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Keyword: denisovans

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  • The Case of the Missing Ancestor: DNA from Russia adds a mysterious new member to the human family

    07/04/2014 8:40:28 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 15 replies
    National Geographic ^ | July 2013 | Jamie Shreeve
    In the Altay Mountains of southern Siberia, some 200 miles from where Russia touches Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan, nestled under a rock face about 30 yards above a little river called the Anuy, there is a cave called Denisova. It has long attracted visitors. The name comes from that of a hermit, Denis, who is said to have lived there in the 18th century. Long before that, Neolithic and later Turkic pastoralists took shelter in the cave, gathering their herds around them to ride out the Siberian winters. Thanks to them, the archaeologists who work in Denisova today, surrounded by...
  • Tibetans get high-altitude edge from extinct Denisovans' genes

    07/03/2014 3:43:35 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 20 replies
    L.A. Times ^ | By Julia Rosen
    orget climbing Mt. Everest — for most humans, just eking out a living on the harsh Tibetan plateau is challenge enough. But Tibetan people have thrived there for thousands of years, and a new study says it's thanks to a genetic adaptation they inherited from an ancient human relative.. The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, identifies a long segment of DNA shared by the extinct people known as Denisovans and modern-day Tibetans. The segment contains the gene scientists think gives Tibetans a lung up over lowlanders at high altitudes. No one knew the Denisovans ever roamed the Earth...
  • Mysterious Chinese Fossils May Be New Human Species

    03/14/2012 11:28:18 AM PDT · by null and void · 59 replies
    Live Science ^ | 14 March 2012 Time: 11:01 AM ET | Charles Choi
    A view of a skull from the Red Deer Cave People. Mysterious fossils of what may be a previously unknown type of human have been uncovered in caves in China, ones that possess a highly unusual mix of bygone and modern human features, scientists reveal. Surprisingly, the fossils are only between 11,500 and 14,500 years old. That means they would have shared the landscape with modern humans when China's earliest farmers were first appearing. Darren Curnoe (right) and Andy Herries (left) excavating at Maludong in 2008. Jutting jaws and flaring cheeks The Stone Age fossils are unusual mosaics of modern...
  • Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins

    12/05/2013 11:46:56 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 37 replies
    The New York Times ^ | December 4, 2013 | Carl Zimmer
    An artist's interpretation of the hominins that lived near the Sima de los Huesos cave in Spain. 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...
  • At 400,000 Years, Oldest Human DNA Yet Found Raises New Mysteries

    12/04/2013 12:31:08 PM PST · by Theoria · 45 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 04 Dec 2013 | Carl Zimmer
    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....
  • Ancient Humans Had Sex With A Mystery Species (Not Neanderthals Or Denisovans)

    12/05/2013 6:33:43 AM PST · by blam · 129 replies
    BI/Live Science ^ | 12-4-2013 | Stephanie Pappas
    Ancient Humans Had Sex With A Mystery Species Stephanie Pappas Live Science Dec. 4, 2013, 3:33 PM A new, improved sequencing of ancient human relative genomes reveals that Homo sapiens didn't only have sex with Neanderthals and a little-understood line of humans called Denisovans. A fourth, mystery lineage of humans was in the mix, too. As reported by the news arm of the journal Nature, new genetic evidence suggests that several hominids — human relatives closer than humans' current living cousin, the chimpanzee — interbred more than 30,000 years ago. This group of kissing cousins included an unknown human ancestor...
  • Ancient Humans Crossed Ocean Barrier?

    10/19/2013 6:11:16 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Thursday, October 17, 2013 | from University of Adelaid Press
    In 2010, a small bone fragment of a finger bone was discovered in Denisova cave in the Altai Mountains of Asia. Later genetic analysis indicated that it belonged to a heretofore unknown ancient human species, named Denisovans, and that their DNA is still present in native populations of Australia, New Guinea and surrounding regions. There is a distinct, and puzzling, absence of the DNA in Asian populations. ...Alan Cooper of the University of Adelaide in Australia and Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in the UK are suggesting that the DNA presence could be the result of the Denisovans...
  • Ancient Siberians may have rarely hunted mammoths

    06/15/2013 9:54:20 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Science News ^ | Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | Bruce Bower
    Contrary to their hunting reputation, Stone Age Siberians killed mammoths only every few years when they needed tusks for toolmaking, a new study finds. People living between roughly 33,500 and 31,500 years ago hunted the animals mainly for ivory, say paleontologist Pavel Nikolskiy and archaeologist Vladimir Pitulko of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Hunting could not have driven mammoths to extinction, the researchers report June 5 in the Journal of Archaeological Science. On frigid tundra with few trees, mammoth tusks substituted for wood as a raw material for tools, they propose. Siberian people ate mammoth meat after hunts, but food...
  • Researchers Publish Improved Neanderthal Genome

    03/19/2013 7:08:34 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    abc ^ | March 19, 2013 | FRANK JORDANS
    Researchers in Germany said Tuesday they have completed the first high-quality sequencing of a Neanderthal genome and are making it freely available online for other scientists to study. The genome produced from remains of a toe bone found in a Siberian cave is far more detailed than a previous "draft" Neanderthal genome sequenced three years ago by the same team at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. "The genome of a Neanderthal is now there in a form as accurate as that of any person walking the streets today," Svante Paabo, a geneticist who led the...
  • DNA Unveils Enigmatic Denisovans

    09/29/2012 1:04:30 PM PDT · by blam · 19 replies
    Science News ^ | 9-22-2012 | Bruce Bower
    DNA Unveils Enigmatic Denisovans Extinct Neandertal relatives serve up a complete genetic playbook By Bruce BowerScience News September 22nd, 2012; Vol.182 #6 (p. 5) A replica of a partial Denisovan finger bone, placed on its corresponding position on a person’s hand, emphasizes the small size of this ancient find. Scientists have retrieved a comprehensive set of genetic instructions from the actual Denisovan finger fossil. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Genetic data of unprecedented completeness have been pulled from the fossil remains of a young Stone Age woman. The DNA helps illuminate the relationships among her group — ancient Siberians...
  • How our DNA differs from that of Denisovans, our extinct cousins

    09/01/2012 5:42:46 AM PDT · by Pharmboy · 49 replies
    LA Times ^ | 9-1-12 | Rosie Mestel
    Scientists are beginning to analyze the DNA differences between modern humans and our extinct archaic relatives, the Denisovans. (National Human Genome Research Institute) Genome of ancient Denisovans may help clarify human evolution Scientists recently reported they had pieced together a high-quality sequence of an archaic human relative, the Denisovans. Among other things, the researchers took a close look at the ways in which we differ from these people, who were named after the place where their traces were discovered: Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia....snip It's "fascinating" to see the DNA changes that spread to most or all...
  • Stone Age toe could redraw human family tree

    The Denisova cave had already yielded a fossil tooth and finger bone, in 2000 and 2008. Last year, Pääbo's DNA analysis suggested both belonged to a previously unknown group of hominins, the Denisovans. The new bone, an extremely rare find, looks likely to belong to the same group... The primitive morphology of the 30,000 to 50,000-year-old Denisovan finger bone and tooth indicates that Denisovans separated from the Neanderthals roughly 300,000 years ago. At the time of the analysis, Pääbo speculated that they came to occupy large parts of east Asia at a time when Europe and western Asia were dominated...
  • Neanderthal sex boosted immunity in modern humans

    08/26/2011 10:40:58 AM PDT · by decimon · 46 replies · 2+ views
    BBC ^ | August 26, 2011 | Matt McGrath
    Sexual relations between ancient humans and their evolutionary cousins are critical for our modern immune systems, researchers report in Science journal.Mating with Neanderthals and another ancient group called Denisovans introduced genes that help us cope with viruses to this day, they conclude. Previous research had indicated that prehistoric interbreeding led to up to 4% of the modern human genome. The new work identifies stretches of DNA derived from our distant relatives. In the human immune system, the HLA (human leucocyte antigen) family of genes plays an important role in defending against foreign invaders such as viruses. The authors say that...
  • Mating with Neanderthals Good for Human Health

    06/17/2011 2:29:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 47 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Friday, June 17, 2011 | Tim Wall
    Interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals may have given Europeans and Asians resistance to northern diseases that their African ancestors didn't have. Peter Parham, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford, recently presented evidence to the Royal Society in London that Europeans gained many of the genes for human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) from neanderthals. The antigens helped them adapt to diseases in the north much more quickly than would have otherwise occurred. Comparisons of the human and Neanderthal genomes were conducted by Parham to locate similarities and differences in the DNA of modern human populations and Neanderthals. Parham found that modern...
  • Modern Humans Interbred with Archaic Humans in East Asia, Study Says

    11/08/2011 7:16:55 PM PST · by decimon · 27 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | October 31, 2011
    It is well-known today, based on various genetic studies, that some of the ancestors of modern humans interbred with Neanderthals, a closely-related human species or sub-species that lived 130,000 - 30,000 years ago in Eurasia. Less known is information that has recently emerged about the possibility that modern human ancestors were also busy with at least one other archaic human species. Additional information comes from a new study by researchers at Uppsala University. The study yielded findings that indicated people in East Asia share genetic material with archaic humans known as Denisovans, suggesting that the modern human ancestors of East...
  • Many roads lead to Asia (Denisovans, migrations, etc.)

    09/26/2011 2:55:29 PM PDT · by decimon · 8 replies
    Max-Planck-Gesellschaft ^ | September 26, 2011 | Unknown
    Contrary to what was previously assumed, modern humans may have populated Asia in more than 1 migration waveThe discovery by Russian archaeologists of the remains of an extinct prehistoric human during the excavation of Denisova Cave in Southern Siberia in 2008 was nothing short of a scientific sensation. The sequencing of the nuclear genome taken from an over 30,000-year-old finger bone revealed that Denisova man was neither a Neanderthal nor modern human, but a new form of hominin. Minute traces of the Denisova genome are still found in some individuals living today. The comparisons of the DNA of modern humans...
  • Scientists say new human relative roamed widely in Asia

    12/25/2010 1:48:33 AM PST · by Islander7 · 21 replies · 2+ views
    Star Advertiser ^ | Dec 22, 2010 | MALCOLM RITTER
    NEW YORK — Scientists have recovered the DNA code of a human relative recently discovered in Siberia, and it delivered a surprise: This relative roamed far from the cave that holds its only known remains. By comparing the DNA to that of modern populations, scientists found evidence that these "Denisovans" from more than 30,000 years ago ranged all across Asia. They apparently interbred with the ancestors of people now living in Melanesia, a group of islands northeast of Australia.
  • Genome of extinct Siberian cave-dweller linked to modern-day humans

    12/23/2010 10:27:59 AM PST · by LucyT · 26 replies · 2+ views
    EurekaAlert.org ^ | 22-Dec-2010 | Bobbie Mixon, National Science Foundation
    Sequencing of ancient DNA reveals new hominin population that is neither Neanderthal nor modern human Researchers have discovered evidence of a distinct group of "archaic" humans existing outside of Africa more than 30,000 years ago at a time when Neanderthals are thought to have dominated Europe and Asia. But genetic testing shows that members of this new group were not Neanderthals, and they interbred with the ancestors of some modern humans who are alive today. Until last year, the mainstream view in genetics was that modern humans inherited essentially their entire DNA makeup from Neanderthal-related individuals when they migrated from...
  • New ancestor? Scientists ponder DNA from Siberia

    03/24/2010 12:16:23 PM PDT · by decimon · 24 replies · 628+ views
    Associated Press ^ | Mar 24, 2010 | MALCOLM RITTER
    NEW YORK – In the latest use of DNA to investigate the story of humankind, scientists have decoded genetic material from an unidentified human ancestor that lived in Siberia and concluded it might be a new member of the human family tree. The DNA doesn't match modern humans or Neanderthals, two species that lived in that area around the same time — 30,000 to 50,000 years ago. > But "the human family tree has got a lot of branchings. It's entirely plausible there are a lot of branches out there we don't know about." >
  • DNA identifies new ancient human dubbed 'X-woman'

    03/24/2010 1:38:44 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 35 replies · 1,491+ views
    BBC ^ | 3-24-10 | Paul Rincon
    Scientists have identified a previously unknown type of ancient human through analysis of DNA from a finger bone unearthed in a Siberian cave. The extinct "hominin" (human like creature) lived in Central Asia between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago. An international team has sequenced genetic material from the fossil showing that it is distinct from that of Neanderthals and modern humans. Details of the find, dubbed "X-woman", have been published in Nature journal. Ornaments were found in the same ground layer as the finger bone, including a bracelet. Professor Chris Stringer, human origins researcher at London's Natural History Museum, called...
  • Possible new human ancestor found in SiberiaPossible new human ancestor found in Siberia

    03/24/2010 4:05:58 PM PDT · by edcoil · 33 replies · 874+ views
    reuters ^ | 3-24-10 | edcoil
    Genetic material pulled from a pinky finger bone found in a Siberian cave shows a new and unknown type of pre-human lived alongside modern humans and Neanderthals, scientists reported on Wednesday.
  • Gene research reveals fourth human species

    03/24/2010 7:40:24 PM PDT · by dangerdoc · 22 replies · 1,665+ views
    Financial Times ^ | 3/24/10 | Clive Cookson
    A fourth type of hominid, besides Neanderthals, modern humans and the tiny “hobbit”, was living as recently as 40,000 years ago, according to research published in the journal Nature. The discovery by Svante Pääbo and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is based on DNA sequences from a finger bone fragment discovered in a Siberian cave. EDITOR’S CHOICE Science briefing: Biofuel breakthrough - Feb-26 Public losing faith in science - Feb-22 Science briefing: Tracking cancer changes - Feb-19 Scientists discover the secret of ageing - Feb-15 Genome of balding Arctic ancestor decoded - Feb-10...
  • Is the Mysterious Siberian “X-Woman” a New Hominid Species?

    03/25/2010 9:09:33 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 28 replies · 932+ views
    Discover Magazine ^ | March 25, 2010 | Smriti Rao
    In 2008, archeologists working at the Denisova Cave in Siberia’s Altai Mountains discovered a tiny piece of a finger bone, believed to be a pinky, buried with ornaments in the cave. Scientists extracted the mitochondrial DNA (genetic material from the mother’s side) from the ancient bone and checked to see if its genetic code matched with the other two known forms of early hominids–Neanderthals and the ancestors of modern humans. What they found was a real surprise. The team, led by geneticist Svaante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute, discovered that the mtDNA from the finger bone matched neither–suggesting there...
  • DNA says new human relative roamed widely in Asia

    12/22/2010 2:22:43 PM PST · by decimon · 13 replies · 1+ views
    Associated Press ^ | December 22, 2010 | MALCOLM RITTER
    NEW YORK – Scientists have recovered the DNA code of a human relative recently discovered in Siberia, and it delivered a surprise: This relative roamed far from the cave that holds its only known remains. By comparing the DNA to that of modern populations, scientists found evidence that these "Denisovans" from more than 30,000 years ago ranged all across Asia. They apparently interbred with the ancestors of people now living in Melanesia, a group of islands northeast of Australia. There's no sign that Denisovans mingled with the ancestors of people now living in Eurasia, which made the connection between Siberia...
  • Ancient humans, dubbed 'Denisovans', interbred with us

    12/22/2010 6:26:50 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 56 replies · 6+ views
    BBC ^ | 12/22/10 | Pallab Ghosh
    Scientists say an entirely separate type of human identified from bones in Siberia co-existed and interbred with our own species.The ancient humans have been dubbed "Denisovans" after the caves in Siberia where their remains were found. There is also evidence that this population was widespread in Eurasia. A study in Nature journal shows that Denisovans co-existed with Neanderthals and interbred with our species - perhaps around 50,000 years ago. An international group of researchers sequenced a complete genome from one of the ancient hominins (human-like creatures), based on nuclear DNA extracted from a finger bone.