Scientific American Innovators: The Evolution of Your Body

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Scientific American is pleased to introduce the Scientific American Innovators series. The human body is arguably its own best innovator, thanks to evolutionary forces such as natural selection forming and re-forming each part, piece and organ, time and again. Alongside the history of the human body’s greatest hits, this Innovators 112-page special issue shares stories of some of science’s greatest “Aha!” men and women—from Charles Darwin to Donald C. Johanson to Koko the Gorilla—all of whom, in this case, have informed our understanding of who—or rather what—we are and how we got here. And since evolution is only part history and Homo sapiens are a work in progress, from the top of our hairy heads—a notable anomaly in our relatively now-hairless body—to our upright-walking-adapted toes, the issue also parses what’s happening in evolution right now, from how today’s diseases are evolving to the potential for limb regeneration.