Thursday, January 30, 2014

(genetic) Results of Getting it on With Neandertals

There was a veritable storm yesterday of posts on online for the implications of the latest implications of what bits of our genome are Neandertalic.

At D-brief, the implication is the genes helped us tolerate cold better. Amongst other, ahem, ball games.

In a press release, it turns out that Asians are more Neandertal than Europeans! it also claims that Neandertals were barely able to interbreed with Homo sapiens: there are no X chromosomes which have genes from Neandertals and implies male hybrids were sterile. This would strongly support the idea Neandertals were a separate species.

A related press release, it is also suggested that diabetes, Crohn's Disease and lupus might be related to the intermixing and that we didn't just get

In another press release also associated with a paper, one which seems on the extraordinary claim side of things, there is a claim that 20% of the Neandertal genome survives in modern populations. This contrasts wildly with the above paper and previous results placing the total modern genome being less than 5%.  

Considering how complicated things are and how we are still sorting this out, expect radical wind changes in the future.

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