The Transhumanist

Melanesians have DNA of an Unidentified Hominid Species

Study of humans and other species have been central to most of the researchers, as it reveals about the life on earth. Many historians and researchers are still in the process of unraveling extinct human species. Recently the historians have identified that Melanesians carry a DNA of a human species that is not yet discovered.

Melanesians are people living in a region of the South Pacific, northeast of Australia. The new species model found is neither Neanderthal or Denisovan– two ancient species that are represented in the fossil record.

Ryan Bohlender stated, “We’re missing a population, or we’re misunderstanding something about the relationships.” Ryan Bohlender is  a statistical geneticist from the University of Texas.

Bohlender and his team have been studying the extinct hominid DNA present in the humans at present. It is in this process that they have encountered a discrepancy with the previous analysis.

Earlier the researchers have investigated genetic variants that European people have inherited from Neanderthals. They have identified through the study that they are associated with several health problems. Studies revealed that it was sexually transmitted to Homo sapiens from  Neanderthals and Denisovans according to the recent evidence from the modern genital warts.

Bohlender and his colleague using a new computer model to figure out the amount of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA carried by modern humans found that Europeans and Chinese people carry a similar amount of Neanderthal DNA: about 2.8 percent.

That result is pretty similar to previous studies as far as Neanderthal DNA was concerned. Things got complicated with Denisovan DNA, especially when it came to the modern population living in Melanesia. Bohlender and his team came to the conclusion that there might be a third group of hominids who have bred with the ancestors of Melanesians.

“Who this group is we don’t know,” said lead researcher Eske Willerslev. The team further stated that until a concrete evidence is established they cannot prove the existence of the third hominid.

The study is supported by researchers from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, who analysed DNA from 83 Aboriginal Australians and 25 locals from the Papua New Guinea highlands.

The results of the analysis lead by Bohlender were presented recently at the 2016 American Society of Human Genetics meeting in Canada.