Sunday, 26 December 2010

This just in; human family tree (web) sprouts new branch (thread)

In the words of the NSF press release, “Sequencing of ancient DNA reveals new hominin population that is neither Neanderthal nor modern human”. This group, named “Denisovans” after the cave where their remains were discovered, was more closely related to the Neanderthals than to modern humans, but, like the Neanderthals, interbred with them, and contributed specifically to the ancestry of present-day Melanesians.

References: Reich, David,  et al. “{Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia}.” Nature. 468 (2010): 1053-1060; News and Views non-technical commentary, ibid. 1044-1045; see also Krause, Johannes, et al. “The complete mitochondrial DNA genome of an unknown hominin from southern Siberia.” Nature. 464 (2010): 894-897.

Commentaries and discussions at

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