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Humans bred with Archaic peoples: study

Humans bred with Archaic peoples: study

Published: 01 Nov 2011 16:42 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Nov 2011 16:42 GMT+01:00

Researchers at Uppsala University have found evidence to indicate regular sexual relations between Archaic and modern humans.

The study shows that the sexual interaction, between Archaic homo sapiens who lived in the period beginning 300,000 years ago, occurred to a greater extent than previously thought, shedding light on the history of modern humans.

The Swedish study, published in the journal Pnas, presents evidence that south-east Asian and southern Chinese have genes from the Denisovans, who were an Archaic peoples.

"It is a little controversial. But we have made use of more powerful methods than those used for before," said Mattias Jakobsson, one of the researchers at Uppsala University, told the local Uppsala Nya Tidning daily.

Previous studies have indicated that modern humans outside Africa have some genetic similarities with Neanderthals, and that Australian Aboriginals and residents on the island of New Guinea have common genetic traits with Denisovans.

The new study thus shows that genetic traces from the Denisovans can also be found in residents of the mainland Asian continent.

"This shows that Archaic and modern humans were not as isolated as was previously thought," said researcher Pontus Skoglund to the newspaper. "Together with previous studies this indicates that our genetic inheritance is a mosaic of from various pre-historic populations."

Little is known about the Denisovans, who are named after a find in the Denisova Cave in Russia in 2008.

The anatomical features of the Denisovans remains unknown as the only physical remains hitherto found are a fingerbone and tooth.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:20 November 1, 2011 by Svensksmith
That explains a few things.
19:01 November 1, 2011 by procrustes
Only to an idiot.

Well over 95% of pearly white blond blue-eye Sweden Democrat DNA is in common with the great ape.

Oh, and that goes for the rest of us, too.
19:46 November 1, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Norwegians have troll genes.
22:30 November 1, 2011 by wxman
Nothing like a good hump with a hot Neanderthal babe to start the day off right!
04:06 November 2, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
Yeah, some of the women I've been with were real neanderthals for sure.
04:35 November 2, 2011 by Uncommon Sense
What examples do we have of two different species actually mating and producing offspring which is not sterile?

How long do bone fragments survive exposure in this world anyway? Seems 300,000 years is a very long time.

Maybe all this is science fiction and someone is testing to see if we are stupid enough to buy the next book to come out just in time for Christmas!
05:56 November 2, 2011 by Investor612
wxman,

You have that backwards. The DNA indicates most of the mixing came from Neanderthal men. Hmmmmm.
08:57 November 2, 2011 by karex
@uncommon sense

The old definition of species that is based on the ability to reproduce fertile offspring is today considered simplistic and inadequate. Other factors are now taken into account including DNA and characteristic features such as jutting chins, rounded foreheads, height of cheekbone placement, etc. It is possible that different species can mate and produce fertile offspring when these species belong to the same Genus. In this case, Denisovans, Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens all belong to the genus Homo.

Bone fragments can survive an extraordinary long time depending on the conditions of the environment where they are preserved. In 2009 the remains of a mammoth was discovered in Serbia which dates back 4.8 million years... Remians preserved in very dry places can last a long time, as well as in peat bogs. Glaciers can in theory preserve remians forever as long as not thawed. And the advantage of remains found in glaciers is that they are extraordinarily preserved and include a wealth of original characteristics which can include teeth, hair and even skin.
09:13 November 2, 2011 by Lavaux
If the Denisovians and Neanderthals didn't come from Africa (as the Homo Sapiens allegedly did), where did they come from?

The other day I was looking at a diagram showing the evolution of modern men from apes, with arrows pointing from each fossil to the next. Where did the arrows come from?
10:29 November 2, 2011 by bourgeoisieboheme
Actually we think of Neanderthals as primitive to Homo Sapiens but that is proving more and more to be incorrect. We assume since they are all gone they were not as smart, truth might be they were less aggressive and were wiped out by homo sapiens. They have larger brains so it is thought they might have been smarter, which usually means less violent. True, European and East Asians have shown to have Neanderthal genes in their DNA. So take from that what you will...
10:52 November 2, 2011 by Sommar
@Lavaux

The ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans actually also came from Africa. They just moved out of Africa before Homo sapiens moved out. They then evolved on separate lineages in Europe and Asia, and then interbred with Homo sapiens when they expanded through their territory. The exact descent of Neanderthals and Denisovans are unknown but it is thought that the last ancestor they shared with Homo sapiens (before later interbreeding) was Homo rhodesiensis that lived 700K to 1 million years ago in Africa
20:20 November 2, 2011 by swedejane
No news here...there's a modern version of it all around us, whenever I see a beautiful western woman with an arab man I think the same thing: human and neanderthal mating.
04:20 November 3, 2011 by Da Goat
this is another waste of time and money the neanderthals and denisovans are still walking around with us to this day !

this is just evolutionary imagineings
21:58 November 3, 2011 by yourkidding
Judging by the closed mindedness a bunch of manniskor have towards "new" people...Humans bred with Archaic peoples = Swedes
04:04 November 5, 2011 by MitchT
This explains my boss.
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