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Archives by: Ed Yong

Ed Yong

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Ed Yong Posts

A Hallmark of Alzheimer’s May Actually Begin as a Defense Against Viruses
In 1907, the German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer published a description of a 50-year-old woman who suffered from memory problems, hallucinations, and delusions. In the woman’s brain, Alzheimer noticed ...

How Rats Remake Coral Reefs
In the middle of the Indian Ocean, on a small island in the Chagos Archipelago, black rats scurry about in search of food. Meanwhile, 250 meters offshore, in ...

The New Story of Humanity’s Origins in Africa
There is a decades-old origin story for our species, in which we descended from a group of hominids who lived somewhere in Africa around 200,000 years ago. Some ...

The Original American Dogs Are Gone
Between 14,000 and 18,000 years ago, the ancestors of today’s Native Americans first entered the land where they now live. They came from Asia, walking east across a ...

Spiders Can Fly Hundreds of Miles Using Electricity
On October 31, 1832, a young naturalist named Charles Darwin walked onto the deck of the HMS Beagle and realized that the ship had been boarded by thousands ...

In a video, a rodent reaches out and grabs a morsel of food, while small, colored dots highlight the positions of its knuckles. In another clip, a racehorse ...

The Male Echo Chamber of Political Twitter
In 1992, Nan Robertson, a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter for The New York Times, published The Girls in the Balcony, a book about the myriad ways in which women ...

New Gibbon Species Discovered in a 2,200-Year-Old Royal Chinese Tomb
When Samuel Turvey found a drawer labelled “gibbon,” he knew he had hit the jackpot. But what he found inside was better than he could have hoped for. ...

A Landmark Study on the Origins of Alcoholism
For Markus Heilig, the years of dead ends were starting to grate. A seasoned psychiatrist, Heilig joined the National Institutes of Health in 2004 with grand ambitions of ...

Parasites Can Mind-Control Animals Without Infecting Them
A tapeworm is essentially a very long, parasitic towel with a grappling hook for a head. It attaches itself to the internal organs of its host with its ...