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Neanderthal Genome Project: New Insights into Human Evolution
May 3, 2012
Richard Edward Green, Assistant Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, University of California-Santa Cruz.
Dr. Green spoke at the Library on “Recent Human Evolution as Revealed by Ancient Hominin Genomes” as part of the Relatively Human Lecture Series.
Dr. Green has helped pioneer the use of advanced sequencing technology to study ancient DNA extracted from fossil bones. As a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, he coordinated the Neanderthal Genome Project.
A paper on the Neanderthal genome published in May 2010 earned him the Newcomb Cleveland Prize for the outstanding paper published in the journal Science. A subsequent paper published in the December 2010 issue of Nature described a previously unknown group of human relatives, called “Denisovans.”
This draft sequence yields important new insights into the evolution of modern humans and helps scientists identify features in our genome that define the basis of human uniqueness.