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Thanks for listening to Origin Stories! We are on hiatus as we work on new episodes. Our new season will launch in August, and we can't wait to share more stories about how we became human.

Aug 25, 2016

Empathy has long been considered a uniquely human trait, but it's an ability that has also been observed in apes and other animals. Primatologist Frans de Waal says that examples of empathy in non-human primates and other mammals suggest that empathy has a long evolutionary history in humans.
 
Frans de Waal is the...


Aug 13, 2016

Every day for 55 years a dedicated group of researchers, students, and field assistants have spent their days crawling through thorns and vines as they follow chimpanzees to observe their behavior. They write everything down in notes and on maps and checksheets. 

This episode continues the story of Jane Goodall's...


Apr 29, 2016

In this episode we take a closer look at the evolutionary arms race between humans and the microbes that make us sick. What does each side bring to the fight? Dr. Pardis Sabeti of Harvard University is a computational biologist who uses math and computers to look into the genomes of humans and infectious microbes to see...


Feb 25, 2016

The bad news is that everybody has face mites. The good news is that these tiny cousins of spiders and ticks seem to be harmless for the vast majority of us. 

In this episode, entomologist and evolutionary biologist Michelle Trautwein describes how she and her colleagues collected face mite DNA from a variety of...


Dec 5, 2015

This episode of Origin Stories was recorded live in San Francisco as part of the Bay Area Science Festival. It was the first of The Leakey Foundation and the Baumann Foundation’s new “Being Human” event series. Our speaker was Robert Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and a...