News 2016

DAG Workshop
BioArCaucasus - Meeting more
The hidden bacterial legacy of ancient cultures
With their research project “Heirloom Microbes: The History and Legacy of Ancient Dairying Bacteria”, Dr. Jessica Hendy (Department of Archaeology) and Prof. Christina Warinner (Department of Archaeogenetics) have won the Max Planck Society’s Annual Donation Award 2017 in the amount of 200,000 €. more
MPI-SHH Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series
Insights into human evolutionary biology from ancient DNA more
Archaeogenetics reveals unknown migration in the South Pacific
Only some 3500 years ago people began to colonize the South Pacific archipelagos of Oceania. An international team of researchers including scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena now analyzed for the first time, the genomes of the first settlers who lived on the island chains Tonga and Vanuatu 3100-2500 years ago.
MPI-SHH Distinguished Lecturer Seminar by Anne Stone
Archaeological and genetic research about the timing and process of the colonization of theAmericas has revealed an early colonization 15,000-20,000 years ago followed bya “Beringian standstill”, and subsequent expansion from the North as well as alater expansion of Inuit-Aleut peoples. Ancient DNA analyses have contributed toour understanding of this process using first mitochondrial DNA and more recentlynuclear DNA data. more
Shedding light on the Justinian plague
For the first time, scientists have succeeded to fully reconstruct a genome of the Justinianic Plague causative pathogen, Yersinia pestis, from a skeleton of a victim excavated 50 years ago in Altenerding, Southern Germany. more
Genome of 6,000-year-old barley grains sequenced for first time
An international team of researchers including scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has succeeded for the first time in sequencing the genome of Chalcolithic barley grains.
Neandertal cannibalism and Neandertal bones used as tools in Northern Europe
An international team of researchers led by Hélène Rougier with participation of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History presents the first case of Neandertal cannibalism in Northern Europe and the first example of multiple Neandertal bones used as tools from a single site. more
European Black Death as source of modern plague
A single strain of plague bacteria sparked multiple historical and modern pandemics. This was revealed by the analysis of three reconstructed historical genomes from the causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis, isolated from plague victims between the 14th and 16th century. more
History on Ice
Researchers paint a genetic portrait of Ice Age Europe

Fu, Q.; Posth, C.; Hajdinjak, M.; Petr, M.; Mallick, S.; Fernandes , D.; Furtwängler , A.; Haak, W.; Meyer, M.; Mittnik, A. et al.:  The genetic history of Ice Age Europe. Nature 534 (7606), pp. 200-205 (2016) more
Europe’s population dramatically changed at the end of the last Ice Age
Up to now, the dispersal of modern humans outside of Africa is a highly debated topic both in terms of the number of major expansions and their timing. An international team of researchers retrieved DNA from 35 ancient hunter-gatherers spanning almost 30,000 years of European pre-history.
The hideout of the Black Death
Historical pathogens survived for more than four centuries in Europe

Bos, K.; Herbig, A.; Sahl, J.; Waglechner, N.; Fourment, M.; Forrest, S. A.; Klunk, J.; Schuenemann, V. J.; Poinar, D.; Kuch, M. et al.: Eighteenth century Yersinia pestis genomes reveal the long-term persistence of an historical plague focus.
Gastritis pathogens found in Oetzi the iceman
Helicobacter pylori genome of the glacier mummy decoded. more
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