Scientists to build Neanderthal DNA

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Scientists to build Neanderthal DNA

After building the Human Genome, they are now going to recreate the Neanderthal Genome to see if the two are related. This holds wonderful possabilities for discovering the link between football hooligins, violent Canadian hockey players and the rest of humanity.

A team of scientists led by Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany say they have found ways to sequence the whole Neanderthal genome, despite the difficulties of obtaining usable samples. They also believe they can reconstruct the genomes of the mammoth and cave bear.

"We are confident that it will be technically feasible to achieve a reliable Neanderthal genome sequence," said Pääbo and his team, who published their findings in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It is difficult to retrieve DNA from tissues of Neanderthals, cave bears and mammoth specimens, the researchers said, as tissues were often contaminated by the DNA of microorganisms which had colonized the bodies after the individuals died. An additional problem is posed by the fact that DNA decays over time.

However the team said they could retrieve enough DNA by taking samples from different individuals, enabling the whole genome to be determined. They have also developed new procedures to prevent samples being contaminated by the DNA of the researchers working with the samples.

Picture of a Neanderthal (Liverpool Supporter)

Neanderthal.jpg - 30.16kb
By netchicken: posted on 27-6-2007

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