Science writers Maddie Burakoff and Laura Ungar showed how a drumbeat of arcane and esoteric studies about ancient DNA had larger implications — and delightful, surprising findings — that impact all of us living today.
Burakoff and Ungar, who cover archaeology and genetics respectively, noticed a trend in the studies they look at week after week. New finds and new ways of analyzing finds were, bit by bit, revealing some astonishing truths: Homo sapiens overlapped and intermingled with many other hominin species throughout history; those species were far more “human” than ever known, and we contain genes from those cousins that shape who we are today.
They conceived of a two-part miniseries that would bring these new understandings to readers and viewers in an approachable way, first explaining how the picture of our ancestors’ world is changing and then showing how their legacy lives on within us.
Each of the two stories attracted more than 100,000 page views on APNews.