Researchers are extracting ancient human DNA from ancient teeth


Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have successfully isolated the genetic material of ancient humans to date from the fossils of 800,000 people.

Against Homo Used tooth.
Image Credits Frido Welker et al., (2020), .Smell.

Research shows that the past is far from over. It will also help us to better understand the different (now extinct) branches in the human family and how they relate to each other, the team adds.

Old relatives

"Ancient protein analysis has shown a close relationship between Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans. Our results support the view that Homo ante was opposed to a group containing Homo sapiens, Neanderthals, and Denisovans.

Ancient DNA was harvested from an 800,000-year-old tooth that belonged to a species Against Homo. It was discovered by paleoanthropologist Jose Maria Bermede de Castro and his team in 1994 at the site of the Grand Dolina Cave in Spain, part of the larger Sierra de Atapuera archeological site.

Using a technique called mass spectrometry, the team was able to isolate proteins from tooth enamel, allowing them to consistently study its genetic information and figure out where the species fits in the tree of the human family.

We know that 9-7 million years ago humans and chimpanzees were divided, genetically speaking, but we don't have a clear picture of how many different species there were at the time and how they relate to each other. The fact that the offspring of all other human beings are now extinct does not help, nor does the fact that genetic material decays over time. About this topic, which we know so far, is based on DNA analysis of specimens dating back more than 400,000 years, or direct observations of the shape and structure of early human remains.

"Now, analyzing old proteins by mass spectrometry, an approach commonly referred to as paleoprosthesis, allows us to overcome these limits," said Enrico Capelini, associate professor at the Institute of Globus, University of Copenhagen and lead author of the paper.

Offers conclusions Against Homo In fact, for us and the Neanderthals, it is not the last common ancestor, but a close relative of that ancestor.

"I am happy that the protein study has shown that the species of Homo's ancestors may be closely related to the last common ancestor of Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans. With these hominins, the antiquities of Homo shared by him apparently appeared much earlier than previously thought. Accordingly, Homo antiquity would be a basal species of mankind formed by Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans. Says Jose Maria Bermede de Castro, a scientific excavation staff at Atapuerca and a research assistant.

The current study was made possible only in the field of ten-year collaboration, based on biochemistry starting from paleoanthropology, proteomics and population genomics, based on ten years of collaboration, which allowed the team to read and read such incredibly old age.

The article was published in the journal Homo Androand's Dental Protein .Smell.