Department of Evolutionary Genetics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
phone: +49 341 3550 - 500
Neandertals and More (Svante Pääbo, Department Director)
phone: +49 (0) 341 35 50 500
fax: +49 (0) 341 35 50 555
mittag@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de
Three major groups of projects are pursued in the group:
Ancient DNA and Neandertal genomics
We develop methods for the retrieval of DNA sequences from archaeological and paleontological remains. In particular, we continuously try to improve the amount and quality of DNA sequences retrieved from ancient specimens.
We apply these techniques to elucidate the history of hominins. For example, we have sequenced the Neandertal genome to high quality. We have also described a hominin group related to Neandertals in Asia, Denisovans, and sequenced a Denisovan genome to high coverage. In addition, we are attempting to retrieve DNA also from older hominin remains.
We study the genomic and functional differences between humans and their closest living and extinct relatives at several levels. For example, we study the genomes and gene expression in ape and human genomes in order to improve our understanding of the forces that determine gene evolution in primates. By integrated analyses of genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes, we attempt to identify genes that have been of importance during human history. We perform detailed studies of some such genes, for example FOXP2.