Archaic Genomics – Svante Pääbo

March 27, 2014 – Dr. Svante Pääbo, director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, has helped us understand human evolution by decoding DNA isolated from the dry bones of our ancestors. Using ancient DNA he demonstrated that Neanderthals interbred with humans when modern humans left Africa 50-80k years ago. In another study, Dr. Pääbo sequenced the DNA from a pinky bone found in a Siberian cave. Comparing this DNA to that of Neanderthal and humans his team determined this bone came from previously unknown species of hominid, now called Denisovans. Dr. Pääbo’s lecture covered these stories and other tales written in archaic DNA. View also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL_d7b1bsUE

You might be interested in

Comment (85)

  1. To the video editor: please don't switch the camera onto the speaker when important information is being presented on the slides. It was infuriating to watch the part at 28:18 without being able to see what he was talking about.

  2. It is difficult to understand how the Neanderthal dna is associated with the Y chromosome if male hybrids tend to be sterile…I keep wondering if the Neanderthal dna from the female X line somehow became expressed in the Y line because of some environmental or developmental factor that caused some portions of the (usually silent) faculative chromatin portion of the heterochromata to become expressed during meiosis, and that such an occurrence may have even allowed some male hybrids to be fertile? Hmmmm, I really am curious about that! In some hybrid species the "glue" of the heterochroma does not allow separation of two X chromosomes so that female embryos are unable to develop (though this of course was discovered in a recent study of insects, it may explain some of the sterility found in higher hybrid animals as well). 

  3. Fertility between species is determined most by chromosomes not mitochondrial DNA base pairs. Also its not guess work; its careful brilliance. Many of these determinations have to do with statistical certainty. Neanderthal DNA exists in humans today. For this to occur without hybridization is statically impossible. Let say a person has 1 percent Neanderthal DNA, then there are approximately 3 million common base pairs. The random chance is 4^3,000,000 to 1. That number is so great that it broke my calculator. This is a far oversimplification, but you get the idea.

  4. The original document of May 2010 stated that Neanderthal genome was 12.7 percent "ancestral", which calculates to about 2 million bases closer to a chimpanzee.
    See 19 minutes into  CARTA video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGS7unca-ZQ
    This recent report states that NM is only "31,389" single nucleotide changes apart from modern humans.
    Does this mean NM genome had human genes paired with "ancestral" genes ?

  5. REMEMBER PEOPLE: HUMANS OF ANY TYPE ARE AFRICAN, WHETHER INSIDE OR OUTSIDE AFRICA – THERE ARE NO NON-AFRICAN HUMANS. THERE ARE ONLY AFRICANS THAT HAVE MOVED TO DIFFERENT LAND MASSES.DON'T LET SCIENTIFIC ARTICULATION OF FACT USE WORDS TO CREATE DISTINCTIONS THAT DO NOT EXIST. THE ONLY VALID SCIENTIFIC DISTINCTION TO BE MADE IS THAT THERE CURRENTLY EXISTS 100% MODERN HUMANS AND MIXED MODERN/ARCHAIC HUMANS. DEAL WITH IT.

  6. It is clear research and funding for research only goes to places which follow the mass media world supremacist liberal narrative.
    Why no mention of the 1.2 Million year old jawbone found in Northern Spain and the 400,000 year old bone found in Northen Spain aswell that was also sequenced in 2008 (Oh of course, it does ot fit the narrative – the one in Spain had Denisovan in it).
    Science should be about investigating things we don't know, NOT about looking for things that reinforce your preconcieved politically motivated prejudices!
    Very disappointing to say the least. It seems that just like mass media where we need to start looking at alternative media for the truth, we have to start looking at alternative academia for scientific truth too!

  7. totally amazing and i just have to wonder about the work that this took. my first college class was brain and behaviour. loved it, makes me wish i had kept with it. to be slightly cynical and sarcastic… purely african genomes, due to the effect of neanderthal interbreeding, would have greater fertility than those with attribution from neanderthal (all the rest of us males). what a wonderful confirmation of a stereotype? and at the risk of creating an adverse reaction to this research, the admix of neanderthal to non sub Saharan hominids, would perhaps contribute to brain development. after all neanderthal had larger brains. honestly dont know which one i would prefer. slightly smarter and depressed or a huge ability to breed… 🙂 please dont hate me for stating the obvious from the current state of the study… i am looking forward to more research in this science!!!

  8. I am shocked at the ignorance and prejudice of a lot of the commentators. Any educated, informed scholar knows that all humans came from Africa–likely the San people were the earliest–and the color of skin is minor and based on geography in relation to the intense sun at the equator. We are fortunate to live in the time where Svante Paabo has done all this outstanding research and made sure we know that there is a single human race. All you racists, wake up!

  9. IF ANY HUMAN HAS A NEANDERTHAL DNA IN HIM, THAT HUMAN HAS ONLY 1% NEANDERTHAL DNA BUT HAS 99% HUMAN DNA FROM AFRICA. AND ACCORDING TO THE FOREMOST GENETICIST SVANTE PAABO, NO HUMAN FEMALE HAS A NEANDERTHAL DNA IN HER, BUT ONLY HUMAN MALES WHO HAVE NEANDERTHAL DNA IN THEM AND THEIR 1% NEANDERTHAL DNA IS CONCENTRATED IN THEIR TESTICLES ONLY. FEMALE HUMANS DO NOT HAVE TESTICLES THE REASON THEY DON’T HAVE DNA AND YET THERE ARE RED HAIRS, BLUE EYES AND WHITE SKIN AMONG THEM. SO THE CAUSE OF THE RED HAIRS, BLUE EYES, AND WHITE SKIN AMONG HUMANS IS NOT THE 1% NEANDERTHAL DNA IN HUMANS. SO BEWARE TO LISTEN TO THESE STUPID DARWINIAN RACISTS/EVOLUTIONISTS, THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY TALK ABOUT..

  10. I can't help wondering what we will still discover when the thickest and oldest glaciers melt. There must be so much history hidden there

  11. As African Source Humans came into contact with the northern Ice Sheet isolated communities of Neanderthal peoples. Could those African Source Humans brought illnesses with them that the Neanderthals could not cope with. As our history of European Settlers came into contact with North & South America. Europeans brought illnesses with them that were totally destructive to the existing humans. So the same for the Neanderthals who through thousands of years of Ice Age isolation could not cope with African New Humans. Like all illness not all people are affected, but a majority do. Because the few were too few to retain Neanderthal populations possible. Like many families, no male offspring, no Neanderthal groups being born forth. Eventually even female Neanderthals died off. If the illnesses of African Humans singly wiped out Males first, a sort of glandular virus. Males would have been sterile, after the virus destroyed the glands through massive fevers. A super Mumps virus for Neanderthals.

  12. That's interesting. We add a bit of human genome to mice and they become more cautious. Does that mean that as humans were exposed to more dangers, the genes that evolved in us as a response to fear also contributed to higher communication skills. I'm imagining the creation of a vocalization that means "Run form it, Marty." I am also imagining the psychology of, " I knew we should have stayed in the tree", curiosity killed the cat, and the more you know, the more there is to be afraid of…. Oh, and ignorance is bliss.

  13. At 56:10 Svante is dodging the question. Yes, it might be right that not the Neandertals, but their hybrid offspring is less fertile, but that doesn’t take away the contradiction we didn’t find mitochondrial DNA, but later he found neandertal DNA in Y chromosomes. I follow the suggestion of the question: Neandertal DNA came into ‘our’ genome via male ingression. This is only the most logic: the child stays with the mother who stays with the community. Neandertal communities disappeared. We descended from the homo sapiens sapiens communities. Any homo sapiens sapiens ingression into a neandertal community would go extinct with the neandertals.
    So Svante should be less prude: the admixture came from neandertal males. By marriage? That seems very improbable from an anthropological view. Let’s face it: the girl most probably got raped by a neandertal in the woods, returned to her family and either lied to her husband or was hushed by her mother and married a nice uninformed boy. 9 months later she had a somewhat funny looking, but healthy boy. Actually so healthy, that he survived and later passed his neandertal Y-chromosome over to his male offspring and so we got it.

  14. When, where and how did humans acquire subcutaneous body fat like a marine mammal and head hair that grows forever, and just a few tarminal hairs on axilla and pubes on otherwise almost hairless bodies????

  15. I found the ‘Leaky replacement’ an excellent joke, but now, at 30:00 you pass it like a casual remark. Your excellent sense of humor obviously is wasted to most people.
    Another detail, on which you are rather shy or prude, is this ‘ingression’ of neanderthal genome into the human germline. From earlier work, it was clear that it didn’t come from the female side. As there are only two sides in human sexuality, which you might regret, and baby primates normally stick to their mother’s side (she’s got those mammae, after which they were classified), it is clear that it was a neanderthal male ‘ingression’ and that the baby stayed with her mother and her mother’s tribe and managed to grow up successfully and reproduce her/himself and spread those neanderthal genes, not without any success.
    so how did the ‘ingression’ take place? It was not within the tribe, so it must have happened outside, ‘in the woods’. This girl was jumped on by a neanderthal, and when she returned to her tribe, she didn’t tell, or her mother told her not to tell, and found her a nice cuckold husband to take care of her daughter and the bastard kid, who appeared to be able enough to maintain itself among the other tribal kids, and find a mate of its own.
    Any other scenario?

  16. Neanderthal, I have not heard anyone suggest a life spent a bit more in trees. Not as a 'monkey' but a person with the ability to do so and does it. Excellent defense from predators, especially at night. Present day bears in Siberia are smart enough to think of it to prevent tigers from eating them. Tiger eats a bear…! Shit! What about a man?

    I would like to think that a person and not a Bear came up with the idea. Trees.

    Back (or forward) 30,000 years ago, what was on the ground along with them. You can't imagine! They survived there along with everything. Oh yeah! Food for Thought.

  17. Svante Pääbo: Very smart with a sort of bone dry humor…. and allways a modest guy, that laughs about himself and others in a comfort way. What a pleasure to listen to him when he talks of his "yeenoms" and discoveries….;)

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

Your email address will not be published.