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Svante Pääbo with a skeleton
Svante Pääbo Awarded Nobel for Paleogenomics
The geneticist’s accomplishments include sequencing Neanderthal DNA and leading the project that identified a new species of hominin, the Denisovans.
Svante Pääbo Awarded Nobel for Paleogenomics
Svante Pääbo Awarded Nobel for Paleogenomics

The geneticist’s accomplishments include sequencing Neanderthal DNA and leading the project that identified a new species of hominin, the Denisovans.

The geneticist’s accomplishments include sequencing Neanderthal DNA and leading the project that identified a new species of hominin, the Denisovans.

hominins
Illustration of a human and Neanderthal skull side by side.
Mutation Linked to Difference Between Human and Neanderthal Brains
Dan Robitzski | Sep 9, 2022 | 5 min read
A single amino acid substitution in a protein causes increased neuron production in the frontal lobes of humans compared to Neanderthals—a tiny difference that could have given our species a cognitive edge, researchers say.
Woman with buns and blue sweater chewing gum, smiling, and stretching it out of her mouth.
The Energetic Cost of Chewing May Have Shaped Hominin Evolution
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Aug 17, 2022 | 4 min read
The simple act of chewing gum can raise the body’s metabolic rate by as much as 15 percent, a study finds.
3 by 5 grid of black and white photos of indigenous Filipino portraits
Indigenous Filipino Group Has Highest Known Denisovan Ancestry
Annie Melchor | Aug 13, 2021 | 3 min read
Researchers found the relatively high proportion of DNA from a hominin cousin—nearly 5 percent—when they scanned more than 1,000 genomes from 118 distinct ethnic groups.
Y Chromosome from Early Modern Humans Replaced Neanderthal Y
Jef Akst | Sep 24, 2020 | 5 min read
A selective advantage may have led the modern human Y chromosome to sweep through the Neanderthal population after it was introduced via interbreeding more than 100,000 years ago.
Genetics Steps In to Help Tell the Story of Human Origins
Katarina Zimmer | Sep 1, 2020 | 10+ min read
Africa’s sparse fossil record alone cannot reveal our species’ evolutionary history.
Infographic: Meet Your Ancient Ancestors and Relatives in Africa
Katarina Zimmer | Sep 1, 2020 | 7 min read
Modern human genomes and bones left behind from ancient hominins in Africa tell a complex story about the origins of our species.
Homo sapiens Might Not Be Responsible for Neanderthal Demise
Catherine Offord | Nov 29, 2019 | 2 min read
Researchers’ simulations suggest that small population sizes and inbreeding made Neanderthal populations vulnerable to chance fluctuations in population size.
Image of the Day: Ancient Footprints
Emily Makowski | Sep 10, 2019 | 1 min read
A discovery of Neanderthal footprints reveals insights into the hominin’s social structure.
Neanderthal DNA in Modern Human Genomes Is Not Silent
Jef Akst | Sep 1, 2019 | 10+ min read
From skin color to immunity, human biology is linked to our archaic ancestry.
Infographic: History of Ancient Hominin Interbreeding
Jef Akst | Sep 1, 2019 | 3 min read
See when and where our ancestors may have interbred with Neanderthals and Denisovans.
Ancient Genomes Reveal Clues About Native Americans’ Past
Jef Akst | Jun 6, 2019 | 2 min read
Sequences from dozens of ancient remains from Siberia reveal the closest ancient relative of Native Americans found outside of North America.
hominin teeth evolution neanderthal modern human divergence fossil record
Neanderthals and Modern Humans Diverged Earlier than Thought: Study
Chia-Yi Hou | May 15, 2019 | 2 min read
Fossil records show that the most recent shared ancestor with modern humans may have lived at least 800,000 years ago.
a fossilized fragment of human jawbone
Denisovan Fossil Identified in Tibetan Cave
Shawna Williams | May 1, 2019 | 4 min read
A mandible dating to 160,000 years ago is the first evidence of Denisovan hominins outside the Russian cave where they were first discovered in 2010.
Hominins Left Africa for Asia Much Earlier Than Thought
Shawna Williams | Jul 11, 2018 | 1 min read
The dating of stone tools in China puts members of the Homo genus there more than 2 million years ago.
Natural Selection Kept Neanderthal DNA in Modern Humans
Anna Azvolinsky | Dec 29, 2016 | 4 min read
Interbreeding with Neanderthals appears to have reintroduced genetic sequences related to innate immunity that had been lost as humans migrated out of Africa. 
Advantages of Neanderthal DNA in the Human Genome
Anna Azvolinsky | Nov 10, 2016 | 3 min read
The retention of ancient hominin DNA in modern human genomes may have helped our ancestors adapt to life in diverse environments. 
Gap Between “Hobbits” and Modern Humans Narrows
Tanya Lewis | Jun 29, 2016 | 1 min read
Remnants of fires indicate modern humans may have lived around the same time as Homo floresiensis.
Oldest-Known “Hobbit”-like Fossils Found
Tanya Lewis | Jun 8, 2016 | 3 min read
The 700,000-year-old teeth and jawbones of small hominins may be the oldest remnants of Homo floresiensis.
Neanderthals Built Structures Underground
Bob Grant | May 31, 2016 | 2 min read
A new analysis of stalagmites stacked deep within a French cave suggests that the ancient hominin was capable of planning and carrying out construction projects.
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