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  • News in Brief

    We’re more Neandertal than we thought

    Modern people of European and Asian ancestry carry slightly more Neandertal DNA than previously realized.

    About 1.8 to 2.6 percent of DNA in non-Africans is an heirloom of ancient human-Neandertal interbreeding, researchers report online October 5 in Science. That corresponds to 10 to 20 percent more Neandertal ancestry than previous estimates — and it may carry consequences for human...

    10/10/2017 - 17:30 Genetics, Ancestry
  • News

    Ancient DNA offers clues to the Canaanites’ fate

    DNA is setting the record straight on ancient Canaanites.

    For the first time, scientists have deciphered the complete genetic instruction manuals of Canaanites. By comparing five Canaanite genomes with those of other ancient and modern populations, the researchers identified the Canaanites’ ancestors and discovered their descendants, modern Lebanese people.

    The results, reported...

    07/27/2017 - 12:31 Anthropology, Ancestry, Genetics
  • News

    New footprint finds suggest range of body sizes for Lucy’s species

    Famous footprints of nearly 3.7-million-year-old hominids, found in 1976 at Tanzania’s Laetoli site, now have sizable new neighbors.

    While excavating small pits in 2015 to evaluate the impact of a proposed field museum at Laetoli, researchers uncovered comparably ancient hominid footprints about 150 meters from the original discoveries. The new finds reveal a vast range of body sizes for...

    12/16/2016 - 13:04 Anthropology, Ancestry
  • News in Brief

    Ancient hookups gave chimps a smidge of bonobo DNA

    Like lipstick on a collar, new DNA evidence is pointing to ancient affairs between bonobos and chimpanzees.

    Chimps carry a small percentage of bonobo DNA, researchers report in the Oct. 28 Science. The conclusion comes from analysis of the genetic instruction books, or genomes, of 63 wild-born chimps, two captive chimps named Clint and Donald, and 10 wild-born bonobos. The apes came from...

    10/27/2016 - 14:00 Genetics, Animals, Ancestry
  • News

    DNA data offer evidence of unknown extinct human relative

    VANCOUVER — Traces of long-lost human cousins may be hiding in modern people’s DNA, a new computer analysis suggests.

    People from Melanesia, a region in the South Pacific encompassing Papua New Guinea and surrounding islands, may carry genetic evidence of a previously unknown extinct hominid species, Ryan Bohlender reported October 20 at the annual meeting of the American Society of...

    10/21/2016 - 16:01 Genetics, Ancestry
  • News

    Single exodus from Africa gave rise to today’s non-Africans

    One wave of ancient human migrants out of Africa gave rise to all non-Africans alive today, three separate genetic studies conclude.

    Those human explorers left Africa about 50,000 to 72,000 years ago, mixed with Neandertals and spread across the world, researchers report online September 21 in Nature. The studies present data from genetically diverse and previously unrepresented...

    09/21/2016 - 15:28 Genetics, Ancestry, Climate