Ancient DNA Shows Earliest European Genomes Weathered the Ice AgePosted: November 6, 2014
A ground-breaking new study on DNA recovered from a fossil of one of the earliest known Europeans – a man who lived 36,000 years ago in Kostenki, western Russia – has shown that the earliest European humans’ genetic ancestry survived the Last Glacial Maximum: the peak point of the last ice age.
The study also uncovers a more accurate timescale for when humans and Neanderthals interbred, and finds evidence for an early contact between the European hunter-gatherers and those in the Middle East – who would later develop agriculture and disperse into Europe about 8,000 years ago, transforming the European gene pool.
Scientists now believe Eurasians separated into at least three populations earlier than 36,000 years ago: Western Eurasians, East Asians and a mystery third lineage, all of whose descendants would develop the unique features of most non-African peoples – but not before some interbreeding with Neanderthals took place…. (read more)
- Scientists sequence genome of 45,000-year-old man (smh.com.au)
- Thoroughly modern humans interbred with Neanderthals (newscientist.com)
- Neanderthals and Humans First Mated 50,000 Years Ago, DNA Reveals (livescience.com)
- Oldest complete human genome sequenced: DNA of 45,000-year-old man who roamed Siberia unravelled – and it sheds light on when we stopped interbreeding with Neanderthals (dailymail.co.uk)
- Dem Bones (23andme.com)
- Neanderthals and humans first mated 50,000 years ago, DNA reveals (foxnews.com)
- 45,000-year-old man was human-Neanderthal mix (abc.net.au)