Hobbit DNA in 2011

By Razib Khan | January 5, 2011 9:03 am

I predicted earlier that Hobbit DNA would be extracted in 2011. It was pretty much an educated guess based on various omissions I sensed in papers in 2010. But it seems that an attempt is going to be made:

Scientists are planning an attempt to extract DNA from the ‘hobbit’ Homo floresiensis, the 1-metre-tall extinct distant relative of modern humans that was unearthed in Indonesia, following a study that suggests problems in standard sampling methods in ancient-DNA research could have thwarted previous efforts.

This year, geneticists at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) at the University of Adelaide hope to recover DNA from a roughly 18,000-year-old H. floresiensis tooth, which was excavated in 2009 from the Liang Bua site on the Indonesian island of Flores.

No guarantees, but still exciting.

(via Dienekes)

  • Pingback: En busca del ADN Hobbit. | Pablo Della Paolera()

  • Pingback: Drilling for Hobbit DNA | Anthropology.net()

  • dave chamberlin

    Dienekes says in the thread you link to “Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Hobbits are all interesting, but DNA extrction from iconic early sapiens is something I am much more interested in.”
    That is his opinion which I am not going to comment on but it leads to a question. How soon can this new DNA extraction technique gear up and “make these old bones speak.” I know I am speaking from my own biased excitement and impatience but how far away are we from a a massive scientific undertaking to obtain DNA from every human bone that is pre agricultural revolution that has preserved it.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com


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