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The worlds of ancient and modern DNA exploration have collided in spectacular fashion in the past few months. Last week saw the publication of a long-awaited draft genome of the Neanderthal, an archaic hominin from about 40,000 years ago. Just three months earlier, researchers in Denmark reported the genome of a 4,000-year-old Saqqaq Palaeo-Eskimo that was plucked from the Greenland permafrost and sequenced in China using the latest technology.