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Links 1 through 10 of 89 by Michelle Merrill tagged anthropology+genetics

Includes info on the Neanderthal genome: "Shared DNA reveals a deep connection with our long-vanished human cousins. Aired January 9, 2013 on PBS"

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Despite the misleading title suggesting we didn't know this before, we've known for decades that chimps, humans and bonobos shared a very recent common ancestor, and that the evolutionary distance to these two members of genus Pan is the same. Both are our closest living relatives. That aside, it's great to have the bonobo genome sequence to compare to chimps, us, and the other (more distantly related) great apes. Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus differ by only about 0.4%. By the same measure, they both differ from humans by about 1.6% (but some of that is different in the two Pan species).

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An engaging personal story as a lead in to a consideration of recent genetic evidence of interbreeding between Homo sapiens and other recently extinct species in our genus.

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Published 2008, interesting illustrations
" The bones from El Sidrón were... the fossilized remains of a group of Neanderthals who lived, and perhaps died violently, approximately 43,000 years ago. The bones from El Sidrón were not Republican soldiers, but the fossilized remains of a group of Neanderthals who lived, and perhaps died violently, approximately 43,000 years ago."

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Genetic study of Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) shows that females tend to remain near their mothers, while males range very far. This confirms Ian Singleton's work from the 1990s on their ranging behavior. See the full journal article at http://jhered.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/10/12/jhered.ess065.full

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A thoughtful review of the weaknesses of relying on genetic testing to determine deep ancestry, and the social repercussions of this emerging science/hobby. "For example, Y chromosome tracing will connect a man to his father but not to his mother, and it will connect him to only one of his four grandparents: his paternal grandfather. In the same way, it will connect him to one of his eight great grandparents and one of his 16 great great grandparents. Continue back in this manner for 14 generations and the man will be still be connected to only one ancestor in that generation. The test will not connect him to any of the other 16383 ancestors in that generation to whom he is also related in equal measure."

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A more reader-friendly explanation of the unusual reproductive genetics and infant-rearing patterns of marmosets. Genetic chimerism (individuals having cells with different nuclear DNA) occurs almost universally in the species studied (Callithrix kuhlii), increasing the likely relatedness of fraternal twins.

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Interview with author of "...a paper published online July 26 in Cell that details  whole-genome sequencing of five individuals each from three extant hunter-gatherer groups—the Pygmies of Cameroon as well as the Hadza and the Sandawe of Tanzania. The results reveal millions of newly discovered genetic variants—differences in single genetic letters, the ATCGs—and indicate that early modern humans may have interbred long ago in Africa with another species of hominid"

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A nice summary of autosomal genetic diseases and their inheritance in humans.

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