Skip to comments.Ancient DNA reveals secrets of human history
Posted on 08/09/2011 11:36:54 AM PDT by neverdem
Modern humans may have picked up key genes from extinct relatives.
For a field that relies on fossils that have lain undisturbed for tens of thousands of years, ancient human genomics is moving at breakneck speed. Barely a year after the publication of the genomes of Neanderthals1 and of an extinct human population from Siberia2, scientists are racing to apply the work to answer questions about human evolution and history that would have been unfathomable just a few years ago.
The past months have seen a swathe of discoveries, from details about when Neanderthals and humans interbred, to the important disease-fighting genes that humans now have as a result of those trysts.
Click for larger imageNeanderthals were large-bodied hunter-gatherers, named after the German valley where their bones were first discovered, who roamed Europe and parts of Asia from 400,000 years ago until about 30,000 years ago. The Neanderthal genome shepherded by Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany indicates that their evolutionary story began to split from the lineage of modern humans less than half a million years ago, when their common ancestor lived in Africa (see 'The human strain'). In December last year, Pääbo's team released the genetic blueprint of another population of ancient humans unlike ourselves or the Neanderthals that was based on DNA recovered from a 30,00050,000-year-old finger bone found in a cave in Denisova in southern...
Since then, scientists have fleshed out the details of one of the biggest surprises from the Neanderthal genome: humans living outside Africa owe up to 4% of their DNA to Neanderthals. One explanation might be that humans migrating out of Africa mated with Neanderthals, probably resident in the Middle East, before their offspring fanned out across Europe and Asia...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
So, who bred with the Rhinos?
First it was monkeys- now it’s Neanderthals. What’s wrong with these people? /s
Helen Thomas photo in 3...2...
I don't get it... my whole life I have had to endure the race pimps telling me that the only difference between whites and blacks is the amount of melanin in our skins, and that other than that we are identical...
But now scientists are saying every race BUT blacks has up to 4% of Neanderthal DNA... um... if I have 4% neanderthal DNA and blacks don't... doesn't that mean blacks are only 96% similar to everyone else?
Proud to be part-Neanderthal, quite frankly.
Great article - thanks for posting.
“...that was based on DNA recovered from a 30,00050,000-year-old finger bone found in a cave...”
LOL!!! (More later if I can stop laughing.)
Sort of like how some coyote populations are around 4% of wolf ancestry. That doesn't mean that they are only 96% similar to “pure” coyotes - because coyotes and wolves are themselves over 90% similar in genetic DNA.
They were saying many things with full knowledge of the prevalence of who gets sickle cell disease and trait, hemochromatosis, etc.
The still-prevailing out-of-Africa theory is at the basis of black claims that whites are descended from blacks. But the migration out of Africa, if it took place, was so long ago that the races were not so nearly distinct as they are now. In other words, a lot of evolution was yet to take place. This makes sense to me and perhaps to other evolutionists on FR, although probably not to those who dismiss that evolution took place at all.
When it comes to DNA you only need one nucleus from one microscopic cell!
And, now is about the time when some liberal academic is gonna tell me I’m descended from a monkey, or an AFRICAN “Lucy”, huh?
Wolves, coyotes and dogs are 100% of the same species in any case and can breed at will ~ provided everything is in place and they’ve checked it out with the pack and all that ~ and heat ~ must have heat!
Tigers and Lions can reproduce fertile offspring. Tigers and Lions are also separate species.
The list can go on and on.
"They" have found OLDER Homo Habilis in Western Asia. They were there a very long time ~ and in fact, overlap the time period for Habilis in Africa.
So, it's now Out of Western Asia ~ with literally EVERYBODY showing up later on Inside Africa.
You can take those Sen people and run them North from Souf' Africa, or South from Western Asia, and you get the same thing with the mitochondrial DNA ~ to wit, Sen people as the closest living relative to the oldest modern humans, with everybody else derived from a Sen ancestral group (except for the Neanderthals and this other group in Asia).
There are like 14 different strains of mitochondrial DNA, with the Sen having the oldest variety. All Europeans and East Asians have the same. All the others in Africa are distributed around in different groups all over sub-Saharan Africa.
At the same time the demonstration that the Neanderthals, a well studied group, bred with the people who became Europeans and New Guineans is very important. Note that there are NO Neanderthals in Africa and their "type" arose BEFORE the Sen people and all their different variations. Modern black Africans are simply not ancestral in any meaningful sense to non-Africans. It's quite the reverse!
"Currently, the domestic dog is listed as a subspecies of Canis lupus, C. l. familiaris, and the Dingo (also considered a domestic dog) as C. l. dingo, provisionally a separate subspecies from C. l. familiaris; the Red Wolf, Eastern Canadian Wolf, and Indian Wolf are recognized as subspecies.
Many sources list the domestic dog as Canis familiaris, but others, including the Smithsonian Institution and the American Society of Mammalogists, more precisely list it as a subspecies of C. l. familiaris; the Red Wolf, Eastern Canadian Wolf, and Indian Wolf may or may not be separate species; the Dingo has been in the past variously classified as Canis dingo, Canis familiaris dingo and Canis lupus familiaris dingo."
They are regularly mated together ~ all of them ~ much to the distress of their owners who imagine them to be different species.
I did reply to your contention that wolves and coyotes are the same species. They are not, any more than tigers and lions are the same species - despite the fact that they can produce fertile offspring.
If I understand you correctly there were two migrations out of Africa one was the white race the other was the black race
am I correct in saying that?
That's the point I was trying to make. Your knowledge perhaps being that of an anthropologist (at least you sound like one), and mine that of an interested layman. I was aware of the later out-of-Asia theory, thence to Africa and elsewhere.
Instead, the Sen people arose from a Homo Habilis population in Western Asia. They then got a yen for travel and went Souf', North, East and West ~ the Sen still exist and live in South Africa.
Their descendants live back up the trail.
"White" has arisen maybe three times ~ with Neanderthals, with Europeans, with East Asians. In all cases the condition happens in areas of reduced incidence of sunlight and is believed to be rather recent (as this sort of thing happens).
Light skinned East Asians are made "light" by a different set of genes than light skinned Europeans, or light skinned Neanderthals. I have no doubt that when "they" are done with their analysis and categorization of DNA genes and the external epigenetic controls they'll find a number of ways extra melanin gets produced.
These critters we're talking about are RACES ~ not even subspecies.
A Jackel is a subspecies of the same species as the wolf-dog-ote!
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I inherited my Big Belly gene from ... grandpa Gene.
Their mitochondrial DNA is distinctly wolf.
Wolves and coyotes are distinct species if species (a word humans made up as an imprecise guide to reality) is to have any meaning at all.
A swamp may well have many plants and features in common with a forest - and some forests may be turning into swamps and some swamps turning into forests - but that doesn't mean that “swamp” and “forest” mean the same thing.
Eventually all the dogs and all the redwolves, and gray wolves, and coyotes, and coydogs, and any other combination you want to find in that species will have mitochondrial DNA inherited from a single Ur-Wolf Mother!
(if they are allowed to breed around that will happen with any species).
Their non-mitochondrial DNA will, of course, be mixed and matched ~ and circulate forever ~ except for that in their y-chromosome. That, too, tends to become a dominant factor simply because of the math.
Come to Nevada. I can show you 90 pound animals that look exactly like their 35 pound “coyote” relatives. Somebody let a Great Dane into the woodpile.
Just because some forests have swamp like characteristics or may be in the process of becoming a swamp doesn't mean that “swamp” and “forest” mean the same thing.
Anyway all this quibbling over your peculiar and misguided grouping of species doesn't change the point I made in regards to wolves and coyotes..........
Just because we have some 4% neanderthal ancestry and Africans do not - it doesn't mean that we are 96% different - that 4% ancestry may be distinctly neanderthal DNA - but it is still over 95% the same sequence as human DNA.
Humans, as a species, are not very different from each other in DNA. And mixing in 4% of something that is some 98% the same doesn't add up to a 4% difference - not using any math based in reality.
I've heard more than once, that people and chimps share 98% DNA. Only 2% is different.
When it comes to "species" there are actually three definitions out there ~ one of them refers to what we now call clades. Another to what we now call subspecies. And another to what we now call Salmon. The EPA interprets the endangered species act to allow them to treat each batch of salmon that favor one crick over another as a totally separate species!
Looking at all these critters at the level of their DNA it's pretty obvious that Dogs, Wolves, Coyotes and mixes thereof are NOT KITTY KATS!
Epigenetics is also not “outside of the double helix” it involves methylation of the double helix molecule.
Biologically there is only one definition of species - it is how it is interpreted that comes into issues with “lumpers” and “splitters”.
You seem the ultimate “lumper” - lumping species that not even the most extreme professional lumpers (taxonomists) want to lump together.
Humans and chimps are 98% the same in GENETIC DNA - the DNA that makes up a gene - one that produces a RNA transcript that codes for a functional protein. Over the entire genome we are about 94% the same.
And mixing in 4% of something that is over 90% the same when you started (humans and neanderthals) doesn’t add up to a 4% difference.
Lumping foxes, wolves, dogs, jackels and a variety of other animals into the same family is not a problem.
The problem arises out of the idea that DOGS and WOLVES and COYOTES which can and do breed freely, prolifically if we let them, and in the most fertile manner are DIFFERENT SPECIES ~ not in your wildest imagination ~ it would be like pronouncing Black Humans to be a different species than White Humans.
I'm sorry. Does not compute. Doesn't work. Even isolation to separate ranges (Northern high latitudes and Equator) is insufficient to justify identifying mere racial differences as constituting the basis of declaring a group to be a species.
As Shakira sang, "the hips don't lie".
How about Tigers and Lions?
They can breed fertile offspring - and until humans reduced their ranges - their ranges used to overlap.
Are Tigers and Lions, according to your unique and peculiar “system”, different species?
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Self portrait I take it?
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Note: this topic is from . Thanks Pharmboy and neverdem for the pings.To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.The Neandertal EnigmaFrayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]
There may be another method used to affect gene expression that I'm forgetting.
My point is that controlling the expression of what is inherited is not some separate outside thing to what is inherited, neither is methylation outside the DNA double helix - but inside where the bases pair bond to keep the two phosphate backbones together.
Methylated DNA is more attracted to deAcetylated Histones - the two are listed together for a reason.
To activate a gene inactivated through epigenetic, the signal activated proteins Acetylate the Histones bound to DNA before they can get to the methylated DNA, that can then be demethylated and expressed - until the signal to methylate it and deacetylate histones is given and the DNA is wrapped up again - unreadable because it is unreachable by RNA polymerase that might - with the correct transcription factors - express its signal.
The mutation in some human populations that ensures lactose tolerance into adulthood is a mutation in the DNA element to signal to wrap up the lactose gene after weaning that is present in all mammals.
There is - within DNA - the proper sequences to react to changes and pass on reproductive cells with particular DNA configurations of being ‘open’ or ‘closed’ that we call epigenetic. It is DNA that is coding for and reacting with the signals it receives to adopt the proper epigenetic configuration of ‘open’ and ‘closed’ DNA.
Well, evolutionists have had a long history of fantasies about neanderthals and supposed "ape-men". For example, this is what evolutionists used to say about neanderthals...
earlier than 10,000 years ago, human beings wandered over the greater part of Europe They were below the cultural level of the Australian native. Their beetling eye-ridges, retreating foreheads, heavy chinless jaws, and protruding teeth, are quite in accord with their stone implements, and betray a very low level of mental culture. They had no agriculture, no bows and arrows, no tamed cattle, no pottery, no woven texture, and probably as we shall see no clothing and no articulate speech From the earliest remains found, these men are given the name of the Neanderthal race.
The general physical and mental character of this race is now firmly established they belonged to an extraordinarily primitive type of man. All controversy as to the normal human character is now over, and the skeleton is admitted to be that of a man of the early part of the Old Stone Age. The thigh-bones were very heavy and much curved, and they and the other bones indicated very powerful muscles and a very moderate height. The man stood about 5 feet 3 inches, his legs slightly curved, and his limbs and chest of great power. His large teeth bulged outward, and there was little chin. Two thick bony ridges stood out far over his eyes, and his forehead was extremely low. The skull might contain 1,220 cubic centimetres of brain matter, which is much the same as that of an Australian native. Some writers have represented that this is a fair capacity for a man of 5 feet 3 inches, and greater than that of many Veddahs and Andamanese. The latter, however, have very slight frames to control, unlike the Neanderthal man. As Huxley said, the skull was the most brutal of all human skulls at the time it was discovered.
...The thigh-bones were thick and curved, and they and the other bones indicated very powerful muscles. We had the same suggestion of a squat, powerful, stunted savage, with brain and facial features going back toward those of the ape.
It is all a matter of definition and scientists disagree. For some if animals can interbreed naturally and produce fertile offspring then there is there only one species. For others any distinct population is a separate species and it is terrible when they interbreed and mess up the charts.
Tigers and Lions can and do produce fertile offspring.
Reality doesn't conform as well as some would like to neat little boxes. Science likes to put things into neat little boxes - but putting things in boxes is not itself science.
It does sort of depend on what the meaning of “species” is, doesn’t it.
What do you call two or more groups of animals, not subspecies of the same species, who can freely mate and produce fertile offspring? I’m assuming that they would all be within the same genus, but suppose they were also other similar species within the genus that could NOT produce fertile offspring?
Is there such a biological word? It’s been a long time since high school.
What do you call two or more groups of animals that are not subspecies of the same species, but who can mate and produce fertile offspring?
For example: Tigers and Lions are closely related members of the feline ‘family’ that can produce fertile offspring.
Another example: Coyotes and Wolves are closely related members of the canine ‘family’ that can produce fertile offspring.
Words are, and always will be, imprecise reflections of reality. They are not themselves real, nor do they dictate reality.
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