October 28, 2006

Our DNA, Their DNA and our Common DNA

National Geographic online has an update on the ongoing efforts to sequence the Neandertal (aka Neanderthal) genome. There are two ongoing projects. One, led by James Noonan at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, focuses on those sequences that can be compares with modern human DNA. The other, led by Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, seeks to "sequence the entire Neandertal genome within two years"

Preliminary results from Noonan's work indicate that,

Of course, if the date of the last common ancestor is correct than it almost follows that Neandertals contributed little to modern human DNA. At least it didn't happen in Europe.

This work is extremely difficult and I am sure that opinions will vary as to what it all means as the work proceeds and additional scientists are able to evaluate the preliminary conclusions.

Via Zinken

Posted by DuaneSmith at October 28, 2006 11:00 AM | Read more on Paleoanthropology |

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