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Looking at Early Humans

A new paper from Svante Pääbo's group reports that they recovered a complete mitochondrial DNA sequence from a 30,000-year-old early modern human from Kostenki, Russia. In Current Biology, the researchers recount how they used a primer-extension capture method, which they developed for working with Neandertals, to capture ancient DNA to be sequenced. They compared the early modern human mtDNA to that of Neandertals and modern humans and found that the early modern human mtDNA belongs to the U2 haplotype, which today is found in North African, western Asian, and European populations. "We can now do what I thought was impossible just a year ago – determine reliable DNA sequences from modern humans - but this is still possible only from very well-preserved specimens," Pääbo says, according to Scientific Blogging.

HT: European Genetics and Anthropology Blog, Dienekes' Anthropology Blog

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