neanderthals allergies
Got allergies? You can blame the Neanderthals
01:31 - Source: CNN

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A new estimation tool suggests a missing link between modern humans and their ancestors

Residents of Melanesia may have lower amounts of Denisovan DNA than expected

CNN  — 

It may be time to add more branches to the human family tree. Researchers have come up with a estimation tool to determine the traits we have in common with early humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans, and how our histories crossed paths.

In the process of comparing these ancient populations from 50,000 to 70,000 years ago against modern ones, the researchers encountered an intriguing question mark. When looking at the process of admixture, the transfer of genes from one isolated population to another, they realized that ancient human history might be more complex than previously thought.

When applied to the modern populations of Europe and East Asia, the model works reasonably well. But within the modern population of Pacific Islanders living in Melanesia – which includes Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands – the model suggests that something is missing in the equation.

“We’re missing a lineage, a branch of this tree that we’ve assumed has four populations on it: two archaic and two modern,” said Ryan Bohlender, a population geneticist at the University