Utilizing an algorithm that analyzes genomes, a group of scientists looked at the interbreeding of ancient humans with other species. They found that species belonging to different branches of our family tree interbred on many occasions. The scientists also found DNA from a mysterious ancestor, which is still present in some living people’s genomes.
#NewResearch Hubisz et al present ARGweaver-D, an extension of the ARGweaver algorithm, and predict that 1% of the #Denisovan genome was introgressed from an unsequenced, but highly diverged, archaic hominin ancestor: https://t.co/6FO8xHjlQf pic.twitter.com/c4tDOEG0Ig— PLOS Genetics (@PLOSGenetics) August 11, 2020
Our latest — encompassing the last of the dissertation work of the great Melissa Hubisz: Mapping gene flow between ancient hominins through demography-aware inference of the ancestral recombination graph https://t.co/9wUDQksJZD— Adam Siepel (@asiepel) August 8, 2020
Using ARGweaver-D, the scientists found that the Denisovans, a subspecies of archaic human—which may, in fact, be its own distinct species—have a genome that contains one percent of DNA from an unknown and more distant relative. And because the Denisovans interbred with ancestors of
“This new algorithm that Melissa has developed, ARGweaver-D, is able to reach back further in time than any other computational method I’ve seen,” Siepel told
Although the scientists are uncertain of who the mysterious relative is, some speculate that it could be
Along with the mysterious DNA, scientists also confirmed previously reported cases of gene flow between ancient humans and their relatives. In fact, there’s apparently enough evidence at this point to think that, as
In the future, researchers will use ARGweaver-D to identify more evidence of gene flow between