Weakened Neanderthal amongst plant foodstuff

New Studies Clash with Previous Analyses On the Life and Fate of Neanderthals

(Read the article on one page)

Two new studies have emerged in the past week claiming to provide more details than ever about the Neanderthal’s genetic contribution to the modern population plus a new theory on how it eventually lost out to modern humans. 

Science Daily reports that a new study suggests that Neanderthal-Denisovan lineage nearly went extinct after separating from modern humans. The new study’s finds challenge the conventional wisdom about modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans.

The Economic Times among others has reported on a different study that has found that later in the evolutionary time line, contrary to earlier theory, similarity of diet is responsible for the downfall of Neanderthals in favor of homo sapiens.

New Method for Analyzing Archaic DNA – Against Conventional Wisdom

 A University of Utah-led team has developed a new method for analyzing archaic DNA in order to reconstruct early history of archaic human populations. The new study found that the Neanderthal-Denisovan lineage nearly went extinct after separating from modern humans. Almost three hundred generations later, Neanderthals and Denisovans separated from each other. That calculates at nearly 744,000 years ago, much earlier than any other estimation of the split. "If Neanderthals and Denisovans had separated later, then there ought to be more sites at which the mutation is present in the two archaic samples, but is absent from modern samples," Alan Rogers, professor in the Department of Anthropology and lead author of the study, said as Science Daily reports .

These population trees with embedded gene trees show how mutations can generate nucleotide site patterns. The four branch tips of each gene tree represent genetic samples from four populations: modern Africans, modern Eurasians, Neanderthals, and Denisovans. In the left tree, the mutation (shown in blue) is shared by the Eurasian, Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes. In the right tree, the mutation (shown in red) is shared by the Eurasian and Neanderthal genomes.

These population trees with embedded gene trees show how mutations can generate nucleotide site patterns. The four branch tips of each gene tree represent genetic samples from four populations: modern Africans, modern Eurasians, Neanderthals, and Denisovans. In the left tree, the mutation (shown in blue) is shared by the Eurasian, Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes. In the right tree, the mutation (shown in red) is shared by the Eurasian and Neanderthal genomes. (Credit: Alan Rogers, University of Utah )

The diagram shows a first separation into African/Eurasia strands and Neanderthal/Denisovan. The mutation gene detected then later becomes present in the previously separate Neanderthal and Eurasia populations.

Next the researchers claim, the global Neanderthal population grew to tens of thousands of individuals living in fragmented, remote populations dispersed across Eurasia. "This hypothesis is against conventional wisdom, but it makes more sense than the conventional wisdom," said Rogers.

Neanderthal man at the Natural History Museum London

Neanderthal man at the Natural History Museum London ( CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 )

Non-Traditional Evolutionary Story

Previous scientific calculations of the Neanderthal population size were very small, nearly a thousand individuals. "There's a rich Neanderthal fossil record. There are lots of Neanderthal sites," Rogers says as Science Daily reports . And added, "It's hard to imagine that there would be so many of them if there were only 1,000 individuals in the whole world."

For that matter, a 2015 study correlates with the new finds, as it indicated that the initial estimates underrepresent the number of individuals if the Neanderthal population was subdivided into remote, regional groups. The Utah team now claims that this explains the inconsistency between previous estimates and their own much larger estimate of Neanderthal population size. "Looking at the data that shows how related everything was, the model was not predicting the gene patterns that we were seeing. We needed a different model and, therefore, a different evolutionary story,“ Ryan Bohlender, post-doctoral fellow at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, and co-author of the study stated as Science Daily reports . Furthermore, the team developed an improved statistical method, called legofit that accounts for multiple populations in the gene pool, which appears to support previous estimates of gene flow from Neanderthals into modern Eurasians.

Neanderthal mother and child (Anthropos Pavilion, Brno, Czech Republic)

Neanderthal mother and child (Anthropos Pavilion, Brno, Czech Republic) ( CC BY-NC 2.0 )

A Family Affair in DNA

Natural mutations occur in the 3.5 billion or so nucleotide sites present in the human genome and these mutations get passed down in the DNA of a family, making the lineage trackable. It is not an exact science, but from this data scientists can estimate with some degree of accuracy when groups diverged or split from each other genetically, providing evolutionary history hundreds of thousands of years in the past. These clues to changing populations are small, but they are traceable.

“You're trying to find a fingerprint of these ancient humans in other populations. It's a small percentage of the genome, but it's there," Rogers tells Science Daily .

Comments

IF WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF NEANDERTHAL, EXCEPT SOUTH SAHARAN AFRICANS; THE NUMBER OF NEANDERTHAL AND HUMANS AT THE TIME OF THE HIBRDIZATION SHOULD BE MORE OR LESS EQUAL.

The world population is about 7.5 billion and the population of South Sahara Africa is of 856 million people.
So, only 856 million people in 7.5 billion don't share Neanderthal genes!
The rest of the world population share approx. 2 to 4% of Neanderthal Genes. Some people, evenshare a higher % of Neanderthal genes.
So, how it can be that after 40,000 yrs., we are still sharing from 2 to 4% of Neanderthal genes? 2 to 45 is a lot !

The Neolithic farmers from western Eurasia who, about 8,000 years ago, brought agriculture to Europe then began to return to Africa.

"But it goes further than that, because if you go to the corners of Africa, all the way to West Africa or South Africa, even populations that we really thought were purely African have 5-6% of their genome that dates back to these western Eurasian farmers."

The genes their ancestors had picked up from interbreeding with Neanderthals were then passed to Africans, and can still be seen today.

"And it is also interesting to discover now that even sub-Saharan Africans have a bit (0.3-0.7%) of Neanderthal ancestry."

Ancient DNA reveals 'into Africa' migration

8 October 2015

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34479905

EXCEPT IN SOUTH SAHARA AFRICA; WE ARE ALL THE CHILDREN OF NEANDERTHAL

The world population is about 7.5 billion and he population of South Sahara Africa is of 856 million people.
So, only 856 million people in 7.5 billion don't share Neanderthal genes! The rest of the world population share approx. 2 to 4% of Neanderthal Genes, but there are some exceptions that even share a higher % of Neanderthal genes.
So, how it can be that after 40,000 yrs., we are still sharing from 2 to 4% of Neanderthal genes which is a lot. So, therefore, when the hybridization occurred the numbers of Neanderthal and archaic Homo Sapiens had to be more or less equal, because out of South Sahara Africa everybody shares Neanderthal genes. If Neanderthal were less numerous than archaic Homo Sapiens, more people outside of South Sahara Africa would lack Neanderthal genes.

Really? Sub-human?

Neanderthals were another human species.

The rest of your comment is unsupported, unscientific and juvenile.

Pages

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Technology

The School of Athens
Much of modern science was known in ancient times. Robots and computers were a reality long before the 1940´s. The early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Levant used computers in stone, the Greeks in the 2nd century BC invented an analogue computer known as the Antikythera mechanism. An ancient Hindu book gives detailed instructions for the construction of an aircraft –ages before the Wright brothers. Where did such knowledge come from?

Ancient Places

Smuts house
The farmstead of General Jan Smuts on the outskirts of Pretoria, is reputed to be one of the most haunted private homes in the country, according to Mr Mark Rose-Christie, raconteur and social scientist, who regularly takes brave visitors on a tour of haunted sites on his mystery ghost bus.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article