Quite a while ago again, I wrote a few words on the A. Sediba finds. The fossils have been controversially described as the ancestors of Homo. Now a number of specialists have met at two occasions and discussed the fossils. … Continue reading
I wonder if it is slowly time to change the name of this blog to Gene relations. The max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Svante Pääbo and Richard Green and colleagues did it. It’s only an initial version, but using material from four sites, they have decoded the Neanderthal genome, and surprise surprise, a little bit of Homo Neanderthalensis lives on in some of us, in Europeans, East Asians, and Melanesians. Having grown up not too far from the actual Neanderthal valley in Germany I like to think I have some in me too.
This is cool stuff! Continue reading
Posted in aDNA, anthropology, archaeology, Archäologie, Beer, Belgian Beer, DNA, Homo Neanderthalensis, human evolution, palaeoanthropology, Palaeolithic
Tagged aDNA, Archäologie, genomics, human evolution, Neanderthal, palaeogenomics
So now, of course, I can’t not draw your attention to the ~2mya Malapa Cave (South Africa) finds just published in Science, esp. as one of the authors has his home as the same university as I do (Zürich, Switzerland). The two partial skeletons, MH1 and MH2 are dubbed Australopithecus sediba. Who would want to miss out on the rare opportunity to name a new species, eh?
I haven’t read the articles yet, but I am sure to do so soon. John Hawks has already some usefull comments on his blog.
Below the abstract of the main article in Science and the ref to the second article. It’s also worth to have a look at the website of the University of Zürich and the videos there, even if you don’t understand much German. The main video doesn’t show much of the bones, but is subtitled in English. What’s rather nice, is that Schmid and colleagues say that they want to keep the material available for and share it with other researchers, incl. the original material. Continue reading
I came across another article on the Denisova find here, on Spiegel-online, which includes a nice little slideshow (or in english), and John Hawks wrote a few more lines on it too.
Below the abstract of the letter in Nature:
Nature advance online publication 24 March 2010 | doi:10.1038/nature08976; Received 21 January 2010; Accepted 3 March 2010; Published online 24 March 2010
The complete mitochondrial DNA genome of an unknown hominin from southern Siberia
Johannes Krause1, Qiaomei Fu1, Jeffrey M. Good2, Bence Viola1,3, Michael V. Shunkov4, Anatoli P. Derevianko4 & Svante Pääbo1
With the exception of Neanderthals, from which DNA sequences of numerous individuals have now been determined, the number and genetic relationships of other hominin lineages are largely unknown. Here we report a complete mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequence retrieved from a bone excavated in 2008 in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia. It represents a hitherto unknown type of hominin mtDNA that shares a common ancestor with anatomically modern human and Neanderthal mtDNAs about 1.0 million years ago. This indicates that it derives from a hominin migration out of Africa distinct from that of the ancestors of Neanderthals and of modern humans. The stratigraphy of the cave where the bone was found suggests that the Denisova hominin lived close in time and space with Neanderthals as well as with modern humans.
- 1. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
- 2. Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812, USA
- 3. Department of Anthropology, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, A-1090 Wien, Austria
- 4. Paleolithic Department, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Branch, Lavrentieva Avenue, 17 Novosibirsk, RU-630090, Russia
Correspondence to: Johannes Krause1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to J.K. (Email: krause[at]eva.mpg.de).
Posted in aDNA, anthropology, archaeology, Archäologie, archeologie, evolutionary anthropology, human evolution, mtDNA, palaeoanthropology, Palaeolithic, Siberia
Tagged aDNA, archaeology, Archäologie, Denisova, human evolution, late Pleistocene, mtDNA, Palaeolithic
Just a quick note today. In Nature an article was published, in which the news was revealed that the mtDNA extracted from a 48 – 30 kya old fingerbone, found at the Denisova Cave in Siberia, might represent an until now unkown human species. However, this is far from certain yet. But still, this is very exciting news, and it shows once more that we are far from knowing it all yet.
A BBC article with some comments from other scientists.
Link to the original article in Nature: here
So, before you believe the hype, have a good look at John Hawk’s commentary first, okay?
Posted in aDNA, anthropology, archaeology, Archäologie, DNA, human evolution, mtDNA, palaeoanthropology, Palaeolithic, Siberia
Tagged aDNA, Denisova, human evolution, Krause etal Nature 2010, late Pleistocene