New method confirms humans and Neanderthals interbred

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

Technical objections to the idea that Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of Eurasians have been overcome, thanks to a genome analysis method described in the April 2014 issue of the journal Genetics. The technique can more confidently detect the genetic signatures of interbreeding than previous approaches and will be useful for evolutionary studies of other ancient or rare DNA samples.

"Our approach can distinguish between two subtly different scenarios that could explain the genetic similarities shared by Neanderthals and from Europe and Asia," said study co-author Konrad Lohse, a population geneticist at the University of Edinburgh.

The first scenario is that Neanderthals occasionally interbred with modern humans after they migrated out of Africa. The alternative scenario is that the humans who left Africa evolved from the same ancestral subpopulation that had previously given rise to the Neanderthals.

Many researchers argue the scenario is more likely, because it fits the genetic patterns seen in studies that compared genomes from many modern humans. But the new approach completely rules out the alternative scenario without requiring all the extra data, by using only the information from one genome each of several types: Neanderthal, European/Asian, African and chimpanzee.

The same method will be useful in other studies of interbreeding where limited samples are available. "Because the method makes maximum use of the information contained in individual genomes, it is particularly exciting for revealing the history of species that are rare or extinct," said Lohse. In fact, the authors originally developed the method while studying the history of insect populations in Europe and island species of pigs in South East Asia, some of which are extremely rare.

Lohse cautions against reading too much into the fact that the new method estimates a slightly higher genetic contribution of Neanderthals to modern humans than previous studies. Estimating this contribution is complex and is likely to vary slightly between different approaches.

"This work is important because it closes a hole in the argument about whether Neanderthals interbred with humans. And the method can be applied to understanding the evolutionary history of other organisms, including endangered species," said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Genetics.

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New research raises doubts about whether modern humans and Neanderthals interbred

More information: K. Lohse and L.A.F. Frantz. Neandertal Admixture in Eurasia Confirmed by Maximum Likelihood Analysis of Three Genomes. Genetics April 2014 196:1241-1251 DOI: 10.1534/genetics.114.162396
Journal information: Genetics

Citation: New method confirms humans and Neanderthals interbred (2014, April 8) retrieved 18 October 2019 from
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Apr 08, 2014
The photo looks like a "young man of color" from Chicago or Detroit.

Apr 08, 2014
The photo looks like a "young man of color"
and you smell like a bigot.

"New method confirms humans and Neanderthals interbred"

-Specifically I suspect this would be cromag males with Neanderthal females. Indications are (citation needed) that neandertal reproduction, as with any animal living in subarctic climes, had become seasonal. If that's the case then they could not have matched the cromag ability to grow their numbers and replace lives lost in conflict.

Neanderthal were overwhelmed by force of numbers, the males killed, and the females assimilated. Tropical humans had everything to gain by inheriting temperate genes as it would aid in their adaptation.

Population pressure forced modern humans to migrate. Our repro rate has not had sufficient time to adjust to seasonal pressures, and now it never will unless we choose to do so artificially.

I imagine the world would be a much more peaceful place if our hormones were only raging for a few months every spring.

Apr 08, 2014
Well, I didn't need these guys to tell me that; I just got my dna read; I'm 2.7 percent Neanderthal!

Apr 08, 2014
its visually evident the white people have more neanderthal features so it was obvious.

Apr 09, 2014
Well the chimp and neanderthaler part explains Bush and Cheeney.

Apr 09, 2014
It is the Men! It is very clear where the fault lies. From Neanderthals to Chimpanzees to Earthworms....Nothing Left!

Apr 09, 2014
All descendents of ConNean! Not A & E

Apr 09, 2014
Clearly we are all a vast complex mixture of not just primate but bacterial & viral DNA.

Chemistry > Sex > More Complex Chemistry & expression of such is Emotion with Intellect at the end of the line, this is why:-

Physics is faster than Chemistry
Chemistry is faster than Emotion but not as complex
Emotion is faster than Intellect but not as complex
Intellect is faster than "Higher Intellectual Function" often confused with the misunderstood term "Spirituality"

We are all based upon Physics & complex interactions of which are classed as Chemistry.

There is no personal god what-so-ever however, if there were he/she/it would be:-

- Arbitrary
- Bad communicator
- Punishers re suffering
- Always distant

Note: Virtually ALL claimed deities are:-

- From men
- Insecure re women
- Bad communicators

So humans while away hours pondering intellectual pursuits whilst imperative of procreation continues unabated & always will unless chemistry of life processes were interrupted, gawd no !

Apr 12, 2014
Get a good look at that neanderthaler male. He has that 'hunted look' like his 'ole lady'...'er cro-lady was lookin fer his butt. He's thinkin'...awsh....! She can shor' run a lot faster'n me so's no use runnin' wid' dese' short legs. So better get back from lookin' at da' neighbor's cave lady and get back to work peelin' apples so's Croey' kin' bake me n' da kids a nice pie.

Apr 12, 2014
The above is a classic conservative tactic. Make an insanely racist statement without mentioning race specifically in order to goad a more tolerant person into calling him out. Sorry, the 19th Century is over, you lose.

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