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 ...
Fascinating. Thanks for posting.
The mismatch between the anatomical and genetic evidence surprised the scientists, who are now rethinking human evolution over the past few hundred thousand years...
So? Just rewrite your facts. That's what the Global Warming bozo's do. When your latest "fact" contradicts the last "fact", then roll with it.
Keep trying to figure out the mind of G-d without admitting it. The arrogance of man is...less than a piece of sand on G-d’s beach and has been right about absolutely nothing.
Ping, possible interest?
after scientists faking 30 years of global warming research, studies and experiments do I trust anything scientists , the media , gov etc say ? NO
The DNA form King Tut seemed to indicate that he was Irish at first. It turned out that he is related to half of the male population of Europe destroying the out of Africa theory for the Pharaohs.
Bayesian statistical methods are prone to gross errors in a priori assumptions. They are nowhere near a gold standard.
The problem with these ‘evolutionary trees’ is that the more they are circulated without discounting them for obvious overreaching inferences, the more they become mainstream to the point that they are accepted as incontrovertible.
Radio carbon dating methods have also come under increased scrutiny with an increase in uncertainty and controversy.
Science in general is undergoing a process of renewing its strict disciplines as many of the ‘results’ of the latter part of last century’s science have been compromised by politics and ideology, i.e. Lysenkoism has returned with a vengeance.
scientists , the media , government have been yelling “global warming” for 30 years
i don't believe anything the media says
I don't believe anything government says
I don't believe anything scientists say
may they all go jump in the lake
long live freedom and capitalism
Read more at nytimes.com ...
Definitely fascinating stuff, but... if it's in the New York Times, it's most probably communist propaganda or factual material heavily slanted toward communism. I'll wait for genuine science to show up.
Our ancestors sure were horny and not picky.:)
The Pharaohs weren't out of Africa...they were in Africa...if you don't count an occasional campaign in western Asia.
This doesn’t surprise me. Scientists are just like everyone else.
I have full faith that many won’t let any new discoveries get in the way of their cool story, bro.
The “tree” is rooted using chimps. Didn’t Dawkins say we didn’t evolve from chimps? Or do the theories differ from scientist to scientist like the beliefs about what whales evolved from?
Some of the Asian finds also contradict the out of Africa theory.
The out of Africa theory was that civilization came out of Africa into Egypt and spread into Europe. The Egyptian Pharaohs were thought to be African not European.
Well, they've traced them back to Spain now. They say the ladies are insane there. ;^)
Denisova hominins /dəˈniːsəvə/, or Denisovans, are Paleolithic-era members of a species of Homo or subspecies of Homo sapiens. In March 2010, scientists announced the discovery of a finger bone fragment of a juvenile female who lived about 41,000 years ago, found in the remote Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia, a cave which has also been inhabited by Neanderthals and modern humans. Two teeth and a toe bone belonging to different members of the same population have since been reported. On 4 December 2013, scientists reported that they had retrieved ancient Denisova DNA from a hominin femur fossil found in Spain dating back about 400,000 years.
Analysis of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the finger bone showed it to be genetically distinct from the mtDNAs of Neanderthals and modern humans. Subsequent study of the nuclear genome from this specimen suggests that this group shares a common origin with Neanderthals, that they ranged from Siberia to Southeast Asia, and that they lived among and interbred with the ancestors of some present-day modern humans, with up to 6% of the DNA of Melanesians and Australian Aborigines deriving from Denisovans. A comparison with the genome of a Neanderthal from the same cave revealed significant local interbreeding, with local Neanderthal DNA representing 17% of the Denisovan genome, while evidence was also detected of interbreeding with an as yet unidentified ancient human lineage. Similar analysis of a toe bone discovered in 2011 is underway, while analysis of DNA from two teeth found in different layers than the finger bone revealed an unexpected degree of mtDNA divergence among Denisovans
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