What do your Neanderthal genes do?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
neanderthal e

By sequencing a remarkably complete genome from a 50,000-year-old bone fragment of a female Neandertal found in Vindija Cave in Croatia, researchers report online [October 5] in Science a new trove of gene variants that living people outside of Africa obtained from Neandertals. Some of this DNA could influence cholesterol levels, the accumulation of belly fat, and the risk of schizophrenia and other diseases.

A key question has been: What does this archaic DNA do in living humans? Drawing largely on the Altai genome, researchers have published on about two dozen Neandertal gene variants that influence living humans’ risk of allergies, depression, blood clots, skin lesions, immunological disorders, and other diseases.

..

[T]his Neandertal’s genome is more closely related to today’s Europeans and Asians than that of the Altai Neandertal. And Prüfer and his colleagues already have discovered 16 new Neandertal gene variants passed on to living humans. These include changes in genes already known to govern levels of cholesterol and vitamin D, and to influence the risk—for better or worse—of developing eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and schizophrenia, as well as the response to antipsychotic drugs. Researchers will now more closely study how each Neandertal version tips the balance in living people.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Is your Neandertal DNA making your belly fat? Ancient genome offers clues

Outbreak Featured
Infographic: Growing human embryos — How long should researchers watch human development play out in a dish?

Infographic: Growing human embryos — How long should researchers watch human development play out in a dish?

In May, the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) released new guidelines that relaxed the 14-day rule, taking away ...
Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

First introduced in 1995, neonicotinoids ...
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
glp menu logo outlined

Get news on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.