German researchers publish full Neanderthal genome

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Researchers in Germany have completed the first high-quality sequencing of a Neanderthal genome.

German researchers publish full Neanderthal genome
The figure shows a tree relating this genome to the genomes of Neandertals from Croatia, from Germany and from the Caucasus as well as the Denisovan genome recovered from a finger bone excavated at Deniosva Cave. It shows that this individual is closely related to these other Neandertals. Thus, both Neandertals and Denisovans have inhabited this cave in southern Siberia, presumably at different times [Credit: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig]

The scientific data gleaned from remains of a Neanderthal toe bone found in a Siberian cave are being made freely available online.

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig said in a statement Tuesday the high quality of the genome meant its scientists were already able to determine which parts of DNA were inherited from its mother and father.

This is a significant improvement on a previous “draft” Neanderthal genome produced three years ago by the same team, led by Svante Paabo.

Paabo said the group hopes to publish a scientific paper on the Neanderthal genome later this year.

Source: Associated Press [March 19, 2013]

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