Svante Pääbo is born in Sweden and earned his PhD at Uppsala University. Since 1997, he has been director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
Pääbo is one of the founders of the discipline paleogenetics and was one of the first people to successfully sequence DNA from ancient tissues and extinct animals. In 2010, Pääbo and his colleagues published the first draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome. His critically acclaimed book, Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes, was published in 2014 and features accounts from his academic career and scientific discoveries.
One of the enduring questions of human origins is when, where and how we "Behaviorally Modern Humans" emerged and why and how we eventually replaced all the other human-like species. This series takes a fresh look at the situation today with a critical examination of the available evidence from multiple sources.
Chris Stringer (Natural History Museum, London) leads off with a talk about the Fossil Record of Anatomically Modern Humans, followed by Michael Hammer (Univ of Arizona) on Interbreeding with Archaic Humans in Africa, and Richard "Ed" Green (UC Santa Cruz) on Interbreeding with Archaic Humans outside Africa. Series: "CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny" [7/2013] [Science] [Show ID: 25388]
The Eliana Hechter Memorial Lecture Who we are and how we got here: Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past
David Reich Professor, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School Sr. Associate Member, Broad Institute
In 2010, the first genome-wide data from ancient humans was published. Since that time, the number of ancient genomes available has increased by three orders of magnitude, and the amount of data continues to rise at an extraordinary rate. These new data make it possible, for the first time, to understand how ancient human populations are related to each other. Studies have demonstrated surprise after surprise, including the existence of a previously unknown human population called the Denisovans and interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans. In this talk, David Reich will describe his laboratory’s work in the area of ancient DNA and the prospects for further discoveries about the past from this burgeoning field.
Who We Are and How We Got Here ANCIENT DNA AND THE NEW SCIENCE OF THE HUMAN PAST By DAVID REICH
ABOUT WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE GOT HERE Here is a groundbreaking book about how the extraction of ancient DNA from ancient bones has profoundly changed our understanding of human prehistory while resolving many long-standing controversies.
Massive technological innovations now allow scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA as never before, and it has become clear—in part from David Reich’s own contributions to the field—that genomics is as important a means of understanding the human past as archeology, linguistics, and the written word. In Who We Are and How We Got Here, Reich describes with unprecedented clarity just how the human genome provides not only all the information that a fertilized human egg needs to develop but also contains within it the history of our species. He explains how the genomic revolution and ancient DNA are transforming our understanding of the lineage of modern humans and how DNA studies reveal the deep history of inequality—among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals within a population. His book gives the lie to the orthodoxy that there are no meaningful biological differenced among human populations, and at the same time uses the definitive evidence provided by genomics to show that the differences that do exist are unlikely to conform to familiar stereotypes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR DAVID REICH, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, is one of the world’s leading pioneers in analyzing ancient human DNA. In a 2015 article in Nature, he was named one of ten people who matter in all of the sciences for his contribution to transforming ancient DNA data “from niche pursuit to industrial process.” Awards he has received include the Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Dan David Prize in the Archaeological and Natural Sciences for his computational discovery of intermixing between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens.