Nature Hot Topic

A digital record of an early Siberian

A digital record of an early SiberianCredit: David Reich et al., Nature

Anatomically modern humans were in Africa from some point after 200,000 years ago and reached Eurasia rather later. Meanwhile archaic hominins - including the Neanderthals - had been in Eurasia from at least 230,000 years ago and disappear from the fossil record only about 30,000 years ago. The genome of a female archaic hominin from the Denisova Cave in southern Siberia has now been sequenced from DNA extracted from a finger bone. The group to which this ‘Denisovan’ individual belonged shares a common origin with Neanderthals and although it was not involved in the putative gene flow from Neanderthals into Eurasians, it contributed 4-6% of the genomes of present-day Melanesians. In addition, the morphology of a tooth with a mitochondrial genome very similar to that of the finger bone suggests that these hominins are evolutionarily distinct from both Neanderthals and modern humans.

Nature Volume 468 Issue 7327

Top Ten Highlights

Sign up for Nature Research e-alerts to get the lastest research in your inbox every week.

More Hot Topics

PrivacyMark System