Researchers Have Finally Found Human Skeletal Stem Cells

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

If only we could regrow our broken bones like Harry Potter, Skele-gro style. Or, at the very least, heal up like a limb-regenerating newt. Alas, we humans possess no such abilities. Though our bodies can mend broken bones, the older we get, the shoddier that patch job gets. As for cartilage — the crucial cushioning that keeps our bones from rubbing together — once that’s gone, it’s gone for good. But a new discovery by researchers could change that outlook. A team from S ...read more

Neanderthal Brains: Bigger, Not Necessarily Better

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

Neanderthals had bigger brains than people today. In any textbook on human evolution, you’ll find that fact, often accompanied by measurements of endocranial volume, the space inside a skull. On average, this value is about 1410 cm3 (~6 cups) for Neanderthals and 1350 cm3 (5.7 cups) for recent humans. So does that quarter-cup of brain matter, matter? Were Neanderthals smarter than our kind? While brain size is important, cognitive abilities are influenced by numerous factors includi ...read more

Patience, Peace, and Persian Leopards

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

Hana Raza has never seen a Persian leopard. But thanks to her, we know the big cats still roam the Zagros Mountains of Kurdistan. After four decades of war in Iraq, the species was thought to have followed the Asiatic lion and cheetah into local extinction. But Raza says she never lost hope. “It’s a very adaptive creature,” she says. “And I just thought, it’s too strong. It can survive the wars.” With a freshly minted bachelor’s degree in biology, she jo ...read more

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