Ancient Pinkie Reveals Your New Relatives

DNA helps decode history of Denisovans
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 23, 2010 1:12 PM CST
This 2005 photo provided by the journal Nature shows participants in an archaeological conference inside of Denisova cave in Altai Mountains of southern Siberia, where the pinkie was found.   (AP Photo/Nature, Johannes Krause)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A 30,000-year-old finger is pointing the way to a population of humans experts never knew existed. The pinkie bone, discovered in southern Siberia in what's known as the Desinova Cave, contains DNA that scientists used to sequence the entire genome of the young girl it belonged to, NPR reports.

It shows the population of so-called Denisovans were more like Neanderthals than modern humans. The genome also reveals a relatively close relationship with today’s people of New Guinea, suggesting the Denisovans lived all over the world. (Read more human evolution stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |