Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A relative from the Tianyuan Cave: Humans living 40,000 years ago likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans

Date:
January 21, 2013
Source:
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Ancient DNA has revealed that humans living some 40,000 years ago in the area near Beijing were likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans.

The leg of the early modern human from Tianyuan Cave was used for the genetic analysis as well as for carbon dating.
Credit: MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology

Ancient DNA has revealed that humans living some 40,000 years ago in the area near Beijing were likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans.

An international team of researchers including Svante Pääbo and Qiaomei Fu of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, sequenced nuclear and mitochondrial DNA that had been extracted from the leg of an early modern human from Tianyuan Cave near Beijing, China. Analyses of this individual's DNA showed that the Tianyuan human shared a common origin with the ancestors of many present-day Asians and Native Americans. In addition, the researchers found that the proportion of Neanderthal and Denisovan-DNA in this early modern human is not higher than in people living in this region nowadays.

Humans with morphology similar to present-day humans appear in the fossil record across Eurasia between 40,000 and 50,000 years ago. The genetic relationships between these early modern humans and present-day human populations had not yet been established. Qiaomei Fu, Matthias Meyer and colleagues of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, extracted nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from a 40,000 year old leg bone found in 2003 at the Tianyuan Cave site located outside Beijing. For their study the researchers were using new techniques that can identify ancient genetic material from an archaeological find even when large quantities of DNA from soil bacteria are present.

The researchers then reconstructed a genetic profile of the leg's owner. "This individual lived during an important evolutionary transition when early modern humans, who shared certain features with earlier forms such as Neanderthals, were replacing Neanderthals and Denisovans, who later became extinct," says Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, who led the study.

The genetic profile reveals that this early modern human was related to the ancestors of many present-day Asians and Native Americans but had already diverged genetically from the ancestors of present-day Europeans. In addition, the Tianyuan individual did not carry a larger proportion of Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA than present-day people in the region. "More analyses of additional early modern humans across Eurasia will further refine our understanding of when and how modern humans spread across Europe and Asia," says Svante Pääbo.

Parts of the work were carried out in a new laboratory jointly run by the Max Planck Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Qiaomei Fu, Matthias Meyer, Xing Gao, Udo Stenzel, Hernán A. Burbano, Janet Kelso, Svante Pääbo. DNA analysis of an early modern human from Tianyuan Cave. PNAS, January 21, 2013

Cite This Page:

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "A relative from the Tianyuan Cave: Humans living 40,000 years ago likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130121161802.htm>.
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. (2013, January 21). A relative from the Tianyuan Cave: Humans living 40,000 years ago likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130121161802.htm
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "A relative from the Tianyuan Cave: Humans living 40,000 years ago likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130121161802.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Egypt Denies Claims Oldest Pyramid Damaged in Restoration

Egypt Denies Claims Oldest Pyramid Damaged in Restoration

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — Egypt's antiquities minister denied Tuesday claims that the Djoser pyramid, the country's first, had been damaged during restoration work by a company accused of being unqualified to do such work. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
King Richard III's Painful Cause Of Death Revealed

King Richard III's Painful Cause Of Death Revealed

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — King Richard III died in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, and now researchers examining his skull think they know how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Museum Traces Fragments of Star-Spangled Banner

Museum Traces Fragments of Star-Spangled Banner

AP (Sep. 12, 2014) — As the Star-Spangled Banner celebrates its bicentennial, Smithsonian curators are still uncovering fragments of the original flag that inspired Francis Scott Key's poem. (Sept. 12) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins