Dogs spread across the Americas alongside humans. Then they got eaten. – When people traversed across the land bridge connecting Siberia to North America, dogs trotted by their sides. Canines and their human companions spread throughout the continent for thousands of years, settling from California to Nova Scotia and down to Peru. These dogs ranged from the size of squat bull-terroirs to as large as hulking malamutes. By all accounts, these early American hounds were thriving. That was, until the arrival of European colonists, when the continent of dogs was...

Source: Máire Ní Leathlobhair, et al. The evolutionary history of dogs in the Americas. Science, 2018.

Hunter Gatherers Baked Their Own Bread 14,000 Years Ago - 4,000 Years Before Agriculture – Some 4,000 years before domesticated agriculture, hunter-gatherers baked their own bread, according to a discovery at an archaeological site in northeastern Jordan.

Source: Amaia Arranz-Otaegui, Lara Gonzalez Carretero, Monica N. Ramsey, Dorian Q. Fuller, Tobias Richter. Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018.

After 5,300 years, the last meal of an ancient Iceman has been revealed — and it was a high-fat, meaty feast – Otzi, the 5,300 year old iceman ate a high-fat, meat-lover's diet. But he wasn't 'Paleo,' and he also ate some toxic ferns and wheat. Scientists are analyzing his stomach contents using DNA analyses, and they're finding out that he wasn't in perfect health.

Source: Frank Maixner, et al. The Iceman’s Last Meal Consisted of Fat, Wild Meat, and Cereals. Current Biology, 2018.

Is CRISPR Gene Editing Doing More Harm Than Good? – CRISPR/Cas9 is poised to become the gene-editing tool of the future. But, according to a new study, you may want to think twice before rewriting your DNA. Scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute …

Source: Michael Kosicki, Kärt Tomberg, Allan Bradley. Repair of double-strand breaks induced by CRISPR–Cas9 leads to large deletions and complex rearrangements. Nature Biotechnology, 2018.

World's Oldest Colors Shed Light On Ancient Life – The oldest biological colors ever found could help explain why complex, multicellular life took so long to evolve on Earth.

Source: N. Gueneli, et al. 1.1-billion-year-old porphyrins establish a marine ecosystem dominated by bacterial primary producers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018.

Hominins Likely Left Africa Earlier than Believed – Our ancestors may have been on the move out of Africa 300,000 years earlier than we originally thought.

Source: Zhaoyu Zhu, et al. Hominin occupation of the Chinese Loess Plateau since about 2.1 million years ago. Nature, 2018.

Invasive rats harm reefs by robbing coral of nutritious bird excrement – Rats have a surprising impact on the health of reefs. The invasive rodents not only disrupt online ecosystems, but harm surrounding marine ecosystems, too.

Source: Nicholas A. J. Graham, et al. Seabirds enhance coral reef productivity and functioning in the absence of invasive rats. Nature, 2018.

Trilobites: New Clues to How the Biggest Dinosaurs Got So Big – A fossil found in Argentina that is more than 200 million years old suggests the most giant of dinosaurs existed earlier than paleontologists believed.

Source: Cecilia Apaldetti, Ricardo N. Martínez, Ignacio A. Cerda, Diego Pol, Oscar Alcober. An early trend towards gigantism in Triassic sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2018.

Sunk cost fallacy in mice, rats and humans – New research has shown that mice, rats, and humans all commit the sunk cost fallacy.

Source: Sensitivity to “sunk costs” in mice, rats, and humans. Science, 2018.