The Landscape of Archaic Ancestry in Modern Humans
One of the major discoveries to come out of the analyses of the genomes of archaic humans such as Neanderthals and Denisovans is that of admixture between these archaic and present-day human populations. We now know that non-African populations today trace about 2% of their ancestry to a population related to the Neanderthals while populations from Australia and New Guinea carry additional ancestry related to the Denisovans.
By viewing these admixtures as natural, genome-scale perturbations, we can begin to understand the impact of archaic ancestry on human biology as well as the genetic changes that were likely important for the modern human phenotype. I will describe methods that enable us to map the locations of archaic ancestry in present day humans and the applications of these methods to understand the impact of Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry in present-day humans.