International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2022 (Vols. 1-60)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Special Issue focused on the paleoethnology / ethnoarchaeology, invited Guest Editor Professor Jiří Svoboda is in preparation.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank
Full text of article
'Witas HW, 2008: Neandertals: deciphering of the extinct species DNA started. Anthropologie (Brno) 46, 1: 103-109'.
Last year marked the anniversary of the most famous discovery in 1856 of the Neandertal fossils in the Grotto now known as Feldhofer, located in Neander Valley near Düsseldorf, Germany. Over 140 years after the discovery, the first analysis of Neandertal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was carried out. Although retrieval of ancient DNA samples from fossils and its analysis are technically challenging tasks due to frequent contamination and chemical degradation, the sequencing of the first million base pairs of Neandertal nuclear genome has been announced. This spectacular event started to yield insights into the nature of our closest relatives, which process could contribute to unravelling evolutionary pathways toward modern humans. Ever since that time molecular features which might confirm contribution of other extinct hominines to modern human evolution were exploited to deduce from fossils. Having retrieved data of Neandertal nuclear as well as mitochondrial sequences, scientists attempted to determine divergence time of modern humans and Neandertals, effective population size of Neandertals at the time of split or even the sequences responsible for particular features, for instance language and pigmentation, impossible to asses by other methods. Apart from analyzing past populations of Homo, the new DNA methodology enables also studies of other extinct species, especially those of the last Ice Age.
Neandertal - Modern human - aDNA - Evolution

 Full text (PDF)

 Export citation

 Related articles