Friday, May 7, 2010

Meet the in-laws ...

These are not new results, but more details are emerging.   Neanderthal genes occur randomly at the 1%-4% level in non-African humans, yet there is no sign of modern human genes in the Neanderthal samples.

Neanderthals and humans interbred, fossils indicate -
Stocky, thick-browed and heavy-boned, the Neanderthals last shared a common ancestor with the African precursors to modern humans about 500,000 years ago. The Neanderthals populated the Near East and Europe until they vanished from the fossil record about 30,000 years ago. The gene maps produced by the DNA analysis of the bones found Neanderthal genes scattered randomly among non-Africans, Paabo says, indicating they don't account for any racial differences between modern-day Africans and anyone else. Also, the study finds no sign of human genes intruding into the Neanderthal lineage.

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