All posts tagged with development

Notable: Brain growth in Homo erectus

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Notable paper: Cofran, Z. and DeSilva, J. 2015. A neonatal perspective on Homo erectus brain growth. Journal of Human Evolution (in press) doi:10.1016/j.jhev...

Link: Ed Yong looks at limb buds

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Ed Yong writes about a new paper investigating the evolutionary developmental biology of finger formation: “How Did You Get Five Fingers?”.

"Cavemom parenting"

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Heather Turgeon, in Babble, writes a note of skepticism about the “natural” mode of parenting: “The Science of Cavemom Parenting and Whether You Should Try ...

Microchimerism and selection

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A recent article in Scientific American by Robert Martone explains some recent research on how fetal cells become integrated into mothers’ brains for the lon...

The workings of leprosy

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Mo Costandi describes a paper with a really fascinating finding about the workings of leprosy: “Leprosy spreads by reprogramming nerve cells into migratory s...

Metaphyseal fusion

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Holly Dunsworth, whom readers will remember from my previous links to her work in genetics education, recounts a personal experience to show how the “inciden...

Building bigger dolphin brains

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Ed Yong reports on a new study demonstrating a history of positive selection on the gene ASPM in cetaceans. Bruce Lahn’s group previously showed that this ge...

Fly larva growing in 3-D

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I don’t have any comments on this, it’s just cool: “Fruitfly development, cell by cell”

Spielke profile

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The New York Times has a long profile of developmental psychologist Elizabeth Spielke, whose work with babies has opened a window on early cognition (“Insigh...

Baldness genetics

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I’ve been doing some literature research on the genetics of baldness. Yes, I’m trying to work out what we can say about Neandertal phenotypes, if you’re wond...

Anthropology 105, lecture 7: Eyes

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Out of all the lectures in the course, this was one of my favorites to put together. I return to the topic of evolutionary developmental biology, first raise...

Kidney recapitulation

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Jerry Coyne reviews a case of recapitulation in human embryonic and fetal development: “Evidence for evolution: development of our kidneys”.

Looking over a Neandertal's shoulder

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A study by Di Vincenzo, Steven Churchill and Giorgio Manzi has fallen into the early drawer of the Journal of Human Evolution: “The Vindija Neanderthal scapu...

Growing teeth

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Zachary Cofran has been dissertation blogging about his work on dental development in robust australopithecines: “Data, development and diets”. An interestin...


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The face, mandible and endocast from Taung, South Africa, was the first australopithecine fossil to be discovered. We now know that the fossil dates to the p...

Aging juvenile fossil hominins

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The fossil record is not made up only of adults. We have abundant skeletal evidence from juvenile individuals of a broad range of ages. At this station you w...

Tooth wear

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Teeth have a close association with longevity. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but it does break, wear out, and is sometimes attacked by microbe...

Long bone development

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The long bones grow in parts. Early in fetal development, the bones are formed from cartilage. Bone tissue forms as special cells (called osteoblasts) lay do...

Deciduous teeth

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Like most mammals, humans have two sets of teeth. The first set is called the deciduous dentition, but you probably know these as “baby teeth.”

Blueprints and recipes

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Greg Mayer has a post on preformationism and epigenesis on the Why Evolution Is True blog:“Development is epigenetic”.

Hard-headed science

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Scicurious has been blogging from the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting. This morning she writes about some of Lynn Copes’ work: “Experimental Biology Bloggi...

Developing the sharing sense

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Following on after yesterday’s post about hunter-gatherer population structure, I ended with the proposal that cooperation may be a “cognitive technology” in...

Language bootstrapping the brain

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Marina Bedny and colleagues Bedny:2011 show that, to a remarkable degree, the visual cortex of blind subjects takes on language-specific processing tasks.

Finding hidden incest

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Another unexpected result of gene chips: Identifying hidden incest in the course of routine tests for developmental disabilities:

Babies and dominance

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I have a reader chock full of articles from this week’s Science. One that I found interesting may not get a lot of attention: “Big and Mighty: Preverbal Infa...

Questioning the "evolution of an underclass"

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A little life history theory can be a dangerous thing. Case in point: “Die young, live fast: The evolution of an underclass.” The article discusses correlati...


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The May issue of Discover has a transcript of a roundtable between the editor in chief, Corey Powell, and four researchers in robotics. It’s an interesting c...

National Children's Study update

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Pam Belluck explains the hold-ups with the 7-billion-dollar National Children’s Study: “Wanted: Volunteers, all pregnant.”


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Alan Boyle reports on two new papers in PNAS. The first concerns the dental development of the Lagar Velho skeleton. The second verges on Neandertal art:

Qafzeh teeth like Neandertals

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Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg and Donald Reid report on the perikymata spacing of a sample of fourteen anterior teeth from Qafzeh. These are “early modern humans...

Bigger brains, more cancer?

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Rachael Rettner reports on a hypothesis that human cancer risk may be a side-effect of brain evolution. The hypothesis emerges from studies of gene expressio...

IQ, brain size and genetics in children

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Dienekes points to a study by Marieke van Leeuwen and colleagues, in which they assess the phenotypic correlation between IQ and brain volume in a sample of ...

National Children's Study

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Last week, the NY Times printed a short article by Kate Murphy marking the beginning of the National Children’s Study (Official site) this coming January:

Eye and visual cortex development

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Neurophilosophy reviews an interesting paper that traces the directional preferences of visual cortex neurons in developing ferrets:

Mechanisms of development and body size

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I'm just doing some background reading about the body size of pygmies (for both obvious and not-so-obvious reasons) and I thought it worth making a note of ...

How modern is "modern tooth development"?

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Regular readers of the blog will remember previous occasions when I have written about dental development in fossil humans. I am by no means an expert on th...

Game theory and developmental robusticity

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The introduction of game theory into evolutionary biology is often credited to George Price and John Maynard Smith. This is for good reason; together they w...

Baby monkey see…

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This PLoS Biology paper by Pier Ferrari et al. is highly interesting:

Developing that TV sensibility

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The Times had this article the other day discussing whether TV is good for preschool-age kids. It's not all that interesting, but this bit near the end caug...

Setting the neural path of development

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A really big problem in studying the evolution of the brain is that we have very little idea how the organ develops. So this paper by Bystron and colleagues...

Attractive women have high estrogen?

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This BBC story covers this paper (warning! PDF!) that found a correlation (r = 0.48) between attractiveness and estrogen level in women:

Dental growth in early Homo

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Dean and colleagues (2001) present a study of perikymata counts of anterior teeth (incisors and canines) in early humans and australopithecines, compared to...