Wednesday, November 02, 2011

One Big, Polytypic Family

Science Daily has a story on research from Uppsala University that the Denisova genome is showing up in East Asia. They write:
"Our study covers a larger part of the world than earlier studies, and it is clear that it is not as simple as we previously thought. Hybridization took place at several points in evolution, and the genetic traces of this can be found in several places in the world. We'll probably be uncovering more events like these," says Mattias Jakobsson, who conducted the study together with Pontus Skoglund.
Given that we have evidence of Neandertal hybridization as well, it is appearing as if there was a good deal of gene swapping among many late Pleistocene populations. This is certainly what many researchers think that the fossil material reflects, especially that from South East Asia and China. My guess is that, as they uncover more events, the level of hybridization between Neandertals (and other archaic Homo sapiens populations) and moderns will be found to have been higher than thought.

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1 comment:

  1. John Hawks has actually helped excavate the Denisova cave. It's amazing that a scientist like him has such a comprehensive blog.

    He argues that the new evidence is suspect. The argument is over my head, but I do understand at least the idea. When comparing the entire genome, Jackobsson and Skoglund confirmed earlier results, that there's no Denisovan DNA in China. It's only when using some unusual alleles, which Hawks admits is "especially likely to be informative."

    Still he wonders whether even on those alleles, their results are substantial enough to be conclusive.

    I thought it's an article you might like to see, not by some guy, but by a scientist researching the Denisovan genome. It's a gift to the rest of us that he blogs like he does.