Genes from Extinct Cave Bears Found in Living Brown Bears

Not unlike the Neanderthal genes found in living humans. The cave bears and the neanderthals both lived around the same time and seem to have disappeared around the time anatomically modern humans arrived on the scene.

But just as evidence has appeared that Neanderthals and modern humans could produce viable offspring, the same thing seems to have been true of cave bears and brown bears. (There's also evidence of Neanderthal-Denisovan hybrids and modern human-Denisovan hybrids as well.)

They say that it's harder to determine these kind of things with other animals besides humans, since human DNA has been sequenced so many times, from so many individuals, that researchers are getting a pretty good idea what gene variants are out there. But that kind of information is harder to come by for other animals, and especially for extinct ones where getting DNA samples is tough and complicated.

The main authors are at the U. of Potsdam in Germany, and at UC Santa Cruz. The research team includes members from universities and research labs all over the world. (The 'How to Clone a Mammoth' author from UCSC is one of them.)

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