Planet Earth

The Neanderthal Genome Project Begins

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerMay 16, 2006 7:50 PM

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The BBC has a short article on the first DNA isolated from a Neanderthal's nucleus. (Previous efforts have gotten DNA from their mitochondria, which are small energy-generating organelles.) The results, announced at a meeting, are the fruits of a new method for extracting genetic information from fossils. Theoretically it should be possible to pull together a lot of pieces of Neanderthal DNA into something approaching a genome. We'll have to wait for the big paper for the details, but these early clues suggest it will be worth the wait. Update: More from John Hawks here.

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