krou writes: Working on a finger-bone that was discovered in the Denisova Cave of Siberia's Altai mountains in 2008, Johannes Krause from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and colleagues managed to extract mitochondrial DNA and compare it to the genetic code of modern humans and other known Neanderthals. What they discovered was a new type of hominin that lived in Central Asia between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago. Professor Chris Stringer, human origins researcher at London's Natural History Museum, said it was "a very exciting development": "This new DNA work provides an entirely new way of looking at the still poorly-understood evolution of humans in central and eastern Asia." The last common ancestor of the hominid (dubbed "X-Woman"), humans and Neanderthals seems to have been about one million years ago. Co-author of the report Professor Svante Paabo said that "Whoever carried this mitochondrial genome out of Africa about a million years ago is some new creature that has not been on our radar screens so far." Commenting on the fact that Neanderthals and modern humans are also known to have lived in the same region around the same time, Professor Stringer said that "Another intriguing question is whether there might have been overlap and interaction between not only Neanderthals and early moderns in Asia, but also, now, between either of those lineages and this newly-recognised one."
In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on
... the overriding problem of war and peace.
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