[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 16-Mar-2004
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Contact: Svante Paabo
paabo@eva.mpg.de
49-341-3550-501
Public Library of Science

Refuting Neandertal ancestry



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An ongoing debate about human origins has revolved around the theory that Homo sapiens and Homo Neanderthalensis interbred, since the two species coexisted. Neandertals lived roughly 150,000 to 30,000 years ago, toward the end of the Pleistocene era, and inhabited Europe, parts of Asia, and the Middle East. Modern-day humans arose between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. Now an international multidisciplinary team of scientists led by Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have analyzed the largest sample of Neandertal and early human remains to date and conclude that Neandertals could not have made a significant genetic contribution to early modern humans.

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citation: Serre D, Langaney A, Chech M, Teschler-Nicola M, Paunovic M, et al. (2004) No Evidence of Neandertal mtDNA Contribution to Early Modern Humans. PLoS Biol: e57 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020057

link: http://www.plosbiology.org/plosonline/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0020057

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