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6 May 2010 - UCSC Hosts Portal for Neandertal Sequence, Alignments, and Analyses
In conjunction with the publication of the paper Green
et al. A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome
in the May 7 issue of Science, the UCSC
Genome Browser project has released a public
Neandertal portal that may be
used to access the Neandertal sequence, alignments to
the UCSC hg18 (NCBI Build 36) human reference assembly and
the UCSC panTro2 (Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis
Consortium v2.1) chimpanzee reference assembly, and
several associated analyses.
Neandertals are the closest extinct relatives of humans.
They lived in much of Europe and western Asia before
disappearing from the fossil records approximately
30,000 years ago.
The Neandertal genome sequence consists of short sequence
fragments, usually about 50 base pairs long, mapped to the
human reference genome. The sequence was
derived primarily from DNA extracted from
three Neandertal bones, each about 40,000 years old, found
in the Vindija Cave in Croatia; smaller amounts of data were
also obtained from three bones from other sites. The bulk
sequencing was carried out on the Illumina GAII platform.
Neandertal DNA was differentiated from the background of
microbial sequences in the bone by similarity to the human
or chimpanzee genomes.
The draft sequence of the Neandertal genome yields
important new insights into the evolution of modern humans.
Among the findings discussed in the Science
publication is evidence that some early modern
humans, after their migration out of Africa, interbred with
Neandertals, resulting in traces of Neandertal DNA
sequences in the genomes of present-day non-Africans. The
authors also cataloged genetic features unique to modern
humans by comparing the Neandertal, human, and chimpanzee
genomes. Among the genes highlighted in the study as
likely to have undergone important changes in recent human
evolution are those involved in cognitive development,
skull structure, energy metabolism, skin morphology and
We'd like to thank Richard Green (formerly of the Max-Planck
Institute, and now an assistant professor of
biomedical engineering at UCSC) and the many authors
of the Science paper for providing the UCSC Genome
Browser with these data. We'd also like to acknowledge the
hard work of the UCSC Genome Browser staff who pulled
together the annotations and information for the UCSC
Neandertal portal: Angie Hinrichs, Katrina Learned, and
12 May 2010 - Pig Genome Browser Released:
We have released a Genome Browser for the pig, Sus scrofa.
26 Apr. 2010 - European Rabbit Genome Browser Released:
We have released a Genome Browser for the European
rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus.
16 Apr. 2010 - Giant Panda Genome Browser Released:
We have released a Genome Browser for Ailuropoda melanoleuca.