All posts tagged with agriculture

How mice became house mice

3 minute read

A new paper from Thomas Cucchi and coworkers in Scientific Reports probes the early history of the house mouse: “Tracking the Near Eastern origins and Europe...

The dawn of bread

1 minute read

Archaeologists working at Shubayqa 1, a site in northeastern Jordan, found tiny fragments of an ancient unleavened bread as they were excavating a hearth. Th...

Link: Peanut origins

less than 1 minute read

Peanuts have an interesting origin: “Modern Peanut’s Wild Cousin, Thought Extinct, Found in Andes”.

Notable: Plant use in Neolithic Nubia

less than 1 minute read

Notable paper: Madella M, García-Granero JJ, Out WA, Ryan P, Usai D (2014) Microbotanical Evidence of Domestic Cereals in Africa 7000 Years Ago. PLoS ONE 9(1...

My article in Scientific American

1 minute read

The current issue of Scientific American is specially devoted to human evolution. There are great articles by Kate Wong, Ian Tattersall, Frans de Waal, Berna...

Pointing to entomophagy

less than 1 minute read

Julie Lesnik is a biological anthropologist who has done a lot of research on insect consumption, by ancient hominins, living humans and living non-human pri...

Genetics of smell and population history

4 minute read

I want to point to a recent paper by Jeremy McRae and colleagues McRae:2013, which identifies previously-unknown genetic associations with smell sensitivity ...

Spurring the growth of cities

1 minute read

Science this week has a news feature by Andrew Lawler on excavations in southern Mesopotamia looking into what may be the earliest urban developments: “Uncov...

Alfred Crosby interviewed

1 minute read

Last week I linked to an article about the dispersal of the potato (“How the Potato Changed the World”). Smithsonian also has an interview with Alfred Crosby...

Potato sack race

less than 1 minute read

Smithsonian magazine has a very nice article by Charles C. Mann, “How the Potato Changed the World”, focusing on the effects of the Columbian exchange on Eur...

Copy number variation in 1000 Genomes

5 minute read

When I wrote earlier in the week about the 1000 Genomes Project results, I mentioned that a second paper was being published in Science. That paper, by Peter...

Norman Borlaug

3 minute read

Yesterday, Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug died. This AP story reviews his life and accomplishments. Without question, Borlau...

Early iron in Africa

2 minute read

The dawn of ironworking in Africa is a hot anthropological topic. My own interests in demographic growth and dispersals depends very closely on the chronolog...

The future of genetics is corny

1 minute read

Elizabeth Pennisi's story about maize genomics is a good reminder for why biology will continue to grow in importance toward our understanding of human hist...

Why human evolution accelerated

17 minute read

n. b. This is a story about my work on recent human evolution, describing some of the main results and how the work came about. The story refers to my paper ...

So, it's dog corn next.

3 minute read

Amy Harmon explains some dog genetics in the NY Times today, in an article focused on whippets. The problem is that undesirable characteristics of some bree...

Global biopharming

5 minute read

Planting time has arrived in most of the country -- even here in zone 4 -- so you may be reading those seed packets carefully. This paragraph may catch your...

Notes on "Darwinian agriculture"

5 minute read

R. Ford Denison's blog, "This Week in Evolution," has become a very interesting read since he began a couple of months ago. Denison recently attended a symp...

Plant drug introgression

1 minute read

This is a nice little article in the times by "collaborative problem solving" director Denise Caruso A NEW generation of genetically engineered crops that p...

Genetics versus energy costs

less than 1 minute read

Either this continues today's Kansas theme, or this week's genetics theme. In either case, it's nice to see some attention to agricultural genetics and its ...

Grass on the run

2 minute read

Genetically engineered creeping bentgrass has been found growing miles from a test plot where it was planted two years ago, according to a NY Times story:

Breastfeeding via rice

1 minute read

On the topic of biotechnology, this AP article describes Ventria Bioscience's field tests of rice altered with a human gene: