I’m part Neanderthal, and proud of it!Apr 29th, 2011 | By Trey | Category: Ancestry
If you hadn’t been reading the news, the draft sequence of the Neandertal (or is it Neanderthal, spell check won’t take the former) was released and published in Science a year ago. There is a lot of fascinating stuff over there. Of course the big news, the stuff that was flying through the news, are non-African genomes are 1-4% Neanderthal. This seems to conclusively settle the question that yes, we are a little bit Neanderthal and we didn’t replace them, we absorbed them with some interbreeding (interesting theory as to how). Perhaps not so completely as that but definitely some admixture going on. As Razib of Gene Expression points out, it’s fascinating to watch how quickly, in the face of data, the paradigm has shifted. (great post and discussion, should read it).
As Razib points out, and as you can read in the announcement at UCSC, the UCSC Genome Browser now has the draft data up (The UCSC Genome Browser is a analysis tool used by scientists to study the human and many other genomes, genetics, evolution and much more).
I’ve been checking my own DNA sequence against possible Neanderthal variation, and indeed, I probably carry some Neanderthal inherited variation. I always joked that my deepset eyes and protruding eyebrow ridge was my Neanderthal heritage, now I can say that with a bit more confidence.
And… I’ll never make fun of Neanderthals again, nor call anyone a Neanderthal unless it’s to complement them .
John Hawks has a nice little series called the “Neanderthal anti-defamation files” that are quite humorous. His latest riffs on the Economist which makes a derogatory remark about a “reforming the Neanderthal funding system.” I ask, as John does: “There’s a Neanderthal funding system?! Holy lucre, Batman!”
Check out his others and stop making fun of us Neanderthals .