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  (Source: AP)
DNA comes from sequencing of Neanderthal toe-bone found in Siberia

Three years after an international team of experts led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany published a "draft" of the genome of Homo neanderthalensis (commonly known as the "Neanderthal"), the team has come back with a higher-quality "finished" map of the genome.

I. Getting to Know Our Neighbors, Distant Ancestors

Neanderthals are one of mankind's closest relatives.  Neanderthals and modern man (Homo sapiens) are though to have diverged from a common ancestor around 350,000 years ago.  That ancestor is thought to have evolved into humans in Africa, but into Neanderthals in Europe.  Another close relative, Denisovans, are thought to have diverged slightly earlier in Asia.

Nonetheless, humans and these relatives would eventually reunite and even have intimate sexual relationships, which led to some modern humans bearing pieces of Neanderthal/Denisovan DNA.

These "donations" from our close relatives are thought to have endowed people of European or Asian descent with hardier immune systems.

The DNA for the sequenced Neanderthal genome comes from a toe-bone found in the Denisova cave in southern Siberia.

Denisova cave
[Image Source: Current Biology/Science]

That cave is also home to preserved human and Denisovan remains; in fact the Denisovan remains are being used to carry out a similar sequencing project on that genome.

II. Contamination, Region Variance Leave Picture Only Mostly Complete

Svante Paabo, a geneticist who led the research, wrote in an email to the Associated Press, "The genome of a Neanderthal is now there in a form as accurate as that of any person walking the streets today."

Or it is for the Altal Neanderthals, at least.  Much like modern man, where people from different areas developed unique genetic makeups, Neanderthals are hypothesized to have subtle regional differences in their genomes.

As Ars Technica points out, it is misleading to suggest that the genome is a "complete" genome for the entirety of the Neanderthal population that once inhabited Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.  Rather, the Neanderthal genome represents a finished/complete picture of the Neanderthals in one region.

Family tree
Scientists think that the Altal branch of the "family tree" is complete with the finished sequencing. [Image Source: MPI]

Professor Paabo is preparing a paper on the work.  He enthuses, "We will gain insights into many aspects of the history of both Neanderthals and Denisovans, and refine our knowledge about the genetic changes that occurred in the genomes of modern humans after they parted ways with the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovan."

The finished genome is available here in "BAM" format, with chromosome file sizes ranging from 1.9-13 GB a piece, depending on the size, except for the small 'Y' chromosome, which is only 331 MB.

One other way that the genome is somewhat incomplete is contamination.  Analysis showed that approximately 1 percent of the DNA in the sample was contamination from the cave's later human residents.  Those gaps -- and the variations between Neanderthals in different regions -- will have to be filled in with future gene studies.

Source: MPI

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RE: Lies!
By retrospooty on 3/21/2013 5:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... The book is filled with a whole lot of non-specific crap that could be taken many different ways, from Catholics, to protestants, to many different cults, to the Nazi's. All in the name of the bible. Same with the Islamic end of it. It can be taken anywhere from extremely pacifist, to suicide bomber.

It's all written by primitive uneducated men... Unless of course God really wants us to be confused and killing each other ;)

RE: Lies!
By CZroe on 3/22/2013 3:24:18 AM , Rating: 2
The Nazi Party is a Judeo-Christian sect influenced by Biblical interpretation? I mean, I've heard that higher-ups were into The Occult, but that's the first time I've ever heard someone imply the exact opposite.

RE: Lies!
By retrospooty on 3/22/2013 7:42:11 AM , Rating: 2
The "Occult" thing is a way Christians try to distance themselves from the Nazi's crimes. They may have been interested, or dabbled in the Occult, but the fact is Hitler was Christian, as were most Germans in the time period.

Or were you just being sarcastic ?

RE: Lies!
RE: Lies!
By Reclaimer77 on 3/22/2013 8:20:45 AM , Rating: 2
but the fact is Hitler was Christian, as were most Germans in the time period.

Well they might have CALLED themselves Christians. But someone correct me if I'm wrong, but you kinda have to at least attempt to follow the teachings of Christ to be a "Christian" I thought?

I can call myself a Vegan, sure, but last night I ate a steak and this morning had bacon and eggs and washed it down with a glass of milk. /shrug

RE: Lies!
By retrospooty on 3/22/2013 5:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
No Christian that I have ever met does that.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

? Gandhi

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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