Ancient Russian's DNA sheds light on Neanderthal interbreeding


#1

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - DNA extracted from the skeleton of a man who lived in Russia about 37,000 years ago is giving scientists new insights into the genetic history of Europeans including interbreeding that took place with Neanderthals more than 50,000 years ago.

Scientists said on Thursday they used DNA taken from the man’s left tibia to sequence the genome of one of the earliest known Europeans."

mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0IQ2QK20141106?irpc=932


#2

Apparently, whites, Asians and some native Americans are part neanderthal (some nearly 2%), while Africans and some Middle Easterners are not.


#3

Very interesting! Neanderthal had a larger brain than we have, and did bury their dead with apparent reverence. As to the physical differences from Home-Sapiens, there are human groups with as much difference in appearance to this very day. If interbreeding was rare, it was probably due to lack of mutual attraction, as well as mutual group hostility. Altogether, it increases our delight in how wondrously we are made. Praise God.


#4

I’m convinced I’v worked with men that are a close relative to the Neanderthal ,:eek:


#5

Yep. My daughter did the National Geographic genographic test. Showed neanderthal, and another early human that was just discovered in the last 10 years (can’t remember the name at the moment).


#6

I think I know one of those guys. His name is “Fritz”, and he now works for the Highway Department in Branson, Mo. :slight_smile:

I have read that if we saw a Neanderthal on the street dressed in modern attire, we wouldn’t think him unusual except perhaps that his physiognomy might be a bit more robust than most.

Interesting how, over the years, the way Neanderthals have been portrayed has gone from the virtually ape-like to the not-terribly-unusual. Examples:

google.com/images?q=pictures+of+neanderthals&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7ADFA_enUS486&gws_rd=ssl&hl=en&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=Ot9cVJrEEJKfyATO3ILYDw&ved=0CBQQsAQ


#7

:smiley:


#8

Absolutely fascinating. It probably was the same back then as now - “stronger races” or genetic pools prevailed (or perhaps cunning is a better word; no moral judgment attached here). Similar to the barbarians vs. the Romans in Europe or even the European races clashing with the Native Americans in North and South America. (I realize all human races today are genetically the same race. :slight_smile: Just drawing an analogy.) It does remind you, though, how much we don’t know. How I would have loved to be a fly on the wall through all of this.


#9

Not so fast! How can you be sure the people at the time didn’t consider flies a delicacy?


#10

:eek:

Also…did they have “walls?” Thought about that one shortly after hitting “submit” on the post. :slight_smile:


#11

Interesting.


#12

I got tested and found out that I had 3.7% Neanderthal DNA. Some researchers think that autism and Aspergers Syndrome maybe related to how much Neanderthal DNA you have, the Neanderthal DNA clouding what one expects others to think like.


#13

Wow, our family was tested and we are descended from one of the Twelve Tribes of Galway. :slight_smile: I suspect a lot of Euro-descendants do have some Neanderthal. I also believe that their reputation as “cavemen” was perhaps overdone. (Of course, we stick up for them now, right?) Everywhere you see one race or group slandering the others. I am sure they were a wonderful, compassionate group, possibly too much so to make it - wouldn’t be the first time. :o


#14

The evidence shows that interbreeding happened during initial contact between neanderthals and the colonists from Africa, but then stopped for the rest of the long period of living side by side.

Could this be the first example of a form of racism taking place in human history?

Anthropologist note that dietary restrictions are means in which two populations of the same tribe can make themselves distinct from one another, when one stops eating the pigs of shellfish that they once did along with the other members of that tribe. Without a common table, there is no longer a common tribe.
Perhaps the same kind of cultural restrictions developed against the neanderthal or vice versa, in order that the interbreeding be curtailed.

Of course, for no interbreeding to have happened, that would mean that no wars between the groups would have happened either, because rape is always an aspect of war.

What has been noted about Europeans though, such as the Teutonic wars against the Slavs, is that the wars have tended toward being genocidal. Perhaps this is a very ancient tradition indeed, and would be one explanation of why no further interbreeding would have taken place. Genocidal warfare would have prevented that.


#15

Yes, and this does strengthen the argument for instinctive survival tendencies, i.e., selecting mates by certain criteria to ensure survival of the group - people select from their own but not too close. The groups that do that the best over time have the best chance of survival.


#16

Had you been a fly on the wall, you would have had a lot of company.


#17

Ah! Ye prideful Hibernians! Ye aint got nuttin on us Neanderthalkin! :smiley:

Seriously, my default setting, every human ethnic group north of the Sahara and outside of Africa has some Neanderthal genery. Yeah, I just made up that word ‘genery’, I like it.

True, another human default setting.

I think the assumption that modern man and Neanderthals were continuously at war is erroneous. It is mankinds nature to trade, discuss, travel and share and I think Neanderthals were human enough to have those same qualities. I think they disappeared the same way the dinosaurs did; they interbred into a new species with faster demographic growth and were absorbed.


#18

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