Echoes from the past
European folk tales often feature shaggy, slow-witted trolls. I have often wondered if these are based on dim memories from the time modern humans lived alongside the neanderthals.
It's now well established that ancient humans interbred with their Neanderthal cousins and their DNA intermingled with ours, but a new genetic analysis has shown that shagging around has had consequences. The research, undertaken by Vanderbilt University using its database of over 28,000 DNA samples, showed that Neanderthal …
I might take up the "naked but for a tiger skin" look
Perhaps you can suggest why the Neanderthal in the picture is wearing granny's fox-fur tippet. It's obviously not for warmth or modesty. Come to think of it, I'm surprised that the museum where this was presumably taken displays a life-size model of a big-nose bloke flashing his todger.
We won out because we were a better fit in the environment.
That could be intelligence, resistance to a certain disease, faster breeding rate, ability to digest certain plants that were more common, having less hair...
The Neanderthals could have been much cleverer but if they spent all day sitting around in caves chewing poppy heads rather than having more children or clearing forest then they were on a losing streak.
<<The Neanderthals could have been much cleverer but if they spent all day sitting around in caves chewing poppy heads rather than having more children or clearing forest then they were on a losing streak.>>
You mean like modern Europeans compared to the new "guests"?
The research... showed that Neanderthal DNA has influenced modern humans.
Them: Major university research project, boffins, database of DNA samples, gobs, and gobs, of funding.
Me: Half an hour in a doctor's waiting room, gazing out the window at a traffic intersection.
I'm in the wrong line of work.
why did the neanderthals die out? Probably just back luck. Their earlier diaspora meant that they got further north, and got there earlier than modern humans. When the ice ages came along they got frozen out and died - with just a few remaining further south where they were eventually absorbed into the modern human expansion/migration
No humans could have survived the glacial expansion, those who did were south of it. Just luck, just chance that the neanderthals were closer to, and suffered more from the ice.
Survival of the luckiest. Not Survival of the fittest
I'm guessing that what the the paper's author is referring to is that single changes to a complex evolved system are more likely to have deleterious consequences than changes to a simple one. For example, if you take a simple machine like the wheel, making it bigger or smaller will sometimes have good consequences, and sometimes bad, depending on what the wheel is being used for. However, take a more complex machine like the watch, changing the size of an individual cog is much more likely to break the watch than improve it or have no effect.
Another example would be genetic mutations - if these happen in a bacterium's genome, it may kill the bug or it may increase its antibiotic resistance and help it survive. If mutations happen in the DNA of one of my skin cells however (and I hope I'm considered to be a bit more complex than a bacterium), the result will almost certainly be cell death or cancer.
If mutations happen in the DNA of one of my skin cells however (and I hope I'm considered to be a bit more complex than a bacterium), the result will almost certainly be cell death or cancer.
Yes but we aren't talking about changing the DNA of a living, formed and already specialized cell. It isn't like you can take a skin cell and turn it into a brain cell by simply changing the DNA. This would be at a level where it's a tweak to the original building instructions for an entire organism. If it produces something really bad the organism isn't viable and is never born. If it's so slight it produces something as minor as better blood clotting or addiction it isn't clear that either is necessarily bad.
Frankly I find the statement "... but these days it's an issue with raising the possibility of blot clots and strokes" to be laughable without any evidence to back it up. For all we know it stemmed from a resistance to haemophilia in less genetically diverse populations. I also don't see any genetic resistance to strokes, clots or heart attacks based on the lack of Neanderthal DNA, or Denisovan for that matter, in any given population but rather it seems to be one dominated by diet and activity.
There appears to be no review of the affects on humans with different ancestry. My impression from the articles and posts on human/neanderthal communing is that this was largely a European activity. Did the interbreeding with Neanderthals take place in Africa? If not, are modern Africans less likely to get addicted to smoking? Clot less easily?
"Did the interbreeding with Neanderthals take place in Africa?"
the literature on the web suggests not, however there appears to have been a later reverse migration from Europe to North Africa of humans carrying small traces of Neanderthal DNA. If I understand it correctly, this appears to correlate with SOME of the Berber and Arabic types.
However black Africans appear to be free of Neanderthal DNA
However I really suggest you Google this for yourself - its easy for someone when posting to accidentally put a false slant on this and end up causing a racial shitstorm inadvertently
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