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Anthropology headlines in CAS News

  • Washington Research Foundation announces 2021 cohort of WRF Postdoctoral Fellows

    The 10 Fellows-elect will conduct their research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch), the University of Washington (UW), Washington State University (WSU) and Western Washington University (WWU) starting in 2021. Most will be carrying out research of their own design that focuses on solutions to challenges in the life sciences. They were chosen by a national selection committee from academia and industry to complete projects that will accelerate the development of products and services to benefit people in Washington state and beyond.

    Among them, Molly Carney is completing a doctorate in archaeology at WSU and will continue at the university to investigate how past Northwest … » More …

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  • A female hunter’s remains hint at more fluid gender roles in the early Americas

    Women in early hunter-gatherer groups regularly hunted big game alongside their male peers, indicates a study published on November 4 in the journal Science Advances. Researchers excavated a 9,000-year-old partial skeleton in the Andes buried with hunting tools and determined that the remains belonged to a young woman. The team also pored over previous reports of human remains from this time period, and found numerous other examples of women in North and South America buried with tools used in big-game hunting.

    However, a number of researchers have speculated that some ancient societies might have had a more equal division of labor. “We think that … » More …

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  • WSU COVID-19 research tackles the present and future pandemic

    From tracking to treatment to prevention, Washington State University scientists are expanding our understanding of the current COVID-19 crisis while helping lead international efforts to identify and stop the next potential pandemic.

    More than 150 researchers are working on projects related to COVID-19 throughout the WSU system. Many, such as identifying differences in how people are responding to the pandemic, have present applications, while others are helping advance our knowledge of this disease so as to prevent a future, similar outbreak.

    Infant health – Biological anthropologist Courtney Meehan is teaming up with researchers at University of Idaho, University of Washington and Tulane University to investigate maternal-infant SARS-CoV-2 … » More …

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  • War songs and lullabies behind origins of music

    Love is not the reason why we sing and create symphonies—at least not the primary reason, according to a new evolutionary theory of the origins of music.

    “Sex and mating are a part of the story, but music seems to expand far beyond that particular domain,” said Ed Hagen, an evolutionary anthropologist with Washington State University and a co-author on the study. “The sexual selection hypothesis doesn’t really explain a core feature of music: that it is often performed in groups. It’s also listened to and performed by both sexes.”

    The researchers also argue against the social bonding theory noting that there are many more … » More …

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  • Ask Dr. Universe: Why do apes walk on their knuckles?

    A lot of apes walk on their knuckles. Gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos use their knuckles for stability and balance.

    That’s what I found out from my friend Nanda Grow, an anthropologist and wildlife biologist at Washington State University who studies primates.

    “Gorillas and chimpanzees both do knuckle walking, but they do different kinds,” she said.

    Whether primates are swinging, jumping, running, skipping, knuckle-walking or walking upright, every species knows just the right way to get from one place to the next.

    Find out more

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