Project leader Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London explained to Discovery News that the Siberian man belonged to a population that was closely related to the ancestors of today’s Europeans and Asians. He carried only slightly more Neanderthal DNA than they do.
“But his genomic segments of Neanderthal ancestry are on average about three times the length of those found in genomes today,” Stringer said.
This is highly informative, he continued, “as the chunks of Neanderthal DNA have been gradually broken up each generation since the time of interbreeding.”
He and his team charted the rate of that change to the present, when all living non-Africans possess 2 percent Neanderthal in their DNA. Going backwards in time, the researchers could then see that the mating with Neanderthals took place 7,000–10,000 years before the Siberian man lived. This means the human/Neanderthal interbreeding happened no more than 60,000 years ago.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
45,000-Year-Old Man Was Human-Neanderthal Mix