Human bone reveals ancient gene flow patterns

January 22, 2013 |
Credit: MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology Credit: MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology

Using new techniques that can identify ancient genetic material even when large quantities of DNA from soil bacteria are present, researchers extracted DNA  from a 40,000 year old leg bone found at the Tianyuan Cave site located outside Beijing. The genetic profile reveals that this early modern human was related to the ancestors of many present-day Asians and Native Americans but had already diverged genetically from the ancestors of present-day Europeans. In addition, the Tianyuan individual did not carry a larger proportion of Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA than present-day people in the region. “More analyses of additional early modern humans across Eurasia will further refine our understanding of when and how modern humans spread across Europe and Asia”, says Svante Pääbo.

View the original article here: A relative from the Tianyuan Cave

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