Category Archives: Archaic humans

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 | 118 Comments

Ethiopian altitude adaptations

I said a while ago that the altitude adaptations in Tibet were too damn good, more effective than those seen in Andean Amerindians, and so must have originated in a population that lived at high altitude for a long time.  … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Archaic humans, Genetics | 46 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

Adaptive Neanderthal admixture

Finally, there are papers  out on the long-term consequences of Neanderthal admixture – one by Sriram Sankararaman in Nature, the other by Benjamin Vernot in Science. The general picture is that anatomically modern humans exiting Africa mixed, to a degree,  … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics, Neanderthals | 97 Comments

Earl Grey

In a previous post, I speculated that that Denisovans might stem from from Homo erectus, at least in part, rather than being a sister group to Neanderthals as suggested in the paper by Reich and Patterson.  It now looks as … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Denisovans, homo erectus, Neanderthals | 21 Comments

Denisovans in Wallacea?

In Science, Cooper and Stringer discuss the distribution of Denisovan ancestry. Before I say anything else – their map is great. We don’t see any Denisovan ancestry in populations living in mainland Southeast Asia, or Indonesia, or indeed in any … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Denisovans | 44 Comments

All One Species ?

There is a new paper about a recently discovered skull from Dmanisi, Georgia, an early Homo erectus.  Compared with a set of other erectus skulls from the same area and from about the same time, it looks as if this … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Denisovans, homo erectus, Neanderthals, Uncategorized | 40 Comments

What’s the catch?

if someone were to try to create a Neanderthal a few years from now, starting with ancient DNA, they’d have to have worry a lot about data errors, because such errors would translate into mutations, which might be harmful or … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics, Neanderthals | 64 Comments

Fascinatin’ rhythm

At the recent SMBE meeting in Dublin, there was an interesting talk (judging from the abstract) about archaic genes in modern humans.  The  authors were Sriram Sankararaman, Nick Patterson, Swapan Mallick,, Svante Paabo, and David Reich. They believe that they … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics, Neanderthals | 11 Comments