by Ivan Petricevic
September 11, 2017

from Ancient-Code Website






New research has revealed fascinating details about Aboriginal Australians and Pacific Islanders, who according to experts, carry genetic material of an unknown human species.

The new research suggests people from Papua New Guinea and northeast Australia have traces of DNA belonging to an unidentified, extinct human species.

Apparently, there is still much that geneticists and scientists do not understand about this crucial moment in human history, and it seems that research on the subject is raising more questions than answers.

In 2016, researchers at Harvard Medical School published the findings of a comprehensive study of the human genome of all areas of the world and discovered something astounding about the Australian aboriginal population.

They appear to have genetic markers that indicate they are descendants of a yet unidentified human species.

"We're missing a population, or we're misunderstanding something about the relationships," Ryan Bohlender, a statistical geneticist at the University of Texas, told Tina Hesman Saey at Science News.

Ryan Bohlender and his colleagues have been researching the amount of extinct hominid DNA that modern humans still carry today.


To the surprise of many, they say they've found discrepancies in previous studies that suggest our mingling with Neanderthals and Denisovans isn't the entire evolutionary story.

It's believed that between 100,000 and 60,000 years ago, our ancestors migrated out of Africa, making contact with other hominid species inhabiting the Eurasian landmass.


Experts believe that this contact left a mark on our species that is still present today.

"Our main goal is to understand how our race got to the point where it is, but in order to do that, we must first study the DNA of the ancient tribes," explained Mallick Swapan, leading scientist of the study, and an expert who has been studying the origins of the human genome for most of his career.

He explained that the new study gathered the genetic data of 142 different human populations scattered around the world that was underrepresented in large-scale studies so far.

According to Swapan, the most incredible revelation of this new study is that the genetic code of the Australian aborigines shows that they carry the DNA markers that indicate the ancient crossbred with an unknown "human" species.

Although it was initially suspected that unusual DNA markers might indicate that Aboriginal ancestors interbred with the elusive ancient species known as Denisovans, this hypothesis turned out to be incorrect.

After the analysis, scientists discovered that DNA markers were distinct from Denisovan markers, leading them to the conclusion that they had found traces of an entirely new form of ancient human species.

It is known that the native peoples of Australia are descendants of the first people who came to the continent from Africa about 50,000 years ago.

It has been assumed that aborigines were isolated from the rest of the world for thousands of years and therefore scientists thought that their genetic code would be relatively homogeneous.

Surprisingly, this turned out not to be the case.

"The genetic signatures of an Australian Aboriginal from eastern Australia and western Australia are as different as those of a person from Europe and an Asian person," Swapan said.

The incredible diversity in the genetic code of the native peoples of Australia, in addition to the peculiar genetic marker that indicates that they interbred with an unknown human species in the past, indicates that there is still much more to discover about the ancient history of humanity.











DNA Data offer Evidence of...

Unknown Extinct Human Relative
by Tina Hesman Saey
October 21, 2016
from ScienceNews Website



People from Papua New Guinea (shown) and Australia

carry small amounts of DNA from extinct human relatives.

New research suggests that the DNA

may not come from Neandertals or Denisovans,

but from a third, previously unknown extinct hominid.





carry genetic clues to hominid

not revealed by fossils



Traces of long-lost human cousins may be hiding in modern people's DNA, a new computer analysis suggests.


People from Melanesia, a region in the South Pacific encompassing Papua New Guinea and surrounding islands, may carry genetic evidence of a previously unknown extinct hominid species, Ryan Bohlender reported October 20 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.


That species is probably not Neandertal or Denisovan, but a different, related hominid group, said Bohlender, a statistical geneticist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"We're missing a population or we're misunderstanding something about the relationships," he said.

This mysterious relative was probably from a third branch of the hominid family tree that produced Neandertals and Denisovans, an extinct distant cousin of Neandertals.


While many Neandertal fossils have been found in Europe and Asia, Denisovans are known only from DNA from a finger bone and a couple of teeth found in a Siberian cave (DNA hints at African Cousin to Humans).


Bohlender isn't the first to suggest that remnants of archaic human relatives may have been preserved in human DNA even though no fossil remains have been found.


In 2012, another group of researchers suggested that some people in Africa carry DNA heirlooms from an extinct hominid species (Neandertal DNA may raise Risk for some Modern Human Diseases).


Less than a decade ago, scientists discovered that human ancestors mixed with Neandertals. People outside of Africa still carry a small amount of Neandertal DNA, some of which may cause health problems.


Bohlender and colleagues calculate that Europeans and Chinese people carry a similar amount of Neandertal ancestry: about 2.8 percent. Europeans have no hint of Denisovan ancestry, and people in China have a tiny amount - 0.1 percent, according to Bohlender's calculations.


But 2.74 percent of the DNA in people in Papua New Guinea comes from Neandertals. And Bohlender estimates the amount of Denisovan DNA in Melanesians is about 1.11 percent, not the 3 to 6 percent estimated by other researchers.


While investigating the Denisovan discrepancy, Bohlender and colleagues came to the conclusion that a third group of hominids may have bred with the ancestors of Melanesians.

"Human history is a lot more complicated than we thought it was," Bohlender said.  

Another group of researchers, led by Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary geneticist at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, recently came to a similar conclusion.


Willerslev's group examined DNA from 83 aboriginal Australians and 25 people from native populations in the Papua New Guinea highlands (Single exodus from Africa gave rise to today’s non-Africans).


The researchers found Denisovan-like DNA in the study (A Genomic History of Aboriginal Australia) volunteers, the group reported October 13 in Nature.


But the DNA is genetically distinct from Denisovans and may be from another extinct hominid.

"Who this group is we don't know," Willerslev says.

They could be Homo erectus or the extinct hominids found in Indonesia known as Hobbits (Hobbits Died Out Earlier than Thought), he speculates.


But researchers don't know how genetically diverse Denisovans were, says Mattias Jakobsson, an evolutionary geneticist at Uppsala University in Sweden.


A different branch of Denisovans could be the group that mated with ancestors of Australians and Papuans.


Researchers know so little about the genetic makeup of extinct groups that it's hard to say whether the extinct hominid DNA actually came from an undiscovered species, said statistical geneticist Elizabeth Blue of the University of Washington in Seattle.


DNA has been examined from few Neandertal fossils, and Denisovan remains have been found only in that single cave in Siberia. Denisovans may have been widespread and genetically diverse.


If that were the case, said Blue, the Papuan's DNA could have come from a Denisovan population that had been separated from the Siberian Denisovans for long enough that they looked like distinct groups, much as Europeans and Asians today are genetically different from each other.


But if Denisovans were not genetically diverse, the mysterious extinct ancestor could well be another species, she said.


Jakobsson says he wouldn't be surprised if there were other groups of extinct hominids that mingled with humans.

"Modern humans and archaic humans have met many times and had many children together," he said.