9
   

Scientists decode the Neanderthal genome

 
 
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2009 02:14 pm
Nature is reporting today that a team of German scientists has completed a rough draft of the genome of a Neanderthal.


NATURE report: Neanderthal genome to be unveiled
Quote:
The entire genome of a 38,000-year-old Neanderthal has been sequenced by a team of scientists in Germany. The group is already extracting DNA from other ancient Neanderthal bones and hopes that the genomes will allow an unprecedented comparison between modern humans and their closest evolutionary relative.

The three-year project, which cost about €5 million (US$6.4 million), was carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. Project leader Svante Pääbo will announce the results of the preliminary genomic analysis at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois, which starts on 12 February.

"We are working like crazy at the moment," says Pääbo, adding that his Max Planck colleague, computational biologist Richard Green, is coordinating the analysis of the genome's 3 billion base pairs.

Comparisons with the human genome may uncover evidence of interbreeding between Neanderthals and humans, the genomes of which overlap by more than 99%. They certainly had enough time for fraternization " Homo sapiens emerged as a separate species by about 400,000 years ago, and Neanderthals became extinct just 30,000 years ago. Their last common ancestor lived about 660,000 years ago, give or take 140,000 years.

  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 4,498 • Replies: 29
No top replies

 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2009 02:44 pm
I have just checked several sources to be sure before making this statement, while acknowledging that i possess no specialized knowledge and am relying upon other sources. This article states that homo sapiens emerged 400,000 years ago. I had never read any source which conjectured the emergency of h. sapiens any earlier than 200,000 years ago. This was confirmed when i checked today, and in fact, included a statement to the effect that the earliest known remains of h. sapiens has been dated to 130,000 years ago.

From Archaeology Info-dot-com:

Quote:
Most researchers currently accept the statement that "modern" humans can be considered to date to approximately 200-250 kyr.


(Archaeology Info-dot-com was founded by and is maintained by two graduate students in historical archaeology, both of whom have baccalaureate degrees.)

From the Anthropology site of the Smithsonian Institution:

Quote:
This research has typically yielded dates around 200,000 years ago, too young for the "Multiregional Hypothesis." . . . Whichever model (if either) is correct, the oldest fossil evidence for anatomically modern humans is about 130,000 years old in Africa, and there is evidence for modern humans in the Near East sometime before 90,000 years ago.


(EDIT: I checked more sources than these two, but didn't want the tedium of setting up links and quotes for them all, nor to clog the thread with them. This is a question as much as a statement, and i would welcome anyone who could resolve this, with reference, of course, to reputable sources.)
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2009 04:25 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Nature is reporting today that a team of German scientists has completed a rough draft of the genome of a Neanderthal.

NATURE report: Neanderthal genome to be unveiled
Quote:
Comparisons with the human genome may uncover evidence of interbreeding between Neanderthals and humans

I would be very surprised if there wasn't any interbreeding.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2009 09:25 pm
I love the sequencing of extinct species.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2009 10:04 pm
@Setanta,
I haven't researched this particular case, Setanta. But evolution is a gradual process, and that the line-drawing between the first homo sapiens and her homo rhodensis parents is somewhat arbitrary. So I'm guessing there is some discrepancy in the definition of homo sapiens that accounts for this 200,000 year difference. Discrepancies like this aren't so uncommon.

... and of course, there's always typos. Even in Nature.

EDIT: Given the context in which the 400,000 years show up in the article, I think what they are saying is that the last common ancestor of homo sapiens and homo neanderthalensis lived 400,000 years ago. This common ancestor, or his daughter who is an ancestor of all homo sapienses but no homo neanderthalensises, would not necessarily have been classified as homo sapiens by a taxonomist.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2009 10:37 pm
Here is an interesting link that reflects an hypothesis that Asperger's Syndrome may reflect Neanderthal traits (assuming we mixed with them):
http://www.rdos.net/eng/asperger.htm
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2009 11:24 pm
@Foofie,
The is zero evidence of any contribution to the genetic makeup of modern man by neanderthals. The genetic divide is so great as to have ruled the neanderthal out altogether as a plausible human ancestor; their DNA is typically described as about halfway between ours and that of a chimp. We are not related to them at all.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2009 11:48 pm
@gungasnake,
I'm glad, gunga, that you could read the results of the analysis before February 12!
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Feb, 2009 12:56 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Remember gunga is from another reality where evidence is fully arbitrary and can be refuted by ones Biblical convictions.Only an idiot or religious zealot can deny the fact of evolution and its mechanism of natural selection. There may be other mechanisms beside nat selection but Creation , as a science, is afools exercise in which there are no applications to the real world. I remember the "evolution" of evolution in the liturgy of the CAtholic Church when I was in high school. I remember the concept of "special Creation" which was a first attempt at seeing humans as separate from the animal world and how the soul transcended the process of natural selection. That concept didnt last 10 years (lightning speed for the CAtholic Church)


Svante Paabo was the original leader of the first partial Neanderthal sequencing in 2001 in which only about 390 units of the genome were succesfully determined. They hadda go look for lots of teeth from several tens of specimens.
The beauty of this will be the side by side comparison of the "human " and Neanderthal genome and the comparisons of manifestations of possible diseases like arthritis (which was known to affect Meanderthals). I also hope that they are able to find enough specimens of the "old man", H.sapiens idaltu and to look and see where we differ from our own subspecies that lived among us in the Afar region. The full side by ide comparisons of these three species will provide more insight into the selection and evolution of man that any attempts at piecing together the fossils available


. Perhaps the 400000 Bpe number is from an attempt at back calculating the development of humans from applying the "mutation timeclock" method. This method uses populationally affective mutations at a rate of up to 20000 years per significant mutation that is kept in the genome. I dont know whether thats been the case , or, as may be more likely that the magazine writers got the numbers from outta their asses (this happens quite often in making some dry science discovery more salesy)
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Feb, 2009 06:22 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
. . . classified as homo sapiens by a taxonomist.


Don't try to dazzle me with no fancy language, Thomas . . . i know that some guy who stuffs dead animals ain't got nothin' to do with this . . .
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 6 Feb, 2009 09:27 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
Meanderthals Embarrassed
. I really have to look after my spelling more. However, a Meanderthal was a hunter gatherer who jut liked to wander around.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Feb, 2009 09:43 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Only an idiot or religious zealot can deny the fact of evolution and its mechanism of natural selection. There may be other mechanisms beside nat selection but Creation, as a science, is a fools exercise in which there are no applications to the real world.

Nicely phrased. Reminds people that regardless of the philosophical boundaries Creationists try to push to prop up their argument, the end result is that Creationism produces no beneficial information at all. It teaches us nothing about the natural world, and quite possibly damages religion by trying to ground it in the physical.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 01:49 pm
Latest report (today was the news conference):
Quote:
In the last ten years Dr. Päbo faced one technical problem after another. In all the museums of Europe, he found a single bone with suitable DNA, from Vindija in Croatia. The bone was so small and uninteresting that almost no one had handled it.

Dr. Pääbo has since developed further excavations, encouraging archaeologists to wear protective clothing and gloves before removing bones from the soil.

He said at a news conference in Leipzig on Thursday that he now has retrieved usable DNA from 6 Neanderthals. From these six individuals, he has analyzed 3.7 billion units of DNA. The Neanderthal genome, like that of modern humans, is 3.2 million units in length. Because many units have been analyzed several times over, and many not at all, Dr. Pääbo can now see about 63% of the Neanderthal genome. He said he will continue to analyze Neanderthal genome until he has accumulated the equivalent of 20 Neanderthal genomes, which will allow almost every unit to be accurately known.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 04:40 pm
According to an NPR report today, one of the things confirmed by the DNA sequencing (and announced today) is that Neaderthals were, apparently, capable of "human" speech.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 08:30 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:

According to an NPR report today, one of the things confirmed by the DNA sequencing (and announced today) is that Neaderthals were, apparently, capable of "human" speech.

I heard that too.

It was surprising because at one point I have watched a PBS show which showcased the differences in language capacity as one of the major causes for neanderthal extinction due to competition with CroMagnon.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 08:49 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Chimps and gorillas lack the voluntary control over their breathing necessary for speech. They communicate via deaf signs perfectly well and some appear to have IQs in the hundred range, i.e. better than demokkkrats.

I don't see how any sort of a dna study could indicate whether neanderthals would be more like us or more like the apes as far as control over breathing.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 08:55 pm
Quote:
Re: farmerman (Post 3563549)
Quote:

Meanderthals Embarrassed

. I really have to look after my spelling more. However, a Meanderthal was a hunter gatherer who jut liked to wander around.


Ha! I love it.
genoves
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 09:44 pm
Jared Diamond, is his prize winning book--"Guns, Germs and Steel" does not appear to think that there was very much hybridization between Neanderthals and CroMagnons.
He writes:( P. 40

"Some 40,000 years ago, into Europe came the Cro-Magnons, with their modern skeletons, superior weapons andother advanced cultural traits. Within a few thousand years there were no more Neanderthals who had been evolving as the sole occupantsof Europe for hundreds of thousandsof years. That sequence strongly suggests that the modern Cro-Magnons somehow used their far superior technology...to infect,kil or misplace the Neanderthals, leaving behind little or no evidence of hybridization between Neanderthals and Cro_Magnons!!!
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 09:55 pm
@genoves,
Neanderthal DNA is generally described as being about halfway between ours and that of a chimpanzee. We could no more interbreed with neanderthals than we could with dogs or cats and the same would be true of cro magnons, who were basically modern people. The neanderthal was a proto human overlord of some previous creation.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 12:57 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

Neanderthal DNA is generally described as being about halfway between ours and that of a chimpanzee.


So there has been more - and previous data - than they said yesterday? Any source for that?
 

Related Topics

New Propulsion, the "EM Drive" - Question by TomTomBinks
The Science Thread - Discussion by Wilso
Why do people deny evolution? - Question by JimmyJ
Are we alone in the universe? - Discussion by Jpsy
Fake Science Journals - Discussion by rosborne979
Controvertial "Proof" of Multiverse! - Discussion by littlek
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Scientists decode the Neanderthal genome
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/26/2021 at 10:55:15