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Genome sequences from extinct hominins

Genome sequences from extinct hominins

Objective

Neandertals and Denisovans, an Asian group distantly related to Neandertals, are the closest evolutionary relatives of present-day humans. They are thus of direct relevance for understanding the origin of modern humans and how modern humans differ from their closest relatives. We will generate genome-wide data from a large number of Neandertal and Denisovan individuals from across their geographical and temporal range as well as from other extinct hominin groups which we may discover. This will be possible by automating highly sensitive approaches to ancient DNA extraction and DNA libraries construction that we have developed so that they can be applied to many specimens from many sites in order to identify those that contain retrievable DNA. Whenever possible we will sequence whole genomes and in other cases use DNA capture methods to generate high-quality data from representative parts of the genome. This will allow us to study the population history of Neandertals and Denisovans, elucidate how many times and where these extinct hominins contributed genes to present-day people, and the extent to which modern humans and archaic groups contributed genetically to Neandertals and Denisovans. By retrieving DNA from specimens that go back to the Middle Pleistocene we will furthermore shed light on the early history and origins of Neandertals and Denisovans.
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Host institution

MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV

Address

Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Munich

Germany

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 350 000

Beneficiaries (1)

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MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 2 350 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 694707

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 November 2016

  • End date

    31 October 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 350 000

  • EU contribution

    € 2 350 000

Hosted by:

MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV

Germany