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Mon Feb 20, 2017, 06:43 PM

DNA data offer evidence of unknown extinct human relative

Traces of long-lost human cousins may be hiding in modern people’s DNA, a new computer analysis suggests.

People from Melanesia, a region in the South Pacific encompassing Papua New Guinea and surrounding islands, may carry genetic evidence of a previously unknown extinct hominid species, Ryan Bohlender reported October 20 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. That species is probably not Neandertal or Denisovan, but a different, related hominid group, said Bohlender, a statistical geneticist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “We’re missing a population or we’re misunderstanding something about the relationships,” he said.

This mysterious relative was probably from a third branch of the hominid family tree that produced Neandertals and Denisovans, an extinct distant cousin of Neandertals. While many Neandertal fossils have been found in Europe and Asia, Denisovans are known only from DNA from a finger bone and a couple of teeth found in a Siberian cave (SN: 12/12/15, p. 14).

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/dna-data-offer-evidence-unknown-extinct-human-relative

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Reply DNA data offer evidence of unknown extinct human relative (Original post)
ellenrr Feb 2017 OP
csziggy Feb 2017 #1
wishstar Feb 2017 #3
csziggy Feb 2017 #4
IphengeniaBlumgarten Mar 2017 #5
csziggy Mar 2017 #6
Judi Lynn Feb 2017 #2

Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2017, 11:33 PM

1. This is interesting but I'm wondering about the Denosovan DNA

My sister got her DNA tested through the National Geographic program and showed 2.8 % Neanderthal, and some Denisovan DNA (I can't find my copy of her results right now to check the exact amount). She also showed a little bit of American Indian DNA which is strange since we don't have any genealogical indication of that in our background.

My DNA results from Ancestry did not show any American Indian traces - the only non-Northern European bits at all were very faint traces from Mediterranean areas and India. Again, our genealogy shows neither of those in the background.

According to this article:
Bohlender and colleagues calculate that Europeans and Chinese people carry a similar amount of Neandertal ancestry: about 2.8 percent. Europeans have no hint of Denisovan ancestry, and people in China have a tiny amount — 0.1 percent, according to Bohlender’s calculations. But 2.74 percent of the DNA in people in Papua New Guinea comes from Neandertals. And Bohlender estimates the amount of Denisovan DNA in Melanesians is about 1.11 percent, not the 3 to 6 percent estimated by other researchers.


So where did my sister get Denisovan DNA? Or perhaps the interpretation by the National Geographic DNA study was incorrect a couple of years ago when she got her results?

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Response to csziggy (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 27, 2017, 09:16 AM

3. Nat. Geo in 2013 reported DNA from cave in Spain was closer to Denisovan than to Neanderthal

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131204-human-fossil-dna-spain-denisovan-cave/

The original "Denisovan" DNA is from the finger bone and tooth in Siberian cave but the only other discovery of related DNA came from the thighbone found in a Spanish cave, so I don't see how "Denisovan" DNA could be ruled out from Europeans, especially with so few samples.


I take the personal interpretations with a grain of salt- for instance FamilyTree gives me 0% Great Britain or Irish while Ancestry shows 31% Great Britain and 3% Irish which is much more accurate, but I actually have over 12% Irish with even recent immigrant ancestry and proven DNA matches with Irish cousins.


If you have generations of ancestors in America and have not been able to trace all of your lineages back many generations, you can't rule out Native American ancestry. My Ancestry results show 0% Native and Gedmatch models show a small percentage and my family knew very little about our ancestry. But I have found court and church records verifying Native American ancestry several generations back.

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Response to wishstar (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 27, 2017, 10:37 AM

4. Yes, I think there is a lot more work before DNA analysis for individuals is trustworthy

I do have one branch which goes back to the birth of the husband and wife to about 1796 in which a lot of people claim the wife was American Indian. Not one of the people who make that claim has ever come up with one scrap of documentation - but a photo of my great-grandfather (who would have been their grandson) makes him look very much like a Cherokee.

The problem with that branch being the source of my sister's trace is that it is on my mother's side and she showed no trace of Native American DNA.

Our father's side is extremely well documented very far back except for two more recent branches that are documented as coming from Wales and Lincolnshire. Unless one of the Millikens who appeared in Cayuga County, New York in the 1790s was part Indian, there is no Native American blood in Dad's genealogy. We have not been able to trace those Millikens and I suspect they came over not long before showing up in New York State.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 04:32 PM

5. i am about 2% denisovan...

but largely or entirely european (some rumors of native American were not confirmed). Probably the geographic range of the denisovan population was more extensive than just Siberia.

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Response to IphengeniaBlumgarten (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 07:25 PM

6. I suspect far more mixing than they can prove

Both in primitive times and all the way through human history.

Humans and apes breed prolifically. When the varieties are close enough they procreate. It's what happens.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 10:23 PM

2. Hope they find the answer soon. Very interesting. Thank you. n/t

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