A new method confirms that Neanderthals and modern humans interbred

A new method confirms that Neanderthals and modern humans interbred


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A genome analysis method can detect, with superior confidence, the genetic signatures of miscegenation. This is useful for evolutionary studies and clears doubts about the idea that Neanderthals interbred with our Eurasian ancestors.

Our method can distinguish between two different situations that could explain the genetic similarities shared by Neanderthals and modern humans from Europe and Asia.”One of the study's authors, Konrad Lohse, a population geneticist at the University of Edinburgh, told the Genetics Society of America.

The first scenario is that Neanderthals occasionally interbred with modern humans after emigration from Africa. The another possibility is that human beings who left Africa evolved from the same ancestral subpopulation that had previously given rise to Neanderthals.

Many researchers believe that the idea of ​​miscegenation is the most likelyThis is because it conforms to the genetic patterns already seen in studies that compared the genomes of many human beings.

The same method it may be useful in other studies where available samples are limited. "Because the method makes the maximum use of the information contained in individual genomes, it is particularly exciting to reveal the history of species that are rare or extinct," Lohse said.

Lohse cautions about believe in the fact that the new method estimates a slightly higher genetic contribution of Neanderthals to modern humans than previous studies. These estimates are complex and may differ depending on the approach taken. "This work is important because it closes a hole in the discussion about whether Neanderthals interbred with humans. And the method can be applied to understanding the evolutionary history of other organisms, including endangered species.”.

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Video: Tales of Human History Told by Neandertal and Denisovan DNA That Persist in Modern Humans


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