Category Archives: Archaic humans

mtDNA capers

There’s an interesting pattern in the mtDNA of archaic humans. Neanderthals have mtDNA that’s a lot closer to that of anatomically modern humans than to Denisovans, although Neanderthals and Denisovans are close if you look at nuclear DNA. While really … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Denisovans, Genetics, Neanderthals | 6 Comments

Degenerate Neanderthals

There are a couple of new papers out on how utterly fucked-up Neanderthals must have been, The Genetic Cost of Neanderthal Introgression by Kelley Harris and Rasmus Nielsen, and The Strength of Selection Against Neanderthal Introgression, by Ivan Juric, Simon … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Neanderthals | 62 Comments

Faster than Fisher

There’s a simple model of the spread of an advantageous allele:  You take σ, the typical  distance people move in one generation, and s,  the selective advantage: the advantageous allele spreads as a nonlinear wave at speed  σ * √(2s).  … Continue reading

Posted in Denisovans, Dietary adaptations, European Prehistory, Evolutionary Medicine, Genetics, Indo-European, Linguistics, Neanderthals, Skin color | Tagged | 74 Comments

Ust’-Ishim & the Old Race

There’s a new report out in Nature, on the DNA results from a 45,000 AMH skeleton found in Western Siberia.  It’s the oldest radiocarbon-dated modern human outside Africa and the Middle East. The Neanderthal admixture is there,  about the same … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, European Prehistory, Genetics, Neanderthals | Tagged | 30 Comments

Let’s Get Small

I said earlier than it seemed likely that archaic hominid living in special environments, for a long time (sometimes more than a million years) inevitably developed high-quality adaptations to those environments, and since such alleles are easily transmitted, modern humans … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Bushmen, Denisovans, Mangani, Pygmies | 31 Comments

The Genghis-Khan effect

We know of several examples of a huge expansion of a paternal lineage, and several other cases seem likely to be the same thing.  It’s worth taking a close look at the first one found, the paternal lineage of Genghis … Continue reading

Posted in Genghis -Khan effect, Neanderthals | 120 Comments

Powerful Stuff

I was thinking again about that Denisovan allele of EPAS1 that plays a big role in Tibetan altitude adaptation.  Considering modern humans, it has only been found in Tibetans (high frequency) and in the Chinese (couple of percent).  The preferred … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Denisovans, Genetics | 18 Comments