Scientists Find Unexpected Ancestor in the Human Genome Thanks to AI

Scientists Find Unexpected Ancestor in the Human Genome Thanks to AI

Judging by the evidence science has today, the modern Homo sapiens evolved about 300,000 years ago. The human race has been through a lot of changes over history, and scientists learn more about the process even today.

According to, scientists used AI (Artificial Intelligence) to find an unknown human ancestor species. The discovery came after evidence was found for the existence of a hybrid ancestor to modern humans dating back over 50,000 years ago.

A huge migration

Jaume Bertranpetit, an evolutionary biologist from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain, explained:

About 80,000 years ago, the so-called Out of Africa occurred, when part of the human population, which already consisted of modern humans, abandoned the African continent and migrated to other continents, giving rise to all the current population.

The “third introgression” was a pretty interesting period, referring to interbreeding between modern humans and a “ghost” archaic population. The researchers used the Bayesian inference technique to find evidence of that interbreeding.

The researchers wrote in their study paper:

This population is either related to the Neanderthal-Denisova clade or diverged early from the Denisova lineage.

Mayukh Mondal, a genomicist from the University of Tartu (Estonia), declared in a press statement the following:

Our theory coincides with the hybrid specimen discovered recently in Denisova, although as yet we cannot rule out other possibilities.

When it comes to distinguishing Homo sapiens, some specific terms are used. That’s why we can use the terms Early modern human (EMH) or even anatomically modern human (AMH). However, such distinguish applies to those Homo sapiens that are anatomically consistent with phenotypes that can be spotted in the case of contemporary humans belonging to the extinct archaic human species.

There are so many interesting facts about AI that many people don’t know yet, and surely they deserve some attention.

The new discovery was published in Nature Communications.

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