Tag Archives: university of utah

Why people help distant kin

Math simulations support theory of ‘socially enforced nepotism’

It’s easy to understand why natural selection favors people who help close kin at their own expense: It can increase the odds the family’s genes are passed to future generations. But why assist distant relatives? Mathematical simulations by a University of Utah anthropologist suggest “socially enforced nepotism” encourages helping far-flung kin. (more…)

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Did grandmas make people pair up?

Human longevity from grandmothering tied to human coupling

If you are in a special relationship with another person, thank grandma – not just yours, but all grandmothers since humans evolved. (more…)

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Where does water go when it doesn’t flow?

Study shows how much enters air from plants, soil, surface water

More than a quarter of the rain and snow that falls on continents reaches the oceans as runoff. Now a new study helps show where the rest goes: two-thirds of the remaining water is released by plants, more than a quarter lands on leaves and evaporates and what’s left evaporates from soil and from lakes, rivers and streams. (more…)

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Earthlike ‘Star Wars’ Tatooines may be common

Simulations dispute dogma: rocky planets may orbit many double stars

Luke Skywalker’s home in “Star Wars” is the desert planet Tatooine, with twin sunsets because it orbits two stars. So far, only uninhabitable gas-giant planets have been identified circling such binary stars, and many researchers believe rocky planets cannot form there. Now, mathematical simulations show that Earthlike, solid planets such as Tatooine likely exist and may be widespread. (more…)

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Fructose More Toxic than Table Sugar in Mice

Sensitive Toxicity Test Used Sugars in Doses Like What We Eat

When University of Utah biologists fed mice sugar in doses proportional to what many people eat, the fructose-glucose mixture found in high-fructose corn syrup was more toxic than sucrose or table sugar, reducing both the reproduction and lifespan of female rodents. (more…)

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Did Men Evolve Navigation Skill to Find Mates?

Study Links Spatial Ability, Roaming Distance and Number of Lovers

A University of Utah study of two African tribes found evidence that men evolved better navigation ability than women because men with better spatial skills – the ability to mentally manipulate objects – can roam farther and have children with more mates. (more…)

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In Amazon Wars, Bands of Brothers-in-Law

How Culture Influences Violence among the Amazon’s ‘Fierce People’

When Yanomamö men in the Amazon raided villages and killed decades ago, they formed alliances with men in other villages rather than just with close kin like chimpanzees do. And the spoils of war came from marrying their allies’ sisters and daughters, rather than taking their victims’ land and women. (more…)

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