DNA unveils enigmatic Denisovans

Extinct Neandertal relatives serve up a complete genetic playbook

By Bruce Bower, 17:20 PM August 30, 2012

Genetic data of unprecedented completeness have been pulled from the fossil remains of a young Stone Age woman. The DNA helps illuminate the relationships among her group — ancient Siberians known as Denisovans — Neandertals, and humans.

The Denisovan’s genetic library suggest that she came from a small population that expanded rapidly as it moved south through Asia, says a team led by Matthias Meyer and Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germ...

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