A noblewoman from Imperial China enjoyed playing polo on donkeys so much she had her steeds buried with her so she could keep doing it in the afterlife, archaeologists found. This discovery by a team that includes archaeologist Fiona Marshall at Washington University in St. Louis is published March 17 in the journal Antiquity.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
For thousands of years, goosefoot and knotweed were grown as crops, possibly feeding as many indigenous people of North America as corn. But the domesticated forms of these lost crops became lost over the years, and now a Washington University in St. Louis archaeologist is trying to figure out why — and recreate them.
In Bolivia, a tangled election mess seems to have reaffirmed the popularity of leader Evo Morales. A Washington University in St. Louis faculty member says the country has propped up a new leader in what amounts to a military coup.
Undergraduates in the Medicine and Society program in Arts & Sciences are helping St. Louis veterans create a version of their life story to be included in their official medical file. The innovative program is taking off around the nation.
Ethically sourced and informed by archaeology, an ambitious new study reports genome-wide DNA information from 523 ancient humans collected at archaeological sites across the Near East and Central and South Asia. Washington University in St. Louis brought key partners together to generate the world’s largest study of ancient DNA, published this week in the journal Science.