What Is Svante Pääbo Doing Right Now?

Many times when we read about a new discovery in or genetics physical anthropology, Svante Pääbo’s name is attached.    Pääbo, a biologist, is frequently in the news in his capacity as director of the  Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology .  In March, 2010, in Denisova cave in Southern Siberia Pääbo and his department may have identified a third member of the homo family.  Neither Neandertal nor Sapiens this new group may have a genome related to Melanesians.

December 23, 2010

Genome of Mystery Human Relative Revealed by 30,000 Year-Old Fossil

A 30,000-year-old finger bone found in a cave in southern Siberia came from a young girl who was neither an early modern human nor a Neanderthal, but belonged to a previously unknown group of human relatives, called “Denisovans” after the cave where the fossils were found, who may have lived throughout much of Asia during the late Pleistocene  epoch.

Biblical Adam, First Man

Adam, first man per Bible records, archaeology dates him to 14,000 BP. Although the fossil evidence consists of just a bone fragment and one tooth, DNA extracted from the bone has yielded a draft genome sequence, enabling scientists to reach some startling conclusions about this extinct branch of the human family tree.

Comparing the Denisovan genome sequence with the genomes of Neanderthals and modern humans, the researchers determined that the Denisovans were a sister group to the Neanderthals, descended from the same ancestral population that had separated earlier from the ancestors of present-day humans.

The study also found surprising evidence of Denisovan gene sequences in modern-day Melanesians, suggesting that there was interbreeding between Denisovans and the ancestors of Melanesians, just as Neanderthals appear to have interbred with the ancestors of all modern-day non-Africans.

Read more…


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About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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