I’m part Neandertal

As are all humans outside of Africa, according to Svante Pääbo, who’s the director of evolutionary genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology based in Leipzig, Germany.  His team did an analysis comparing the recently assembled Neandertal genome to that of humans and found that 1-4% of our genome is derived from Neandertals and furthermore that this heritage is shared by all humans outside of Africa, not just those of Europe, where Neandertals last lived before being eradicated.

Razib Khan, who pointed me to the story, also excerpted from a related Daily Telegraph article that seems to have been pulled since (here’s the link in case it goes back up), with emphasis on the following passage:

Several genes were discovered that differed between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens and may have played important roles in the evolution of modern humans.

They included genes involved in mental functions, metabolism, and development of the skull, collar bone and rib cage.

I look forward to a more thorough analysis of the paper when it’s released, but this looks to be a very interesting news story.


About Meng Bomin

Real name Benjamin Main, I am a graduate of Grinnell College with a degree in Biological Chemistry.
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