Researchers May Remake Neanderthal DNA

June 26, 2007

clipped from news.wired.com
Researchers studying Neanderthal DNA say it should be possible to construct a complete genome of the ancient hominid despite the degradation of the DNA over time.

There is also hope for reconstructing the genome of the mammoth and cave bear, according to a research team led by Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Debate has raged for years about whether there is any relationship between Neanderthals and modern humans. Some researchers believe that Neanderthals were simply replaced by early modern humans, while others argue the two groups may have interbred.

Sequencing the genome of Neanderthals, who lived in Europe until about 30,000 years ago, could shed some light on that question.

“We are confident that it will be technically feasible to achieve a reliable Neanderthal genome sequence,” Paabo and his researchers reported.

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