Ghosts in the (Genetic) Code, in living bonobos and Denisovan fossils
September 26, 2019 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Genes from an extinct “ghost ape” live on in modern bonobos (Ars Technica). Because apes have their natural habitat in the trees of the rainy tropical forest, with an acidic soil where the organic matter decomposes very quickly, the fossil record for our closest relatives is poor, but genetic data in living bonobos could help fill in gaps (BioTech Spain, paywalled Nature Ecology & Evolution article). Similar, but different: earlier this year, David Gokhman summoned a ghost, using information for 32 skeletal features encoded in DNA that was extracted from a pinky bone. DNA reveals first look at enigmatic human relative, providing more details of the physical structure of Denisovans (National Geographic; full article from Cell).
posted by filthy light thief (6 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Did somebody say neander... Oh shit nope Denisovan. Carry on! *scoots out of thread*
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:24 AM on September 26, 2019 [6 favorites]

We're all related, more or less. You're welcome here! :)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:23 AM on September 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Holy shit... so that means bonobos... are part ghost. No wonder they're always turning translucent and floating through walls at me
posted by Greg Nog at 12:05 PM on September 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Incidentally, "Bonobo Ghost Code" is the name of my new band.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:22 PM on September 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

And of my next git-branch
posted by clew at 12:27 PM on September 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’d like to see the supposed Denisovan dressed as a contemporary human. It looks like you wouldn’t look twice on the bus, but maybe my imagination is deficient.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:08 PM on September 26, 2019

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