Genetic Analysis Suggests Ancient Humans Interbred Extensively Neanderthals, Denisovans And An “Unknown Population”

neanderthalNature hints that modern humans have a mysterious X factor ancestor:

Genome analysis suggests there was interbreeding between modern humans, Neanderthals, Denisovans and an unknown archaic population. Updated genome sequences from two extinct relatives of modern humans suggest that these ‘archaic’ groups bred with humans and with each other more extensively than was previously known.

The ancient genomes, one from a Neanderthal and one from a member of an archaic human group called the Denisovans, were presented on 18 November at a meeting on ancient DNA at the Royal Society in London. The results suggest that interbreeding went on between the members of several ancient human-like groups in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago, including an as-yet-unknown human ancestor from Asia.

All modern humans whose ancestry originates outside of Africa owe about 2% of their genome to Neanderthals. Certain populations living in Oceania, such as Papua New Guineans and Australian Aboriginals, share about 4% of their DNA with Denisovans.

13 Comments on "Genetic Analysis Suggests Ancient Humans Interbred Extensively Neanderthals, Denisovans And An “Unknown Population”"

  1. isn’t the “unknown population” pigs? 😛

    • Simon Valentine | Nov 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm |

      here i was hoping for the parents of Nephilim

    • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Nov 22, 2013 at 11:53 pm |

      A strong case can be made for zoonotic viruses making substantial changes to genetic pools around the world since forever. Pigs and humans share many physiological traits, not least of which are a common set of many pathogens. I don’t know how much you were joking, but you might just be right.

      • Ted Heistman | Nov 23, 2013 at 8:00 am |

        That’s what I said when that dude posted on here, but he is stuck on the idea of chimps and pigs getting down.

        • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Nov 23, 2013 at 8:48 am |

          I will admit that pigs do enjoy getting drunk, so I guess that counts in favor of that theory. Kinda hard to produce viable offspring with uneven chromosome matching even if things did get romantic though.

          • Ted Heistman | Nov 23, 2013 at 8:51 am |

            It does happen though. He had a TED talk where he had a stuffed animal pig banging a stuffed animal monkey and like half the audience got up and left.

        • InfvoCuernos | Nov 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm |

          I’ve “gotten down” with a couple of two-legged pigs from time to time, ain’t nothing wrong with that.

  2. And the eventual amalgam is now known as LBJ’s (not so) Great Society

  3. Ted Heistman | Nov 23, 2013 at 8:02 am |

    Could be Sasquatch, too

    • InfvoCuernos | Nov 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm |

      There is always Sasquatch. “Remember Squatch in the spring rains walking through the streets of Paris with my pig girlfriend?” this coffee always brings the memories…

  4. InfvoCuernos | Nov 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm |

    I can believe it- there was an article a while back saying that they believe that Neanderthals were redheaded, and we all know what kind of freaks they are.

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