Category Archives: Denisovans

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

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

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

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

Rasmus Nielsen

The paper on the Denisovan origin of one of the key altitude-adaptation genes (EPAS1) in Tibetans is now out (lead author Emilia Huerta-Sanchez,  senior author Rasmus Nielsen). It’s on a Denisovan haplotype.   Likely Denisovans occupied a lot of East … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Denisovans, Genetics | 22 Comments

Call Him George

  One thing leads to another. I hear that Rasmus Nielsen (speaking at SMBE 2014) has evidence that Tibetans picked up some of their altitude adaptation (EPAS1) from Denisovans. Who could have imagined that?

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Denisovans, Genetics | 14 Comments

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes

Svante Pääbo has a book out, Neanderthal Man, in which he recounts his adventures sequencing ancient DNA.  He has had three big successes: the first successful sequencing of Neanderthal mtDNA in 1997, the first sequencing of the Neanderthal nuclear genome, … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Book Reviews, Denisovans, Genetics, Neanderthals | 117 Comments