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Science Bulletin

Have Humans Adapted to the Western Diet?

Italian scientists report that people in Western countries lack the diversity of stomach bacteria found in rural villagers in Africa. The implication is that our bodies are better suited to the diets of our ancestors than the modern Western diet.

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Science Bulletin

How Does Reading Change the Brain?

A recent study led by neuroscientists at France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research has found that learning to read—no matter at what age—reorganizes the brain's neural networks. What's more, their findings suggest that literacy may improve the ability to understand spoken language.

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Science Bulletin

Inside the Teenage Brain

More and more, neuroscientists are finding evidence that the brains of adolescents are wired differently than adults'. Functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, is a key tool to understand how the minds of young people change physically from childhood to adulthood. This Human Bulletin reports on an fMRI study recently published in the journal Nature Neuroscience that investigated the "reward centers" in teenage and adult brains.

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Science Bulletin

Introducing the Denisovans

New research led by scientists at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology confirms that a 40,000-year-old finger bone and tooth belong to a distinct group of humans. The Denisovans, named informally after the Siberian cave that contained the fossils, appear related to Neanderthals. The genetic analysis also shows a curious link between Denisovans and modern-day humans living in Melanesia.

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