Denisovans & Modern Humans Introgressed At Least Twice

Sharon Browning and colleagues published a paper in Cell last week that shows there are uniquely different Denisovan genomes in the DNA of East Asian individuals, indicating that interbreeding with Homo sapiens happened in two independent episodes. See we already knew Aboriginal genomes from Australia and Papua New Guinea contain fragments of Denisovan DNA. Introgression of... Continue Reading →

The Complexity of the Peopling of the Eurasia

Science has published a new paper today looking at the peopling of Eurasia. The results of the paper challenge the single Out of Africa model by ultimately stating that it cannot fully explain the origins of modern humans. The authors primarily state that Homo sapiens spread to the extremities of Asia as well as Near... Continue Reading →

Thank Your Neandertals & Denisovans For Your Allergies

Two new papers in the American Journal of Human Genetics document how we should thank archaic humans like Neandertals and Denisovans for our allergies and boosted immune systems. Both studies highlight the functional importance of three inherited of Toll-like receptor genes; TLR1, TLR6, and TLR10. These toll like receptors respond to antigens from bacteria, fungi, and parasites and... Continue Reading →

A Higher Than Average Risk Of Diabetes Among Mexicans Linked To Neandertal Introgression

Why do some populations have increased incidences of chronic disease? Why do blacks have hypertension more than whites? Why does a Mexican have 2.72 more the risk of having Type 2 Diabetes compared to a non-Hispanic person? A new paper published in Nature yesterday outlines a particularly interesting finding about rhetorical questions about metabolic disease... One that I'll... Continue Reading →

Complete Denisova Genome Released

We've covered the mitochondrial genome of the Denisova individual 2 years ago, back in March 2010. For those not familiar with the Denisova hominin, this specimen represents an archaic human species present at least 41,000 years ago - coexisting with Neandertals and modern humans in the Altai Mountains of Siberia. The species is represented by a tooth and phalange. A draft... Continue Reading →

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