Ancient DNA and human history

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando
Year of Publication: 2016
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Date Published: 2016/06/06
Publication Language: eng

We review studies of genomic data obtained by sequencing hominin fossils with particular emphasis on the unique information that ancient DNA (aDNA) can provide about the demographic history of humans and our closest relatives. We concentrate on nuclear genomic sequences that have been published in the past few years. In many cases, particularly in the Arctic, the Americas, and Europe, aDNA has revealed historical demographic patterns in a way that could not be resolved by analyzing present-day genomes alone. Ancient DNA from archaic hominins has revealed a rich history of admixture between early modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans, and has allowed us to disentangle complex selective processes. Information from aDNA studies is nowhere near saturation, and we believe that future aDNA sequences will continue to change our understanding of hominin history.



DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1524306113
Short Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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