Students tackle anthropology of COVID-19

Students tackle anthropology of COVID-19

Undergraduates in the class “Anthropology of Infectious Diseases” in Arts & Sciences presented their findings during a remote symposium held April 22. The event was the last gathering for students in a course that became far more consequential than anyone could have predicted.
Close encounters in the forest: western lowland gorillas

Close encounters in the forest: western lowland gorillas

New research led by anthropologists at Washington University in St. Louis shows that encounters between gorilla groups were much more frequent, and that they had more varied social exchanges than expected. The effort is part of a long-term collaboration with the Congolese government and Wildlife Conservation Society that is changing perspectives on gorilla behavior, ecology and health.
Long-term analysis shows GM cotton no match for insects in India

Long-term analysis shows GM cotton no match for insects in India

Genetically modified Bt cotton is the most widely planted cotton crop in India by acreage, and it is hugely controversial. Supporters long touted increased yields and reduced pesticides to justify its pickup. But that argument does not hold up under the first long-term study of Bt cotton impacts in India. The analysis is co-authored by a Washington University in St. Louis anthropologist in the journal Nature Plants. 
No clear path for Golden Rice to reach consumers

No clear path for Golden Rice to reach consumers

Heralded as a genetically modified crop with the potential to save millions of lives, Golden Rice has just been approved as safe for human and animal consumption by regulators in the Philippines. But a new study by Glenn Davis Stone, professor of sociocultural anthropology and environmental studies in Arts & Sciences, finds that most families affected by Vitamin A deficiency can’t grow Golden Rice themselves, and most commercial farmers won’t grow it either.
CNN’s ‘Hero of the Year’ has deep university connections

CNN’s ‘Hero of the Year’ has deep university connections

Menstruation is considered taboo in Ethiopia, and girls often miss school or drop out because of their periods. Freweini Mebrahtu designed a solution — and, with support from St. Louis-based charity Dignity Period, founded by a Washington University faculty member, it has benefited nearly 800,000 girls and women. Mebrahtu was recently named CNN’s “Hero of the Year.”
Green in tooth and claw

Green in tooth and claw

Hard plant foods like seeds and nuts may have made up a larger part of early human ancestors’ diet than currently presumed, according to a new experimental study of modern tooth enamel from anthropologists in Arts & Sciences.
Chimpanzees more likely to share tools, teach skills when task is complex

Chimpanzees more likely to share tools, teach skills when task is complex

New Arts & Sciences research finds that chimpanzees that use a multi-step process and complex tools to gather termites are more likely to share tools with novices. The study helps illuminate chimpanzees’ capacity for prosocial — or helping — behavior, a quality that has been recognized for its potential role in the evolution of human cultural abilities.
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