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This Week In Science!

author

Chris Carpineti

Senior Video Editor

clockOct 29 2021, 13:02 UTC

DNA Confirms Living Great-Grandson Of Legendary Sitting Bull In First-Of-Its-Kind Study

DNA from a lock of hair has been used to back up a man’s claim that he is the great-grandson of legendary Native American leader Sitting Bull, the first time ancient DNA has been used to prove a living person is related to a historical figure. Conventional DNA analysis would not have been able to link the man to Sitting Bull, so scientists used a new method that can analyze family lineages from ancient DNA fragments using "autosomal" non-gender specific DNA.

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Astronomers May Have Spotted The First Known Planet In Another Galaxy

A new study may have found the first planet candidate to orbit a known host system in another galaxy. The object was seen producing an eclipse just once. As it moves around a bright X-ray source, it ends up eclipsing it, producing a dip in luminosity. While the team cannot exclude the possibility the eclipsing body is a substellar object such as a brown dwarf, the best candidate so far is a planet with a radius comparable to Saturn.

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Meet Homo Bodoensis, A Newly Proposed Direct Ancestor Of Humans

Scientists have proposed a case for classifying a new species of extinct human, Homo bodoensis – a direct ancestor of modern humans. Their new identification is a reassessment of existing fossils that date to an important time period that saw the emergence of our own species in Africa and the Neanderthals, our closest relatives. This period is often called the “muddle in the middle” since so many of the species’ classifications are doubted and disputed

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COVID-19 Conspiracy Theorists Are More Likely To Contract The Virus, Study Finds

A new study has found that people who believe COVID conspiracies are more likely to test positive for the virus. As well as being more likely to turn out a positive test, people who believed in the theories were more likely to violate COVID restrictions and experience worse economic and social outcomes, as well as worsened general wellbeing. They also experienced social rejection more so than non-conspiracy theorists, perhaps owing to their views.

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California Condors Recorded Reproducing Via "Virgin Birth" For First Time

A new paper has revealed for the first time California condors, once reduced to a population of just 22, have been boosting their numbers in an unconventional way: without the help of a male. Two chicks were born to females housed with one male, so working out their family tree should have been a cinch. But genetic analysis told a different story: their mothers’ resident male was not their father. In fact, none of the male condors were.

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FEATURED:

What Is The Universe Made Of? Final Podcast Episode Out Now

Join us for the final episode of the season of our podcast, IFLScience The Big Questions, where we end with a zinger by asking one of the biggest questions of them all: What is the universe made of? We talk to Dr Mandeep Gill from the Dark Energy Survey collaboration about the mysterious dark matter and dark energy, and ponder: Will the new generation of upcoming observatories help us understand what the universe is really made of?

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