The average European carries more than 500 genetic & # 39; fragments & # 39; of Neanderthals and other archaic human species, a study has found.
Included in this heritage are genes that are linked to prostate cancer risk, iron retention, blood clotting rate and lower altitude.
It is known that the ancestors of Europeans have parried with Neanderthals and other archaic people more than 50,000 years ago – which handles genetic material.
As a result, outside Africa, about 2 percent of the genomes of humans come from interracial with other ancient human species.
Researchers used a new approach in & # 39; the study, and escaped the usual method of hunting known archaic human genes in & # 39; e genomes of modern populations.
Instead, they isolated archaic fragments from modern genomes by eliminating the material known not to come from interracial with other archaic humans.
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The average European carries more than 500 genetic & # 39; fragments & # 39; of Neanderthal and other archaic human species, a study has found
Pictured, a phylogenetic tree that demonstrates the complex evolutionary history of hominins and then human species descended from the Great Apes
The study was carried out by researchers from the genetic company deCODE, in collaboration with experts from universities in Denmark, Germany and Iceland.
Their findings support earlier conclusions that about 2 percent of the genomes of non-African people are derived from ancient human species.
However, the researchers also found more evidence of fragments derived from Denisovans – another archaic human species that does not interact with both the Neanderthal and Homo sapiens – than previously identified.
Previous studies have been limited by relying on three archaic individuals – one Denisovan and two Neanderthals – whose genes are adequately sequenced.
Experts have reversed modern genomes in search of fragments that do not match those found in the stored DNA of these three individuals alone.
In their study, deCODE CEO Kari Stefansson and colleagues instead compared the high genomes of 28,000 Icelanders – a number nearly 10 percent of their total population – with those of 286 Africans in the Sahara.
This enabled them to use the African genomes as a baseline, knowing they would not contain genes that were not transmitted from Neanderthals, Denisovans or other archaic human species as a result of interracial feeding.
Any genetic fragment in the & # 39; Icelandic genome that also appeared in & # 39; e African genomes could therefore not come from archaic people, and thus could be discounted.
This left the team with about 15 million fragments that may have come from archaic human species, which – once recovered and overlapping fragments were deleted – were purchased up to 50,000 distinct archaic fragments.
These account for 38-48 percent of the readable genome, although the team also notes that some areas of the human genome – a total of about a quarter of it, and including the parent X chromosome – do not have archaic fragments.
In their study, however, COCO CEO Kari Stefansson and colleagues instead compared the high genomes of 28,000 Icelanders – a number of almost 10 percent of their total population – with those of 286 Africans in the Sahara. This enabled them to use the African genomes as a kind of baseline, because they did not know that they would contain genes that were not transmitted from Neanderthals, Denisovans or other archaic human species as a result of intracranial feeding.
Finally, with the archaic fragments isolated from the European genome, the researchers were able to examine those that appear to function without being driven by an association with their modern opposites.
They found five – including one previously linked to decreased levels of prostate-specific antigen and the risk of prostate cancer, but were not known to be archaic in origin.
The other fragments serve to reduce levels and reduce the mass of hemoglobin, increase the time it takes for blood to die and decrease the height of one.
& # 39; Whether we are individual or collective, our genome can teach us more about who & # 39; we are by telling us where & # 39; we are coming from, & # 39; said Dr Stefansson.
& # 39; This paper is a kind of ancestral report for one branch of our species, & # 39; he added.
& # 39; It tells us that in this particular district we are not only Homo sapiens, but also the descendants of ancient archaic people – cousins of which the tribe is thus not completely extinct.
& # 39; We are scratching the surface of what this hybrid legacy means.
& # 39; What we know is that in & # 39; e 50,000 years of their time to date, our adaptability and diversity have enabled us to mix, move, regulate and flourish in every corner of the & # 39; planet, as they did not.
& # 39; In these dark days, we would well remember that our differences are literally a sign of our success, and to help each other as well as possible. & # 39;
The full findings of & # 39; the study were published in the journal Nature.
A FINALLY HUMAN RELATIVE, THE NEANDERTHALS, THAN 50,000 YEARS OF
The Neanderthals were a close human ancestor who mysteriously died about 50,000 years ago.
The species lived in Africa with early humans for hundreds of millennia before moving to Europe around 500,000 years ago.
They were later joined by people who ended the same journey in the past 100,000 years.
The Neanderthals were a cousin of humans, but no direct ancestor – the two species split from a common ancestor – that didn't exist nearly 50,000 years ago. Pictured is an exhibition of the Neanderthal museum
These were the original & # 39; cavemen & # 39;, historically thought to be dim and brutal compared to modern humans.
In recent years, however, and especially in the last decade, it has become increasingly clear that we have short sold the Neanderthals.
A growing body of evidence points to a more sophisticated and multilingual species & # 39; caveman & # 39; than anyone thought possible.
It now seems likely that Neanderthals buried their dead with the concept of a hair nest in mind.
In addition, their diets and behaviors were surprisingly flexible.
They used body art such as pigments and beads, and they were the earliest artists, with Neanderthal cave art (and symbolism) in Spain that apparently predicted the earliest modern human art for 20,000 years.
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