Researchers Have Toehold on Past Million Years

svante paabo


Prof. Dr. Svante Pääbo sequenziert mit seinem Team am Max-Planck-Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie in Leipzig das Genom des Neandertalers.
Reportage am 27.4.2010
Professor Dr. Svante Pääbo
An international consortium of researchers is sequencing the 3 billion bases that make up the genome of our closest relative – the NeandertalThe sequence is generated from DNA extracted from three Croatian Neandertal fossils, using novel methods developed for this project.The Neandertal genome sequence will clarify the evolutionary relationship between humans and Neandertals as well as help identify those genetic changes that enabled modern humans to leave Africa and rapidly spread around the world, starting around 100.000 years ago.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany last week announced they have completed the first high-quality sequencing of a Neanderthal genome based on a hundredth of a gram of DNA extracted from a 100,000 year-old toe bone in a Russian cave and are making it freely available online for other scientists to study. Advantageously, Neanderthal and Denisovan remains were found in the same cave, making for breakthrough comparisons in hominid history.

Read more: researchers-publish-full-neanderthal-genome

In a press release on March 19, 2013, Dr. Svante Pääbo, the head of the team that released the draft genome of Neanderthal man three years ago, said:  “We are in the process of comparing this Neandertal genome to the Denisovan genome as well as to the draft genomes of other Neandertals. We will gain insights into many aspects of the history of both Neandertals and Denisovans and refine our knowledge about the genetic changes that occurred in the genomes of modern humans after they parted ways with the ancestors of Neandertals and Denisovans.”

The group plans to publish a major paper later this year.

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