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Neanderthal DNA in Humans

Updated: Feb 3

Do we have something in common with the Neanderthals? Is it on a molecular level?

Many would be surprised that nowadays people share their DNA base pairs with ancient humanoid species like Neanderthals.

How did it occur? This finding can be quite intriguing, but the explanation is even more impressive.

 

People always travelled and explored. In the past, they also had to voyage because of the conditions. This led our forerunners to meet and interbreed with the Neanderthals and their sister group, the Denisovans.


The latest research might suggest that our predecessors who interbred with the Neanderthals then went to Africa and mated there. That explains why Africans today have approximately one-third of the ancient DNA of Europeans and Asians.

Neanderthal DNA accounts for about 2% of the genetic makeup of Eurasians. In East Asia, the proportion can be as high as 4%.


Does our Neanderthal DNA affect us?

Well, this can be tough to tell, but some studies suggest that for example, the routine of awakening early in the morning without the necessity to do so indicates you have some traces of the DNA mentioned above.

Neanderthal DNA may also play a small role in swaying the course of COVID-19 infection, according to a September 2020 study.


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