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Heather Scoville

Are You Part Neanderthal?

By July 27, 2011

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A new study shows that at least 9% of humans are actually part Neanderthal. DNA evidence shows that Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens mated in Europe and Asia.

The fragment of similar DNA was found on the X chromosome for people of non-African descent. Researcher Damian Labuda of the University of Montreal found the link after studying the DNA of people on the continents of Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America.

Previous studies done at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in sequencing more than half of the Neanderthal genome were instrumental in this discovery. Labuda was able to determine that interbreeding between Humans and Neanderthals likely occurred during a short period of time they interacted on the Asian continent shortly after Humans migrated out of Africa.

What does this mean for the study of Human Evolution? What do you think?

Photo by Hermann Schaaffhausen

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