No link found between Flores Island pygmies and ancient ‘hobbits’ in study

BB rampasasa feat
Rampasasa pygmies on the Indonesian island of Flores display no DNA hints of hobbit ancestry, scientists say. The 1.2-meter-tall Rampasasa villager shown here has disputed claims by tour guides that he is descendant of hobbits. Image credit: Science News

Geneticist Serena Tucci sat in the small Indonesian village of Rampasasa on Flores Island, the only woman in a room full of male researchers and pygmy villagers.

[O]nce the villagers understood, they were excited. They wanted to know what their genetics could reveal about their personal history. They wanted to know if they were the descendants of the ancient hominins who once inhabited their island, Homo floresiensis, sometimes called hobbits for their resemblance to the fictional Tolkien creatures.

The results of their research are published [August 2] in the journal Science: the modern pygmies have no relation to Homo floresiensis—though they do contain genetic material from Neanderthals and Denisovans, two extinct hominin lineages. While many modern humans have traces of extinct hominins in their DNA, the particular admixture seen in the pygmies is unique, and tells a fascinating story of how populations from different regions—the islands of Southeast Asia and the East Asia coast—mingled on this island.

Related article:  Chance of extraterrestrial contact will multiply by 1,000 in coming decade, says SETI scientist

As for how the pygmy people of Rampasasa themselves feel about the study results, that remains to be seen. In a village with no phones or Internet, sharing the data is a bit of a logistical hurdle. “We’re working now to set up a new expedition to Flores to bring the results back,” Tucci says.

Read full, original post: A New Genetic Study Suggests Modern Flores Island Pygmies and Ancient Hobbits Are Unrelated

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend