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How Evolution Shaped Our Minds and Bodies
Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D.
To be healthy, humans need a highly varied diet. This is out of step with all other animals, but the answer to that mystery lies in the lifestyle of our ancestors long ago.
Can the chronic psychological stress of lacking access to healthcare lead to chronic physiological stress? The telomeres of white blood cells may hold the answers.
The key to all evolutionary innovation, and thus all human greatness, is the same thing that makes cancer so inevitable: mutations.
Public health research in Boston confirms that anti-LGBT hate crimes correlate with suicidality and poor mental health outcomes for LGBT youth.
Animals are "social learners" much more than we previously thought. This illuminates how animals master complex tasks and gives insight into the evolution of human intelligence.
The belief that the stigmatization of drugs as illegal and dangerous reduces teen drug use is not just wrong — it's backwards.
Americans by the millions are pursuing their genealogy and bio-geographical ancestry. But what can this tell us that we don't already know?
My book has drawn some predictable creationist criticism. Here I respond and invite dialogue.
There's more to wine than bouquets and finishes. Wine may be the badge of civilization and it is an excellent summary of science.
The key to understanding our struggles with healthy weight management lies in our evolutionary past.
Understanding the the many aspects of art reveals its possible functions and origins in our past.
Being flexible as employees meet their family needs is good for the health and well-being of workers. If those workers are healthcare providers, patients benefit also.
Human faces exhibit more diversity than any other physical feature and more than other species. This fact tells us of the social evolution of our ancestors.
In women, a low waist-hip ratio correlates with health, fertility, and attractiveness. However, a new study reveals that it may also distinguish between past and future fertility.
Another cave of fossils and a surprising young age sheds dramatic new light on the origins of complex behaviors and humanity itself.
Of course we enjoy having fun, but does play have important biological benefits?
The guilty dog look and the human handshake have similar roots in the evolution of animal communication.
Changes in the human face over the last 100,000 years may indicate a reduction in testosterone. This may have been key to the emergence of modern civilization.
Researchers have found that it is easier to train humans and other primates to fear snakes than other dangers, indicating a genetic predisposition for the fear of snakes.
The recent discovery that all mammals make the same pain-face begs the question, why? One reason could be that wincing is a facial expression intended to communicate danger.
Overprotective parenting may cause more than just stunted psychological development; it may actually be bad for children's health.
Could evolution have programmed us to avoid social interactions when we might be contagious?
New insights into the origin of language as a mandrill in an English zoo invents a gesture for "leave me alone," and it spreads through the community
A population of Mountain Gorillas recently underwent a complete upheaval in the most central aspects of their gender-based social structures. If they can do it, so can we.
Popular claims that human beings are no longer the subject of evolution often confuse the terms "natural selection" and "evolution." Indeed, we are still evolving!
One of the cruelest aspects of PTSD is that traumatic memories intensify over time, contributing to its progressive nature. This phenomenon may have once had value for humans.
Researchers have discovered a connection between certain female vocal features and physical attractiveness, health, and fertility, indicating an evolutionary mechanism.
Even if you're in good shape, you probably get winded by quickly running up a flight of stairs. Why? Because your brain tells your body to stop breathing.
Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D., is a professor of molecular biology at John Jay College, of the City University of New York.