Navigation Links
European Neandertals were on the verge of extinction even before the arrival of modern humans
Date:2/27/2012

New findings from an international team of researchers show that most neandertals in Europe died off around 50,000 years ago. The previously held view of a Europe populated by a stable neandertal population for hundreds of thousands of years up until modern humans arrived must therefore be revised.

This new perspective on the neandertals comes from a study of ancient DNA published today in Molecular Biology and Evolution. The results indicate that most neandertals in Europe died off as early as 50,000 years ago. After that, a small group of neandertals recolonised central and western Europe, where they survived for another 10,000 years before modern humans entered the picture. The study is the result of an international project led by Swedish and Spanish researchers in Uppsala, Stockholm and Madrid.

"The fact that neandertals in Europe were nearly extinct, but then recovered, and that all this took place long before they came into contact with modern humans came as a complete surprise to us. This indicates that the neandertals may have been more sensitive to the dramatic climate changes that took place in the last Ice Age than was previously thought", says Love Daln, associate professor at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm.

In connection with work on DNA from neandertal fossils in northern Spain, the researchers noted that the genetic variation among European neandertals was extremely limited during the last ten thousand years before the neandertals disappeared. Older European neandertal fossils, as well as fossils from Asia, had much greater genetic variation, on par with the amount of variation that might be expected from a species that had been abundant in an area for a long period of time.

"The amount of genetic variation in geologically older neandertals as well as in Asian neandertals was just as great as in modern humans as a species, whereas the variation among later European neandertals was not even as high as that of modern humans in Iceland", says Anders Gtherstrm, associate professor at Uppsala University.

The results presented in the study are based entirely on severely degraded DNA, and the analyses have therefore required both advanced laboratory and computational methods. The research team has involved experts from a number of countries, including statisticians, experts on modern DNA sequencing and paleoanthropologists from Denmark, Spain and the US. Only when all members of the international research team had reviewed the findings could they feel certain that the available genetic data actually reveals an important and previously unknown part of neandertal history.

"This type of interdisciplinary study is extremely valuable in advancing research about our evolutionary history. DNA from prehistoric people has led to a number of unexpected findings in recent years, and it will be really exciting to see what further discoveries are made in the coming years", says Juan Luis Arsuaga, professor of human paleontology at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.


'/>"/>

Contact: Love Daln
love.dalen@nrm.se
46-070-777-2794
Uppsala University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. European Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure launching
2. MDC researcher Zsuzsanna Izsvák receives advanced European research grant
3. EASL publishes first European Clinical Practice Guidelines for Wilsons disease
4. European Research Council supports search for regulators of tissue damage
5. European Geosciences Union General Assembly, April 22-27, 2012, Vienna, Austria
6. Cell Therapeutics, Inc. Expects That the European Medicines Agencys (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) May Issue an Opinion on the Marketing Authorization Application ("MAA") on Pixuvri™ in Mid-February
7. European mountain vegetation shows effects of warmer climate
8. DTU is participating in a European network on measurement of greenhouse gases
9. Register now for the European Congress on Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis in Bordeaux
10. UK invests £75 million in European research infrastructure to support knowledge-based economy
11. EMBO awards Installation Grants to 7 European scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
European Neandertals were on the verge of extinction even before the arrival of modern humans
(Date:6/2/2016)... June 2, 2016 The Department of ... awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for the ... Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , ... the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned ... Decatur was selected for the most ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to ... VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt and ... VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to ... both security and usability. ... this new partnership. "This marketing and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University ... (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will be ... correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing ... then be employed to support the design of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the z-dimension ... are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. Z-dimension ... bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow cell ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Mass. , June 23, 2016   ... development of novel compounds designed to target cancer ... napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from ... the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction ... stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is ... has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval ... Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods ...
Breaking Biology Technology: