Identification of a new hominin bone from Denisova Cave, Siberia using collagen fingerprinting and mitochondrial DNA analysis

Brown, Samantha, Higham, Thomas, Slon, Viviane, Pääbo, Svante, Meyer, Matthias, Douka, Katerina, Brock, Fiona, Comeskey, Daniel, Procopio, Noemi, Shunkov, Michael, Derevianko, Anatoly and Buckley, Michael (2016) Identification of a new hominin bone from Denisova Cave, Siberia using collagen fingerprinting and mitochondrial DNA analysis. Scientific Reports, 6 (1). p. 23559. ISSN 2045-2322

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep23559

Abstract

DNA sequencing has revolutionised our understanding of archaic humans during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. Unfortunately, while many Palaeolithic sites contain large numbers of bones, the majority of these lack the diagnostic features necessary for traditional morphological identification. As a result the recovery of Pleistocene-age human remains is extremely rare. To circumvent this problem we have applied a method of collagen fingerprinting to more than 2000 fragmented bones from the site of Denisova Cave, Russia, in order to facilitate the discovery of human remains. As a result of our analysis a single hominin bone (Denisova 11) was identified, supported through in-depth peptide sequencing analysis, and found to carry mitochondrial DNA of the Neandertal type. Subsequent radiocarbon dating revealed the bone to be >50,000 years old. Here we demonstrate the huge potential collagen fingerprinting has for identifying hominin remains in highly fragmentary archaeological assemblages, improving the resources available for wider studies into human evolution.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C400 Genetics
F400 Forensic and Archaeological Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 12:18
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 18:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/37029

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