Genes Says You’re A Neanderthal…Well, A Little Bit Anyway

In my previous post about scientists cloning our extinct cousins, the Neanderthals, I pondered on the idea of what it would be like to actually meet one someday. Well, it seems the latest discovery shows that we have met them….and they are ‘us’ –  at least a little anyway.

University of California Santa Cruz professor of biomolecular engineering Ed Green (AP/Santa Cruz)

University of California Santa Cruz professor of biomolecular engineering Ed Green, extracted DNA from a Neanderthal skull and the genome sequence was shocking. This very detailed look in the Neanderthal genome helps us answer of the most debated questions amongst anthropologists: Did modern humans and Neanderthals mate?

The answer is ‘yes’, there is a part of us that is. Between 1 percent and 4 percent of genes in people from Europe and Asia trace back to Neanderthals. (The Associated Press) Findings reported in the latest edition of the journal Science shows that a relationship between Neanderthals and modern people outside Africa. That suggests that interbreeding occurred somewhere in the Middle East, where both modern humans and Neanderthals lived thousands of years ago.

Now that scientists have made this discovery, I wonder if they’re still going to try to clone a Neanderthal? My guess is they probably will!

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