Thursday, February 11, 2010

First ancient human sequenced

For the first time researchers have sequenced an ancient human genome, revealing characteristics of Greenland's first inhabitants and providing evidence of a previously unknown human migration, according to a study published in this week's Nature.
Past studies have sequenced partial genomes or mitochondrial DNA, which only codes for the mother's side of the genome, said David Lambert, an evolutionary biologist from Griffith University who was not involved in the study. "But this is really the first complete ancient human genome."
"This research brings new excitement to the field because it shows us that we can potentially reconstruct not only where people came from, but also what they looked like," said Lambert, who wrote an accompanying commentary to the study in Nature. This level of reconstruction is possible, he explained, because the Human Genome Project has provided extensive databases with which to compare this ancient individual's genome. cont here
cover article here

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