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  1. Early Divergent Strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago

    Cell 163(3):571 (2015) PMID 26496604

    The bacteria Yersinia pestis is the etiological agent of plague and has caused human pandemics with millions of deaths in historic times. How and when it originated remains contentious. Here, we report the oldest direct evidence of Yersinia pestis identified by ancient DNA in human tee...
  2. Equids

    Current Biology 25(20):R973 (2015) PMID 26485367

    Alongside domestic horses and donkeys, the horse family, also known as equids, comprises six extant wild species of asses and zebras (Figure 1). Equids are extremely well represented in the fossil record, comprising a 55 million-year evolutionary history, punctuated by many episodes of...
  3. Evolutionary Genomics and Conservation of the Endangered Przewalski’s Horse

    Current Biology 25(19):2577 (2015) PMID 26412128

    Przewalski’s horses (PHs, Equus ferus ssp. przewalskii) were discovered in the Asian steppes in the 1870s and represent the last remaining true wild horses. PHs became extinct in the wild in the 1960s but survived in captivity, thanks to major conservation efforts. The current populati...
  4. The ancestry and affiliations of Kennewick Man.

    Nature 523(7561):455 (2015) PMID 26087396

    Kennewick Man, referred to as the Ancient One by Native Americans, is a male human skeleton discovered in Washington state (USA) in 1996 and initially radiocarbon dated to 8,340-9,200 calibrated years before present (BP). His population affinities have been the subject of scientific debate and l...
  5. Reconstructing ancient genomes and epigenomes.

    Nature Reviews: Genetics 16(7):395 (2015) PMID 26055157

    Research involving ancient DNA (aDNA) has experienced a true technological revolution in recent years through advances in the recovery of aDNA and, particularly, through applications of high-throughput sequencing. Formerly restricted to the analysis of only limited amounts of genetic information...
  6. Population genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia.

    Nature 522(7555):167 (2015) PMID 26062507

    The Bronze Age of Eurasia (around 3000-1000 BC) was a period of major cultural changes. However, there is debate about whether these changes resulted from the circulation of ideas or from human migrations, potentially also facilitating the spread of languages and certain phenotypic traits. We in...
  7. Ancient proteins resolve the evolutionary history of Darwin's South American ungulates.

    Nature 522(7554):81 (2015) PMID 25799987

    No large group of recently extinct placental mammals remains as evolutionarily cryptic as the approximately 280 genera grouped as 'South American native ungulates'. To Charles Darwin, who first collected their remains, they included perhaps the 'strangest animal[s] ever discovered'. Today, much ...
  8. Genome-wide ancestry of 17th-century enslaved Africans from the Caribbean.

    PNAS 112(12):3669 (2015) PMID 25755263 PMCID PMC4378422

    Between 1500 and 1850, more than 12 million enslaved Africans were transported to the New World. The vast majority were shipped from West and West-Central Africa, but their precise origins are largely unknown. We used genome-wide ancient DNA analyses to investigate the genetic origins of three e...
  9. Mitochondrial genomes reveal the extinct Hippidion as an outgroup to all living equids.

    Biology Letters 11(3) (2015) PMID 25762573 PMCID PMC4387498

    Hippidions were equids with very distinctive anatomical features. They lived in South America 2.5 million years ago (Ma) until their extinction approximately 10 000 years ago. The evolutionary origin of the three known Hippidion morphospecies is still disputed. Based on palaeontological data, Hi...
  10. Ancient DNA and human evolution.

    Journal of Human Evolution 79:1 (2015) PMID 25619123