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Volume 5 Issue 9, September 2021

Neanderthal art

The toe bone of a giant deer, from Einhornhöhle(Germany), was intentionally engraved by Neanderthals about 51,000 years ago — long before our species, Homo sapiens, arrived in Europe. The stacked-offset chevron pattern is unique in the Eurasian context at that time. The engraved bone demonstrates the capacity of Neanderthals for symbolic behaviour, abstract cognition and potentially for communication via symbols.

See Leder et al.

Image: Volker Minkus. Cover Design: Allen Beattie.


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Comment & Opinion

  • Jennifer Grenz is currently a sessional lecturer at the University of British Columbia and owns a land healing company, Greener This Side. Her recently completed PhD dissertation explores the science of invasive species management and restoration through the lens of an ‘Indigenous ecology’, which she defines as “relationally guided healing of our lands, waters, and relations through intentional shaping of ecosystems by humans to bring a desired balance that meets the fluid needs of communities while respecting and honouring our mutual dependence through reciprocity.” Here we ask about her research and experiences as an Indigenous woman in ecology.

    • Alexa McKay
    • Jennifer Grenz
  • Global scientific partnerships should generate and share knowledge equitably, but too often exploit research partners in lower-income countries, while disproportionately benefitting those in higher-income countries. Here, I outline my suggestions for more-equitable partnerships.

    • Dolors Armenteras
  • Recent advances in AI-based 3D protein structure prediction could help address health-related questions, but may also have far-reaching implications for evolution. Here we discuss the advantages and limitations of high-quality 3D structural predictions by AlphaFold2 in unravelling the relationship between protein properties and their impact on fitness, and emphasize the need to integrate in silico structural predictions with functional genomic studies.

    • Shimon Bershtein
    • Daniel Kleiner
    • Dan Mishmar
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News & Views

  • A clever experimental design in bacteria with engineered obligate mutualisms shows that interdependency can allow pairs of bacteria to survive in environments that are uninhabitable by the individual strains.

    • Clare I. Abreu
    • Manoshi S. Datta
    News & Views
  • A decorated bone object adds to the mounting evidence that Neanderthals were capable of advanced behavioural complexity and could produce artistic representations.

    • Silvia M. Bello
    News & Views
  • A synthesis of animal population trends around 27 no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) cautions that concentrated fishing right next to an MPA undermines population recovery within the MPA — and beyond.

    • Nils C. Krueck
    News & Views
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Amendments & Corrections

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