Prehistoric Family Split: DNA puts Neandertals on edge of human ancestry

By Bruce Bower, 15:50 PM April 15, 2008

In the ongoing battle over their role in human evolution, Neandertals have taken another hit. An unprecedented amount of genetic material removed from Stone Age fossils indicates that the heavy-boned, beetle-browed Neandertals made, at most, a small genetic contribution to our prehistoric ancestors.

A team led by David Serre of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, compared mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from fossils of four Neandertals unearthed i...

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