Mailbag: Denisovan in China and New World habitation

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Re: “How widespread is Denisovan ancestry today?”

Your website is so interesting I wish I were an anthropologist! The heat map showing interpolated spatial distribution of the frequency of Denisova alleles struck me - for a different reason than the subject of the article. Does this map add weight to the argument for a possible southern route for at least some of the peopling of the Americas? Or is it simply assumed that somehow all traces of these gene signatures would simply disappear during the migration from a northern route? I am trying to understand how this makes sense if the peopling of the Americas was exclusively a Northern route. Thanks for wonderful website.

Not clear. The map is showing such a very small fraction of the overall genetic variation, that the similarity between the south China and central America region may be just noise. If I were to set about answering the question about New World habitation, I would start with a very different approach. Worth some consideration.