Inner Neanderthal

Two studies demonstrate the extent of Neanderthal DNA that persists in modern human genomes.

By | January 30, 2014

Models of modern human (left) and Neanderthal skullsWIKIMEDIA, MATT CELESKY, DRMIKEBAXTERResearchers have previously shown that early humans and Neanderthals interbred, and that modern human genomes contain elements inherited from Neanderthals. Now, two independent groups have characterized the extent to which Neanderthal genetic information is found in humans today. Their work was published in Nature and Science yesterday (January 29).

In Science, Benjamin Vernot and Joshua Akey of the University of Washington identified candidate regions that may have come from Neanderthals in whole-genome sequences from 379 Europeans and 286 East Asians. Then they compared those sequences to the Neanderthal reference genome and found that about 26 percent of protein-coding genes had exons that shared sequences with the Neanderthal genome. Their findings suggested that Neanderthal genes contributed to the phenotype of skin in early humans, but “we don’t understand enough about the biology of those particular genes yet,” Akey told The New York Times. “It makes it hard to pinpoint a reason why they’re beneficial.”

And in Nature, David Reich of Harvard Medical School and his colleagues began by comparing the genomes of 1,004 modern humans to the Neanderthal genome. They used the genomes of modern Africans as a kind of negative control, as Neanderthals inhabited Europe and Asia, but not Africa. The researchers also found that Neanderthal DNA may have contributed to the evolution of skin and hair in modern humans. Additionally, the team pinpointed several Neanderthal-derived alleles that contribute to the risk of diseases—including type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and lupus. The team also identified modern genome regions that had about fivefold less Neanderthal DNA than the rest of the genome—most notably on the X chromosome, which suggested that Neanderthal genes might have contributed to reduced fertility.

Sriram Sankararaman of Harvard Medical School, a coauthor on the Nature paper, told the Times that the related findings of the two papers carry weight because they were found in different ways. “The two methods seem to be converging on the same results,” he said.

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Avatar of: dregstudios


Posts: 5

January 30, 2014

Don’t expect this “science” to sneak its way into the classrooms here in the South.  Our Lord and Savior made it very clear there is no way we evolved from these savages.  Tennessee has passed the Monkey Law legislation which ensures teachers can challenge these so-called scientists and their twisted research funded by the liberals in Washington.  Read about how we’re keep Christ in the Classroom at

Avatar of: Chlorophil7


Posts: 1

January 30, 2014

So this "Neanderthal DNA" was found in a cave and talked about here. But neither article gives proof that the toe bone, or the other bone and tooth samples found in the cave came from Neanderthals.

I would like to know how they know that the samples come from Neanderthals, and I would also like to know how they were found. Otherwise, these are not very scientific studies. The bones could of just come from an ancient human, and that is why they find the shared sequences...

Avatar of: mrmars


Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from dregstudios made on January 30, 2014

January 30, 2014


There are no liberal facts or conservative facts, only those which are supported by evidence and those which are not. We don't "believe" something to be true in the scientific sense of the word, because we want to, or because it makes us feel good, or because it meshes with our favorite cherished preconceptions. We "believe" facts supported by evidence because we simply have no other choice. There is far more experimental evidence for the various species that led through evolution over great spans of time to modern humans than there ever was for the existence of Jesus Christ. That's not meant to be an arrogant statement, nor one issued to be hurtful, or as an insult of any sort.  It's a simple truth. Despite a long tradition of believers who passed on their belief in Christ through testimony (and no shortage of childhood indoctrination) we can't do experiments nor make observations to prove or - disprove - the existence of Jesus. Science is science and religion is not. So what's my point?  By all means, hold whatever religious beliefs you choose, but don't use them to refute the physical findings of unbiased experimental data.  If your choice of religious belief must stand or fall on the supposed complete inerrancy of the Bible, that's your problem to deal with. You have no right to foist your self-created conflict on the rest of the world. The results of these experiments have nothing to do with Christianity or any other religion except in the minds of people like you. That's unfortunate - for you. I bear neither you nor any like-minded person any ill will, nor intend any disrespect, whatsoever; but I (for one) am a bit tired of constantly having to deal with the social consequences of your confusion as to what science is and is not. Have a  nice day.

Avatar of: Katia


Posts: 4

January 30, 2014

bravo mrmars, very well put

Avatar of: jrayn


Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from Chlorophil7 made on January 30, 2014

January 31, 2014

Both Neanderthal genome and modern human genomes have been sequenced. All it takes is a comparison of the similarities differences.


From another article:

"David Reich of Harvard Medical School and his colleagues began by comparing the genomes of 1,004 modern humans to the Neanderthal genome."

Avatar of: Alexandru


Posts: 92

January 31, 2014

Motto: "The bad part is that people of medicine dealing with the body more than soul." (Lev Tolstoi - Last years journal / About God and man)

Science is science and religion is…” (mrmars) the “GPS”!

Science is the seventh divine candle (Apocalipse 3) that drive the men to the truth only carefully reading the Bible: “But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” (Daniel 12.4)

I will give you good advice and share my knowledge with you." (Proverbs 1.23) “We honour God for what He conceals; we honour kings for what they explain!” (Proverbs 25.2 The book of Solomon)

Matthew 22.21 - "Well, then, pay the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay God what belongs to God."

First description in the world of the man assisted evolution from animals:

Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first  was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.” (Daniel 7.2-4)

But it will take some time in evolution because “your heart of stone

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 11.19)

"Being revealed that you are a letter of Christ, served by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in tablets that are hearts of flesh." (Paul, 2 Chorintians 3.3)

"The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of man's heart. There is nothing that can be hidden from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes. And it is to him that we must all give an account of ourselves." (Paul, Hebrew 4.12)

Because the geneticists eliminate paternal mitochondria that appears at the puberty only in the sperm of the naturally borne boys, not in vitro made, according to these two metaphors I developed the paternal mitochondria inheritance theory (Mitochondrial Adam DNA data transmissions theory - ISBN 978-606-92107-1-0) in addition to Eve mtDNA theory.

Matthew 4.4 - "Man cannot live on bread alone, but needs every word that God speak."

Epilog: "The word of the man who can see clearly, who can hear what God is saying and receive the knowledge that comes from the Most High. With staring eyes ... I look into the future." (Numbers 24.15-17)

As Winston Churchill once said about courage, "I stood up and expressed my point of view and now I sit down and listen to the opinions of others involved in this dialogue."

Have a nice day.

Avatar of: Paul Stein

Paul Stein

Posts: 237

February 1, 2014

I'm sure the 26% is an average.  With my bare legs and markedly receding hairline, my guess is that my particular genome contains zero Neanderthal.

Avatar of: Darran Clements

Darran Clements

Posts: 1

February 3, 2014

Why on earth do all these religious bigots insist on clotting up the comments section on a magazine called "The Scientist". To make a comment, you should have a modicum of understanding, and without that, what is the point in trolling because your beliefs have led you down the wrong intellectual road. If you have something appropriate to say fine (e.g. how do we know the bones were from the Neanderthals is fine) but quoting chapter and verse is like sticking your fingers in your ears and going "lalala"...

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