Monday, May 14, 2018

Archaic Neanderthal and Denisovan Genes Amongst Us

Early human history was a promiscuous affair. As modern humans began to spread out of Africa roughly 50,000 years ago, they encountered other species that looked remarkably like them — the Neanderthals and Denisovans, two groups of archaic humans that shared an ancestor with us roughly 600,000 years earlier. This motley mix of humans coexisted in Europe for at least 2,500 years, and we now know that they interbred, leaving a lasting legacy in our DNA. The DNA of non-Africans is made up of roughly 1 to 2 percent Neanderthal DNA, and some Asian and Oceanic island populations have as much as 6 percent Denisovan DNA.”

“Every human outside  sub-Saharan Africa contains Neanderthal genes: on average about 2%. Yet each of us contains a different set, so that up to 70% of the full Neanderthal genome remains in humanity as a whole.”,+so+that+up+to+70%25+of+the+full+Neanderthal+genome+remains+in+humanity+as+a+whole.&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari