More Genomes From Denisova Cave Show Mixing of Early Human Groups

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Science  17 May 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6134, pp. 799
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6134.799

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Researchers have analyzed three fossil samples from Denisova Cave using a powerful new method that reveals ancient genomes in brilliant detail. One sample, a Neandertal toe bone, has yielded a nearly complete, high-coverage genome of our closest cousins, reported paleogeneticist Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, at The Biology of Genomes meeting last week. The analyses paint a complex picture of mingling among ancient human groups, and the data suggest inbreeding in Neandertals, a large Denisovan population, and mixing between Denisovans and an even earlier mystery species.