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Oldest Human DNA Contains Clues To Mysterious Species

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the family-tree dept.

Science 93

sciencehabit writes "Analysis of the oldest known genetic material ever to be recovered from an early human reveals an unexpected chapter in the story of human evolution. Researchers extracted mitochondrial DNA from the femur of a 400,000-year-old hominin found in the Sima de los Huesos ('pit of bones'), an underground cave in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain. Because the early hominins looked a little like Neanderthals, researchers expected their mitochondrial DNA to share a common ancestor. However, mitochondrial DNA from the Spanish hominin was found to share a common ancestor with an enigmatic eastern Eurasian sister group to the Neanderthals, the Denisovans."

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Happy Wednesday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604527)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy Wednesday from The Golden Girls! (-1, Troll)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 10 months ago | (#45605605)

Fuck you for off-topic post
Travelled down Slashdot and back again
Your post is troll, you're an anonymous coward.

And if you got first post
on every story you see
You would see the negative mod come from me
and the moderation would say, fuck you for off-topic post.

Re:Happy Wednesday from The Golden Girls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607475)

And yet your offtopic post was modded informative. Jesus H. Christ, what has happened to slashdot? Idiotic offtopic comments like yours being posted, and worse, idiot moderators modding them up. How much offtopic shit will I have to wade through to reach the actual topic today?

As to the actual topic, human? We were human 100000 years ago? Weren't we human-LIKE way back then? I mean, denisovians and Neanderthals weren't human, were they?

Re:Happy Wednesday from The Golden Girls! (2)

werewolf1031 (869837) | about 10 months ago | (#45609829)

If I understand the subject correctly: Humans, yes; homo sapiens, no.

That is, 'human' encapsulates more than just us modern homo sapiens, and includes other species of the genus homo, such as homo neanderthalensis (or sub-species homo sapiens neanderthalensis, depending on where you're reading).

Re:Happy Wednesday from The Golden Girls! (4, Informative)

jc42 (318812) | about 10 months ago | (#45610315)

We were human 100000 years ago? Weren't we human-LIKE way back then? I mean, denisovians and Neanderthals weren't human, were they?

Well, if you're talking about the conventional usage of "human" in scientific circles, the answer is: Yes, they were; they just weren't modern humans.

But "human" really isn't a technical term; For that you want something like "Homo" or "hominin", depending on how far back in the tree you want to describe. The term "human" is used informally to mean just about any critters later than the split from the Pan (chimpanzee) branch. It's used when you don't want to be too precise about such things.

OTOH, "human" is widely used in common speech to refer to anyone "not like us". Sometimes it means "white people", especially in writings from before the 20th century. But you don't much hear such usages in scientific settings. You do see it a lot in media coverage of science, but then it means whatever the journalist thinks it means.

Re:Happy Wednesday from The Golden Girls! (1)

glitch23 (557124) | about 10 months ago | (#45629835)

It's used when you don't want to be too precise about such things.

It's used when you want to read more into something than you should (hint: there is only 1 kind of human, there is no "modern" vs "early" human) specifically for purposes of spreading doubt about Creation and facts (but not evidence) that attempt to explain a theory that has yet to take shape. There, I corrected that for you.

Researchers extracted mitochondrial DNA from the femur of a 400,000-year-old hominin

By the way, did anyone verify the measuring "stick" used to verify the 400,000 year age of this bone to ensure the measuring "stick" was itself accurate? I didn't think so. Carry on with your delusions and your faith in something that can't be proven by the best scientists that mankind can offer.

^ mod up (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#45607973)

let's do this more...

if we must suffer AC trolls getting 'firsties' we can at least make lemons into lemonade & collectively mock all AC's...

Re:^ mod up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618503)

Anonymous Cowards are a bunch of faggots. There. Good?

Frosty Piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604537)

Bitches!

Re:Frosty Piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604761)

how does it feel being a failure?

Re:Frosty Piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605213)

Beaten by a Golden Girl....

Denisovans? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604577)

OK, OK, still better than Kardashians, I guess.

Re:Denisovans? (0, Redundant)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 10 months ago | (#45604813)

What we call the Denisovans were actually direct descendants of Pak breeders, who lost the ability to advance to the protector stage due to the lack of thallium in earth's soil.

Re:Denisovans? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 10 months ago | (#45605221)

I love a log of Niven's writing, and try very very hard to ignore the whole Pak Protector aspects of his stories, though it is awfully bloody hard with the Ring World material.

Re:Denisovans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605847)

I love a log of Niven's writing

What does this mean, please?

Re:Denisovans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606389)

You throw a few of Nivens books in the blender together with some milk, strawberries or bananas and rolled oats, and blend it well. Drink this delicious concoction and dome 24-48 hours late you'll have a "log" of Niven's writing.

Re:Denisovans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45608027)

Log in and he'll tell you, dummy.

Re:Denisovans? (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 10 months ago | (#45610467)

Pssthpok, I say..

Very interesting, but (5, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 10 months ago | (#45604727)

1. They had problems with modern human DNA contamination (not sure why they couldn't get everything clean but since they're the leading edge lab in this sort of thing, it must be a real issue).
2. They had to limit analysis to fragment lengths around 45 base pairs to avoid this contamination. That's tiny compared to what one normally uses.
3. They only had enough to sequence the mitochondrial DNA.
4. It's only one person.

So, it's confusing but it seems from the outside to be due to a limited data set. Now, this sort of thing is at the limit of our current technology and the lab is working to replicate and amplify the data (and work on the somatic genome). So stay confused and stay tuned.

Re:Very interesting, but (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 10 months ago | (#45604775)

And one other thing, if anybody out there knows:

They eliminated modern contaminating DNA by analyzing only DNA segments with uracil, a base usually found in RNA and a signature of older, degraded DNA.

Uracil is a modified Thymine, in vivo DNA where uracil is incorporated [scienceinschool.org] into the chain is repaired by a specific enzyme. Does the Thymine naturally degrade to Uracil over time?

Re:Very interesting, but (5, Informative)

HiChris! (999553) | about 10 months ago | (#45604943)

No, but Cytosine does - the amine group gets hydrolyzed, leaving a Uracil nucleobase. (Also Thymine is a modified Uracil, it's also know as 5-methyl uracil)

Re:Very interesting, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45612135)

So *that's* how people feel when I speak code or maths...

Interesing :-)

Re:Very interesting, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604779)

1. I am not sure and not an expert at all but isn't it the lab do clean out contamination first? If the sample is already contaminated before arriving to the lab..

Re:Very interesting, but (2)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 10 months ago | (#45605201)

"1. They had problems with modern human DNA contamination (not sure why they couldn't get everything clean but since they're the leading edge lab in this sort of thing, it must be a real issue)."

Just as an observation, I think this is going to be an increasing problem the more sensitive DNA testing gets. It is now possible for some DNA tests to detect a single cell's worth of evidence. Think about that. Then think about the trail of DNA evidence you leave behind everywhere. Getting a "clean" lab may end up being more tricky and costly than you think, not to mention the treatment the specimen got before it got to the lab.

Re:Very interesting, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605223)

1. They had problems with modern human DNA contamination (not sure why they couldn't get everything clean but since they're the leading edge lab in this sort of thing, it must be a real issue).

I presume the site was contaminated. The cave it was found in was apparently discovered in the 1980s, and nobody at that time would have expected DNA to have survived, so no steps would have been taken to prevent contamination.

Re:Very interesting, but (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45605589)

"1. They had problems with modern human DNA contamination (not sure why they couldn't get everything clean but since they're the leading edge lab in this sort of thing, it must be a real issue)."

Unlikely that there were not later visitors to the cave. Pissing in the corner is eventually going to contaminate the DNA. This is one of the things the "DNA Forensics" folks like to play down: it is ridiculously easy to contaminate DNA evidence.

"2. They had to limit analysis to fragment lengths around 45 base pairs to avoid this contamination. That's tiny compared to what one normally uses."

See my point above. But also: time damages DNA as well. You get more accurate fragments if you limit the size of the fragments. (I.e., statistically, you're less likely to see a fractured or contaminated chemical bond, the smaller the sample you take.)

"3. They only had enough to sequence the mitochondrial DNA."

The mitochondrial DNA may have been the best preserved, because it's inside walled micro-structures in the cell.

"4. It's only one person."

Bingo.

Bingo? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 10 months ago | (#45606163)

They could have taken many samples of this one person to verify it's actually the true RNA. Given enough samples, you'd statistically eliminate the deterioration and contamination of individual samples quite drastically. You most certainly wouldn't be able to come up with the definitive complete RNA or DNA of this person, but the margin for error would be so low that even the most sceptical peer reviewer would be convinced.

Contamination would most likely be limited to recent events. Ancient people peeing in the corner would have left a little DNA/RNA, but that would be limited to single cells on or near the surface, not being protected by bone structure or surrounding cells. The chance of that DNA/RNA surviving is way lower than the DNA/RNA inside the bones, so most likely, we're only dealing with the handling of the bones since the 1980s.

Yes, this one person could still be a freak occurrence. However, if you were to see that as a valid argument, our entire theory of the origin of modern humans is based on a few freak occurrences we just happen to have found scattered around the planet.

Re:Bingo? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45606329)

Yes, what you say is all true but apparently (from what I understand of the situation) they were able to only obtain very small isolated samples at all. When it's in an area that was almost certainly contaminated with other DNA it's pretty hard to demonstrate much of anything.

I wasn't trying to claim that they're wrong. I was simply pointing out some of the problems they face in trying to show something significant.

Re:Bingo? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45606369)

I was actually defending some of their methods: e.g. if you have long chains likely to be broken in places, you can often get better statistical results from studying shorter segments.

Re:Very interesting, but (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 10 months ago | (#45606359)

Also RE Modern DNA contamination... I am certainly no expert, but chemical means are used to copy and 'amplify' weak or degraded DNA, both in this and in 'DNA forensics'. Regardless of 10000 years of piss in the corner of the cave, one modern skin cell floating in the air and landing in the sample will get amplified as much or more as the target sample. The replication and amplification process is not discriminatory IIRC.

Re:Very interesting, but (1)

sackbut (1922510) | about 10 months ago | (#45607693)

The process is discriminatory in the sense that whatever there is a greater amount of to start with will be replicated/amplified at a faster (also) exponential rate.

Also the samples are taken from the inside of bone/fossilized tissue that has undergone quite extensive cleaning prior to grinding/crushing and processing. It is possible though for contamination to occur at almost any point in the process.

Re:Very interesting, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45613275)

Not to mention if it was contaminated from modern human piss (or other modern human sources) they would have found a different result, like the intitutive one where neanderthals and modern humans share the common ancester heidelbergenesis.

science writer knows nothing of science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604735)

film at 11...

sounds like this "journalist" never even heard of Denisovans before now. So what exactly is the "clues" that have been gained?

Re:science writer knows nothing of science (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 10 months ago | (#45605237)

sounds like this "journalist" never even heard of Denisovans before now.

Yea, well, neither have I. But then I'm not a professional that is expected to know anything about it.

So what exactly is the "clues" that have been gained?

are

Re:science writer knows nothing of science (3, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#45605779)

So what exactly is the "clues" that have been gained?

are

Sorry.

So what exactly is the "clues" that are been gained?

Re:science writer knows nothing of science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618557)

lol, you should win a prize, that was actually one of the more laugh-inducing comments I have read here in a looooooong time :D

Hominin? (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 10 months ago | (#45604745)

"400,000-year-old hominin"

I thought they were hominids

Re:Hominin? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604787)

From the Repository of Knowledge:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hominin [wikipedia.org]

Re:Hominin? (0)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#45605011)

Ah! So these hominini are the monkey's uncle we keep hearing about?

Re:Hominin? (4, Informative)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | about 10 months ago | (#45605047)

Hominin a subtribe of homonids

Homonids is great apes thus humans gorillas chimpanzea orangutans

Homonin are all those related closer to humans than chimpanzees thus neantherthals etc

Re:Hominin? (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 10 months ago | (#45606363)

You could have replied and used ad-hominem, you lazy lout.

Re:Hominin? (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 10 months ago | (#45606431)

... because hominem is a homonym of hominim.

Stop It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45608703)

Stop it right now. You are making me homorny!

mitochondrial dna! (2)

schlachter (862210) | about 10 months ago | (#45604829)

That's from the maternal line. It's the DNA that's directly passed down only from the mother. Just because no maternal Neanderthals DNA is present doesn't mean there isn't Neanderthals DNA present from Neanderthal fathers. I'm not arguing that this is the answer, only that the findings above don't prohibit this from being true.

Besides, we all know those Neanderthals mean were the one's hitting our ancestral women on the heads, dragging them back their caves, and spreading their DNA. :P

Re:mitochondrial dna! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 10 months ago | (#45605231)

Besides, we all know those Neanderthals mean were the one's hitting our ancestral women on the heads, dragging them back their caves, and spreading their DNA. :P

I thought that was Congressman. Evolution is spool confusing.

Re:mitochondrial dna! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605243)

I think the mystery is less the absence of neanderthal dna and more the presence of a dna signature thus far only seen in asian sources (siberia and china) at the extreme western edge of europe, over 4,000 miles distant from the previous location.

(captha: "marches" - presumably for a very long time!)

Re:mitochondrial dna! (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 10 months ago | (#45607099)

That's from the maternal line. It's the DNA that's directly passed down only from the mother. Just because no maternal Neanderthals DNA is present doesn't mean there isn't Neanderthals DNA present from Neanderthal fathers. I'm not arguing that this is the answer, only that the findings above don't prohibit this from being true.

Besides, we all know those Neanderthals mean were the one's hitting our ancestral women on the heads, dragging them back their caves, and spreading their DNA. :P

What you say is true, but it doesn't mean anything. You could also just as validly state Just because no maternal Martian DNA is present doesn't mean there isn't Martian DNA present from Martian fathers. The point being that science should talk about what the data does show, not speculate about all of the possibilities that data doesn't support.

I'm not saying it was aliens (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604839)

But it was aliens.

underground cave... (2)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 10 months ago | (#45604851)

"underground cave" is there another kind?

Re:underground cave... (5, Informative)

Nkwe (604125) | about 10 months ago | (#45604891)

"underground cave" is there another kind?

Man Cave

Re:underground cave... (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 10 months ago | (#45604913)

I'll give you that, you're also likely to find unknown species there as well.

Re:underground cave... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 10 months ago | (#45605437)

Yeah, but they're all varieties of mold, mostly in the mini fridge.

Re:underground cave... (3, Funny)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about 10 months ago | (#45605131)

Nick Cave. [youtube.com] Does he still count as "underground"?

Re:underground cave... (2)

slashmojo (818930) | about 10 months ago | (#45605389)

Does he still count as "underground"?

Not since the duet with Kylie Minogue..

Re:underground cave... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45608533)

Love Cave

Re:underground cave... (1)

gspira (654441) | about 10 months ago | (#45604897)

underwater cave?

Re:underground cave... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604933)

Air cave? [wikipedia.org]

Re:underground cave... (1)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | about 10 months ago | (#45604937)

Well the cave could technically be in an mountain. Over ground level and inside the mountain thus making it a mountain cave.

Re:underground cave... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604997)

So if you were standing on top of that mountain what would you say you were standing on? Something other than the ground? :-P

Re:underground cave... (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#45605061)

Mountain caves are still underground. The key being that if there is ground above you, you are underground.

Re:underground cave... (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 10 months ago | (#45606711)

The key being that if there is ground above you, you are underground.

That also explains why this coffee tastes like mud today. Turns out it was ground this morning.

Overground coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45609685)

Sometimes coffee tastes muddy if it is overground and the smaller particles make it through the filter

I prefer underground coffee where the grinds are fairly large chunks

Re:underground cave... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605149)

The mountain could be underwater. Below sea level.

However it would still be underground. If your cave is above ground, we can use another word like tent, house, clearing, or 747.

Re:underground cave... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605385)

As a retired caver, we called them Alpine caves.

Re:underground cave... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605029)

Technically, yes. Underwater, uncovered.

Re:underground cave... (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#45605053)

"underground cave" is there another kind?

Yes, that annoys me too. However, there are snow caves and ice caves

Re:underground cave... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605257)

At last, we have discovered Captain Obvious' real identity!

Re:underground cave... (1)

BottleCup (691335) | about 10 months ago | (#45605447)

"underground cave" is there another kind?

gruffalo cave

Re:underground cave... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605565)

Sure, the underwater cave

Re:underground cave... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 10 months ago | (#45605613)

Ice cave?

Re:underground cave... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 10 months ago | (#45606367)

Underwater cave

#bearcave (1)

jfisherwa (323744) | about 10 months ago | (#45610923)

*runs*

co3_k (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604893)

OS I do, becaus3 lea7ing the play

"Prometheus" was not fiction, it was history ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604911)

The earth is and has been an experiment for a superior race who have been
watching us to see whether we would make the same mistakes they made.

If you think this is not true, just wait and see.

Re:"Prometheus" was not fiction, it was history .. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605015)

I've got a steaming hot fresh turd for the twerp who modded the above post down to
eat.

Step right up, you know you are hungry, and you know that shit is what you
deserve to eat.

Re:"Prometheus" was not fiction, it was history .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605117)

That was me. Please give me your address so I can pick up the turd.

It was the aliens (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45604917)

Planet Earth was like a mega eco-laboratory for them, and homo sapiens were a product of their genetic engineering, whom they had infused their own genetic material into certain original natives of the planet. You will never find the evolutionary 'missing link' from primates because the genetic lineage of humans had been deliberately truncated from those ape cousins.

Major religions which had alluded to gods or angels were far more on point that we give them credit for.

Modern Denisovans and survivalinternational.org (-1, Flamebait)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 10 months ago | (#45605325)

From http://genetics.med.harvard.edu/reich/Reich_Lab/Welcome_files/2012_Science_Meyer_DenisovaSeq.pdf [harvard.edu]

"To visualize the relationship between Denisova and the eleven present-day humans, we used Tree-Mix, which simultaneously infers a tree of relationships and migration events”. This method estimates that 6.0% of the genomes of present-day Papuans derive from Denisovans. While this procedure does not provide a perfect fit to the data (for example, it does not model Neandertal admixture), it agrees with our previous finding that Denisovans have contributed to the genomes of present-day Melanesians, Australian Aborigines, and other South-East Asian islanders"

Ouch. Ok. So, here are the images of your Denisovans?

http://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/papuan [survivalin...tional.org]
http://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/aboriginals [survivalin...tional.org]

They look so kind! But, let us pray WWF and Greepeace doesn't get too involved in this. Or, in other words, How un-pc can this untangling get?

So where is the Alien DNA? (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 10 months ago | (#45605835)

We all know aliens have a problem with abducting and then "probing" farm animals and humans - we probably inherited some of that behavior from them... (some of us more than others.)

Re:Modern Denisovans and survivalinternational.org (1)

EvilAlphonso (809413) | about 10 months ago | (#45606269)

It makes me wonder how the Jomon and associated cultures fit in the picture.

Re:Modern Denisovans and survivalinternational.org (1)

xupere (1680472) | about 10 months ago | (#45610025)

They look so kind! But, let us pray WWF and Greepeace doesn't get too involved in this. Or, in other words, How un-pc can this untangling get?

The World Wrestling Federation and Greenpeace? Seems an unlikely combination but could be interesting ...

Whites evolved from blacks... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605751)

Which is why we are NEVER allowed to show a picture of a gorilla next to a picture of a black man. Why is that?

Re:Whites evolved from blacks... (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 10 months ago | (#45606725)

Look at that. An actual example of begging the question.

Re: Whites evolved from blacks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607315)

people that resort to rules based argumentation tend to rely on not getting punched in the face.

Sima de los Huesos = Pit of THE Bones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606541)

... not "pit of bones".
"el"/"la"/"los"/"las" == "the".
Omitting it in English when there is a "el/la/los/las" in Spanish is not optional. Don't do it.
Adding a "el/la/los/las" in Spanish when there is no "the" in English is wrong aswell.

In lots of American movies and TV shows I see this mistake over and over.
i.e. In a Simpons episode we see the Bumblebee Man with a paper that says "El Divorcio". Why adding "El" here?. It's just "Divorcio".
You probably see the article added to every word in Spanish class, but that's just so you can learn the word genre (masculine/femenine) and so you can use the correct article _if_ needed. Stop this nonsense please.

Re: Sima de los Huesos = Pit of THE Bones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607353)

just because you speak gutter spanish, doesn't mean the rest of us have to.

Re:Sima de los Huesos = Pit of THE Bones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45611901)

Chinga tu puta madre, su mierda. Vama, gnomo.

Simple Explaination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606679)

Humans have always shagged anything that was on two legs. Its not surprising that there's a lot of cross-sharing of DNA material between the various Homo branches. Its just that thanks to our superior societal norms, that we're more uptight about the fact than Bonobono chimps are......

Thank God for that?

Hmmmm....

Oldest Human DNA?? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 10 months ago | (#45607147)

It's generally accepted that human beings (homo sapiens) are no more than 200,000 years old. So unless the researchers are proposing their data shows that humans are a lot older than originally thought, the title and summary are flawed. Not that the research isn't interesting, but one would hope that scientists would know the difference between the species involved and not misinform the public.

Re:Oldest Human DNA?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45608549)

'Human' is quite conventionally used to refer to the entire Homo genus which has existed a good deal longer than 200000 years. The typical usage for Homo Sapiens is 'modern humans.'

Re:Oldest Human DNA?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45612223)

It's generally accepted that human beings (homo sapiens) are no more than 200,000 years old. So unless the researchers are proposing their data shows that humans are a lot older than originally thought, the title and summary are flawed. Not that the research isn't interesting, but one would hope that scientists would know the difference between the species involved and not misinform the public.

Human = "Homo", not "Homo Sapiens Sapiens". Homo Sapiens Sapiens is the only LIVING genus of human, but all extinct Homo species are considered "human" in taxonomy.

Re:Oldest Human DNA?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45614933)

Postmodern humans do date back. That's why these finds are important.

Elvis lives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607199)

Livid evil elvis genetic lost twin.

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