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not only but also
Neanderthal genetic legacy 
11th-May-2010 04:21 pm
ZIIIM
I love human evolution :) And the results that have come out recently about common genes between out-of-African humans and neanderthals has been pretty awesome (summary: 1% - 4% of non-African humans carry some genes that neanderthals also carried, which might suggest interbreeding around the Levant). This article tries to suggest a less sensationalist couple of explanations for the genetic similarity, but frankly all the options are pretty damn sexy to me :) - there was a significant interbreeding event during the expansion around 70K years ago, or there was an earlier interbreeding that got pulled back into Africa (less likely due to pinch events), or the African populations have *lost* those genes for some reason.

In any case, having a wider variety of human genomes can only help with our understanding of evolution and what our genes do. Awesome.
Comments 
11th-May-2010 06:23 am (UTC)
Neeeeeeeeeeeeeerd.
11th-May-2010 08:39 am (UTC)
I'm reasonably certain those genes are expressing far more than we might think, if sightings in the city on a Friday/Saturday night are anything to go by.
11th-May-2010 10:22 am (UTC)
Except that there's no actual evidence that the neaderthals were any more thuggish than we are - its all a hangover from the original assumptions that heavy-brow = thuggish cave man.

(Hilariously, from analysis of their throat bones, they probably had high pitched voices :))
11th-May-2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
All this talk of interbreeding makes me imagine some prehistoric James Kirk swaggering along and giving the differently-human women a wink and a come-hither smirk.
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