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Entire Neanderthal genome finally mapped – with amazing results

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The results of an extensive analysis of a 50,000-year-old toe bone belonging to a Neanderthal woman, which was unearthed in a cave in 2010, have been long awaited. Now, after much anticipation, the findings have finally been released by the journal Nature, and they have not disappointed. For the first time ever, researchers have completely sequenced the fossil’s nuclear DNA to the same extent and quality as that of genomes sequenced from present-day people.

All around the world, news headlines shout out about incest and inbreeding and other sensationalistic statements. Sadly, they are missing the most amazing results of all.

This incredible research has revealed the following:

  • There is now conclusive evidence that Neanderthals bred with Homo sapiens – a fact disputed for many years.  Some scientists claimed the two species had never even met.
  • Ancient human species, including Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo sapiens mated with each other, resulting in an incredibly complex family tree.
  • The Denisovans share up to 8 percent of their genome with a “super achaic” and totally unknown species that dates back around 1 million years.
  • The results conflict with the theory that modern humans arose completely from one “out of Africa” migration more than 60,000 years ago that spread worldwide without mating with other early humans.
  • About 1.5 to 2.1 percent of the DNA of all people with European ancestry can be traced to Neanderthals.
  • Proportions of Neanderthal DNA are higher among Asians and Native Americans, who also have small percentages of Denisovan DNA.
  • 6 percent of the genome of Australian Aborigines and indigenous Papua New Guineans belong to the Denisovan species.
  • The Han Chinese, native to East Asia, and the Dai people of southern China are related to both Neanderthals and Denisovans.
  • Some indigenous people from Brazil, such as the Karitiana, are not only related to both Neanderthals and Denisovans, but they show relatively high genetic contributions from the Denisovans.
  • Only 87 genes responsible for making proteins in cells are different between modern humans and Neanderthals. Intriguingly, some of the gene differences involve ones involved in both immune responses and the development of brain cells in people.
  • Somewhere within these 87 genes may lay the answer to why Neanderthals and Denisovans became extinct.
  • And least consequential of all, the Neanderthal woman’s parents were related, possibly half-siblings, or an uncle and niece. As evolutionary biologist Mattias Jakobsson stated, the incest finding “is more of an anecdote”. The results from one individual cannot be applied to an entire species, in the same way that the recent discovery of an incest family in Australia does not apply to the whole of the human race.

The study really highlights that no race of people on earth belongs to one ancestral group, rather we all have “proportions of ancestral groups," said computational biologist Rasmus Nielsen of the University of California, Berkeley. What’s more, we can begin to contemplate the fact that we are all “connected to other species - extinct smart bipeds”.

So many answers have been provided from just one study and yet so many questions remain.

By April Holloway

Comments

People were black until when? What if people started out white, and the ones living along the equator slowly increased the Melanin in their skin? Or maybe we were red first? I know, we were green. Just another ET seed colony. None of this bothers me. But the sheer arrogance of deciding what is known fact when the entire fossil base will fit in a shipping crate does. Nobody knows. Everything fails to satisfy even the definition of a theory. This is all pure hypothesis, just one step above speculation. If you want to change this,I suggest you build a time machine so you can go back and hang out.

Where did you get the idea that all evidence points to humans being black until 5500 years ago? That is an incredibly short time for all the genetic mutations to start for white people to all of a sudden show up. Homo sapiens left Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago. Some mixed with Neanderthals, others with denisovans in Asia and Siberia and others mixed with a different unknown species presumably from Europe. Now we are all pretty much a mix of all of these. But instances of Caucasians have existed for well over 5 thousand years, even if you meant 5000 b.c. You would still be wrong. There are even preserved humans with white skin.

Stone henge was most likely created by ancient homosapiens that were racial black. This is crazy for why you think apes and monkey are in UK was used to move the big stones.

Tsk tsk. Stonehenge was almost certainly not created by black people, sorry to burst that particular fantasy, we pretty much know who built stonehenge and when it was built in 3000 BC, sorry your claims are total nonsense.

There are many thousands of human remains that date back to its construction and we know that to be true because they are included in structural elements of the henge. The DNA of these people is identical to the current inhabitants of the British Isles with some evidence of migration from mainland Europe.

all evidence points to the fact that all humans were racial "black" until about 5,500 years ago, and than you have a the first split in the Dravdian Indian genetic line. The first evidence of white and tanned skinned humans can be traced to this split, creating what was the first populations of modern europeans and modern asians. I am a white person and the only reason this bothers me is that there is this racially biased insistence to try and show non-black people as being in existence since the start of homosapien development. I do not understand why scientists feel the need to continue this emotional based racial biased. Even the data above shows that non-white populations have a higher rate of neandrathal DNA. Really, the emergence of race in humans is a hugely perplexing mystery. Albinism is easily explained, buy albino africans can still produce black children. The only other animals that show this level of selective breeding to produce new consistent "races" of a species has been in livestock and is through the process of artificial selective breeding. Also, the fact that african homosapiens were mating with neadrathals does not show that the out of Africa theory is incorrect, it simply means that black people were in eurasia before white and asian and latin people existed...Stone henge was most likely created by ancient homosapiens that were racial black.

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