Rex Dalton reports that Svante Pääbo’s presentation at the AAAS meetings next week will have a little surprise:
Project leader Svante Pbo will announce the results of the preliminary genomic analysis at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois, which starts on 12 February.
"We are working like crazy at the moment," says Pbo, adding that his Max Planck colleague, computational biologist Richard Green, is coordinating the analysis of the genome's 3 billion base pairs.
Pbo says that his group will publish a first draft of the entire Neanderthal genome later this year, as a single read of all base pairs. However, some published human genomes had all their base pairs read eight to ten times before publication. The team says that its single-read of the Neanderthal genome is sufficient for publication because the technique used does not rely on the same DNA reassembly process used in conventional 'shotgun' sequencing.
Three billion base pairs. Perhaps 4000 amino acid substitutions between them and us, and an unknown number of regulatory changes. There are likely to be some surprising similarities, as well as many surprising differences.
We’re going to have plenty of work.
Anyway, the story doesn’t specify what will be new about next week’s announcement. I’m sure there will be some surprises.