Of all the questions humanity has ever pondered, perhaps the most profound is, “where did all of this come from?” For generations, we told one another tales of our own invention, and chose the narrative that sounded best to us. The idea that we could find the answers by examining the Universe itself was foreign until recently, when scientific measurements began to solve the puzzles that had stymied philosophers, theologians, and thinkers alike.
Although overhunting led to the demise of some prehistoric megafauna after the last ice age, a new study found that the extinction of the woolly rhinoceros may have been caused by climate change. By sequencing ancient DNA from 14 woolly rhinos, researchers found that their population remained stable and diverse until only a few thousand years before it disappeared from Siberia, when temperatures likely rose too high.
The advent of DNA sequencing has given scientists a clearer insight into the interconnectedness of evolution and the web-like path that different organisms take, splitting apart and coming back together. Tony Capra, associate professor of biological sciences, has come to new conclusions about the in