Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Big Picture Science for May. 16, 2022 - Neanderthal in the Family

Big Picture Science - Neanderthal in the Family

(REPEAT) Back off, you Neanderthal! It sounds as if you’ve just been dissed, but maybe you should take it as a compliment. Contrary to common cliches, our Pleistocene relatives were clever, curious, and technologically inventive. Find out how our assessment of Neanderthals has undergone a radical rethinking, and
hear about the influence they have as they live on in our DNA. For example, some of their genes have a strong association with severe Covid 19 infection. Plus, how Neanderthal mini-brains grown in a lab will teach us about the evolution of Homo sapiens.


  • Svante Pääbo – Evolutionary geneticist and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
  • Doyle Stevick – Associate professor of educational leadership and policies at the University of South Carolina.
  • Beverly Brown – Professor emerita of anthropology, Rockland Community College, New York.
  • Rebecca Wragg Sykes – Paleolithic anthropologist, author of “Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art.”
  • Alysson Muotri – Neuroscientist and professor of pediatrics, cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine

This repeat podcast originally aired on March 22 2021

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