Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Neanderthal in Us- Breaking News

From Gene Expression.Prof Svante Paabo, of the Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said: “Those of us who live outside Africa carry a little Neanderthal DNA in us.”


'They were surprised to find that Neanderthals were more closely related to modern humans from outside Africa than to Africans.'
Several genes were discovered that differed between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens and may have played important roles in the evolution of modern humans.

They included genes involved in mental functions, metabolism, and development of the skull, collar bone and rib cage.

As a result, between 1pc [percent] and 4pc of the DNA of non-African people alive today is Neanderthal, according to the research. The discovery emerged from the first attempt to map the complete Neanderthal genetic code, or genome. It more or less settles a long-standing academic debate over interbreeding between separate branches of the human family tree. Evidence in the past has pointed both ways, for and against modern humans and Neanderthals mixing their genes.

See this as well from the BBC
I am too late. This is what I wrote on the 4th May.
There is considerable interest in the evolution of modern humans since the human genome was mapped at the beginning of the twenty first century.The interest is increasing with the mapping of the Neanderthal genome.I have decided to jump the gun and tell what actually happened with the help of the worlds greatest molecular biologists and geneticists.However I want to put my slant to it.

The line leading to modern humans began with a split from the common ancestor of Chimpanzees Gorillas and Orangutans about 7 million years ago give or take a year or so.About 500000 years ago Homo sapiens neanderthalensis or Neanderthals branched off from the ancestoral line leading to modern humans.Named after the Neander Valley in Germany where they were first found in1856.Modern humans left Africa between 100 and 60 million years ago. Neanderthals had been there for 400 000 years before .They came in contact with each other but modern humans were few in number and had to avoid close contact, however eventually their numbers increased to be on a par with the Neanderthals. Neanderthals have always be depicted a being brutish and slow thinking. This is a wrong concept.They must have had a lot going for them as they had the initiative to leave africa long before the modern humans left.Over the nealry half million years they had become much less agressive an peaceful and well adapted to their environment.Evidence shows that they were not advanced as modern humans, cro magnon, but maybe the evidence is not complete and there is more to them than meets they eye.Having been separated for more than 400 thousand years they had changed consideraly and having not to worry about other warlik tribes had only carnervorous predators to worry about.
When they came in to cantact with modern humans they were not well equipped to fight them and found themselves at a disadvantage. Humans attacked them at every turn took their woman as sex slaves and had them raise their children. There was no possibility of Neanderthals taking human women and in any case they would not have been able to breed with them as they were much heavier boned and woman would not have been able to bear their children. There was no problem with opposite cross. Neanderthals had bigger bodies and also bigger brains. They were able to pass on many genes that were advantageous to humans including bigger craniums and genes that made them less aggressive.

The move out of Africa wasn't like 'The Great Trek' or 'How the West was Won'. It was a gradual movement north taking perhaps thousands of years. The group or tribe may have been only a couple of thousand.Once crossing the Red Sea they split and one group moving into Europe and the other hugging the coast to eventually arrive in New Guinea and Australia also taking thousands of years, leaving groups in the South of India and the Alderman islands. These people didn't change much from their ancestors of thousands of years before and remained much the same. The Eurasian group had to evolve to adapt to the more rigorous climate and here they were helped by the Neanderthal genes.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home