Tolerant one day, xenophobic the next: Can we humans actually get along?
Whether they are proposing to build a wall or to exit an international coalition, populist politicians like to pitch themselves as keeping ‘outsiders’ at bay, and it clearly strikes a chord with their home crowd.
One evolutionary hypothesis for our tendency toward ingroup loyalty is that it would have been advantageous to our tribal hunter-gatherer ancestors in their competition with rival tribes (as groups with more loyal and devoted members would have been more likely to survive and reproduce). The warring behaviour seen in our chimpanzee cousins, who form coalitions to steal the territory of rival groups, is cited as evidence that supports this theory.
Yet chimps might not … » More …Read Story
Anthropologist Aaron Blackwell to lead new Human Biology program
An expert in human evolution and immune function development, Aaron Blackwell, associate professor of anthropology, will direct the new Human Biology degree program at WSU, consisting primarily of courses in anthropology and biological sciences.
The College of Arts and Sciences launched the four-year, interdisciplinary bachelor of arts program this fall to help meet global demand for skilled professionals in health, social and environmental sciences and public policy. It melds approaches and content from social and biological sciences to provide students a vibrant understanding of the roles of culture, the dynamics of natural and social systems, and the biological attributes that shape human beings.
“The human biology degree is an opportunity to create … » More …Read Story
Study to explore risks and benefits of breastfeeding during COVID-19
To breastfeed or not to breastfeed? Science has long supported that “breast is best,” but COVID-19 has brought with it new questions related to the benefits and/or potential risks of breastfeeding during this pandemic.
Is the SARS-COV2 virus present in breast milk and could it be transmitted from mom to baby? Could antibodies found in breast milk actually help protect babies from the SARS-COV2 virus?
Researchers at Washington State University are part of a new nationwide study on COVID-19 and infant feeding to help answer these questions. Their work could ultimately help scientists better understand how COVID-19 affects the health and immune responses of mothers … » More …Read Story
Researchers call for new approach to some mental disorders
Some of the most common mental disorders, including depression, anxiety and PTSD, might not be disorders at all, according to a recent paper by Washington State University biological anthropologists.
In the paper, published in the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, the researchers propose a new approach to mental illness that would be informed by human evolution, noting that modern psychology, and in particular its use of drugs like antidepressants, has largely failed to reduce the prevalence of mental disorders. (This paper was made available online on Nov. 28, 2019 ahead of final publication in the issue on April 28, 2020). For example, the global prevalence of … » More …Read Story
Enhancing research, creative activity in the arts and humanities
Eleven of Washington State University’s most innovative scholars and artists have been selected for faculty fellowships and mini-grants from the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) and the Office of Research.
“We are excited to support faculty as they advance not only their academic fields but also the communities we serve,” said Todd Butler, director of the center, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and professor of English.
Funded by a five-year commitment from the Office of Research and its strategic research investment program, the center’s grant programs strengthen and enhance research and creative endeavors across WSU. Any faculty member pursuing arts … » More …Read Story