Document Type

Open Access Article


Ten years after the first draft versions of the human genome were
announced, technical progress in both DNA sequencing and ancient DNA
analyses has allowed a research team around Ed Green and Svante Pa¨a¨bo to
complete this task from infinitely more difficult hominid samples: a few
pieces of bone originating from our closest, albeit extinct, relatives, the
Neanderthals. Pulling the Neanderthal sequences out of a sea of contaminating
environmental DNA impregnating the bones and at the same time
avoiding the problems of contamination with modern human DNA is in itself
a remarkable accomplishment. However, the crucial question in the long run
is, what can we learn from such genomic data about hominid evolution?

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