Complete Neanderthal genome yields insights into human evolution and evidence of interbreeding

May 06, 2010
Homo neanderthalensis, adult male. Credit: John Gurche, artist / Chip Clark, photographer

After extracting ancient DNA from the 40,000-year-old bones of Neanderthals, scientists have obtained a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome, yielding important new insights into the evolution of modern humans.

Among the findings, published in the May 7 issue of Science, is evidence that shortly after early migrated out of Africa, some of them interbred with , leaving bits of Neanderthal scattered through the genomes of present-day non-Africans.

"We can now say that, in all probability, there was from Neanderthals to modern humans," said the paper's first author, Richard E. (Ed) Green of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Green, now an assistant professor of biomolecular engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, began working on the Neanderthal genome as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Svante Pääbo, director of the institute's genetics department, leads the Neanderthal Genome Project, which involves an international consortium of researchers. David Reich, a population geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, also played a leading role in the new study and the ongoing investigation of the Neanderthal genome.

"The Neanderthal genome sequence allows us to begin to define all those features in our genome where we differ from all other organisms on the planet, including our closest evolutionary relative, the Neanderthals," Pääbo said.

The researchers identified a catalog of genetic features unique to modern humans by comparing the Neanderthal, human, and chimpanzee genomes. Genes involved in cognitive development, skull structure, energy metabolism, and skin morphology and physiology are among those highlighted in the study as likely to have undergone important changes in recent human evolution.

"With this paper, we are just scratching the surface," Green said. "The Neanderthal genome is a goldmine of information about recent human evolution, and it will be put to use for years to come."

Neanderthals lived in much of Europe and western Asia before dying out 30,000 years ago. They coexisted with humans in Europe for thousands of years, and fossil evidence led some scientists to speculate that interbreeding may have occurred there. But the Neanderthal DNA signal shows up not only in the genomes of Europeans, but also in people from East Asia and Papua New Guinea, where Neanderthals never lived.

"The scenario is not what most people had envisioned," Green said. "We found the genetic signal of Neanderthals in all the non-African genomes, meaning that the admixture occurred early on, probably in the Middle East, and is shared with all descendants of the early humans who migrated out of Africa."

The study did not address the functional significance of the finding that between 1 and 4 percent of the genomes of non-Africans is derived from Neanderthals. But Green said there is no evidence that anything genetically important came over from Neanderthals. "The signal is sparsely distributed across the genome, just a 'bread crumbs' clue of what happened in the past," he said. "If there was something that conferred a fitness advantage, we probably would have found it already by comparing human genomes."

The draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome is composed of more than 3 billion nucleotides--the "letters" of the genetic code (A, C, T, and G) that are strung together in DNA. The sequence was derived from DNA extracted from three Neanderthal bones found in the Vindiga Cave in Croatia; smaller amounts of sequence data were also obtained from three bones from other sites. Two of the Vindiga bones could be dated by carbon-dating of collagen and were found to be about 38,000 and 44,000 years old.

A new understanding of the evolutionary path of modern humans
New genetic evidence shows that Neandertals (left) interbred with modern humans (right). Genetic exchange was limited to non-African modern humans. Image courtesy of Chris Stringer. Reproduced with permission of Chris Stringer/Musee de l'Homme Paris.

Deriving a genome sequence--representing the genetic code on all of an organism's chromosomes--from such is a remarkable technological feat. The Neanderthal bones were not well preserved, and more than 95 percent of the DNA extracted from them came from bacteria and other organisms that had colonized the bone. The DNA itself was degraded into small fragments and had been chemically modified in many places.

The researchers had to develop special methods to extract the Neanderthal DNA and ensure that it was not contaminated with human DNA. They used new sequencing technology to obtain sequence data directly from the extracted DNA without amplifying it first. Although genome scientists like to sequence a genome at least four or five times to ensure accuracy, most of the Neanderthal genome has been covered only one to two times so far.

The draft Neanderthal sequence is probably riddled with errors, Green said, but having the human and chimpanzee genomes for comparison makes it extremely useful despite its limitations. Places where humans differ from chimps, while Neanderthals still have the ancestral chimp sequence, may represent uniquely human genetic traits. Such comparisons enabled the researchers to catalog the genetic changes that have become fixed or have risen to high frequency in modern humans during the past few hundred thousand years.

"It sheds light on a critical time in human evolution since we diverged from Neanderthals," Green said. "What adaptive changes occurred in the past 300,000 years as we were becoming fully modern humans? That's what I find most exciting. Right now we are still in the realm of identifying candidates for further study."

The ancestral lineages of humans and chimpanzees are thought to have diverged about 5 or 6 million years ago. By analyzing the Neanderthal genome and genomes of present-day humans, Green and his colleagues estimated that the ancestral populations of Neanderthals and modern humans separated between 270,000 and 440,000 years ago.

The evidence for more recent gene flow between Neanderthals and humans came from an analysis showing that Neanderthals are more closely related to some present-day humans than to others. The researchers looked at places where the DNA sequence is known to vary among individuals by a single "letter." Comparing different individuals with Neanderthals, they asked how frequently the Neanderthal sequence matches that of different humans.

The frequency of Neanderthal matches would be the same for all human populations if gene flow between Neanderthals and humans stopped before human populations began to develop genetic differences. But that's not what the study found. Looking at a diverse set of modern humans--including individuals from Southern Africa, West Africa, Papua New Guinea, China, and Western Europe--the researchers found that the frequency of Neanderthal matches is higher for non-Africans than for Africans.

According to Green, even a very small number of instances of interbreeding could account for these results. The researchers estimated that the gene flow from Neanderthals to humans occurred between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago. The best explanation is that the admixture occurred when early humans left Africa and encountered Neanderthals for the first time.

"How these peoples would have interacted culturally is not something we can speculate on in any meaningful way. But knowing there was gene flow is important, and it is fascinating to think about how that may have happened," Green said.

The researchers were not able to rule out one possible alternative explanation for their findings. In that scenario, the signal they detected could represent an ancient genetic substructure that existed within Africa, such that the ancestral population of present-day non-Africans was more closely related to Neanderthals than was the ancestral population of present-day Africans. "We think that's not the case, but we can't rule it out," Green said.

The researchers expect many new findings to emerge from ongoing investigations of the Neanderthal genome and other ancient genetic sequences. Pääbo's group recently found evidence of a previously unknown type of hominid after analyzing DNA extracted from what they had thought was a Neanderthal finger bone found in Siberia. Green is also taking part in that continuing investigation.

Explore further: Darwin 2.0: Scientists shed new light on how species diverge

More information: "Timing of human protein evolution as revealed by massively parallel capture of Neandertal nuclear DNA sequences" appears online ahead of print in Science on Thursday, May 6, 2010. The full list of authors is: Hernán A. Burbano, Emily Hodges, Richard E. Green, Adrian W. Briggs, Johannes Krause, Matthias Meyer, Jeffrey M. Good, Tomislav Maricic, Philip L.F. Johnson, Zhenyu Xuan, Michelle Rooks, Arindam Bhattacharjee, Leonardo Brizuela, Frank W. Albert, Marco de la Rasilla, Javier Fortea, Antonio Rosas, Michael Lachmann, Gregory J. Hannon, and Svante Pääbo. The paper is available online at www.sciencemag.org/sciencexpress/recent.dtl

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User comments : 63

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jonnyboy
2 / 5 (5) May 06, 2010
Do I understand this article to be saying that African's are the only true race that did NOT interbreed with neanderthals?
Parsec
3.6 / 5 (5) May 06, 2010
Neanderthals were extinct in Africa. So yes, that would be a correct statement if you are one of those who believe in racial purity. I believe on the other hand in cross-fertilization vigor, which postulates that the more racial diversity in your genetic linage the better off you are.
newsreader
not rated yet May 06, 2010

Yes, that seems to be what they are saying. Is there something wrong with that?
powerup1
1.8 / 5 (4) May 06, 2010
does this mean that Africans (i assume they refer to sub-Saharan Africans) are the only pure modern humans?
newsreader
not rated yet May 06, 2010

If you define "pure" to mean not having Neanderthal genes, then the answer to that question seems to be yes also.
LuckyBrandon
2 / 5 (3) May 06, 2010
The Neanderthal bones were not well preserved, and more than 95 percent of the DNA extracted from them came from bacteria and other organisms that had colonized the bone


Eeesh, thats somewhat troubling, being as it was recently discovered that horizontal genetic transfer can occur between insects and humans...my thinking is the saem is probably true between the smaller organisms too...which leads me to think: are we sure we actually mapped the neaderthal genetic line, or did we inadvertantly map bacterial modification to those genes??
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (2) May 06, 2010
Neanderthals were extinct in Africa. So yes, that would be a correct statement if you are one of those who believe in racial purity. I believe on the other hand in cross-fertilization vigor, which postulates that the more racial diversity in your genetic linage the better off you are.


Parsec-neanderthals were primarily from africa, and some in northern africa from what I understand...with none of them going extinct until right around the same time (well ok, it was an eventual die off from what I understand, but occurring at the same time regardless)...
I could have misunderstood you, but I would think a more accurate statement would be "neanderthals only populated a very small area of africa, leaving less potential for interbreeding between species"..
either way, I do agree with the point you were making.
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (4) May 07, 2010
@jonnyboy,
Do I understand this article to be saying that African's are the only true race that did NOT interbreed with neanderthals?
Define "true race".

All modern human populations across the globe have continued to evolve, prior, during, and following the dispersion out of Africa.

That's how come we have so-called "races" today, with distinctive facial traits, hair, pigmentation, etc. No human living today, matches the genetic makeup of the first modern human (i.e. the first identifiable representative of Homo Sapiens.)

And that's before one considers all the interbreeding (both with Neanderthals, apparently, and also across the "racial" lines.)

Indeed, "race" is a rather superficial concept, dealing only with readily observable phenotypes. But there's much more variation that isn't visible to the eye. The notion of "race" is more illusory than real, with there being just as much (if not more) genetic variation within "races", as between them.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) May 07, 2010
@LuckyBrandon,

Neanderthals were mostly established throughout Europe, and to a somewhat more limited extent in the Middle East. They did not inhabit Africa: they were specifically adapted to cold climates. The expansion of modern humans out of Africa, gradually displaced the Neanderthals, pushing them out toward marginal lands, into mountains, and toward sea shores, and eventually squeezing them out of existence altogether.
philosothink
not rated yet May 07, 2010
"How these peoples would have interacted culturally is not something we can speculate on in any meaningful way. But knowing there was gene flow is important, and it is fascinating to think about how that may have happened," Green said.

OK, I'm no cultural anthropologist, but I'm sure there are better minds than mine that can handle my rough draft.

1. (H) Humans meet (N) Neanderthals
2. H gets to know N better. H "trades" with N.
3. H takes N's Resources
4. H takes N's Freedom
5. H exploits N into extinction

My second point is that no animal able to be subjected to sexual abuse has not been molested, in all likely hood, given "human nature" and time.

If H is able to crossbreed with N, genetic flow will occur wherever H goes. H has a "kinkyness" gene that is expressed in X% of the population.

It has long been my theory that the various "Races" most likely arose from the various exploitations of "lesser hominids" into extinction.
Yellowdart
1 / 5 (2) May 07, 2010
Is it just me or does the picture look alot like Gerard Butler?...
Noumenon
4.5 / 5 (51) May 07, 2010

Yes, that seems to be what they are saying. Is there something wrong with that?


Why are you getting so defensive :)
ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (10) May 07, 2010
They argue the interbreeding occurred early on. Are they then suggesting that interbreeding became impossible later on?

If not, this would imply that the farther north and east you go, the more apparent the interbreeding should be. Therefore, Scandinavians, Asians, and other northern and eastern races should have the highest percentage of gene frequency matches between the two species.

Maybe that's why Scandinavians are so big and strong and hairy and adventurous and stoic and...

But on the other hand, it makes one wonder why a similarly (supposedly) interbred group came out so differently, that being the Asians - known more for being smaller and smooth skinned and socially more sophisticated and contemplative...

Perhaps human evolution is simply and largely driven by survival needs and societal interpretations of beauty and handsomeness?
Noumenon
4.6 / 5 (50) May 07, 2010
I tend to agree. We'll have to await more conclusive evidence before we can use this to make fun of any particular race of people though. :)
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (1) May 07, 2010
pinkelephant-I had a typo there, but I did find reference to neanderthals in north africa (dont have the links handy)...but my line should have said:

neanderthals were primarily from EUROPE, and some in northern africa and the middle east from what I understand...with none of them going extinct until right around the same time (well ok, it was an eventual die off from what I understand, but occurring at the same time regardless)...

my apologies guys :)
powerup1
2.3 / 5 (3) May 07, 2010
@ubavontuba, your comments seem so 19th century to my thinking. What factual data do you have to back up any of your assertions? I am really interested to know the answer.
Djincs
1 / 5 (1) May 07, 2010
(sorry for my spelling)
H and N have crosbread this is for shure, male H couldn't miss the chanse to rape the female no matter how furry they were, this explanes lots of facts, for example the features of the aborigen's faces(and their short neck), monobrow which is common in asia and the furr in common(if we have started out of africa without fur, why it appeared when it hasn't purpose at all).I think this is somethink good, no matter they were less developed, the different genetikal combinations have been created and then the natural selection have done its job(evolution cant go backword), lets dont forget the modern wheat
which is developed(naturally not by monsanto) by crossbreading with wild species.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (2) May 07, 2010
@powerup1
@ubavontuba, your comments seem so 19th century to my thinking. What factual data do you have to back up any of your assertions? I am really interested to know the answer.
What assertions are you asserting I supposedly made?
Bookbinder
not rated yet May 08, 2010
Actually, for there to be N dna in H populations, the male would have to have been N and the female would have to have been H for the offspring to have been raised Human to spread the dna in the human pop. So if rape it was, the rapist was N.
Djincs
1 / 5 (1) May 08, 2010
Actually, for there to be N dna in H populations, the male would have to have been N and the female would have to have been H for the offspring to have been raised Human to spread the dna in the human pop. So if rape it was, the rapist was N.

well actually, the only way to find this is Y hromosome analis, but I think that when a tribe of humans attaced the N they killed the men and take the wimen it is common practis at least in recent human history. I thinc that the big question is if the crossbreading is posible, if it is then no doubts it has hapen, maybe an experiment should be done - to crosbread bonobo with chimp, I google this but didnt find info
frajo
3 / 5 (2) May 08, 2010
@powerup1
@ubavontuba, your comments seem so 19th century to my thinking. What factual data do you have to back up any of your assertions? I am really interested to know the answer.
What assertions are you asserting I supposedly made?
It's remarkable that you rate a comment with "1" which you admittedly don't understand.
frajo
3 / 5 (2) May 08, 2010
Actually, for there to be N dna in H populations, the male would have to have been N and the female would have to have been H for the offspring to have been raised Human to spread the dna in the human pop. So if rape it was, the rapist was N.
No. It's a historical fact that the male H loves to see females of all kinds as his property which he uses and carries with him as he likes. Often after killing the males of the other kinds.
Alizee
May 08, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
looseyarn
1 / 5 (1) May 08, 2010
As humans have 99% of ~40000 genes similar to chimps and 5 were found to be common for non-africans and neanderthals, would that mean that everyone outside africa has a great-great-great-great-grandparent who was a Neanderthal? Only joking of course.
SteveL
5 / 5 (1) May 08, 2010
"1. (H) Humans meet (N) Neanderthals
2. H gets to know N better. H "trades" with N.
3. H takes N's Resources
4. H takes N's Freedom
5. H exploits N into extinction


There is Neaderthal DNA in the human DNA. Another option is that male Neanderthals um.. "Injected" that DNA into a Homo Sapien females - with valid fetuses (not something that should easily happen). So, if your point is that Humans some how screwed over the Neanderthals, well, you may have got it backwards.

The extinction of the Neanderthals could be something as simple as their inability to survive a disease that was humanly survivable.
phyzguy
not rated yet May 08, 2010
Geez, guys, we know how it happened - haven't you read "The Clan of the Cave Bear"? Seriously, though, while this work is fiction, it is a possible scenario of how Neanderthal DNA could have entered the human gene pool.
Alizee
May 08, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (4) May 09, 2010
@frajo
@powerup1
@ubavontuba, your comments seem so 19th century to my thinking. What factual data do you have to back up any of your assertions? I am really interested to know the answer.
What assertions are you asserting I supposedly made?
It's remarkable that you rate a comment with "1" which you admittedly don't understand.
Not half as remarkable as frajo/Skeptic_Heretic and whatever other names you use regularly rating me low because I've exposed you for a fool.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (4) May 09, 2010
@frajo
Actually, for there to be N dna in H populations, the male would have to have been N and the female would have to have been H for the offspring to have been raised Human to spread the dna in the human pop. So if rape it was, the rapist was N.
No. It's a historical fact that the male H loves to see females of all kinds as his property which he uses and carries with him as he likes. Often after killing the males of the other kinds.
Your comment seems so 19th century to my thinking. What factual data do you have to back up your assertion? I am really interested to know the answer.
Au-Pu
1 / 5 (2) May 09, 2010
Based upon the photograph we would appear to have quite a few Neanderthals in Australia. They appear to have arrived as refugees from the Middle East/Asia Minor area.
Perhaps our genetic researchers should more thoroughly check the genomes in these areas.
The other alternative is that the likeness is not an accurate representation.
Alizee
May 09, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
frajo
5 / 5 (4) May 09, 2010
Frajo, Skeptic_Heretic & JayK are just flooding voting system here.
No. The flooding is done by you. Some users just try to contain the damage caused by you.
It could be proven easily, these three guys are generating 90+% of total number of downvotes
Certainly - if you count only the votes on your nonsensical comments.
- which is simply improbable from pure statistical perspective of thousands of readers there.
Which shows that statistics is just another science you don't understand.
These voting spammers are probably believing, they're doing a right thing, when they're abusing voting system.
You are abusing the comment system and some users are fighting your abuse.
Djincs
1 / 5 (1) May 09, 2010
rating over comment is take here really personal, I cant see why, no one gives a s*it abouth this ratings, the ideas of the forum are important, and the truth appears in the controversy....this is childish
ubavontuba
1.5 / 5 (8) May 09, 2010
@frajo
No. The flooding is done by you. Some users just try to contain the damage caused by you.
It seems you post about as often as he does.

Certainly - if you count only the votes on your nonsensical comments.
You're very quick to place low ratings on comments for posts other statistically neutral parties rate highly. It's rather obvious you're ratings are made in spite of the poster, rather than on the content of the post.

Which shows that statistics is just another science you don't understand.
Now that's just funny, coming from you.

You are abusing the comment system and some users are fighting your abuse.
Oh brother. If anyone here is being abusive in this regard, it's you. I don't see that Alizee (or any of his aliases) has rated you poorly nearly so often. You are the one abusing the comment system and some users are fighting your abuse.
Titto
1 / 5 (5) May 09, 2010
MAYBE IT IS THE MISSING LINK FOR "OTHER" SPECIES BUT DEFINATELY NOT US HUMANS!!!!!
Rohitasch
1 / 5 (1) May 09, 2010
What I find interesting is that sometime earlier a research on Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA compared them to human mitochondrial DNA and found that Neanderthal females quite certainly didn't have any offspring from human males whose descendents survive today. That would mean the Neanderthal men humped human chicks!
PinkElephant
4.9 / 5 (8) May 10, 2010
That would mean the Neanderthal men humped human chicks!
While I don't dispute that deduction, I'll hasten to remind you that Neanderthals were also humans. If they were anything but, any successful (and fertile) hybridization would've been impossible. So, if there was indeed successful interbreeding, then the differences between these sub-species weren't all that great to begin with.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) May 10, 2010
Not half as remarkable as frajo/Skeptic_Heretic and whatever other names you use regularly rating me low because I've exposed you for a fool.

Sorry, two different people. We disagree and argue often.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) May 10, 2010
I find it increasingly hilarious that Alizee would think JayK, Frajo, and I are one person when through a simple read of any of our comments one can see how completely different our views and statements on topics are.

As an added bonus, I was told I abuse the ranking system by Ubavontuba, and above by alizee, but if you look at either of their activity logs, I've rarely commented or ranked their posts.

Wholly hilarious, scientists you are not.
LuckyBrandon
3 / 5 (4) May 11, 2010
alizee-from my understanding, the genetic record shows we were down to as low as 3000, not 15000....
JayK
5 / 5 (4) May 11, 2010
Alizee and all of her aliases use this forum to bait others into allowing her to spew 20 comments worth of Aether Theory crap. Nothing it posts are of any use in any way, it all is just based on her google diploma and trollishness.

As for constantly whining about whether or not I have sockpuppets is more of your own attempts to believe that you actually do have something worthwhile to add to the comments, or that your comments don't really rate as a 1. Face it, the truth is that multiple people think you have nothing to add and that your comments are specious.
Djincs
1 / 5 (1) May 11, 2010
What I find interesting is that sometime earlier a research on Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA compared them to human mitochondrial DNA and found that Neanderthal females quite certainly didn't have any offspring from human males whose descendents survive today. That would mean the Neanderthal men humped human chicks!

that is true but if the Y hromosome is tested (I am not shure if it is done)I am pretty shure that the same thing will be obvious- no N in it....
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (4) May 12, 2010
Not half as remarkable as frajo/Skeptic_Heretic and whatever other names you use regularly rating me low because I've exposed you for a fool.

Sorry, two different people. We disagree and argue often.
In observing heated exchanges, it seems you and JayK co-mingle in consecutive sequences (generally arguing the same side), as if one person was trying to thwart the three minute rule with two accounts. I also observe that you, JayK, and frajo almost always rate others as a unified block, and almost always only rate the same posts as each other (often, each other's posts).

Coincidence? It seems unlikely.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) May 12, 2010
I find it increasingly hilarious that Alizee would think JayK, Frajo, and I are one person when through a simple read of any of our comments one can see how completely different our views and statements on topics are.

As an added bonus, I was told I abuse the ranking system by Ubavontuba, and above by alizee, but if you look at either of their activity logs, I've rarely commented or ranked their posts.

Wholly hilarious, scientists you are not.
This is a lie. More than half of my rated posts are rated by you, JayK, and frajo, and you all consistently rate my posts a 1, without regard to the content - made obvious when others have rated them highly. You even complained to me once that others were rating my posts highly and accused me of doing it myself (after I exposed you for the fool you are). It's also telling that your names appear in each other's activity in unusually high numbers, and you almost always rate each other a 5, even when you've been shown to be wrong.
Briantllb
4 / 5 (1) May 12, 2010
It's interesting the oldest known modern humans still extant are not mentioned at all in these findings. Is it then safe to assume that the Australoid Caucasian race also have no H.S.Neanderthalensis genes in their genome? Modern Australoid's have a racial history dating back at least 40,000 years. Recently discovered Modern Australoid remains have been dated to 60,000 yrs BCP. I suggest that this throws some considerable doubt on the 'Out of Africa' theory. For if the Modern Australoid race, the Australian Aborigine had arrived in Australia via Asia and Papua New Guinea surely the researchers involved in this study would have found evidence of H.S.Neanderthalensis-H.S.Sapiens interbreeding in the genome of the Modern Australoid Caucasian race. This may cause some of African decent offence as it suggests that modern HSS may not be of African origin at all, maybe we originated in Australia. Which given its remoteness and isolation is not that far fetched a theory.
Briantllb
4 / 5 (1) May 12, 2010
That would mean the Neanderthal men humped human chicks!
While I don't dispute that deduction, I'll hasten to remind you that Neanderthals were also humans. If they were anything but, any successful (and fertile) hybridization would've been impossible. So, if there was indeed successful interbreeding, then the differences between these sub-species weren't all that great to begin with.


It is quite possible that H.S.Neanderthalensis/ H.S.S crossbreeds produced fertile females but male ofspring were mules which could be a reason why the evidence for interbreeding is sparse and only a tiny amount of H.S Neanderthalensis genes are present in some modern H.S.Sapiens.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2010
This is a lie. More than half of my rated posts are rated by you, JayK, and frajo, and you all consistently rate my posts a 1, without regard to the content - made obvious when others have rated them highly.

This is the silliest thing you've ever said. We've established you're the king of suckpuppets and 3 simple clicks show that your statement that I downrank your posts is incorrect.

Go log on as your other 4 accoutns and feel free to downrank me into oblivion. Only an idiot cares what their post score is. Truth is self evident, and easy to determine if you're not subjectively blinded by your perception of reality.

If it appears that intelligent people think you're an idiot, you're probably an idiot. Occam's Razor.
Briantllb
2 / 5 (1) May 12, 2010
Based upon the photograph we would appear to have quite a few Neanderthals in Australia. They appear to have arrived as refugees from the Middle East/Asia Minor area.
Perhaps our genetic researchers should more thoroughly check the genomes in these areas.
The other alternative is that the likeness is not an accurate representation.


Not only is this comment offensive it is less than accurate.

It is far more likely that the H.S.Sapiens known as the Austaloid Caucasian race better known as the Australian Aboriginal is the original source of H.S.Sapiens species as a whole. The researchers made no mention of the genome of the Australoid Caucasian race. Not I suspect because it confirmed their theory of H.S.S/H.S.N interbreeding but because it contradicts it, and the whole 'Out of Africa' theory which is currently favoured.
JayK
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2010
@Briantllb: Yes, it is all a conspiracy to keep the Australoid theory out of the mainstream. I think you should rush off an publish a paper showing the exact methodologies you use to determine that so everyone can learn from your incredible insight.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet May 12, 2010
The Australoid theory is horridly out of date. Looking at prediluvian sites and artifacts as well as mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosomal DNA scientists currently hypothesize that the origination of Caucasians on the whole originated in the area called Doggerland, comprised of the UK, Denmark, Scandanavian, and parts of the Iberian peninsula.

I think it would be rather interesting if the origination of Caucasian specific traits originated through HSN and HSS interbreeding. The stark contrast in skin pigmentation in caucasians vs the rest of the Human race is difficult to fit into the natural world as it gives almost no benefit, making it an odd survivor amongst deleterious mutations, especially as being rather light skinned is not exaclty evident in it's benefit.
Djincs
1 / 5 (3) May 12, 2010
I think that the mixing was done right after the HSS left Africa, if we look the forehead of african it is like the caucasions and the shape of the bone under yebrow is the same, when you look to australians you can see the diference, maybe this had happened due to sexual selektion, this features had been lost because they were less atraktive(for the group wich populate Asia and Europe ), in the other hand afrikans and australiance favored other appearance-the bigger jaw, and much scaery looking(like 50cent), and the features from N were good accepted in this group populated australia...
the other posibility is that the furst wave which were mixed with N were killed by second wave out of Africa, and only Australians had survived....
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (2) May 13, 2010
This is the silliest thing you've ever said. We've established you're the king of suckpuppets and 3 simple clicks show that your statement that I downrank your posts is incorrect.

Go log on as your other 4 accoutns and feel free to downrank me into oblivion. Only an idiot cares what their post score is. Truth is self evident, and easy to determine if you're not subjectively blinded by your perception of reality.

If it appears that intelligent people think you're an idiot, you're probably an idiot. Occam's Razor.
Oh brother. This is nothing more than a childish, "Nuh-uh, it's you."

Not only did you not refute my observations, but you failed to back up your own contentions (again).

You lose.

Now grow up, and stop abusing the comments and ratings systems.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) May 13, 2010
The Australoid theory is horridly out of date. Looking at prediluvian sites and artifacts as well as mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosomal DNA scientists currently hypothesize that the origination of Caucasians on the whole originated in the area called Doggerland, comprised of the UK, Denmark, Scandanavian, and parts of the Iberian peninsula.

I think it would be rather interesting if the origination of Caucasian specific traits originated through HSN and HSS interbreeding. The stark contrast in skin pigmentation in caucasians vs the rest of the Human race is difficult to fit into the natural world as it gives almost no benefit, making it an odd survivor amongst deleterious mutations, especially as being rather light skinned is not exaclty evident in it's benefit.
I'm guessing light skin was a sexually selected trait, more than a survival trait (like bright plumage on birds).
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (2) May 13, 2010
Not only did you not refute my observations, but you failed to back up your own contentions (again).

Because your observations are what would be considered a conspiracy theory, and as such I lent it all due respect, which is no respect.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) May 13, 2010
@ubavontuba,
I'm guessing light skin was a sexually selected trait, more than a survival trait (like bright plumage on birds).
No. It has to do with more limited UV exposure in northern latitudes (because of the sun being lower in the sky, more prevalent clouds and fogs, and heavier clothing that covers more of the body.)

Skin exposure to UV is necessary for the body to produce vitamin D (which is vital, yet quite hard to obtain from typical food sources.) Melanin (the pigment that makes skin and hair dark) blocks UV. Thus, we have lighter skin the closer you get to the poles, until you get to people who spend most of the year on snow or ice -- with their UV exposure ratcheted up by reflection from the ground, and their diet incorporating fish (rich in D) -- which can afford them good health even with darker skin. At the same time, skin that's too light is a disadvantage once you go closer to the equator, as you're more susceptible to sunburn and UV-induced skin cancers.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (2) May 14, 2010
@PinkElephant,

It seems your viewpoint is rather Euro-centric.

Plenty of Africans are indigenous to temperate regions. And, plenty of dark skinned people are indigenous to temperate and icy northern Asia (where fish is not a staple).

That white people are generally only indigenous to Europe is a telltale that white skin is more culturally selected, than natural.

Northern populations (dark or light) routinely cover their bodies to protect themselves from exposure. Therefore, skin color can have little to do with UV absorption in either case. And, Scandinavian diets have largely consisted of fish for millennia (ever hear of lutefisk? Bleah!).

Today, plenty of dark skinned people live in northern climates and do quite well. So too, plenty of light skinned people live along the equator. These migrations have been going on for centuries. I've never heard of any thusly transplanted populations dying out (en mass) from vitamin D deficiencies or sunburn, have you?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) May 14, 2010
And, plenty of dark skinned people are indigenous to temperate and icy northern Asia (where fish is not a staple).

Can you name one of these places?

After I read PE's response I started looking, it appears he is precisely correct according to our current understanding.

And I don't understand how he's being Eurocentric when he's speaking directly to what melanin does in a neutral manner outlining the environmental benefits of having more or less without bias.
Djincs
1 / 5 (1) May 14, 2010
This with vit D is correct, escimous live in plases even colder and garcer but they eat only meat wich contains much more vit D by crops.
And not all of europians live near the sea to eat fish, think about that.Darker people do live(now not before 1000 years lets say) in northern countries but they eat varios food, and the strength of bones isnt tested now like in the past, people today is less phisically active.vit D is important and for lots of other things like imune sistem, not only the skin color is adaptation but the boldness of the europians it is linked I think, and the other adaptation is the less density of the hair in the northern countries, you can see a little bit of the skin under the hair.
Nartoon
not rated yet May 15, 2010
If Neanderthals never lived in Africa where did they come from in the first place?
frajo
not rated yet May 15, 2010
If Neanderthals never lived in Africa where did they come from in the first place?
We don't know for sure. Some think that they evolved from earlier genus homo species which also had moved out of Africa, but one half to two million years ago.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet May 15, 2010
If Neanderthals never lived in Africa where did they come from in the first place?

Current hypotheses indicate Northern Eurasia, primarily the caucasus mountains.
frajo
not rated yet May 15, 2010
If Neanderthals never lived in Africa where did they come from in the first place?

Current hypotheses indicate Northern Eurasia, primarily the caucasus mountains.
The next question would be where those Caucasus people came from.
And, sorry, but the Caucasus mountains are not exactly in Northern Eurasia. They share geographic latitudes with Italy and Spain.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet May 15, 2010
The next question would be where those Caucasus people came from.
And, sorry, but the Caucasus mountains are not exactly in Northern Eurasia. They share geographic latitudes with Italy and Spain.

You're correct. It appears I'm off the mark a bit.

Here's the article I'm going off of.
http://www.zmesci...quenced/
frajo
not rated yet May 15, 2010
Thanks for the link. Quote from that article/blog:
this result suggests that the Neanderthals, Homo neanderthalensis diverged from the same primate line that led to nowadays humans, homo sapiens. However, some 400.000 years ago, they migrated to northern Eurasia, where they became genetically isolated and evolved differently than the other human line.
As the primate line that led to HS is known to have developed in Africa, this means that Neanderthalensis, too, (or at least his progenitor) must have had his origin in Africa. And migrated 400000 years ago to northern Eurasia.
If we now assume that Homo Erectus spread from Africa still earlier (say, 2 million years ago), then we have a triple "Out of Africa" approach.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet May 15, 2010
That appears to read to me as a dual OOA approach.

PreHSS/N migrates out of Africa and spreads throughout Europe as well as existing in Africa.
A group becomes isolated from pre-HSS/N and develops into HSN, meanwhile HSS begins through a genetic mutation within the rift valley and spreads throughout the preHSS/N progenitors thereby leaving Africa and spreading, later reuniting with HSN and eventually integrating.

At least that's how I think it went down from that read if I incorporate the convergence hypothesis.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) May 18, 2010
And, plenty of dark skinned people are indigenous to temperate and icy northern Asia (where fish is not a staple).

Can you name one of these places?

After I read PE's response I started looking, it appears he is precisely correct according to our current understanding.

And I don't understand how he's being Eurocentric when he's speaking directly to what melanin does in a neutral manner outlining the environmental benefits of having more or less without bias.

http://anthro.pal...pt_4.htm

This article has a map that shows pigmentation distribution around 1500 A.D.. Clearly, only indigenous Europeans were white. Everyone else is shown to be pigmented. Of particular interest, notice how far south dark pigmented peoples were. Some, well past 30 degrees from the equator.

So, are we to presume from this map that the southern hemisphere gets more sun?

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