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Researchers find Philippine group to have highest known Denisovan ancestry


An Indigenous Filipino group has surprised researchers by having the highest known amount of Denisovan ancestry. The Denisovans were an ancient group that, like the Neanderthals, no longer exist as a separate group of humans, likely due to intermarriage. The researchers had expected to find the group with the highest genetic markers for the Denisovans in Australia or Papua–New Guinea:

Denisovans were a group of archaic humans first identified from a single pinkie bone in a Siberian cave. They coexisted with modern humans and other archaic human species, such as Neanderthals, for hundreds of thousands of years, until they went extinct an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 years ago. According to Gizmodo, only Pacific Islanders and Southeast Asians have substantial Denisovan ancestry. By comparison, most people in other parts of mainland Asia have less than 0.05 percent Denisovan ancestry, and people of African and European descent don’t have any.

“[The Ayta Magbukon] possess more Denisovan ancestry than anybody else on the planet today,” Uppsala University biologist and study coauthor Mattias Jakobsson tells Inverse. “So that was a surprise to us.” …

Annie Melchor, “Indigenous Filipino Group Has Highest Known Denisovan Ancestry” at The Scientist (August 13, 2021)

The paper is open access.

Don’t you just love the way the writer refers to the Denisovans as a “species” that went “extinct” (like Tyrannosaurus?) As Darwinism dies out, its usages begin to sound more and more, well, quaint.

You may also wish to read: A physicist looks at biology’s problem of “speciation” in humans


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