Harnessing epigenetics to study human evolution

Yoav Mathov, Daniel Batyrev, Eran Meshorer, Liran Carmel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent advances in ancient DNA extraction and high-throughput sequencing technologies enabled the high-quality sequencing of archaic genomes, including the Neanderthal and the Denisovan. While comparisons with modern humans revealed both archaic-specific and human-specific sequence changes, in the absence of gene expression information, understanding the functional implications of such genetic variations remains a major challenge. To study gene regulation in archaic humans, epigenetic research comes to our aid. DNA methylation, which is highly correlated with transcription, can be directly measured in modern samples, as well as reconstructed in ancient samples. This puts DNA methylation as a natural basis for comparative epigenetics between modern humans, archaic humans and nonhuman primates.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
Volume62
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

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