Researchers say they were able to completely decode mitochondrial genome of a 400,000-year-old fossil of an extinct human ancestor belonging to the Denisovans.
World Science informs that the sample studied for DNA came from a cave in Spain. Matthias Meyer and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, joined brains with Spanish paleontologist Juan Luis Arsuaga to complete the study. Findings of the study point to a complex evolutionary history involving the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans. The most exciting side of the study is the possibility of studying such ancient genetic material itself.
First discovered in Siberia by Russian scientists, Denisova are among the Paleolithic era members of Homo genus and are considered one of the kinds of early humans along with Neanderthals. Recently, as USA Today describes, researchers from PA and CA found that Neanderthals and Denisova had cross-species breeding, which explains
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2 thoughts on “DNA of Oldest Extinct Human Decoded”
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it would affect the rhltaionseip between San and Neanderthals, relative to the rhltaionseip between Yoruba and Neanderthals. And, the 35ky date is quite telling, coinciding with Hofmeyr and the UP revolution (which was a Eurasian phenomenon). I agree with the bolded. They were probably migrants from the southern parts of East Africa.We don’t know what groups of Homo sapiens contributed to the San, because -unlike with Yoruba- we cannot compare them with a more divergent African population. It is quite possible that they are largely descended from early anatomically modern humans of Africa itself, rather than the later back-migration of YAP-bearing humans.So Eurasians, who have actually been shown to have affinities to tested archaic hominins, are suddenly the pristine reference for modern humans? Whereas archaic admixture still hasn’t been found in most Africans.The persistence of African archaics in Central Africa and southern West Africa is not evidence for widespread archaic admixture in Africa, just as the archaic affinities found in recent humans from China doesn’t necessarily mean there’s significant archaic admixture in the Chinese.Who says that Hofmeyr is related to the San? I see absolutely no evidence that the San are descended from Hofmeyr, or, even, that they have been in south Africa for that long. They must have been isolated from other Africans somehow, or their mtDNA would not have remained so distinct. I don’t see how it’s possible that humans related to Hofmeyr would not have left a trace anywhere in South-Central Africa. Neither Y-DNA E nor mtDNA L3 are found in the natives of this region, excluding descendants of recent migrants from the northwest (Niger-Congo) and northeast (Afroasiatic and Nilo-Saharan).I thought you said it’s “telling” that Hofmeyr coincides with the estimated period of archaic admixture among the ancestors of Pygmies and San? You then go on to say there’s no evidence that the San are descended from Hofmeyr.Notably, other than L0, the Khoisan carry divergent L2 lineages (not part of the L2abcd clade) in low frequencies. This would be the closest thing to a Eurasian link, possibly related to Hofmeyr, although that is of course pure speculation.I find that a much better explanation, than a supposed exodus of Hofmeyr-like individuals from Africa that apparently found itself to the Americas by 15ka but had not even managed to replace its archaic next-door neighbors in Central and West Africa. If L3 is from back-migrating Eurasians, that would require a very early back-migration taking place shortly after the origin of L3. Moreover, lineages ancestral to L3 remain firmly rooted in Africa. I don’t see how you can remain convinced that L3 is of Eurasian origin, when there’s hardly any difference between L3’4 migrating to Arabia and back-migrating as L3 shortly afterwards, and L3 originating in Africa just before OoA. I support the latter because it fits better with the distribution of basal L3 lineages (5 in Africa, 2 in all of Eurasia).