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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2010, 12:45 
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http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62N4VS20100324

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(Reuters) - Genetic material pulled from a pinky finger bone found in a Siberian cave shows a new and unknown type of pre-human lived alongside modern humans and Neanderthals, scientists reported on Wednesday.

The creature, nicknamed "Woman X" for the time being, could have lived as recently as 30,000 years ago and appears only distantly related to modern humans or Neanderthals, the researchers reported.

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Writing in Nature, Krause and colleagues said they sequenced DNA from the mitochondria, a part of the cell, which is passed down virtually intact from a woman to her children. They compared it to DNA from humans, Neanderthals and apes.


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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2010, 16:42 
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New Human Species Discovered: Mitochondrial Genome of Previously Unknown Hominins from Siberia Decoded

ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2010) — An international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig has sequenced ancient mitochondrial DNA from a finger bone of a female found in southern Siberia. She comes from a previously unknown human species, which lived about 48,000 to 30,000 years ago in the Altai Mountains in Central Asia.

...

Johannes Krause, Svante Pääbo and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig have now sequenced mitochondrial DNA from a tiny piece of a finger bone. The bone was found 2008 in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia. They compared the ancient DNA from the mitochondria, the "power plants of the cell," with the mitochondrial DNA of Neanderthals and living humans. It turned out that the mitochondrial DNA of the hominins from South Siberia differs markedly from that of all previously known hominins.

As shown by a detailed analysis of the mitochondrial genome, these hominins shared a common ancestor with modern humans and Neanderthals about 1.0 million years ago. In addition, the age of the fossil suggests that these unknown people in Southern Siberia lived close in time and space with Neanderthals as well as with modern humans.

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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2010, 09:42 
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Fascinating stuff. There is so much we don't know about human history, even in fairly recent times, let alone hundreds of thousands of years ago.


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