Viviane Slon

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Viviane Slon
Alma materTel Aviv University
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Known forPaleogenetics
AwardsNature's 10 (2018)
Scientific career
FieldsAncient DNA
Human evolution
InstitutionsMax Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Doctoral advisorSvante Pääbo

Viviane Slon is a paleogeneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.[1][2] She identified that a teenage girl born 90,000 years ago had both Neanderthal and Denisovan parents. She was selected as one of Nature's 10 in 2018.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Slon completed her doctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.[4] She won the 2017 Dan David Prize.[5] She worked at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University on the earliest human fossils outside Africa.[6][7] She studied the Qafzeh 9 Skull, looking at developmental malocclusions.[8]

Research and career[edit]

Denisova Cave in 2008

In 2018 Slon was appointed a postdoctoral researcher working on neanderthals at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.[9] She develops techniques to remove hominin DNA from sediments.[10][11][12] Her doctoral supervisor Svante Pääbo decoded the Denisovan gene.[13][14] Slon visited the Denisova Cave during a symposium, where over one thousand bones are excavated a year.[13]

As her first project, Slon reported the DNA from the tooth of the fourth Denisova individual ever found on earth.[15][16] She also co-led a team that found Denisovan DNA in excavated dirt as an alternative to finding rare hominin bones.[3]

In 2018, Slon and her colleagues published the genome of Denny, a hybrid hominin.[17] DNA was extracted from a hominin bone found in a Middle Pleistocene layer.[13][18][19] Using genetic analysis and radiocarbon dating, the hominin was identified as a girl born more than 50,000 years ago to a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father.[13][20][21] The work was covered in BBC News, National Geographic, EurekAlert!, The Atlantic and Archaeology magazine.[22][23][24][25][26][27]

Slon was selected as one of Nature's 10 in 2018.[3]


  1. ^ a b Viviane Slon publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Viviane Slon publications from Europe PubMed Central
  3. ^ a b c Gibney, Elizabeth; Callaway, Ewen; Cyranoski, David; Gaind, Nisha; Tollefson, Jeff; Courtland, Rachel; Law, Yao-Hua; Maher, Brendan; Else, Holly; Castelvecchi, Davide (2018). "Ten people who mattered this year". Nature. 564 (7736): 325–335. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07683-5.
  4. ^ Fleur, Nicholas St (2017-07-07). "In a Lost Baby Tooth, Scientists Find Ancient Denisovan DNA". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  5. ^ Scholarship for outstanding young researchers., Dan David Prize. "SLON Viviane". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  6. ^ Weinstein-Evron, Mina; Zaidner, Yossi; Tsatskin, Alexander; Yeshurun, Reuven; Weissbrod, Lior; Groman-Yaroslavski, Iris; Peled, Natan; Wu, Xinzhi; Cui, Yaming (2018-01-26). "The earliest modern humans outside Africa". Science. 359 (6374): 456–459. Bibcode:2018Sci...359..456H. doi:10.1126/science.aap8369. ISSN 1095-9203. PMID 29371468.
  7. ^ Slon, Viviane; Hershkovitz, Israel; May, Hila (2014). "The value of cadaver CT scans in gross anatomy laboratory". Anatomical Sciences Education. 7 (1): 80–82. doi:10.1002/ase.1400. ISSN 1935-9780. PMID 24022918.
  8. ^ Hershkovitz, Israel; Vardimon, Alexander Dan; Shpack, Nir; May, Hila; Abbas, Janan; Slon, Viviane; Sarig, Rachel (2013-11-20). "Malocclusion in Early Anatomically Modern Human: A Reflection on the Etiology of Modern Dental Misalignment". PLOS ONE. 8 (11): e80771. Bibcode:2013PLoSO...880771S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080771. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3835570. PMID 24278319.
  9. ^ "Dept. of Genetics | Staff". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  10. ^ "DNA from Ancient Hominins Discovered in Cave Sediments". Everything Dinosaur Blog. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  11. ^ Corness, Liz. "DNA of extinct humans found in caves". Science Solutions Recruitment. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  12. ^ Montanari, Shaena. "Scientists Sequence Ancient Neandertal DNA From Cave Dirt". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  13. ^ a b c d "Viviane Slon among Nature's annual Top Ten". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  14. ^ "Entire genome of extinct human decoded from fossil". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  15. ^ Pääbo, Svante; Meyer, Matthias; Prüfer, Kay; Kelso, Janet; Derevianko, Anatoly P.; Shunkov, Michael V.; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Sawyer, Susanna; Benazzi, Stefano (2017-07-01). "A fourth Denisovan individual". Science Advances. 3 (7): e1700186. Bibcode:2017SciA....3E0186S. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700186. ISSN 2375-2548. PMC 5501502. PMID 28695206.
  16. ^ Choi, Charles Q.; July 10, Live Science Contributor |; ET, 2017 08:58am. "200,000-Year-Old 'Baby Tooth' Reveals Clues About Mysterious Human Lineage". Live Science. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  17. ^ Pääbo, Svante; Prüfer, Kay; Meyer, Matthias; Kelso, Janet; Derevianko, Anatoly P.; Shunkov, Michael V.; Kozlikin, Maxim B.; Higham, Tom; Douka, Katerina (September 2018). "The genome of the offspring of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father". Nature. 561 (7721): 113–116. Bibcode:2018Natur.561..113S. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0455-x. ISSN 1476-4687. PMC 6130845. PMID 30135579.
  18. ^ Brown, Samantha; Higham, Thomas; Slon, Viviane; Pääbo, Svante; Meyer, Matthias; Douka, Katerina; Brock, Fiona; Comeskey, Daniel; Procopio, Noemi (2016-03-29). "Identification of a new hominin bone from Denisova Cave, Siberia using collagen fingerprinting and mitochondrial DNA analysis". Scientific Reports. 6: 23559. Bibcode:2016NatSR...623559B. doi:10.1038/srep23559. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 4810434. PMID 27020421.
  19. ^ Meyer, Matthias; Pääbo, Svante; Burbano, Hernán A.; Kelso, Janet; Prüfer, Kay; Schmidt, Anna; Nickel, Birgit; Nagel, Sarah; Essel, Elena (2017-04-27). "Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from Pleistocene sediments". Science. 356 (6338): 605–608. Bibcode:2017Sci...356..605S. doi:10.1126/science.aam9695. ISSN 1095-9203. PMID 28450384.
  20. ^ "Daughter of Neanderthal mom, exotic foreign dad revealed by ancient DNA | Canada Times of News". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  21. ^ "'Denisova 11' Had Neanderthal Mother and Denisovan Father | Genetics, Paleoanthropology |". Breaking Science News | Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  22. ^ "Ancient Girl's Parents Were Two Different Human Species". Science & Innovation. 2018-08-22. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  23. ^ "Neandertal mother, Denisovan father!". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  24. ^ Zhang, Sarah (2018-08-22). "Scientists Stunned by a Neanderthal Hybrid Discovered in a Siberian Cave". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  25. ^ "Caveman Genetics - Archaeology Magazine". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  26. ^ "Ancient remains show early human interbreeding". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  27. ^ "Prehistoric love child was a breed apart". Metro Newspaper UK. Retrieved 2018-12-21.