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Evening Lecture - Finding Our Inner Neanderthal: Evolutionary Geneticist Svante Pääbo’s DNA Quest
In 2010, Svante Pääbo shook the scientific world with the results from a groundbreaking genetic study. Pääbo, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, headed a team whose 5-year investigation concluded that Neanderthals, who disappeared 30,000 years ago, mated with early members of our own species. The legacy of those Neanderthals survives in the DNA of many people today: “Neanderthals are not totally extinct,” says the scientist. “In some of us they live on, a little bit.”
Through extraction of ancient DNA from a variety of sources and geographic locations, Pääbo’s team studied genetic data across time and continents. Pääbo discusses the study’s methods and findings, and later is joined by Rick Potts, director of the Human Origins Program of the Museum of Natural History, for a conversation about how paleogenetics can deepen our understanding of the long history of our species.
Please note there is a fee for this event; tickets can be purchased here: http://smithsonianassociates.org/ticketing/tickets/reserve.aspx?performa...