Mystery of the origin of the Denisovsky person
Scientists from the University of Utah in the US found that Neanderthals and denisovans separated from each other by about 744 thousand years ago. According to previous estimates, this event occurred 200 thousand years later.
This is the conclusion anthropologists have come, having tested a new method for sequence analysis of ancient DNA. Article researchers published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. About it reported in a press release on EurekAlert!.
Experts have compared the genomes of four human populations — modern Eurasians, modern Africans, Neanderthals and denisovans. They analysed several million mutations that were shared between two or three populations. It turned out that 20 percent of the sites (plots the size of a single nucleotide) had mutations that were found only in Neanderthals and denisovans, that pushed the previously set time of divergence of these two groups. If the division happened later, then it would be more mutations characteristic of both species.
The researchers also found that genetic differences in the DNA of the Neanderthals quite large, indicating the fact that the population of the ancient people of this kind were numerous. Previously it was thought that its size did not exceed 1000 people. The researchers explain this contradiction is the fact that Neanderthals lived in relatively small isolated groups, but their total number reached tens of thousands.
Denisovsky man is a species or a subspecies of the extinct people, the few whose remains were first found in the galleries of Denisov cave in the Altai region.