Earlier this year, David Gokhman summoned a ghost.
Gokhman, then a Ph.D. student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was attempting to piece together the skeleton of an enigmatic ancient human known as a Denisovan. But while the Denisovans likely lived in Asia for tens of thousands of years, researchers have only found meager fossil traces—a pinky bone, a skull fragment, a fractured jaw, and a few teeth.
To give these specters form, Gokhman instead turned to the most compelling trace of their existence: their ancient DNA.
Now, in an impressive feat, Gokhman and his colleagues have mapped out a proposed Denisovan skeleton using information for 32 skeletal features encoded in DNA that was extracted from a pinky bone. The research, published