News from CRG, IBE
By combining deep learning algorithms and statistical methods, investigators from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE), the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG) of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the Institute of Genomics at the University of Tartu have identified, in the genome of Asiatic individuals, the footprint of a new hominid who cross bred with its ancestors tens of thousands of years ago.
Modern human DNA computational analysis suggests that the extinct species was a hybrid of Neanderthals and Denisovans and cross bred with Out of Africa modern humans in Asia. This finding would explain that the hybrid found this summer in the caves of Denisova–the offspring of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father–, was not an isolated case, but rather was part of a more general introgression process.
The study, published in Nature Communications, uses deep learning for the first time ever to account for human evolution, paving the way for the application of this technology in other questions in biology, genomics and evolution.
Mayukh Mondal, Jaume Bertranpetit, Oscar Lao. Approximate Bayesian computation with Deep Learning supports a third archaic introgression in Asia and Oceania; Nature Communications(2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-08089-7