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DNA in archaeological sediments

Ancient human and animal DNA can remain stably localized in sediments, preserved in microscopic fragments of bone and feces

06-Jan-2022

The analysis of ancient DNA preserved in sediments is an emerging technology allowing for the detection of the past presence of humans and other animals at archaeological sites. Yet, little is known about how DNA is preserved in sediment for long periods of time. An international team of ...

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New method: Y chromosomes of Neandertals and Denisovans now sequenced

Neandertals have adopted male sex chromosome from modern humans

28-Sep-2020

An international research team led by Martin Petr and Janet Kelso of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has determined Y chromosome sequences of three Neandertals and two Denisovans. These Y chromosomes provide new insights into the relationships and ...

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DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments

New method retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments – even in the absence of skeletal remains

02-May-2017

While there are numerous prehistoric sites in Europe and Asia that contain tools and other human-made artefacts, skeletal remains of ancient humans are scarce. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have therefore looked into new ways to get ...

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New test for ancient DNA authenticity throws doubt on Stone Age wheat trade

09-Nov-2015

A cooperation of scientists at the MPI for Developmental Biology in Tübingen and the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology developed a new test to verify the authenticity of ancient DNA. They applied the test to a sample from submerged sediment off the Isle of Wight, thought to provide evidence of ...

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Kiwi bird genome sequenced

28-Jul-2015

Researchers of the University of Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have now sequenced the genetic code of this endangered species and have identified several sequence changes that underlie the kiwi’s adaptation to a nocturnal lifestyle: They found several genes ...

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A relative from the Tianyuan Cave

Ancient DNA has revealed that humans living some 40,000 years ago in the area near Beijing were likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans

28-Jan-2013

An international team of researchers including Svante Pääbo and Qiaomei Fu of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology sequenced nuclear and mitochondrial DNA that had been extracted from the leg of an early modern human from Tianyuan Cave near Beijing, China. Analyses of this ...

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Ancient genome reveals its secrets

Max Planck researchers describe Denisovan genome, illuminating the relationships between Denisovans and present-day humans

03-Sep-2012

The analyses of an international team of researchers led by Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, show that the genetic variation of Denisovans was extremely low, suggesting that although they were present in large parts of Asia, their ...

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