Skip to comments.At 400,000 Years, Oldest Human DNA Yet Found Raises New Mysteries
Posted on 12/04/2013 12:31:08 PM PST by Theoria
Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries.
In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported Wednesday that they had retrieved ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years.
The fossil, a thigh bone found in Spain, had previously seemed to many experts to belong to a forerunner of Neanderthals. But its DNA tells a very different story. It most closely resembles DNA from an enigmatic lineage of humans known as Denisovans. Until now, Denisovans were known only from DNA retrieved from 80,000-year-old remains in Siberia, 4,000 miles east of where the new DNA was found.
The mismatch between the anatomical and genetic evidence surprised the scientists, who are now rethinking human evolution over the past few hundred thousand years. It is possible, for example, that there are many extinct human populations that scientists have yet to discover. They might have interbred, swapping DNA. Scientists hope that further studies of extremely ancient human DNA will clarify the mystery.
Right now, weve basically generated a big question mark, said Matthias Meyer, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and a co-author of the new study.
Hints at new hidden complexities in the human story came from a 400,000-year-old femur found in a cave in Spain called Sima de los Huesos (the pit of bones in Spanish). The scientific team used new methods to extract the ancient DNA from the fossil.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I’ve always wondered about the authorities you find truthful - NYT says it all now don’t it?!?!
They're quoting this article in Nature.
The fossil, a thigh bone found in Spain, had previously seemed to many experts to belong to a forerunner of Neanderthals. But its DNA tells a very different story. It most closely resembles DNA from an enigmatic lineage of humans known as Denisovans. Until now, Denisovans were known only from DNA retrieved from 80,000-year-old remains in Siberia, 4,000 miles east of where the new DNA was found.Gosh, it's almost as if each of us loses half of the genetic information found in our parents, just as they lost half of their parents', etc. And best of all, that means that we don't get the same amount from each of our grandparents, and this process works for each previous and subsequent generation -- basically, we have 46 family trees which follow back along each half of each chromosome. By the time we reach those 64 4th-great-grandparents, at least 18 of them have passed down nothing at all.
[singing] Blame it on the Denisovans, the hominins...
At least not to you, but perhaps to your cousins, second cousins, third cousins, nth cousins...
for most people participation in this physical plane is devolution
sorry...just couldn't resist...
Thanks. Way too funny. Must be the coffee.
DNA studies seem to indicate that Homo sapiens originated in Africa, so all human beings are "out of Africa."
Actually, the DNA studies were not needed. One of my high school classmates proved it from the Bible. Adam named all the animals, so the Garden of Eden must have been in Africa for him to name the lion.
Here is another really interesting and very long article focusing on the Denisovans and their tine and distance relationship to Neanderthals, modern humans, Chimpanzees, etc.
I hope this is the right one, it is really late and I am too tired to check. Maybe tomorrow.
Strictly speaking, science itself claims to know nothing -- zero, zip, nada -- beyond what it actually knows through confirmed observations (aka "facts") and hypotheses (aka "theories").
Even they are subject to epistemic and ontological questioning (i.e., "are you certain?").
Out beyond those is nothing but doubt and speculations, what Isaac Newton called the: "great ocean of truth [which] lay all undiscovered before me. "
What we know to be true fills ten pages in one very small book. What we do not know fills infinite volumes of books in infinite libraries on infinite planets.
As said ... is not pretty but is the truth and being the intelligent person you are gleeaikin, I have to believe you knew this truth, thus pardon my wasted post.
There were Lions in Syria and Persia (Iran) in ancient times. DNA has caused many to call into question the out of Africa theory, that is all it is is a theory.
So dang funny. Liberals must have that frame-stamped into their minds.
There's the Lion Gate at Mycenae and the story of Heracles (Hercules) and the Nemean lion (Nemea is in the same region of Greece as Mycenae), but I don't know if there is any physical evidence for lions in Greece or the Balkans.
Science, and scientists do.
If someone doesn't, they aren't scientists, no matter their claim.