The researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany have decoded the oldest DNA ever found. They have almost completely decoded the mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA) taken from four-lakh year old thigh bone of human family representative of the genus Homo.
The thigh bone was discovered at a burial site Sima de los Huesos (Bone Pit) that was preserved in Spain’s northern Sierra de Atapuerca highlands. The scientists have found that the mitochondrial genome of Denisovans belongs to the extinct relatives of Neanderthals in Asia.
What did the researchers find after decoding the oldest DNA?
This research has enhanced the knowledge of the human genetics by 300000 years and also tells about the journey of human’s evolution. After comparing the code with the modern humans, apes, Neanderthals and their sister group, Denisovans, researchers found that the Spanish hominins were more closely related to the geographically more distant Denisovans than to Neanderthals.