Anthropology in Practice

Anthropology in Practice

Exploring the human condition.

Editor's Selections: Adult Brains, Frozen DNA, Stimulating Speech, and Smelly Knights


Here are my picks for this past week:

  • It turns out that there is truth to the statement that thirty is the new twenty - well, at least in terms of brain development. Sort of. It turns out that the long held belief that the "adult brain" is in place by the time we hit our twenties is questionable--the Neuroskeptic has the scoop with a new study on brain maturation.
  • At Contagions, Michelle Ziegler highlights the challenges of DNA extraction with a case study involving bodies found in the Siberian permafrost, which one would assume would result in better-than-average samples.
  • Could sexual inhibitions make us quieter? At A Replicated Typo, Sean Roberts discusses the relationship between sonority (loudness of vowels in a language) and sexual behavior, which may provide some interesting insights on linguistic variation.
  • And finally, SciCurious delivers a serious blow to the myth of the knight in shining armor as a suave and cool fellow. Turns out that we overlook how heavy armor was in our nostalgic fits--which means that we overlook how sweaty these guys probably were. At Neurotic Physiology SciCurious also helpfully educates readers on the many types of armor. So perhaps not all armor was equally sweaty.

I'll be back next week with more from the social sciences.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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