December 22, 2010

THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS SPECIES:

Siberian Fossils Were Neanderthals’ Eastern Cousins, DNA Reveals (CARL ZIMMER, 12/23/10, NY Times)

An international team of scientists has identified a previously shadowy human group known as the Denisovans as cousins to Neanderthals who lived in Asia from roughly 400,000 to 50,000 years ago and interbred with the ancestors of today’s inhabitants of New Guinea. [...]

Next, the researchers looked for evidence of interbreeding. Nick Patterson, a Broad Institute geneticist, compared the Denisovan genome to the complete genomes of five people, from South Africa, Nigeria, China, France and Papua New Guinea. To his astonishment, a sizable chunk of the Denisova genome resembled parts of the New Guinea DNA.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at December 22, 2010 3:00 PM
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