Category Archives: Paleogenomics

The final nail in the coffin of Patagonian megafaunal extinctions

Are our ancestors responsible for Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions? Were the Ice Age giants doomed to extinction because they couldn’t adapt or is it human fault that there is no woolly rhino, giant deer and cave bear today? A new … Continue reading

Posted in evolution, natural history, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Mitogenomes from extinct New Zealand wrens shed light on the oldest songbird lineage

The order Passeriformes, commonly known as “perching birds” or “songbirds,” contains over half of all known avian species. Sister to all other Passeriformes are the acanthisittid wrens, a small and enigmatic family of New Zealand endemics. Though their providential phylogenetic … Continue reading

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Ice-Age Euro-trips

Recent works that attempt to get at human migrations inside Europe paint a complex portrait of migratory events, admixture with archaic hominids, and adaptive evolution to new geographies, and a changing global climate. Analyzing whole genomes of 51 ancient humans … Continue reading

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Opening Pandora’s box: PSMC and population structure

Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful. — George Box Publication of the Li and Durbin’s 2011 paper titled “Inference of human population history from individual whole-genome sequences” was a milestone in the inference of demography. By allowing … Continue reading

Posted in bioinformatics, methods, Paleogenomics, population genetics, theory | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

How to Clone a Mammoth: When science fiction becomes reality

When I explain that I study the woolly mammoth, sooner or later (and usually right away) comes the question, “Are you going to clone a mammoth?” From childish excitement to real scientific interest, the idea of cloning a mammoth raises … Continue reading

Posted in book review, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Neanderthal admixture plot thickens…

Previous studies of archaic admixture from Altai Neanderthals and Denisovans into modern humans outside of Africa have put forth several lines of evidence for gene flow from Neanderthals into common ancestors of Eurasian populations, from Denisovans into ancestors of modern … Continue reading

Posted in bioinformatics, evolution, genomics, mutation, natural history, next generation sequencing, Paleogenomics, population genetics, speciation | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Petrous bone is the new black

I was just reading an article about skeletal reconstruction of another fascinating extinct species when my supervisor came to my office. I asked: “How about we sequence this creature’s genome?” He replied by asking where the animal had lived. As … Continue reading

Posted in genomics, methods, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment