Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Denisovans More Closely Related to Modern Humans than Neandertals

Science Daily has a post relating recent research on the genetic studies involving the Denisovan material from Siberia.  The research, done by CNRS in France has this to report:
Now a team of scientists from the Institut Jacques Monod (CNRS / Université de Paris) has measured and photographed another fragment found in Denisova Cave. Genomic analysis reveals it is the missing piece of the same phalanx whose proximal fragment enabled initial sequencing of the Denisovan genome.

Together with colleagues from the PACEA laboratory (CNRS / University of Bordeaux / French Ministry of Culture) and the University of Toronto (Canada), the scientists compared the new fragment to the phalanges of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans. Their analysis indicates it is very close to the latter, and less like the former..
This research suggests that there was considerable population mixing and genetic variability in this population, given the news that came out last year detailing the finding of a child skeleton that was, as nearly as the researchers could tell, the offspring of a Neandertal and a modern human.This just continues to solidify the idea that these groups interbred routinely throughout the late Pleistocene.