Humans, Denisovans & Neanderthals Were Genetically Less Different Than Polar Bears & Brown Bears

A study published a couple days ago in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows us that ancient humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans had more genetic similarities than polar bears and brown bears do. In other words, the genetic distance between our ancient relatives and us was smaller than between pairs of species that are... Continue Reading →

European Women with Neanderthal Progesterone Receptor Gene Are More Fertile

Hugo Zeberg, at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Karolinska Institutet, published an interesting study with colleagues Janet Kelso and Svante Pääbo on Neandertal admixture and its impact on modern day fertility. Diverging from a common human lineage over 600,000 years ago, Neandertals and modern humans began an exchange of genetic material... Continue Reading →

Five Neanderthal Genomes Tell Us More Than Ever

We've been quite limited by our ancient DNA of Neanderthals due to limited sample size from the fossil record and then compounded with degradation and contamination of DNA. Last week, Nature, published a fantastic article ultimately from Svante Pääbo and Janet Kelso on a novel way to extract more DNA from less fossil sample; using... Continue Reading →

A Deeper Introgression Of Ancient Humans and Neanderthals

New ancient DNA discoveries from an ancient 124,000-year-old Neanderthal femur suggests modern human ancestors interbred with Neanderthals between 470,000 and 220,000 years ago. This is much earlier than previously thought. Cosimo Posth at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History led analysis of mitochondrial DNA from an ancient Neanderthal thigh bone discovered 80... Continue Reading →

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