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Tianyuan Man's Genome

Researchers have sequenced the genome of a man who lived in China some 40,000 years ago, UPI reports.

A Chinese Academy of Sciences-led team sequenced the genome of an ancient human whose remains were uncovered in Tianyuan Cave, China. As they report in Current Biology, the researchers compared the Tianyuan man's genome to both ancient and modern human genome sequences. They found that the Tianyuan man was mostly closely related to ancient and modern Asian populations, indicating that people have been living in East Asia for at least 40,000 years and that a genetic split took place between Asians and Europeans before that time.

They also noted that the Tianyuan man was more closely related to a 35,000-year-old Belgian individual than to other ancient Europeans, which they said could indicate that the two share ancestry from a Eurasian subpopulation. At the same time, the researchers found that the Tianyuan man also shared more alleles with some Native American groups in South America than in North America.

"The shared ancestry between the Tianyuan individual and a 35,000-year-old individual in Europe and present-day Native American groups in South America further highlights that both substructure and population contacts have characterized the population history in Eurasia," the researchers write.