(Undated) -- Scientists have succeeded in extracting and sequencing the oldest human DNA. A team of geneticists in Germany used a 400-thousand-year-old thigh bone of an early human who died in what is now northern Spain. Professor Chris Stringer of London's Natural History Museum tells the BBC the find could help shed light on a time we know almost nothing about.
The DNA sequence of the thigh bone indicates the early European was more closely related to a much earlier species of human living in Siberia about 700-thousand years ago than to the later Neanderthals of Europe. They became extinct about 30-thousand years ago. The genetic link between early Europeans and earlier Asians is raising some major questions among scientists who had expected to find a closer genetic relationship to the later Neanderthals.