Ancient human genome sequence of an extinct Palaeo-Eskimo.

Nature 2010 Feb;463(7282):757-62

Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark and Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.

We report here the genome sequence of an ancient human. Obtained from approximately 4,000-year-old permafrost-preserved hair, the genome represents a male individual from the first known culture to settle in Greenland. Sequenced to an average depth of 20x, we recover 79% of the diploid genome, an amount close to the practical limit of current sequencing technologies. We identify 353,151 high-confidence single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), of which 6.8% have not been reported previously. We estimate raw read contamination to be no higher than 0.8%. We use functional SNP assessment to assign possible phenotypic characteristics of the individual that belonged to a culture whose location has yielded only trace human remains. We compare the high-confidence SNPs to those of contemporary populations to find the populations most closely related to the individual. This provides evidence for a migration from Siberia into the New World some 5,500 years ago, independent of that giving rise to the modern Native Americans and Inuit.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature08835DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951495PMC
February 2010
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