Study: Neanderthal DNA Lives On in Modern Humans

Correction Appended: May 8, 2010A decade after scientists first cracked the human genome, researchers announced in the May 7 issue of Science that they have done the same for Neanderthals, the species of hominid that existed from roughly 400,000 to 30,000 years ago, when their closest relatives, early modern humans, may have driven them to extinction. Led by ancient-DNA expert Svante Pbo of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, scientists reconstructed about 60% of the Neanderthal genome by analyzing tiny chains of ancient DNA extracted from bone fragments of three female Neanderthals excavated in the late 1970s and early ’80s from a cave in Croatia.