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Glenn Nichols, surrounded by his hospice team. The author is in yellow.

Genetic Linkage

From Denisovan DNA to Future Humanity

March 27, 2016

Tags: Denisovan, Neanderthal DNA, human evolution

Svante Pääbo and an old friend
The idea that the genomes of those of us without African ancestry harbor some DNA from Neanderthals has inspired cartoons and jokes, and I got a lot of flak when I wrote about the discovery of diabetes risk genes from Neanderthals in Mexicans. Apparently Neanderthals admixed themselves into European and East Asian populations at least three times.

A new paper in Science from Svante Pääbo, director of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, and his colleagues, indicates that we have more to learn from the parts of our genomes that don’t have remnants from the Neanderthals and the less familiar Denisovans. We share a common ancestor with them from about a million years ago. (more…)

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