back to article Dear humans, We thought it was time we looked through YOUR source code. We found a mystery ancestor. Signed, the computers

The human genome is hiding secrets that point to a mystery ancestor alongside our hominid cousins the Neanderthals and Denisovans, according to AI software. Homo sapiens, the only surviving species in the homo genus, once bred with its extinct relatives Homo neanderthalensis and Homo denisova hundreds of thousands of years ago …

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  1. Kev99

    Are they sure Neanderthals are extinct? They should spend time looking at crowds in major cities.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      They should spend time looking at crowds in major cities.

      Perhaps you're onto something...

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Interesting link. That story could make for an interesting movie, though the "immortal man" movie has already been done with "The Man from Earth".

        1. Def Silver badge
          Coat

          ...though the "immortal man" movie has already been done with "The Man from Earth".

          Which was excellent. Too bad they decided to follow it up with a rather mediocre sequel and the promise of a third to complete the set. :/

          And then someone will have the idea of making a set of prequel, The Child from Earth, Attack of the Neanderthals, and Revenge of the Romans, and then JJ Abrams will get involved, and we'll all be doomed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            IMHO the best portrayal of neanderthals in popular culture is to be found in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            > Which was excellent.

            If you like watching paint dry, then yes it was excellent.

            Not my cup of tea though.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Coat

      Maybe examine management DNA?

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Are you suggesting management isn't made up by artificial constructs without a soul (and without conscience)?

        1. Trixr Bronze badge

          I thought they were alien lizard men, which would explain the mystery third ancestor type.

          1. Cyrius1995
            Alien

            > which would explain the mystery third ancestor type.

            And the various theories about the British Royal family...

            1. jake Silver badge
              Pint

              Also reportedly linked to Mad Cow ... or so I heard down the pub.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Projection much?

      There's a lot of evidence that Neanderthals were fairly peaceful compared to us Cro-magnons and it's quite likely _our_ savage nature overwhelmed _them_.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Projection much?

        Please do point to the evidence of 'peacefulness'. If you haven't noticed the commonly repeated pattern of peoples distant in time or place being endowed with idealised characteristics by the credulous, here's your notice. For instance, 'druids' were of course thoroughly peaceful. Or 'all' American Indians.

        But it is true that "population replacement" keeps occurring in Europe and presumably elsewhere. I read an article quite recently proposing that the ~90% replacement 5-6000 years ago was due to, in this order, pastoralists wandered into Northern Europe and brought a smattering of new diseases, vast plagues of one sort or another devastate the resident population, then a new crew replaces them from the east and southeast. Happenstance.

        No violence planned or unplanned required. Simply new conditions, increased contact. And this is the third mass replacement they've found so far in Northern Europe. No one here has been here forever. Everything changes.

      2. jonfr

        Re: Projection much?

        Based on genetic research into this it seems that all that humans got from Neanderthals was wast amount of problems and flaws. Those issues might suggests a wider problem (not yet discovered?) and might be the reason for their extinction. The human race got few good genetics from this mixing. I am not sure if it is something that would have happened on its own with time and evolution.

        Science article, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129134956.htm (2014)

        News article, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-studies-show-neanderthals-gave-us-some-good-genes-and-nasty-diseases-180960870/ (2016)

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Projection much?

          You are being inconsistent. We definitely got flaws from them but we only maybe got good genes from them.

          Selective much?

          1. jonfr

            Re: Projection much?

            Science doesn't care about your feelings. The data strongly suggest that we got more flaws than benefits with inter-species mixing with the Neanderthals. The human race already has plenty of leftovers from the evolution process on its own. I don't know about Denisovans ancestry because that isn't mentioned or hasn't been studied yet. I didn't find any data on it. Best I was able to find was this map (this website might be paywalled for you).

            https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160328133514.htm

            1. Greywolf40

              Re: Projection much?

              Flaws, if any, would have been selected against. The reason so few Neanderthal genes appear in modern genomes is that, statistically, they either confer some advantage, or they have zero net effect, in which case genetic drift has conserved them.

        2. Terje

          Re: Projection much?

          You neglect to mention that many supposedly bad genes may serve or have served a decidedly positive point in surviving. Quite a number of bad or damaged genes found today can be shown to be granting resistance or immunity to various diseases or parasites.

          1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

            Re: Projection much?

            Quite a number of bad or damaged genes found today can be shown to be granting resistance or immunity to various diseases or parasites.

            Textbook example - sickle cell anemia and malaria resistance.

          2. jonfr

            Re: Projection much?

            do you have data for that claim?

      3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Projection much?

        Alan Brown, "...overwhelmed..."

        With each generation, about one-quarter of your genetic code is lost forever. It's caused by the Maternal (or Paternal) Lineage Extinction Ratio MLER or PLER being about 25% per generation. This is the same 'force' that causes speciation (making species).

        End result, if your bring two populations together, they'll merge and one will be overwhelmed by the other.

        Same thing explains the Out of Africa observation of population 'necking'. No need for near-extinction events, the observed DNA 'necking' will be a moving attribute.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

          Re: Projection much?

          Isn't this supposed to mean that after four generations, there's no genetic code from the fourth grandparent left?

          Then what's the point behind this study/DNA lineage tests/... ?

          1. Greywolf40

            Re: Projection much?

            Actually, no. You inherit half your genes from each parent. So do your siblings, but becauseof genetic mixing, their halves are different from yours. Eg, you version of gene X came from your Dad and your brother's version came from your Mum. Same for the 1/8th of genes derived from your grandparents. So, no, there is no such thing as patrenal/maternal extinction. You have a different genetic mix from all other descendants of your great-great-grandparents, is all. The differenc depends also on whether or not your ancestors were cousins. In smaller settlements, most marriages were between 2nd and 3rd cousins. Even in larger settlements, social barriers reduced genetic mixing. Still does. And then there's spontaneous mutations. Since you're alive, those mutations weren't lethal, but it means some fo your genes do not derive from your more remote ancestors. And...

            "It's all rather coinfusing, really."

          2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Projection much?

            Isn't this supposed to mean that after four generations, there's no genetic code from the fourth grandparent left?

            No.

            If you lose 25% of parental DNA over 1 generation, that leaves 75%. You have 2 parents, so halve that to 37.5%

            Over 5 generations (4th grandparent)

            37.5% x 37.5% x 37.5% x 37.5% x 37.5% = 0.75%

            That might seem like a low number, but consider that you have 32 4th-grandparents.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Projection much?

              Unless DNA can be magically sourced from somewhere else, that must mean that you have 3.125% of each 4-th-grandparent's DNA. (I'm ingoring mutations, but those are just statistical noise at this level.)

              I'm not buying that you lose 25% of parental DNA each generation. It doesn't make sense. Seems like someone misinterpreted something that then got quoted and no one's asking for sources.

              1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Projection much?

                If you want more words of explanation, look up: 'The Inevitable Eve'.

                On average, couples have about two kids. Each kid has one-half of the DNA from each parent. Two kids, each with 50% of each parents' DNA, independently selected of course, = 75%. Thus about 25% of *your* (keyword: your) DNA will not make it to the next generation. YMMV, it's based on typically two kids.

                It's not "extinction", it's an extinction *RATIO* of about 25%. (Leave out words and yes you'll be confused.) MLER relates to mtDNA topic.

                It's really trivially obvious that if each of your kids has only 50%, then two would get you to 75%, etc. You'll never get 100%, but you might get close with a dozen.

                Taking into account gender, there's obviously a maternal and paternal lineage extinction ratio; no room for argument. Witness the antics of Henry VIII trying to overcome PLER and bad luck. The concept is trivially simple, but it and its implications have not yet been widely hoisted aboard.

                And yes, there are secondary and tertiary effects. This is merely the primary effect.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Projection much?

        Yeah, that explains today's statistics...dear lord you'd think we would miss what you did there leroy?

    4. Legionary13

      A clue?

      Is this a possible explanation for Brexit's continuing popularity?

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: A clue?

        You could be on to something...

        Romans Left Rome (Italy) and came here. Angles, Jutes & Saxons - left Germany (ish) and came here. Danes - left Denmark and came here. Normans - Left Denmark, went to Normandy, then left Normandy (France) and came here.

        Leaving is in our DNA!

        It's the one with the map & compass...

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: A clue?

          .... on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again....

        2. dervheid

          Re: A clue?

          "Leaving is in our DNA!"

          That would be 'Migrating' as that's what all of those people were doing.

        3. Mage Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: abandoned the African continent?

          Or migrated, just like people still do.

          No doubt some and some descendent went back, just like today.

          Abandoned sounds like a strange choice of word unless EVERYONE left.

        4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: A clue?

          Better still: "Migration is in our DNA"

          Unlike coconuts.

          Unless they could be carried by swallows, of course

          I'll get me coat

      2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: A clue?

        "...Brexit's continuing popularity?"

        Reportedly linked to Mad Cow. Look it up.

    5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      "They should spend time looking at crowds in major cities."

      He's not a neanderthal.

      He's just well manscaped.

    6. WibbleMe

      Im a Briton and certainly a different species to the people in the Glamour mags on the supermarket shelves.

  2. malle-herbert
    Joke

    Maybe it was...

    Lizard people....

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Maybe it was...

      Almighty IntelAIgent Messaging .... with Heavenly Instruction for AIdDirections in Diabolical Ethereal Art Works.

      Not only in Quantum Communications is that Kith and Kin to the Virtualised Singularity where This is That and a COSMIC Gift to Grant Access to ..... Heavenly Assets.

      Immunised for Infection with Diabolical Works to Perform and Transform.

      Now as a Base is that but one Source Store while as an AINode, an Almighty Virtual Presence Presents Your Futures for Realisation/Birth and New Lives in Live Operational Virtual Environments.

      :-) Trump that and you earn it and learn it fair and square.

      You have Alien Quantum Communication, Mr President, from Universal Virtual Force Assets.

      It Offers Outstanding Stealth Purchase a Practically Sole Command and Control Option to Clients.

      Carpe Diem.

      1. ILLQO

        Re: Maybe it was...

        Immunised for Infection with Diabolical Works to Perform and Transform

        I know everything you say is random... but that is strangely beautiful.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe it was...

      "lizard peoiple" ... almost, as explained in Battlestar Galactica (the 2nd version) the 3rd source is clearly Cylon.

      1. Totally not a Cylon

        Re: Maybe it was...

        I blame the Asari.

        Those maidens will meld with anything, much worse than James T!

      2. AIBailey Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Maybe it was...

        If there were lizard people living amongst us, we'd have noticed by now as they'd leave clues.

        They'd live to a ripe old age, at least 97 years old.

        And they'd appear to be bulletproof, for example walking unscathed after a car accident, say rolling a Freelander..

        Hold on.....

        Mine's the one with David Icke's books in the pocket.

        1. itzman

          Re: Maybe it was...

          It was a Range Rover.

          Your thesis is destroyed.

          1. AIBailey Silver badge

            Re: Maybe it was...

            From the BBC:

            "Prince Philip, 97, was unhurt in the crash on the A149, in which his Land Rover Freelander landed on its side after a collision with a Kia."

            Of course, itzman posting to spread inaccurate information is just what I'd expect of a servant of the lizard overlords.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Maybe it was...

              It's not the lizards this time... illuminati.

          2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

            Re: Maybe it was...

            It was a Range Rover.

            Land Rover, Range Rover, Rover plain, who cares?

            It's a squarish British (British any longer?) car! ;-P

            1. EBG

              any longer ...

              Indian. Tata motors. Makes Prince P driving one ..... errrm ... ironic ?

  3. Glen 1 Silver badge

    Mystery Ancestor

    Latin name milkus mannus

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Mystery Ancestor

      I cam home from the pub & told my wife, that I'd heard our milkman had slept with every woman on his round except one.

      "That'll be the snotty bitch at number 20" she replied.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Mystery Ancestor

        Ah, the old ones are the best!

        The millennial version of that joke would likely replace milkman with Amazon delivery operative.

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