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Don’t count on evolution to save us from toxic chemicals and pollution

PIK Professor Sarah Tishkoff spoke about how humans continue to evolve. For example, she said, a genetic variant that enables lactose tolerance didn’t emerge until somewhere between the past several hundred and 2,000 years. “When you’re talking about evolutionary time scales, that’s like a flash.”

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Science

Africans begin to take the reins of research into their own genomes

PIK Professor Sarah Tishkoff spoke about her research sampling the genes of remote populations in various African regions. “Our studies combined are just the tip of the iceberg,” she said.

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Science

Humans were drinking milk before they could digest it

PIK Professor Sarah Tishkoff spoke about the anthropological origins of dairy farming and consumption. “If you have cows, you have a source of liquid and proteins and nutrition,” she said. “As long as you can keep your cattle alive, of course.”

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Science

Ancient megadrought may explain civilization’s ‘missing millennia’ in Southeast Asia

A team led by Joyce White of the School of Arts & Sciences studied stalagmites in a Laotian cave and identified a drought that lasted for more than a millennium, one of a series of megadroughts that affected Asia and Africa between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago.

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Science

Experts question study claiming to pinpoint birthplace of all humans

PIK Professor Sarah Tishkoff said mitochondrial DNA is a poor tool for tracking ancient population history in Africa, as it only traces genes passed from mothers to children over time.

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The Atlantic

The mystery of ‘Skeleton Lake’ gets deeper

Kathleen Morrison of the School of Arts and Sciences weighed in on the origins of human remains found in India’s Skeleton Lake. “I suspect that they’re aggregated there, that local people put them in the lake,” she says. “When you see a lot of human skeletons, usually it’s a graveyard.”

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