Tag Archives: aDNA

What’s the Difference between a Neandertal and a Modern Human?

Bright and early yesterday morning, I was on the phone listening to a important piece of scientific history unfold.  At the other end of the line was a Science magazine press conference in which researchers announced the world’s first draft sequence  of the Neandertal genome.   The team’s paper will appear tomorrow in Science.

I hadn’t had even my first cup of coffee yet,  and my dog pawed at the office door,  impatient to be fed and walked.  But I was riveted by calm,  sonorous voice of Svante Pääbo,  a geneticist at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and one of the team’s leading members,  as he gave an overview of the project.  “It’s extremely satisfying,” said Pääbo  “that we now have the overview of the Neandertal genome after four years of intense efforts.”   I can well imagine. Read more…