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

Genetic Linkage

The Denisova Genome and Guys Banging Rocks

August 31, 2012

Tags: Denisova, australopithecine, Svante Pääbo

A Neandertal and Svante Pääbo, director of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (photo credit)
As a textbook author, I often have to evaluate new research and predict whether it will stand the test of time. I’m a skeptic. But when Svante Pääbo, director of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and his colleagues introduced a new member of the human family in 2010 based on a preliminary genome sequence from a finger bone found in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia, with few other clues, I included her in my book. She was the first discovered Denisovan (pronounced “Denise-o-van”). (more…)

The Bonobo Genome, Dave Matthews, and Rewinding the Tape of Life

June 15, 2012

Tags: bonobo, chimp, genome, Janet Kelso, Svante Pääbo, Kay Prüfer, Max Planck Institute, Frans de Waal, Ape House, Planet of the Apes

Ulindi, a bonobo, has had her genome sequenced. Photo courtesy Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
When I wrote for The Scientist, I covered the debuts of several genome sequences – fruit fly, rat, pufferfish, and the plague bacterium, to name a few. An illustration in my human genetics textbook resembles the intro to The Brady Bunch, a checkerboard of nine new genomes with each edition, now with more than 1,000 to choose from. In just the past few weeks, several salad ingredients have had their genomes unveiled.

But the genome sequence to intrigue me the most, except for our own, is that of the bonobo, aka Pan paniscus. (more…)

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