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Genome of ancient Denisovans may help clarify human evolution

| | August 31, 2012

Our ancestors didn’t walk alone: Neanderthals and other ancient peoples shared Earth with them tens of thousands of years ago.

Now, using new technology, scientists have sequenced with high precision the genome of one of those close but little-known relatives: an extinct people known as the Denisovans, who lived in and around modern-day Siberia.

The Denisovan genome, reported online Thursday in the journal Science, was derived from tiny quantities of shredded DNA extracted from a finger bone found in a Russian cave in 2008, as well as a tooth found later.

What is striking, scientists said, is that it is every bit as detailed as a sequence generated with a fresh blood or saliva sample from someone alive today.

View the original article here: Genome of ancient Denisovans may help clarify human evolution

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