Friday, May 7, 2010

There are some Neandertal in us

Two papers published by Science on the May 7th 2010 issue posit that Neandertal genes exist in all of us (modern humans). The paper by Green et al. drafts the sequence of the Neandertal genome from three Neandertal individuals and compared them with the genomes of five modern humans, while the paper by Burbano et al. explains the method for sequencing target regions of Neandertal DNA.

John Hawks from John Hawks Weblog has a detailed write-up of these two papers. Check out his post, NEANDERTALS LIVE! Also check out Zacharoo's post from Lawn Chair Anthropology, Neandertal Nuclear Genome: Multiregional Evolution is the new Out of Africa.

The sequencing of the Neandertal genome brings back the age old question of human evolution: Multiregional or Out of Africa?

Link to papers:


Raymond said...

That is absolutely right my wife always calls me a Neanderthal …actually I wonder what their diets would be like ? could we learn from their eating habits were they lean, bulky or otherwise?

Raymond Ho, FCD said...

Raymie, I think their diet is heavily meat based if I remember correctly. It's the "Paleo Diet" that has gotten popular in recent years, meaning no processed food (d'oh!), no grains and no dairy.

I think their diet solely based on their distribution and food source availability (lots of mega fauna but not a lot of flora).

Marcel F. Williams said...

As a strong multiregionalist, I'm not surprised by the findings.

It is, however, interesting that Asian populations appear to have as much Neandertal in them as European populations. This may suggest that there is substantially more gene flow between Europe and Asia than there is between Eurasia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Geographically, that's not too surprising since Sub-Saharan Africans were probably severely isolated by expanding deserts from Eurasia during the dry glacial periods. And even during the warmer interglacial periods, Africans could only radiate into Eurasia via an extremely restrictive land bridge connecting Africa to the Middle East.

Raymond Ho, FCD said...

Yea Marcel, I think the shocker was the findings on the Asian population.