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You, you … caveman!

Fifth of Neanderthals’ genetic code lives on in modern humans outside of Africa

Benjamin Vernot and Joshua Akey at the University of Washington reported in Science that they sequenced the genomes of more than 600 people from Europe and eastern Asia. They found a lasting legacy of sexual encounters between European ancestors and Neanderthals from 65,000 years ago.Recreation of a Neanderthal man

People in fights like to spit out charges of “Neanderthal” against each other.  This is odd since it is we modern humans who are probably the most warlike creature ever to walk the earth.
There is some hope, however, at least from the female, European part of our heritage.  The  last of the Neanderthals may have died out tens of thousands of years ago, but large stretches of their genetic code live on in people today  including my own genome.  Actually about 20% of the Neanderthal genome is present scattered amongst “white” folks .. even though each of us only have the old people in about 2% of our genomes. Even odder?  The Neanderthal genes that were passed on seem to come from our ancient Neanderthal mothers!  The nicer gender? Neanderthal

My contentious family may want to know that interbreeding was a rare event, likely including the ancestors of the Jews (and Arabs) since Neanderthal and modern human skeletons have been found together in caves in Israel.   On the other hand, I find it interesting that it is white folks who want to accuse black folks of being savages when they.. the Africans ..lack Neanderthal genes!   I wonder if Honkey is kind of a way of saying Neanderthal?  All the pictures do show humongous, bulbous noses!

A bigger benefit to white folks of having Neanderthal genes may be our hair.  A big part of that old folks genome is hair!  Neanderthaler were Europeans and they evolved when Europe was cold.  Not having a lot of talent at making parkas, the Neanderthaler apparently evolved to get really hairy!  Big noses may have been good to .. to smell animals or warm the cold, ice age air!  or maybe the Neanderthaler noses are an artistic fantasy?  I wonder if anyone knows where the genes are for nose size?

A Schwartz Ancestor?

A Schwartz Ancestor?

In a separate study published in Nature, David Reich at Harvard University looked for Neanderthal genes in the DNA of more than 1,000 living people. He found hair genes that make the  keratin in skin, hair and nails.  More striking was that humans are missing Neanderthal DNA from in modern men’s testes, and that the X chromosome was almost completely devoid of Neanderthal DNA. That would happen if male children of  Neanderthal and modern human parents were infertile.  “Anything related to maleness in the Neanderthal has been purged from our genomes,” said Chris Stringer, head of human origins at the Natural History Museum in London. “Neanderthal DNA has come down to us today, but that transmission was mainly through the female line, because the males would have been significantly less fertile, and possibly even sterile.”


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