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Thread: Neanderthal DNA Still Affecting Humans

  1. #1
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Neanderthal DNA Still Affecting Humans

    Neanderthals, often identified as unsightly grunting cavemen with massive foreheads and nearly nonexistent necks, are believed to have died out 40,000 years ago. Yet through their genome, they still have a say in the status of modern humans.

    U.S. researchers shed new light on how these ancient ones still influence genes in modern humans, likely contributing to traits including height and the likelihood of having diseases such as lupus and schizophrenia.

    "Even 50,000 years after the last human-Neanderthal mating, we can still see measurable impacts on gene expression," said University of Washington geneticist and study co-author Joshua Akey in a statement.

    Neanderthal genetic variants have been previously linked to vulnerability to certain conditions, but scientists had difficulty knowing which mechanisms cause the said effects. Genetic instructions can be obtained from fossils, but they can no longer recover the RNA helping transmit the genetic information.

    The team mined data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project, which looked for people carrying both Neanderthal and modern human versions of a gene, a version from each parent.

    Akey, helping identify 12 Neanderthal genes associated with increased disease risk last year, said their results showed that Neanderthal DNA sequences still had an impact on how genes were turned on or off in humans today.

    Even 50,000 years after the last interbreeding, the genetic influence remains "pervasive and important," Akey said.

    The Neanderthal version of a gene known as ADAMTSL3, for instance, is tied to height and schizophrenia. Causal mutation, according to the study, was inherited from the Neanderthals.

    Akey added that hybridization between Neanderthals and modern man is still a valid source of worry, as those ancient relics still result in greater genomic complexity. As a next endeavor, the team also seeks to investigate whether another hominid species, called Denisovans, contribute to gene expression.

    The findings were discussed in the journal Cell.
    Neanderthal DNA Still Affects Your Health And Looks Today : SCIENCE : Tech Times

    Fascinating, eh? I didn't even know they had found a genetic link for schizophrenia. And I have never heard of the Denisovans before.
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  2. #2
    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Neanderthal DNA Still Affects Your Health And Looks Today : SCIENCE : Tech Times

    Fascinating, eh? I didn't even know they had found a genetic link for schizophrenia. And I have never heard of the Denisovans before.
    FASCINATING SQUARED. I have heard this in the past that we were still carrying it around. Anyone besides me think it would be intriguing to see how the remnants affect BEHAVIOR patterns not just disease processes?
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpicturetaker12 View Post
    FASCINATING SQUARED. I have heard this in the past that we were still carrying it around. Anyone besides me think it would be intriguing to see how the remnants affect BEHAVIOR patterns not just disease processes?
    That's true about ALL DNA. If they could find a genetic link for shyness, e.g., that would be trippy. We like to think we are so different from other mammals and that we choose our own destinies, but I personally think there may well be parameters to the personality traits a baby could possibly develop in adulthood that are genetically set.

    I think it's quite possible that some babies can no more be affected by their environment to grow up to be placid and calm than it is to make them exceptionally tall as adults by giving them the best nutrition, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Neanderthal DNA Still Affects Your Health And Looks Today : SCIENCE : Tech Times

    Fascinating, eh? I didn't even know they had found a genetic link for schizophrenia. And I have never heard of the Denisovans before.
    It is fascinating. There was a long debate on whether modern humans had interbred with Neanderthals which was only proven out in 2010. All non-African humans have some Neanderthal in them, especially people from around the middle east and Mediterranean.
    As for Denisovans the only artifacts found so far are a finger bone and two teeth, but they've been able to extract DNA which shows them to be a new separate specie. Apparently the highest level of Denisovan genes is found in New Guinea and Australian natives.
    The only "pure" modern humans are Africans, which means that the distinct advantages that modern humans have over those archaic human species originated among our African ancestors.
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    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    That's true about ALL DNA. If they could find a genetic link for shyness, e.g., that would be trippy. We like to think we are so different from other mammals and that we choose our own destinies, but I personally think there may well be parameters to the personality traits a baby could possibly develop in adulthood that are genetically set.

    I think it's quite possible that some babies can no more be affected by their environment to grow up to be placid and calm than it is to make them exceptionally tall as adults by giving them the best nutrition, etc.
    BINGO! (Every MOM knows this intuitively. TRUMP'S mom knew this better than any. She had 5 kids, 1 was shipped off to military school).
    Thanks from Madeline

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