A map showing where the ancestors of modern humans appear to have met and mixed
with archaic hominins [Credit: University of Adelaide]
analysis has revealed that the ancestors of modern humans interbred
with at least five different archaic human groups as they moved out of
Africa and across Eurasia.
two of the archaic groups are currently known - the Neanderthals and
their sister group the Denisovans from Asia ¬- the others remain unnamed
and have only been detected as traces of DNA surviving in different
modern populations. Island Southeast Asia appears to have been a
particular hotbed of diversity.
Published in the Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of
Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) have mapped the
location of past "mixing events" (analysed from existing scientific
literature) by contrasting the levels of archaic ancestry in the genomes
of present-day populations around the world.
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