One-fifth of Neanderthal genome persists in modern human genome

WEB HIGHRES C Neanderthal culture reconstruction SPL
Image via Nature. Credit: Artist's impression by S. Plailly/E. Daynes/SPL

Sex with Neanderthals had its ups and its downs. Cross-breeding may have given modern humans genes useful for coping with climates colder than Africa’s, but the hybrid offspring probably suffered from significant fertility problems.

Those conclusions come from two papers published in Science and Nature, which identify the slices of the genome that contemporary humans inherited from Neanderthals, the stocky hunter-gatherers that went extinct around 30,000 years ago.

Research has indicated that some of these genes are involved in functions such as battling infections and coping with ultraviolet radiation. But the latest studies are the first to identify a large proportion of the genome segments that humans inherited from Neanderthals.

Read the full, original story: Modern human genomes reveal our inner Neanderthal

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