Full Neanderthal Genome Sequenced and Published for Scientific Community Research

Scientists in Germany say that they have completed the genome sequence of a Neanderthal, and are making the entire sequence available to the scientific community for research.

Svante Paabo and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzing, presented the first draft version of the Neanderthal genome in 2010 from data that was collected from three bones found in a cave in Croatia. Now, they have utilized a toe bone excavated in 2010 in Denisova Cave in southern Siberia to generate a high quality genome from a single Neanderthal individual.

According to the researchers, analysis of the genome shows that the individual is closely related to other Neanderthals in Europe and western Russia. They also found that Neanderthals and their relatives, Denisovans, were both present in the unique cave in the Altai Mountains on the border between Russian, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan.

The genome is said to be of high quality, and researchers said that even the small differences between copies of the genes that this Neanderthal individual inherited from its parents could be determined.

Paabo added:

"We will gain insights into many aspects of the history of both Neanderthals and Denisovans and refine our knowledge about the genetic changes that occurred in the genomes of modern humans after they parted ways with the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans."