Category Archives: Neanderthals

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

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

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

Silver Blaze

The recent paper on three ancestral European populations has some truly interesting stuff buried deep in the supplements.   This is not the first time that this has happened: if you read the supplements to their big Neanderthal paper, back in … Continue reading

Posted in Amerindians, Ashkenazi Jews, Denisovans, European Prehistory, Genetics, Indo-European, Linguistics, Neanderthals | 422 Comments