7 May 2010

Neanderthal Rationale – DNA of Primitive Species found in Homo Sapiens

It will be of no surprise to anyone who has experienced Bristol on a Saturday night when the pubs close to discover that the DNA of the Neanderthal has been found in modern humans.

A study just published in the journal Science has shown that quite probably there was what is known as a ‘gene flow’ from Neanderthals to modern humans.

‘Gene flow’ is a polite scientific term for the very likely fact that Neanderthals got jiggy with our distant ancestors.  Although we lived in close proximity for thousands of years to what would have been our nearest relatives if they hadn’t become extinct scientist have till now dismissed the possibility of interbreeding between the two species.

However, meticulous research in to the DNA of the Neanderthal from bones has revealed a surprising result.  When the Neanderthal genome was compared to that of modern humans (all non-Africans – and that is an important point) Neanderthal code was discovered in each and every one of them, albeit tiny sequences.

Why is the non-African part important?  No trace of the genome has been found in people of African descent meaning that the fait was accompli after humans had migrated from Africa.

University of California scientists now believe that the act of union between the two species probably happened in the Middle East somewhere.

Work on mitochondrial DNA points towards the idea that the interbreeding was between Neanderthal men and human women – there is no proof of genetic flow in the opposite direction.

This likely indicates that the resulting offspring were probably brought up within human communities.

We bet they were terribly bullied at school.

Image Credits
Black and White Neanderthal - Wikimedia