By Kate Lunau - Friday, February 15, 2013 - 0 Comments
Kate Lunau’s latest dispatch from the AAAS meeting
Kate Lunau is in Boston covering the 2013 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where some of the world’s finest brains and celebrities of science meet to mix, mingle, and share their latest and greatest ideas. On Feb. 14-18, she’ll give you a sneak peak into the current research—everything from dinosaurs to neutrinos, from stem cells to extreme weather, and all sorts of sorts of stuff in between. Follow her on Twitter: @katelunau, #AAASmtg
In a talk this morning on human evolution, I kept imagining that classic diagram of an ape transitioning to an upright human—and how it should show him hunched over in back pain, hobbling on a twisted ankle, on his way to the dentist to get his wisdom teeth removed. Evolution has put us at the top of the food chain, but “evolution doesn’t produce perfection,” anthropologist Jeremy DeSilva said today at the AAAS Meeting, where he spoke on a panel with others. Adapting to bipedal walking has left us with all sorts of aches and pains that no other animals seem to suffer, everything from hernias and flat feet, to fallen pelvic floors. He called these adaptations the “biological equivalent of duct tape and paper clips,” which affect us everyday.