02.09.2014 - 23:17
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Neandertals and More (Svante Pääbo, Department Director)

Svante Pääbo


Viola Mittag
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.

Website of the Neandertal Genome project

TEDGlobal Talk by Svante Pääbo

New York Times Video: "The Neanderthal Inside Us"

Functional genomics

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.