14.12.2018 - 23:43
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Neandertal mother, Denisovan father!

Newly-sequenced genome sheds lights on interactions between ancient hominins

Up until 40,000 years ago, at least two groups of hominins inhabited Eurasia – Neandertals in the west and Denisovans in the east. Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig (Germany) sequenced the genome of an ancient hominin individual from Siberia, and discovered that she had a Neandertal mother and a Denisovan father.

Images

This bone fragment (“Denisova 11”) was found in 2012 at Denisova Cave in Russia by Russian archaeologists and represents the daughter of a Neandertal mother and a Denisovan father. (Credit: Thomas Higham, University of Oxford)
View of the Denisova Cave archaeological site, Russia. (Credit: Bence Viola, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
View of the valley from above the Denisova Cave archaeological site, Russia. (Credit: Bence Viola, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
View of the valley from above the Denisova Cave archaeological site, Russia. (Credit: Bence Viola, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
View of the entrance to the Denisova Cave archaeological site, Russia. (Credit: Bence Viola, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Excavation works in the East Chamber of Denisova Cave, Russia. (Credit: Bence Viola, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Excavation works in the East Chamber of Denisova Cave, Russia. (Credit: Bence Viola, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Stratigraphic profile of the East Chamber in Denisova Cave, Russia. (Credit: IAET SB RAS, Sergei Zelensky)
Richard (Bert) Roberts, Vladimir Ulianov and Maxim Kozlikin (clockwise from top) in the East Chamber of Denisova Cave, Russia. (Credit: IAET SB RAS, Sergei Zelensky)
Clean laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. (Credit: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Researcher at work in the clean laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. (Credit: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Matthias Meyer at work in the clean laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. (Credit: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
The automation of laboratory procedures to generate DNA libraries and isolate DNA by hybridization capture enabled the processing of multiple samples in parallel. (Credit: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Svante Pääbo, lead author of the study and director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany), with a replicate Neandertal skeleton. (Credit: Karsten Möbius)
Drawing of a Neandertal mother and a Denisovan father with their child, a girl, at Denisova Cave in Russia. (Credit: Petra Korlević)
 

Video


Processing of samples in the ancient DNA laboratory and analysis of the sequencing data generated. (Credit: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)

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