NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A new study is highlighting the feasibility of teasing out genetic sequences from long-dead mammal — including hominins such as Neanderthals and Denisovans — from DNA left behind in ancient soil sediments.

Members of an international team led by investigators in Germany used a combination of hybrid capture and shotgun sequencing to detect mitochondrial DNA sequences from ancient hominins and other mammals in dozens of Pleistocene sediment samples collected at sites in France, Belgium, Spain, Croatia, and Russia.

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