Neandertal DNA discovery on cave floor

This 2016 video from the USA is called CARTA: DNA–Neandertal and Denisovan Genomes; Neandertal Genes in Humans; Neandertal Interbreeding.

From Science magazine:

DNA from cave soil reveals ancient human occupants

Lizzie Wade

28 Apr 2017


Fifty thousand years ago, a Neandertal relieved himself in a cave in present-day Belgium, depositing, among other things, a sample of his DNA. The urine clung to minerals in the soil and the feces eventually decomposed. But traces of the DNA remained, embedded in the cave floor.

Now, researchers have shown they can find and identify such genetic traces of both Neandertals and Denisovans, another type of archaic human, enabling them to test for the presence of ancient humans even in sites where no bones have been found.

Scientists say ancient DNA from sediments will help them complete the map of ancient human occupations and allow them to see where species may have overlapped and interacted. Many believe it will become a standard tool in paleoarchaeology, much like radiocarbon dating is today.

Water tubing accidents, table run-ins cause Neandertal-like injuries. Analysis shows that comparing ancient and modern bone breaks yields little insight into hominids’ everyday dangers. By Bruce Bower, 1:57pm, May 1, 2017: here.

Archaeologists at The Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Sydney have provided a window into one of the most exciting periods in human history — the transition between Neanderthals and modern humans: here.

A discovery of multiple toothpick grooves on teeth and signs of other manipulations by a Neanderthal of 130,000 years ago are evidence of a kind of prehistoric dentistry, according to a new study: here.

The world’s oldest known glue was made by Neanderthals. But how did they make it 200,000 years ago? Leiden archaeologists have discovered three possible ways. Publication in Scientific Reports, 31 August: here.

Neandertal kids were a lot like kids today — at least in how they grew. Skeleton from almost 8-year-old shows that growth of the child’s brain, spine lagged a bit. By Bruce Bower, 9:00am, September 25, 2017.

Modern people of European and Asian ancestry carry slightly more Neandertal DNA than previously realized: here.

Modern humans co-existed and interbred not only with Neanderthals, but also with another species of archaic humans, the mysterious Denisovans. Research now describes how, while developing a new genome-analysis method for comparing whole genomes between modern human and Denisovan populations, researchers unexpectedly discovered two distinct episodes of Denisovan genetic intermixing, or admixing, between the two. This suggests a more diverse genetic history than previously thought between the Denisovans and modern humans: here.

Up until 40,000 years ago, at least two groups of hominins inhabited Eurasia — Neanderthals in the west and Denisovans in the east. Now, researchers have sequenced the genome of an ancient hominin individual from Siberia, and discovered that she had a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father: here.

11 thoughts on “Neandertal DNA discovery on cave floor

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