Siberians DNA Extinct Humans – Researchers have found that Siberians in East Asia share DNA with Denisovans Hominin, who got the name from the cave in Siberia where they were first found, and are known as an extinct human species.
Denisovans are members of the genus Homo that may belong to a previously unknown species based on an analysis of their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). In March 2010, discovery was announced of a finger bone fragment of a juvenile that lived about 41,000 years ago found in Denisova Cave (Altai Krai, Russia), a region also inhabited at about the same time by Neanderthals and modern hominins.
Little is known of the precise anatomical features of the Denisovans since the only physical remains discovered thus far are the finger bone from which only mitochondrial genetic material was gathered. A tooth found in Denisova Cave carries a mtDNA very similar to that of the finger bone and shares no derived morphological features with Neanderthal or modern hominins.
The new study covers a larger part of the world than earlier research about Siberians about the possible link to a species that is extinct, and it is clear that it is not as simple as previously thought.
Professor Mattias Jakobsson, of Uppsala University in Sweden who conducted the study together with graduate student Pontus Skoglund, said hybridisation took place at several points in evolution and the genetic traces of this can be found in several places in the world.
He said: “We’ll probably be uncovering more events like these.” He went on to say, “Previous studies have found two separate hybridisation events between so-called archaic humans – different from modern humans in both genetics and morphology – and the ancestors of modern humans after their emergence from Africa.”