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Algorithm Detects Gene Flow Between Archaic Humans

Friday, August 7, 2020

ITHACA, NEW YORK—According to a statement released by PLOS Genetics, Melissa Hubisz and Amy Williams of Cornell University and Adam Siepel of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory developed an algorithm to identify tiny segments of DNA from other species in genomes. When they analyzed ancient genomes belonging to two Neanderthals, a Denisovan, and two modern people from Africa, the researchers found evidence that three percent of the Neanderthal genome came from interbreeding with ancient humans some 200,000 to 300,000 years ago. About one percent of the Denisovan genome is thought to have come from an unidentified relative that may have been Homo erectus. About 15 percent of this genetic material may have been passed on to today’s modern humans. The researchers conclude that groups of ancient humans are likely to have mixed more frequently than previously thought. Read the original scholarly article about this research in PLOS Genetics. For more, go to "Living Evidence."

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