Tracing ‘Hobbits’ DNA in modern humans
Homo Floresiensis or otherwise ‘Hobbit’ was a recently discovered dwarf-like human species of about 1 meter high that co-existed with other Homo sapiens about 12,000 years ago and then disappeared. The origin of the species has been a topic of study in the last few years without any clear answers so far, and even though initially it was believed that its appearance was like apes, recent studies have shown that it looked more like us and confirmed that they were an ancient human species.
The Institute of Molecular Biology, Eijkman in Jakarta started research with the goal of finding the presence of the genes of Homo Floresiensis as well as prehistoric Denisovans in modern humans. Denisova hominins are a paleolithic subspecies of Homo Sapiens that were discovered in 2010 in the Denisova Cave in Siberia. And while for the Denisovan DNA some research has been done, nobody has fully researched the existence of the DNA of those two species is in our genes.
Herawati Sudoyo of Eijkman Institute said that Indonesia has been a place that many ancient humans were found, and is the place where homo floresiensis was discovered, and a good place for the research to start.
It is interesting to mention that recently Denisovan DNA was traced in a percentage of up to 6% in Australian Aborigines and traces have been found in Papua New Guinea and Philippines too. Concerning the ‘Hobbit’ DNA, it will be interesting to see if there are traces of it in modern humans and in what percentage.
By John Black