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Thread: new paper on neanderthals

  1. #1
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    new paper on neanderthals

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1...03.12.988956v1


    We sequenced the genome of a Neandertal from Chagyrskaya Cave in the Altai Mountains, Russia, to 27-fold genomic coverage. We estimate that this individual lived ~80,000 years ago and was more closely related to Neandertals in western Eurasia (1,2) than to Neandertals who lived earlier in Denisova Cave (3), which is located about 100 km away. About 12.9% of the Chagyrskaya genome is spanned by homozygous regions that are between 2.5 and 10 centiMorgans (cM) long. This is consistent with that Siberian Neandertals lived in relatively isolated populations of less than 60 individuals. In contrast, a Neandertal from Europe, a Denisovan from the Altai Mountains and ancient modern humans seem to have lived in populations of larger sizes. The availability of three Neandertal genomes of high quality allows a first view of genetic features that were unique to Neandertals and that are likely to have been at high frequency among them. We find that genes highly expressed in the striatum in the basal ganglia of the brain carry more amino acid-changing substitutions than genes expressed elsewhere in the brain, suggesting that the striatum may have evolved unique functions in Neandertals.

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    100,000 years of gene flow between Neandertals and Denisovans in the Altai mountains

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1...523v1.full.pdf


    The Siberian Altai mountains have been intermittently occupied by both Neandertals and Denisovans, two extinct hominin groups. While they diverged at least 390,000 years ago, later contacts lead to gene flow from Neandertals into Denisovans. Using a new population genetic method that is capable of inferring signatures of admixture from highly degraded genetic data, I show that this gene flow was much more widespread than previously thought. While the two earliest Denisovans both have substantial and recent Neandertal ancestry, I find signatures of admixture in all archaic genomes from the Altai, demonstrating that gene flow also occurred from Denisovans into Neandertals. This suggests that a contact zone between Neandertals and Denisovan populations persisted in the Altai region throughout much of the Middle Paleolithic. In contrast, Western Eurasian Neandertals have little to no Denisovan ancestry. As I find no evidence of natural selection against gene flow, this suggests that neutral demographic processes and geographic isolation were likely major drivers of human differentiation.

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    I'm a bit sceptical.
    The outcome is a bit surprising.
    E.g. : the dating of Chagyrskaya is totally differented from what I've learned.
    The papers aren't peer reviewed.

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