Every fall the professors at Beloit College publish their Mindset List, a dictionary of all the deeply ingrained cultural references that will make no sense to the bright-eyed students of the incoming class. It’s a kind of time travel, to remind us how far we’ve come
The newest technologies–computers, genetic engineering and the emerging field of nanotech–differ from the technologies that preceded them in a fundamental way. The telephone, the automobile, television and jet air travel accelerated for a while, transforming society along the way, but then settled into a manageable rate of change
Correction Appended: May 8, 2010A decade after scientists first cracked the human genome, researchers announced in the May 7 issue of Science that they have done the same for Neanderthals, the species of hominid that existed from roughly 400,000 to 30,000 years ago, when their closest relatives, early modern humans, may have driven them to extinction. Led by ancient-DNA expert Svante Pbo of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, scientists reconstructed about 60% of the Neanderthal genome by analyzing tiny chains of ancient DNA extracted from bone fragments of three female Neanderthals excavated in the late 1970s and early ’80s from a cave in Croatia.