Friday, March 26, 2010

A New Human Relative from the Siberian Mountains

Have scientists identified a "homo incognitus" -- a previously unknown human species? Finger bones dating from 30,000 years ago were unearthed in southern Siberia. Its genes differ from those of modern humans as well as Neanderthals, and German scientists think they are onto a sensation.

John Krause checked his findings again and again. Somehow he couldn't believe what the analysis was showing. The scientist wanted to make sure he was right before phoning his boss, the renowned evolutionary genetics specialist Svante Pääbo. Did the DNA really stem from a previously unknown human form?

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