldstein as part of our Writer’s Workshop Series. Yarimar is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado. She is the author of  Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence, and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown (University of California Press). Show More Summary

The anthropologies revival (call for ideas and submissions)

It’s time to bring the anthropologies project back to life.  The project was on “sabbatical” all of last year while I was working on turning an unfinished dissertation into a done dissertation. Now it’s time to bring it back, and I’m looking for people to take part. Show More Summary

Around the Web Digest: Week of March 29

If you observe it, happy Easter! The theme for this week seems to be “navel-gazing,” with a variety of blogs across the anthroblogosphere focusing on anthropology itself and academia as a whole. Don’t go anywhere, though: these are interesting posts. Show More Summary

Biology of Genomes titles

have been announced. A sample of interest is below: Population structure in African-Americans Contrasting patterns in the high-resolution variation of uniparental markers in European populations highlight very recent male-specific expansions...Show More Summary

Writing Anthropocene with a small 'a'

This week in Science, a short commentary by William Ruddiman and colleagues challenges the idea that scientists should recognize an Anthropocene epoch as having begun in the postwar era. They argue that this date does not recognize the...Show More Summary

Notable: Selection on the human chin

Notable paper: Pampush, James D. (2015) Selection played a role in the evolution of the human chin. Journal of Human Evolution (in press) doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.02.005 Synopsis: Pampush examined the angle of inclination of the mandibular...Show More Summary

Is lab productivity systematically too low to get students and postdocs jobs?

Science has a “Careers” section, and a few weeks ago they published an article titled, “Staffing labs for optimal productivity”. The article discusses the results of social science research by Annamaria Conti and Christopher Liu, who investigated the research output of biology labs at MIT from 1966 to 2000. Show More Summary

How many were already fathers?

Hanging outside Newgate Prison (Wikicommons) In England, executions peaked between 1500 and 1750 at 1 to 2% of all men of each generation. Were there genetic consequences? Were propensities for violence being removed from the gene pool?...Show More Summary

In search of the source of Denisovan ancestry

bioRxiv Denisovan Ancestry in East Eurasian and Native American Populations. Pengfei Qin, Mark Stoneking Although initial studies suggested that Denisovan ancestry was found only in modern human populations...Show More Summary

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