Thursday, 6 February 2014

New Technique Could Demystify Ancient Human DNA

By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer | January 27, 2014 03:00pm ET

This story was updated on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 11:00 a.m. E.T.

The DNA of a Neanderthal found in a Siberian cave has been sequenced, thanks to a newtechnique that weeded out contamination from modern humans.

The method, described today (Jan. 27) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy ofSciences, seems to work on very contaminated samples, as well as on incredibly ancient remains. These benefits could help scientists finally analyze some of the most intriguing archaic human fossils, which have thus far been inaccessible because of contamination from modernDNA, said study co-author Pontus Skoglund, a paleogenomics researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden.

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