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Earth Science

Neanderthal Ancestors May Be To Blame For Why You Can't Get a Tan (telegraph.co.uk) 118

turkeydance shares a report from The Telegraph: If you struggle to get a tan, consider yourself a night owl or are plagued with arthritis, then your Neanderthal ancestors could be to blame, a new genetic study has shown. Although Neanderthals are often portrayed in drawings as swarthy, in fact they arrived in Northern Europe thousands of years before modern humans, giving time for their skin to become paler as their bodies struggled to soak up enough sun. When they interbred with modern humans those pale genes were passed on. Likewise, genetic mutations which predispose people to arthritis also came from our Neanderthal ancestors, as did the propensity to be a night owl rather than a lark, as northern latitudes altered their body clocks. A raft of new papers published in the journals Science and the American Journal of Human Genetics has shed light on just how many traits we owe to our Neanderthal ancestors.

Scientists also now think that differences in hair color, mood and whether someone will smoke or have an eating disorder could all be related to inter-breeding, after comparing ancient DNA to 112,000 British people who took part in the UK Biobank study. The Biobank includes genetic data along with information on many traits related to physical appearance, diet, sun exposure, behavior, and disease and helps scientists pick apart which traits came from Neanderthals. Dr Janet Kelso, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Germany, said: "We can now show that it is skin tone, and the ease with which one tans, as well as hair color that are affected."

Neanderthal Ancestors May Be To Blame For Why You Can't Get a Tan

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  • If you struggle to get a tan, consider yourself a night owl or are plagued with arthritis

    Stop spying on me, NSA!

  • Racism (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The article indicates that early humans developed strategies to avoid interbreeding, recognizing that there were dangers associated with doing so. Although many people consider religion ridiculous now, it may have provided a survival advantage at one time, promoting an orderly society. It seems like the attempts to avoid interbreeding may have also conferred a survival advantage, and that trait may persist to this day as racism and avoiding diversity. It makes me wonder if racism, awful as it is, may have o

    • Let me please answer your troll. First, interbreeding would be between humans and animals ; and regarding mixed-race relations, please have a read at this interesting article [dailymail.co.uk] ; an excerpt, for starters:

      Mixed-race relationships are making us taller and smarter: Children born to genetically diverse parents are more intelligent than their ancestors

      • by Anonymous Coward

        First, interbreeding would be between humans and animals

        Crap. Interbreeding is just breeding between things that you've sorted into different categories. Referring to sexual activity between neanderthals and homo sapiens as interbreeding is fine.

      • Re: Racism (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You're an asshole for labeling me a troll. I'm asking a serious question of whether racism is the evolutionary remnant of something that once conferred a survival advantage. I'm suggesting that humans evolved to avoid mingling and mating with those who looked and acted differently as a mechanism to prevent interspecies mating. What once might have provided an advantage to early humans is now probably harmful, but our genes haven't caught up to that reality.

        Early humans didn't understand genetics and the act

        • "I'm suggesting that racism might be an evolutionary trait"

          Probably no need to resort to racism as evolutionary advantage as it looks to me to be too "refined". Ours is a social species, and social cohesiveness provides an obvious survival advantage to the individual. It's also that our intelligence is developed around prejudicing categorization (simplifying a lot: this movement on that bush is a lion that will eat me or is a gazelle I can eat? No, sorry, no time to gather further evidences -and if you fai

          • "if there are an "us" and a "them", one of those two sets *must* be better than the other -and it won't be "us", so it must be "them""

            Obviously I meant the other way around.

          • Racism boils down to casting a discriminating eye toward those who are different.

            One theory gaining ground in anthropology: Neanderthals lost out to Homo erectus peoples, despite their larger brains and greater physical strength, precisely because of the innate, savage tendency of Homo erectus to kill those who were different.

            • Wouldn't that be homo sapiens rather than homo erectus? - see timeline [wikipedia.org]
              • by johanw ( 1001493 )

                No, it would be nlggers. Some of those nlggers interbred with Neanderthals, and the result evolved into modern humans. So humans evolved partly out of nlggers.

        • by mjm1231 ( 751545 )

          You might have a point. Science has always had difficulty understanding how intelligence is inherited. Maybe they've been looking at it upside down, and it's actually stupidity that's inherited!

        • by hey! ( 33014 )

          The problem with these evolutionary behavior argument is that it's so easy to gin up a scenario to support whatever preconception you have.

          Now let's take the notion that we evolved to have preference for mates that look like us. In fact social psychologists have long shown that people are more attracted to others who resemble them. But there's a big difference between selecting a mate, and who you mate with. When you actually look at peoples' genes, it's clear people aren't nearly so picky about outbree

    • The article indicates that early humans developed strategies to avoid interbreeding, recognizing that there were dangers associated with doing so.

      They didn't recognize anything. It's more dangerous not to interbreed. Inbreeding reinforces recessives.

      Although many people consider religion ridiculous now, it may have provided a survival advantage at one time, promoting an orderly society.

      Religion often still offers an advantage for the members, or a subgroup of the members. It just tends to shit on everyone else.

      It seems like the attempts to avoid interbreeding may have also conferred a survival advantage, and that trait may persist to this day as racism and avoiding diversity.

      No, those attempts to avoid interbreeding actually harmed viability. You want a broader gene pool to work with.

      It makes me wonder if racism, awful as it is, may have once provided a very real survival advantage to early humans.

      Nope, it's a bug. The tendency to avoid things that don't look like you is a defense strategy, but if you take it too far then you will miss out on needed genetics.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      it may have provided a survival advantage at one time, promoting an orderly society

      Possibly. But that 'one time' predates modern societies and writing. People can't keep track of more than 100 to 200 personal relationships. And back in the days of tribes in the jungle or clans in the Neander valley, that sort of familiarity was necessary to maintain a cohesive social unit. You have trouble with a neighbor? You call for a village meeting, where the elders know everyone, who's honest, who's a fuck-up, etc. And action is taken. But this isn't practical for modern society, where any sort of p

  • The more study results I see on /. the more I come under the opinion that studies aren't real science. Rather they're a means to prove a point using whatever means possible.
  • Black people are purebred and white people are impure? What does this mean for those in favor of racial cleansing?
    • Black people are purebred and white people are impure? What does this mean for those in favor of racial cleansing?

      Denial

  • that's Sin/Cos isn't it ?

    I didn't know neanderthals had worked out trigonometry

  • 2.5% Neanderthal, and about 80% European. I tan just fine.
  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Saturday October 07, 2017 @10:06AM (#55327039)

    Just do it like the Neanderthal-in-Chief and use Tan-in-Bottle.

  • I got bad hair from my mom. I stink cuz of my grandpa. I have bunions cuz of my great-grandmothers mail man. I highly doubt anyhow that its only because of neaderthal's as almost any creature that can live a long time gets ware and tear.. as in arthritis.

    -Arzaboa

    --
    "Respect your Elders!" -- Grandpa.

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

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