Paternal Instinct, Mammoth Graveyards, and Big Brains

(Left to right): P. N. KOLOSOV, NATURAL RESOURCES, 5, 3 (2014); HARUKO OBOKATA/NATURE; Adapted from Maksymilian Rose/Wikimedia Commons

Top Stories: Paternal Instinct, Mammoth Graveyards, and Big Brains

Parenting Rewires the Male Brain

A study of gay and straight couples suggests that it's not just women who have the so-called maternal instinct. Without a female caregiver around, the experience of hands-on parenting can change a father's brain in the same way that pregnancy and childbirth do.

E.U. Commission Rejects Plea to Block Stem Cell Research Funding

The European Commission has turned down a request by pro-life organizations to block E.U. funding for research using embryonic stem cells—causing many scientists to breathe a sigh of relief. The commission says the existing rules under the European Union’s science program, Horizon 2020, are appropriate and will not change.

Did Big Brains Sap Our Strength?

A new study suggests that we humans paid a big price for being so smart. Over the course of our evolution, humans got weaker relative to other primates, trading brawns for our big—and energy-hungry—brains.

Researcher Behind Stem Cell Controversy Agrees to Retraction

Earlier this year, two papers reported that simply stressing adult cells could turn them into powerful stem cells called STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) cells—and almost immediately drew accusations of plagiarism and image manipulation. Now, despite steadfastly defending her work, the lead author behind the papers has reportedly agreed to retract one of them.

Did Dogs Help Drive Mammoths to Their Graves?

Mammoth cemeteries—areas filled with thousands of mammoth bones—are dotted throughout central Europe and North Asia. Now, a new study argues that these mysterious graveyards were not the results of a natural catastrophe, but rather the work of early human hunters—who may have had help from some of the world’s first dogs.