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Oldest DNA from a Homo sapiens

Scientists found the oldest Homo sapiens DNA. This shows that many of Europe’s first humans had Neanderthals in their family trees. These individuals are not related to later Europeans, based on two genome studies of remains dating back more than 45,000 years from caves in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.Viviane Slon, a palaeo geneticist at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel said that The research adds to growing evidence that modern humans mixed regularly with Neanderthals and other extinct relatives. The genetic history of the earliest humans in Europe and Asia has been blurred.

The researchers have extracted DNA from Neanderthals and other extinct human relatives dating as far back as 430,000 years, genetic information is scarce from the period between around 47,000 and 40,000 years ago, known as the Initial Upper Palaeolithic, and no Homo sapiens DNA at all from before this period. Genomes belonging to humans from Siberia and Romania showed no connection to later waves of Europeans, but a 40,000-year-old individual from China is a partial ancestor of modern East Asian people.

The present-day people whose ancestry is not African, these early Eurasians carried Neanderthal DNA. Researchers thought that probably originated from mixing between the groups in the Middle East 50,000–60,000 years ago. Study of the genome of the 40,000-year-old Romanian individual, from a site called Peștera cu Oase, held a surprise: a Neanderthal ancestor in the past four to six generations, suggesting that humans interbred with Neanderthals in Europe.

The oldest Bacho Kiro individuals, dated to between 45,900 and 42,600 years old, all had recent Neanderthal forebears, reports a team led by molecular biologist Mateja Hajdinjak and evolutionary geneticist Svante Pääbo, both at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. The modern non-Africans genomes usually harbour about 2% Neanderthal ancestry, but the Bacho Kiro individuals had slightly more at 3.4–3.8%, and the chromosome segments which are shortened in consecutive generations that were considerably longer.

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