Genetic evidence for interbreeding between archaic and modern humans

Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 7:00pm
David Reich
David Reich

It has recently become possible to sequence the DNA of ancient humans, and to compare the sequence to DNA from present-day humans to learn how they are related. Here I report the results of two such studies. In the first study, we showed that Neandertals contributed about 2.5% of the genetic material of all non-Africans today. In the second study, we showed that Denisovans contributed about 5% of the genetic material of New Guineans today.

This joint meeting of the Boston Chapters of the GBC/ACM and IEEE Computer and Engineering in Medicine and Biology Societies and the MIT biological engineering and biomedical engineering student group (BE-BMES).

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David Reich is a geneticist and professor in the Department of Genetics at the Harvard Medical School and a Senior Associate Member of the Broad Institute. He has a doctorate in Statistical Genetics from Oxford University and worked at the Whitehead Institute / MIT Center for Genome Research from 1999-2003. While at Harvard he received a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Development Award in the Biomedical Sciences (2003-2009), the Genzyme Outstanding Achievement in Biomedical Research Award (2007) and an Excellence in Teaching Award for his course in Human Genetics (2009). Last year he and his colleagues received the Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science for the best paper in Science that year.