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Every time big anthropology news has come out in the last year or so, I’m too busy and drowned under the sea of books and notes for my upcoming exams to immerse myself in it. This happened with Ardipithecus last fall, and now with the draft of the Neandertal genome coming out tomorrow, I can’t help but feel a bit left out. The complete mitochondrial Neandertal genome was released a little under 2 years ago… and now because of high throughput sequencing technology, the draft genome is now complete.

Currently, Science has put up a special section of their website dedicated to this. The news agencies are having issues with embargoes and what not, they put up articles and then take them down. But the word is out, Green and Pääbo’s project to sequence the Neandertal genome is out and there are some interesting findings:

  • The comparison of 3 Neandertal samples to 5 modern human genomes showed that Neandertal genome is closer to some populations of modern humans than others
  • About 10 loci had distinctly non-African hallmarks
  • There’s an attributable 1-4% Neandertal ancestry to non-African modern human populations

There’s a lot more behind this all than I really have time for, unfortunately. So be sure to check out Razib, John Hawks, etc. for all the goodies.