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Neanderthal genome sequenced
by Staff Writers
Leipzig, Germany (UPI) Mar 19, 2013


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Scientists in Germany completing the genome sequence of a Neanderthal say they're making the entire sequence available to the scientific community for research.

Svante Paabo and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, presented the first draft version of the Neanderthal genome in 2010 from data collected from three bones found in a cave in Croatia, have now used a toe bone excavated in 2010 in Denisova Cave in southern Siberia to generate a high-quality genome from a single Neanderthal individual, the institute said Tuesday.

The analysis of the genome shows that the individual is closely related to other Neanderthals in Europe and western Russia, and that Neanderthals and their relatives, Denisovans, were both present in this unique cave in the Altai Mountains on the border between Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

"The genome is of very high quality", institute researcher Kay Prufer said. "It matches the quality of the Denisovan genome, presented last year, and is as good as or even better than the multiple present-day human genomes available to date."

Even the small differences between the copies of genes this Neanderthal individual inherited from its mother and father could be determined, the researchers said.

"We will gain insights into many aspects of the history of both Neanderthals 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 Neanderthals and Denisovans," Paabo said.

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Neanderthal demise down to eye size?
Oxford, England (UPI) Mar 13, 2013
Neanderthals went extinct because they had larger eyes than modern humans that monopolized brain resources to see in the long nights in Europe, scientists say. Modern humans, on the other hand, spent more time in Africa where longer, brighter days required no such adaption and allowed our frontal lobes, associated with higher-level thinking, to evolve further before we moved out of Afri ... read more


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