Saturday, February 11, 2012


In March 2010, scientists announced the discovery of a finger bone fragment of a juvenile female that lived about 41,000 years ago, found in Denisova Cave in Altai Krai, Russia. The full genome of this Denisova hominin was recently made available. The Unified genotyper was used to to add dbSNP 132 rs#s to the genome. The resulting VCF file can be read by Promethease to produce:

Through the 5519 SNPedia annotated snps we can learn more about this distant relative.


As first noted by John Hawks the snp rs7412 couldn't be reliably called, but rs429358 and rs4420638 were. These are consistent with an E4/E4.
At present, the frequency of APOE*4 within all the major human groups remains higher in those populations…where an economy of foraging still exists, or food supply is now or has until recently been scarce, sporadically available or qualitatively poor. Under these environmental conditions, carrying the APOE*4 could be still useful.
--source PMID 10738542.

Hair Morphology

rs3124314(C;C) suggest some curliness to the hair, while rs261360(A;G) is notable for heterozygosity. 5 other snps (rs12623288(A;A), rs1268789(G;G), rs1454292(T;T), rs6732426(T;T), rs908922(A;A)) are all consistent with straighter hair.

Skin color


This should be female, but 23508 rs#s on the Y-chrom were found, with only rs9786465 being in SNPedia. The Unified Genotyper provides a partial explanation about the challenges of calling sex chromosomes.

Caveat lector

The traits below are more about notoriously difficult to define and phenotype even in modern humans, and in a single sample of 40k year old non-human dna they should be covered in NaCl. However, deeper analysis needs to begin somewhere so ...


rs53576(G;G) in the Oxytocin receptor (OXTR). This genotype appears to be significantly better at accurately reading the emotions of others by observing their faces than were the remaining three-quarters of subjects, with (A;A) or (A;G). (G;G) individuals were also less likely to startle when blasted by a loud noise, or to become stressed at the prospect of such a noise.


Quite a few rare genos for intelligence with a possible emphasis on spatial working memory.


rs2710102 in CNTNAP2 has been associated with impaired speech development.


Denisova data lives in the eu-west-1b region of the Amazon cloud as snap-­3cc2de54.

Processed with

dbsnp acquired from

Generated via

java -jar GenomeAnalysisTK.jar -R /mnt/mydata/human_g1k_v37.fasta -T UnifiedGenotyper -I /mnt/den/denisova_genome/T_hg19_1000g.bam --dbsnp /mnt/mydata/dbsnp_132.b37.vcf -o /mnt/mydata/snps.raw.vcf > /mnt/mydata/alog.txt

Log finishes with

INFO 10:11:25,697 UnifiedGenotyper - Visited bases 3101804739
INFO 10:11:25,697 UnifiedGenotyper - Callable bases 2862033547
INFO 10:11:25,698 UnifiedGenotyper - Confidently called bases 112644898
INFO 10:11:25,698 UnifiedGenotyper - % callable bases of all loci 92.270
INFO 10:11:25,698 UnifiedGenotyper - % confidently called bases of all loci 3.632
INFO 10:11:25,698 UnifiedGenotyper - % confidently called bases of callable loci 3.936
INFO 10:11:25,699 UnifiedGenotyper - Actual calls made 4989617
INFO 10:11:25,714 TraversalEngine - Total runtime 66799.27 secs, 1113.32 min, 18.56 hours
INFO 10:11:25,823 TraversalEngine - 0 reads were filtered out during traversal out of 1424486071 total (0.00%)

It was run on an m1.large, but never managed to use both cpus, instead maxing out at 50% cpu usage.

[ec2-user@ip-10-234-51-252 den]$ df -H
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/xvda1 8.5G 2.0G 6.5G 24% /
tmpfs 4.0G 0 4.0G 0% /dev/shm
/dev/xvdf 212G 170G 31G 85% /mnt/den
/dev/xvdg 159G 5.8G 145G 4% /mnt/mydata

[ec2-user@ip-10-234-51-252 mydata]$ ls -tral
total 5416212
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Feb 9 15:03 ..
drwx------ 2 root root 16384 Feb 9 15:06 lost+found
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ec2-user ec2-user 4578627636 Feb 9 15:35 dbsnp_132.b37.vcf
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ec2-user ec2-user 12379076 Feb 9 15:35 dbsnp_132.b37.vcf.idx
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ec2-user ec2-user 942611555 Feb 10 10:11 snps.raw.vcf
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ec2-user ec2-user 12394492 Feb 10 10:13 snps.raw.vcf.idx
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ec2-user ec2-user 142784 Feb 10 10:13 alog.txt
drwxrwxrwx 3 root root 4096 Feb 10 12:16 .

Half of the /mnt/den is the chimpanzee data, so the alignment to human was 85gb for the T_hg19_1000g.bam + 9mb for the index.