Mar 02 2014

Neanderthal Lineages

Published by at 9:06 am under Uncategorized

Since we are currently studying evolution, I thought I would post about some recent discovers in our own lineage. Recently, some scientists from the University of Washington put the mystery of the Neanderthal extinction to rest. By sequencing modern human genomes, the scientists discovered that more than 20% of the Neanderthal genome survives today through contemporary humans. This proves that humans and Neanderthals interbred somewhere along the line. What I find most interesting is the selection from these genes. It appears that the Neanderthal genes for skin pigmentation were more fit for local conditions at the time (due to the high amount of Neanderthal DNA present in the genes known to contribute to skin pigmentation). Moreover, the genomes appeared to have been mismatched at certain points, due to the low concentration of Neanderthal DNA in other parts of the contemporary human genome. For example, a strong depletion of Neanderthal DNA was found in a gene that is thought to play an important role in human speech and language. If you wish to read the article, it is linked below.

Neanderthal lineages excavated from modern human genomes

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