Friday, May 22, 2015

Ancient DNA from a recent descendent of a Neandertal-Homo sapiens coupling

Interesting article by Ann Gibbons in today's Science magazine. The article reports on a talk by Qiaomei Fu who sequenced ancient DNA from a young male mandible from a cave site in Romania. The mandible is said to be suspiciously robust, and it turned out to have a lot of Neanderthal nuclear DNA, including long segments that had not yet been disordered by cross-overs. The conclusion is that the individual was only a few generations away from a mating between a human and a Neanderthal. Both the date (42-37 kya) and the location (Europe) are curious for the interbreeding event. The scientific article is supposed to be in review. Can't wait!

Gibbons, Ann (2015). Ancient DNA Pinpoints Paleolithic Liaison in Europe. Science Vol. 348, Issue 6237, p. 847.

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