You’re A Neanderthal

Neanderthal childWell at least you are part Neanderthal, reports Reuters:

It’s getting harder and harder to take umbrage if someone calls you a Neanderthal.

According to two studies published on Wednesday, DNA from these pre-modern humans may play a role in the appearance of hair and skin as well as the risk of certain diseases.

Although Neanderthals became extinct 28,000 years ago in Europe, as much as one-fifth of their DNA has survived in human genomes due to interbreeding tens of thousands of years ago, one of the studies found, although any one individual has only about 2 percent of caveman DNA.

“The 2 percent of your Neanderthal DNA might be different than my 2 percent of Neanderthal DNA, and it’s found at different places in the genome,” said geneticist Joshua Akey, who led one of the studies. Put it all together in a study of hundreds of people, and “you can recover a substantial proportion of the Neanderthal genome.”

Both studies confirmed earlier findings that the genomes of east Asians harbor more Neanderthal DNA than those of Europeans. This could be 21 percent more, according to an analysis by Akey and Benjamin Vernot, published online in the journal Science…

[continues at Reuters]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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6 Comments on "You’re A Neanderthal"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Jan 31, 2014 at 7:56 pm |

    No, see now we can have neanderthal declared a racial slur and prosecute people for hate speech.

  2. Rhoid Rager | Jan 31, 2014 at 8:00 pm |

    Eat it, you Malthusian-competition-over-scarce-resources-killed-the-Neaderthal-argument-espousing twits! Sexual selection (of both males and females) is a major force in species dynamics.

    • sonicbphuct | Jan 31, 2014 at 10:11 pm |

      genocide has been a major force in the human species, for much less than resources, even.

      • Rhoid Rager | Feb 1, 2014 at 2:31 am |

        there’s so many things wrong with what you said it’s phuct. genocide is an inherently racist term. it’s also a politically-charged term that promotes collective action in a select degree of circumstances to help certain people and ignore others. and the way you frame it makes it seem races/ethnic groups have a biological basis–that is a patently false assertion.

        • sonicbphuct | Feb 6, 2014 at 6:59 am |

          do forgive the late response. Your critique is valid. Genocide _is_ a term based on “race”, and I used it flippantly. However, xenocide doesn’t seem quite right either. Is there a word for exterminating a species that accurately depicts the wanton destruction of a species for no “reasonable” reason?

          My point was, if we, Homo Sapiens, are any indication, the extinction (or, minor absorption) of the Neanderthals was more likely due to mass extermination than anything else. It is unlikely to do with resource competition, as no “genocide” has ever been over “resources”, except as an excuse. Buffalo Bill did not decimate the Buffalo population because he wanted to use them as resources but couldn’t due to the Indian, nor did the Hutus murder the Tutsies because of their resources.

          However, I totally agree with you on sexual selection being a major factor in species dynamics. I only wish pseudo scientists would finally recognize the role culture plays in our species sexual selection process.

          Also, I don’t know why someone would down vote that. They should at least give a reason.

          an aside: I can’t express how overjoyed I am that someone finally recognized my name for what it is – phuct.

  3. sonicbphuct | Jan 31, 2014 at 10:12 pm |

    do expound on that, please.

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