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Fri Aug 31, 2012, 01:13 PM

Genome Brings Ancient Girl to Life

Source: Wired.com, Science magazine

By Adrian Cho, ScienceNOW

In a stunning technical feat, an international team of scientists has sequenced the genome of an archaic Siberian girl 31 times over, using a new method that amplifies single strands of DNA. The sequencing is so complete that researchers have as sharp a picture of this ancient genome as they would of a living person’s, revealing, for example that the girl had brown eyes, hair, and skin. “No one thought we would have an archaic human genome of such quality,” says Matthias Meyer, a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. “Everyone was shocked by the counts. That includes me.”

That precision allows the team to compare the nuclear genome of this girl, who lived in Siberia’s Denisova Cave more than 50,000 years ago, directly to the genomes of living people, producing a “near-complete” catalog of the small number of genetic changes that make us different from the Denisovans, who were close relatives of Neandertals. “This is the genetic recipe for being a modern human,” says team leader Svante Pääbo, a paleogeneticist at the institute.

Ironically, this high-resolution genome means that the Denisovans, who are represented in the fossil record by only one tiny finger bone and two teeth, are much better known genetically than any other ancient human — including Neandertals, of which there are hundreds of specimens. The team confirms that the Denisovans interbred with the ancestors of some living humans and found that Denisovans had little genetic diversity, suggesting that their small population waned further as populations of modern humans expanded. “Meyer and the consortium have set up the field of ancient DNA to be revolutionized — again,” says Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who was not part of the team. Evolutionary geneticist Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania agrees: “It’s really going to move the field forward.”
....

This story provided by ScienceNOW, the daily online news service of the journal Science.

Read more: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/denisovan-genome/

11 replies, 3816 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Genome Brings Ancient Girl to Life (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Aug 2012 OP
Blue_Tires Aug 2012 #1
dipsydoodle Aug 2012 #5
Coyotl Aug 2012 #2
Tikki Aug 2012 #3
aquart Aug 2012 #8
bluedigger Aug 2012 #4
xxqqqzme Aug 2012 #6
calimary Aug 2012 #7
VWolf Aug 2012 #9
formercia Aug 2012 #10
jmowreader Aug 2012 #11

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 01:27 PM

1. So how much longer before they can create a Helen Mirren clone for me to marry??

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 02:13 PM

5. You rascal

Get in line.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 01:30 PM

2. The fact that some humans have Denisovian DNA indicates reproduction of Denisovians up to today

and they should not be considered either extinct or a separate species, rather a gene pool that likely survived in isolation after the Toba bottleneck up to and until the consequent expansion of the demographically predominant tropical refugia populations.

It is time to do some meta-taxonomy of the human tree.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 01:37 PM

3. We've ALWAYS been out there looking for Mates and Food or Food and Mates..

from the article: Genome Brings Ancient Girl to Life

by Adrian Cho, http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/

...The new genome also suggests one odd result. By using the detailed Denisovan genome to sharpen the view of their close cousins the Neandertals, the team concludes that living East Asians have more Neandertal DNA than Europeans have. But most Neandertal fossils are from Europe; Paleoanthropologist Richard Klein of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, calls the result “peculiar.”..

Traveling around to find a better way to acquire what one needs...not so surprising.


Tikki

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Response to Tikki (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 03:20 PM

8. That is so cool.

So so cool.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 01:49 PM

4. Personhood for DNA!

You know it's next.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 02:35 PM

6. I can just imagine how the

rabid, religious fanatics will greet this news.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 02:55 PM

7. That'd be funny if it weren't true.

What do you bet one of those assholes actually does think it's a good idea to start looking into this?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 03:22 PM

9. Wow. My eyes must be going. I just read

the first word as "Gnome". Completely different idea on what this article was about.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 03:26 PM

10. I'm waiting for the Genome of Jesus from the Spear of Destiny

The crazies will fight over who gets to be Head Bubbatollah.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 06:53 PM

11. They can manufacture Republicans now?

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