Remember when everything you ever were or would be was
in your DNA? Now it’s proteins:
Previously, scientists had recovered proteins from 1.8-million-year-old animal teeth and a 3.8-million-year-old eggshell. Now, they hope that palaeoproteomics could be used to provide insights about other ancient hominin fossils that have lost all traces of DNA — from Homo erectus, which roamed parts of the world from about 1.9 million to 140,000 years ago, to Homo floresiensis, the diminutive ‘hobbit’ species that lived in Indonesia as recently as 60,000 years ago. By looking at variations in these proteins, scientists hope to answer long-standing questions about the evolution of ancient human groups, such as which lineages were direct ancestors of Homo sapiens. “I think that you can basically unlock the whole of the human tree,” says Matthew Collins, a bioarchaeologist at the University of Copenhagen who has been at the forefront of the field since the 1980s, when it consisted of just a handful of researchers.Matthew Warren, “Move over, DNA: ancient proteins are starting to reveal humanity’s history” at Nature
We never told you to believe those DNA people. And we just report this.
See also: There’s a gene for that… or is there?
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