Chinese and German scientists reported the DNA based relationship between a 40,000 year old anatomically modern human from Tianyuan Cave outside Beijing, China and a majority of present day Asian peoples and Native American peoples in Jan. 21, issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The fossil DNA extracted from a leg bone indicates this person had already diverged genetically from the ancestors of present day Europeans. The Tianyuan individual did not carry a larger proportion of Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA than present day people in the region.
Most modern day Europeans have a larger amount of Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA than Chinese have representing a divergence that was the result of both the limitations of species interbreeding and the demise of the Neanderthals in Asia.
The discovery is reported as one of the first proofs that newer methodology can determine an exacting genealogy over time with limited fractional human and hominim DNA that has been contaminated with other plant and animal DNA.
Qiaomei Fu a,b,1, Matthias Meyer b, Xing Gao a, Udo Stenzel b, Hernán A. Burbano b,c, Janet Kelso b, and Svante Pääbo a,b,1
a Chinese Academy of Sciences–Max Planck Society Joint Laboratory for Human Evolution, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100044 Beijing, China; b Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany; and c Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany