Dentistry

The toll of shrinking jaws on human health

For many of us, orthodontic work—getting fitted with braces, wearing retainers—was just a late-childhood rite of passage. The same went for the pulling of wisdom teeth in early adulthood. Other common conditions, including ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

For controlling tsetse flies, fabric color matters

Tsetse flies infest an estimated 10 million square kilometers of sub-Saharan Africa and their bites transmit trypanosome parasites that cause disease in humans and in animals. This week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

The mystery of what makes a joke funny—but only to some people

How do you like the following joke from Sumeria in about 1900BC? "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap." Or this classic from Egypt, 1600BC? "How do you ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Bad break-ups may not trigger weight gain from emotional eating

That pint of ice cream after a nasty breakup may not do as much damage as you think. Despite the emotional turmoil, people on average do not report gaining weight after a relationship dissolution, according to new research.

Immunology

Extinct human species gave modern humans an immunity boost

Findings from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research show modern humans acquired a gene variant from Denisovans that heightened their immune reactions, indicating adaptation of the immune system to a changing environment.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Building therapeutic cities to tackle mental health problems

In all likelihood, poor mental health has blighted every age of human existence. Evolutionary psychologists suggest it may be an intrinsic, even necessary, condition for our species. But there are grounds to suppose that ...

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Human

A human is a member of a species of bipedal primates in the family Hominidae (taxonomically Homo sapiens—Latin: "wise man" or "knowing man"). DNA and fossil evidence indicates that modern humans originated in east Africa about 200,000 years ago . When compared to other animals and primates, humans have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection and problem solving. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage that frees the forelimbs (arms) for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other species. Humans are distributed worldwide, with significant populations inhabiting most land areas of Earth. The human population on Earth is greater than 6.7 billion, as of February 2009,

Like most higher primates, humans are social by nature. Humans are particularly adept at utilizing systems of communication—primarily spoken, gestural, and written language—for self-expression, the exchange of ideas, and organization. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families to nations. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of traditions, rituals, ethics, values, social norms, and laws, which together form the basis of human society. Humans are distinctive as a species on the Earth by having a perception of beauty and aesthetics at least to a point which results in a material culture. This, when combined with the desire for self-expression and a proportionally large brain-size, has led to innovations such as art, written language, music and science.

Humans seek to understand and influence the environment around them by trying to explain and manipulate natural phenomena through philosophy, art, science, mythology, and religion. This natural curiosity has led to the development of advanced tools and skills. Although humans are not the only species to use tools, they are unique in building fires, cooking their food, and clothing themselves; as well as using other advanced technologies. Humans pass down their skills and knowledge to the next generations and so are regarded as dependent upon culture.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA