Weakened Neanderthal amongst plant foodstuff

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

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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 !

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.

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

Really? Sub-human?

SO THE MODERN HUMANS FROM AFRICA OUTSMARTED THE EURASIAN NEANDERTHAL SUB HUMANS BY TAKING THE FOOD KICKING THEIR BUTTS IN SKIRMISHES OVER A PERIOD OF SEVERAL MILLENNIUMS.  THE NEANDERTHALS WERE POOR HAND TO HAND COMBAT FIGHTERS THEN, AND THEIR DESCEDANTS ARE STILL NOT DECENT FIGHTERS ONCE THEY ARE UNARMED FROM THEIR GUNS, BOMBS AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS..

Charles Bowles

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