Nov 25, 2013

Through The Modern Lens - Ancient Ancestors' Genomes Show 'Mystery Human' DNA

Comparison of Neanderthal skull (left) with Homo Sapiens (right)
Using the latest scientific research methods in genomics, a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have determined that our ancient ancestors - the Neanderthals and Denisovans - inter-bred with each other much more often than we have previously acknowledged.

Even more surprising, their research revealed evidence of even older 'mystery human' DNA in the fossil remains of our early ancestors.  According to researchers, this 'mystery human' DNA is "something unknown," likely from Asia.  It made up about 4 percent of the genomic material of the Denisovan fossils that were sampled.

What the Denisovans looked like remains unknown, so it is also unknown what this even older 'mystery human' species may have looked like.  Below is a chart showing a timeline of the various known members of the 'human family':

You can read more about this exciting new research here, or at the Related Articles links provided below.

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