Ancient hominid bone serves up DNA stunner

Ancient hominid bone serves up DNA stunner

Evolutionary questions emerge about links between European, Asian forerunners to humans

By Bruce Bower, 11:27 AM December 4, 2013

Scientists have recovered the oldest known DNA from a member of the human evolutionary family. This find raises surprising questions about relationships among far-flung populations of ancient hominids.

A nearly complete sample of mitochondrial DNA was extracted from a 400,000-year-old leg bone previously found in a cave in northern Spain. The DNA shows an unexpected hereditary link to the Denisovans, Neandertals’ genetic cousins that lived in East Asia at least 44,000 years ago, say paleogenet...

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