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.
Most researchers currently accept the statement that "modern" humans can be considered to date to approximately 200-250 kyr.
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.
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
. . . classified as homo sapiens by a taxonomist.
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.
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.
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.
Re: farmerman (Post 3563549)
. I really have to look after my spelling more. However, a Meanderthal was a hunter gatherer who jut liked to wander around.
Neanderthal DNA is generally described as being about halfway between ours and that of a chimpanzee.