Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Findings on Ancient DNA

Yesterday's New York Times (December 4, 2013) has an article by Carl Zimmer regarding new evidence relating to the ancient biological origins of humans.

"Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins"

The article is of interest to those of us who have taken part in the National Geographic's GENO 2.0 Project, and are curious as to just why we were shown to have a relatively higher level of Denisoven DNA when compared to Neanderthal DNA, despite the fact that our known genealogical history is strictly European. Previously, Denisoven DNA was only known from an example dating back 80,000 years and found in Siberia. But now, Denisoven DNA has been identified as early as 400,000 years, and was taken from a sample found in Spain.

The PBS News Hour website posted a similar article by Rebecca Johnson, with a more beguiling title, "Oldest known human DNA reveals we're 'complete mongrels.'"

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