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Neanderthal Genes Found In All Non-African Populations 406

Med-trump writes "Neanderthals, whose ancestors left Africa about 400,000 to 800,000 years ago, evolved in what is now mainly France, Spain, Germany and Russia, and are thought to have lived until about 30,000 years ago. Now scientists have identified a piece of Neanderthal DNA (called a haplotype) in the human X chromosome and conclude that this haplotype is present because of mating between our ancestors and Neanderthals. The study was published in the latest issue of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution."
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Neanderthal Genes Found In All Non-African Populations

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  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Monday July 18, 2011 @06:22PM (#36804850) Journal

    I thought it was "homo sapiens and homo neanderthalensis miscegenated and the latter genes still exist in humans" in January.

    Now it's "if you aren't 100% African, you're part Neanderthal."

  • by boristhespider ( 1678416 ) on Monday July 18, 2011 @06:33PM (#36804968)

    As far as I understood it, it was that the evidence suggested - to some degree of certainty - that the genes of all extra-African races were different from sub-Saharan African races to a level that agreed with Neanderthal sequences. Obviously the errors were large - and acknowledged in the studies - but so far as I understood the reasoning for the implications, Homo Sapiens was reputed to have interbred with Homo Neanderthalis at least in the Middle East at about the point that we left Africa, simply because all of us who aren't predominantly sub-Saharan African have the same gene sequence as some recently-sequence Neanderthal fossils.

    So far as that goes, fair enough. I remember reading a lot of that kind of thing a good few months back. And a natural implication is that anyone who isn't sub-Sahran African probably has Neanderthal in them. (Entertainingly, of course, many sub-Saharans also will. This is due to humans, err, interacting constantly and repeatedly and the effects propogating through populations. But the studies took that kind of simple-minded thing into account, of course.)

  • by Roachie ( 2180772 ) on Monday July 18, 2011 @06:57PM (#36805262)

    Seems like there is a bunch of them, no?

  • by Bacon Bits ( 926911 ) on Monday July 18, 2011 @07:46PM (#36805782)

    Indeed, cross-breeding generally results in the deficits in each species diminishing and the strengths aggregating. It's a phenomenon known as heterosis [] or hybrid vigor. The explanation is simple: dominant genes tend to be those which benefit the species (natural selection will tend to eliminate dominant genes which retard the species). Mating with an organism that contains a vast number of completely different genes which gives you a whole new set of dominant genes. Gene's that you didn't have to mutate in your own ancestral lines It's a genetic gold mine.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"