Thursday, April 27, 2017

Denisovans, Humans and the Chromosome 2 Fusion

With that as background, we are now prepared to appreciate a new finding that comes from genomics work done on the Denisovan hominids, an archaic species that is more closely related to Neanderthals than to us, but that nonetheless interbred with some anatomically modern humans as they migrated out of Africa and populated the globe. (For those not familiar with the Denisovans, or the evidence for our interbreeding with them, both Darrel Falk and I have written on this previously, here and here). Recently, a more detailed understanding of the Denisovan genome was published, and nested in the new information is the discovery that the Denisovans share the 46 chromosome set with the same fusion that we have. This strongly supports the hypothesis that the fusion event predates the separation of our species. If we were to represent this on a phylogeny, we can now place this event with more accuracy than before ..

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