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Green, Richard E. Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Baskin School of Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz, California.
- Ancient DNA
- Challenges for Neandertal genomics
- Genome results
- Future outlook
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Since the discovery of the first Neandertal fossil bones in the mid-1800s, Neandertals have been an enigma. Morphologically, their bones are very similar to ours (that is, modern humans), yet distinct enough to demand an explanation. Following the earliest finds in Belgium, Gibraltar, and Germany, scientists were in disagreement as to whether they represented a separate group that had long since gone extinct or whether these were simply diseased human individuals whose bones were oddly shaped. Compounding the mystery was the lack of any reliable method to determine the age of these bones.
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