Student Author(s)

Jessica L. Crisci

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Evolution | Genomics | Population Biology


Ever since the first draft of the human genome was completed in 2001 there has been increased interest in identifying genetic changes that are uniquely human, which could account for our distinct morphological and cognitive capabilities with respect to other apes. Recently, draft sequences of two extinct hominin genomes, a Neanderthal and Denisovan, have been released. These two genomes provide a much greater resolution to identify human-specific genetic differences than the chimpanzee, our closest extant relative. The Neanderthal genome paper presented a list of regions putatively targeted by positive selection around the time of the human-Neanderthal split. We here seek to characterize the evolutionary history of these candidate regions - examining evidence for selective sweeps in modern human populations, as well as for accelerated adaptive evolution across apes. Results indicate that 3 of the top 20 candidate regions show evidence of selection in at least one modern human population (p


adaptation, Neanderthal genomics, selective sweeps

Rights and Permissions

Copyright The Author(s) 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( 2.5), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Crisci JL, Wong A, Good JM, Jensen JD. (2011) On Characterizing Adaptive Events Unique to Modern Humans. Genome Biol Evol. First published online July 29, 2011. doi:10.1093/gbe/evr075. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Genome biology and evolution

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID