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NCBI Activity: Neanderthal DNA

Group: Sam and Ethel

Topic: Neanderthal DNA

Introduction: I’ve been interested in human evolution for a while now and I think it is amazing that they are able to pull DNA from Neanderthal remains. Some of the sequence has been used to estimate a divergence time between humans and neanderthals of about 700,000 years ago. But neanderthals were around for another 350,000 years so there was a lot of overlapping co-existence.


No evidence of a Neanderthal contribution to modern human diversity.
Jason A Hodgson and Todd R Disotell
Genome biology
9 (2), 206 (2008)

Sequencing and analysis of Neanderthal genomic DNA.
314 (5802), 1113-8 (17 Nov 2006)

Background: There is lots of information about human evolution and neanderthals in the Book DB of NCBI. This link [] if from a biochemistry text that has a figure of the evolutionary relatinships. This section of text from the same book shows how quickly our understanding is changing based on the newly available DNA sequence data [].

Search: I built a search to track articles that have “neanderthal” in the title or have “Paabo” as an author.  I will automatically get an e-mail when new articles are available.


The NCBI News [] is a great resource for keeping up with the changes at NCBI. You can sign up to have it delivered as an e-mail.

There are automatic connections between PubMed and the Books DB which are described here, []. You can also see all the books included in the db by looking here [].


I would really like to know how to build an alert that would let me know when someone cites an article. I do something with google alerts but it is not quite what I want.

I still struggle sometimes when searching the NCBI Taxonomy DB because names change and common names are often not recognized. I’m not sure how to be efficient when searching here.

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