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  (Source: BBC)
New study offers strong genetic evidence in support of the hypothesis that humans and their close kin hooked up

With the sequencing of the Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) genome, we discovered that 1 to 4 percent of genes of humans (Homo sapiens) matched those found in Neanderthals.  Notably, matching genes suggested Neanderthals likely were fair skinned with blond/red hair, while humans at the time appeared to mostly have dark skin and black/brown hair.
 
The hot question in the aftermath of that sequencing was whether these similarities occurred spontaneously or whether they were the result of our ancestors getting it on, technically speaking, with Neanderthals.
 
The interbreeding hypothesis is attractive due to geography if nothing else.  Namely, the locations with the last surviving Neanderthal populations (Scandinavia, the English isles) also happen to have the most prevalent rate of Neanderthal appearance genes (fair skin, blond/red hair) of anywhere in the world.
 
We felt this particular hypothesis to be quite compelling.  That Neanderthal glancing at you across the campfire might look a little odd at first, what with her fair skin, auburn hair, and angular cheekbones.  But get a couple of Stone Age beers in you and she starts to look like a perfect 10.

Stone Age beer
Stone Age beer likely played a key role in human and Neanderthal hook ups.
[Image Source: Asle Rønning]

Now evolutionary geneticists with the University of Edinburgh and the Wageningen University (Netherlands) have published an impressive study in the peer-reviewed journal Genetics that indicates that's indeed how the genetic similarity likely arose.
 
The new study comes in response to a 2012 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Anders Eriksson and Andrea Manica of the University of Cambridge.  That study acknowledged the interbreeding possibility, but argued in favor of an alternative -- sustained substructure.  According to that theory, certain subpopulation of each group retained traits, or evolved traits in parallel, via random mutations.
 
But Professor Laurent Frantz of Wageningen University calls that idea "unparsimonious" (too theoretically complex/violating Occam's razor).  He and his UK colleague did a more thorough analysis of known human mutation rates and genetic variance, plus looked at population distribution and other factors.  The results, he states, show a resounding win for the interbreeding hypothesis, while leaving the door open to the possibility that some common genes did come from sustained substructure.

Neanderthal chuck norris
Likely not a coincidence: apparently Neanderthals looked a lot like Chuck Norris.
[Image Source: BBC]

Professor Frantz was the study's senior author, UK Professor Konrad Lohse was the first author.  Professor Frantz comments to The Verge:

We did a bunch of math to compute the likelihood of two different scenarios.  We were able to do that by dividing the genome in small blocks of equal lengths from which we inferred genealogy.

Our analysis shows that a model that involves interbreeding is much more likely than a model where there was sustained substructure in Africa.  [Substained substructure might have contributed to genetic commonality] but it cannot be used to explain the genetic similarities [alone].

There seemed to be something that has gone wrong [in that study] because it seems unparsimonious... When we tested two hypotheses, we got a high support for a scenario where humans and Neanderthals interbred.

There have been a lot of arguments about what happened to these species.  Some think that we outcompeted [other hominins] or that they were killed by humans, but now we can see that it's not that simple.  Human evolution is much more complex than we previously thought.

In other words, why would early man, struggling to survive against nature and competing tribes, waste resources on killing and driving out Neanderthals? They could instead ally with them, recruiting the close relative to join the tribe.

neanderthal skull
Geneticist Svante Pääbo, one of the men who helped sequence the Neanderthal genome peers at the fossilized remains of his possible ancestor. [Image Source: Frank Vinken]

It's a compelling notion indeed.  So crack open a cold beer; chances are your ancestors were doing the same on one fateful night some 500,000 years ago.  Thanks to them, now that Neanderthal isn't just your close phylogenetic kin, it's also your direct ancestor.

Sources: Genetics, The Verge



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is anybody surprised?
By WLee40 on 4/11/2014 11:31:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure those early homosapiens screwed anything they could. It isn't surprising in the least to me. In fact, I bet some of those strawberry blonde neandertals were pretty hot back in the day!




RE: is anybody surprised?
By fic2 on 4/11/2014 12:59:16 PM , Rating: 3
Some of the current homosapiens still screw anything they can.
No news there.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By delphinus100 on 4/13/2014 4:51:01 PM , Rating: 3
So easy, even a caveman could do it...


RE: is anybody surprised?
By Argon18 on 4/15/2014 2:25:24 PM , Rating: 1
And they still act like neanderthals! Zing!


RE: is anybody surprised?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/2014 1:26:59 PM , Rating: 3
The article suggests consensual sex. The truth is far more brutal. Evidence points to acts of violence between the two species, leading to eventual genocide.

These offspring were the product of rape, not to put too fine a point on it.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By Rukkian on 4/11/2014 2:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
Throughout many parts of history, females were thought of as property, and they really had not right refuse. I doubt it would be rape, as we see it now, even if it was forcible.

I do think there was probably quite a bit fighting between species, but probably not much more than was happening intra-species as well.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By mepinion on 4/12/2014 4:07:14 AM , Rating: 2
IMO, intra-species competition was hugely important!

Especially the taking of the environmentally presented procreation promoting evolutionary and selective pressure of opportunity type that specifically consisted of the opportunity to raid and usurp (murder) neighboring troops or tribes. That is, the usurped types of troops that those that were less coordinated, less 'focused'=lacking in capacity to not respond with pain to injury or with fear while attacking or being attacked, and less motivated because of not carrying the pleiotropic FOXP2 mutation (that occurred roughly ~6~ million years ago in a single common ancestor of ours and that endowed this ancestors and its descendants with strongly ambiadvantageous adaptive traits).

Another mutation in the same gene region is estimated to have occurred not long before last important exodus from the African cradle of humankind.

Mother Nature rocked this cradle of our evolution significantly more rapidly with the event of the last two major FOXP2 mutations.

I seemed to me that everything else you wrote was muddled or missed conveying any other point (if you had one to make?).


RE: is anybody surprised?
By Jeffk464 on 4/14/2014 12:15:19 PM , Rating: 2
So your saying their reason for extinction is that they were peaceful? Of course to this point they are a more successful species than modern humans as they were around much longer than we have been around. Time will only tell if we make it as long as they did.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By mepinion on 4/12/2014 3:15:48 AM , Rating: 2
I agree.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By Skywalker123 on 4/12/2014 1:45:56 PM , Rating: 1
So yer Mom was raped by Neanderthals? That would explain a lot.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By purerice on 4/14/2014 3:00:15 AM , Rating: 2
No, evidence does not point to such violence as the most likely explanation for Neanderthals' disappearance.
A single Neanderthal jawbone showed scratches similar to that of deer hunted by humans.

It could have been post-death cannibalism.
It could have been botched surgery.
It could have been a nasty fall.
It could have been an autopsy.
It could have been a single murder.
It could have been punishment for a crime.
It could have been Neanderthal on Neanderthal.

Let us look at the facts and employ Occam's Razor. Neanderthals were bigger, smarter, had better "technology", and were native to the environment. A violent end to their race at the hands of smaller, weaker, dumber, primitive race seems highly unlikely. More likely is that they were out-bred, kind of like African and west-Asian immigrants in Europe out-breeding the natives today.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/14/2014 8:53:29 AM , Rating: 1
The fact that you just said Neanderthals were smarter than homo sapiens, twice, ruins any credibility in this discussion you might have had.

Within a thousand years of the appearance of man, the Neanderthal race was completely extinct.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By Jeffk464 on 4/14/2014 11:59:51 AM , Rating: 2
Last show I watched they were thinking climate change led to their extinction. Neanderthals were better adapted to the cold and were better at hunting at close quarters in dense forests. We were better at hunting on open grasslands. Neanderthal were more robust and had brute strength, we had speed and agility.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By Jeffk464 on 4/14/2014 12:01:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure they also said that Neanderthal required 4X the calories that we do, that could be a pretty big disadvantage when things are scarce.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By woody1 on 4/16/2014 4:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
I never read any account that suggested that Neanderthals were more intelligent than Homo Sapiens. In fact, the opposite is the general consensus. Neanderthals are considered to lack language skills (or even the physical ability for language) and are considered to have had inferior tool-making skills. Sounds like you're trying to bend the facts to support your racist beliefs about inferior/superior races in current-day Europe.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By Silver2k7 on 4/17/2014 3:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
I belive some finds that have been attributed to homo sapiens such as tools and cave art etc have recently been proven to be much older and thus proven that Neanderthal was smarter than previously thought.


RE: is anybody surprised?
By Jeffk464 on 4/14/2014 3:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So crack open a cold beer; chances are your ancestors were doing the same on one fateful night some 500,000 years ago -


Uhm, beer requires farming and harvesting of grains. Hunter gatherer's almost certainly didn't have beer, and there is a good chance didn't know about alcohol possibly they stumbled onto fermenting fruit. I watched a show on the history of beer and their best guess was that ancient Egyptian civilization were the first to have beer, after all its sometimes called liquid bread.


That explains it.
By lawrance on 4/11/2014 9:09:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's Very Likely Neanderthals and Humans Had Sex, Produced Offspring

And clearly they migrated to DailyTech.




RE: That explains it.
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/11/2014 9:13:56 AM , Rating: 6
And here you are....


Not a coincidence...
By tigz1218 on 4/11/2014 8:59:43 AM , Rating: 3
That the Neanderthal looks just like Chuck Norris.

This is why they are called Chuck Norris facts, not jokes. I guess we really are all descendants of Chuck.




RE: Not a coincidence...
By tigz1218 on 4/11/2014 10:28:24 AM , Rating: 2
Jason I just noticed the caption under the image, did you have that there before my comment or after it? If it was before, well, then I just feel like a Neanderthal lol.


RE: Not a coincidence...
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/11/2014 10:45:33 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Jason I just noticed the caption under the image, did you have that there before my comment or after it? If it was before, well, then I just feel like a Neanderthal lol.
It was there from the start. :) Don't feel bad... great minds think alike.


Drunk
By eldakka on 4/11/2014 1:35:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But get a couple of Stone Age beers in you and she starts to look like a perfect 10.


quote:
"Cause you're pretty when I'm drunk (you're pretty when I'm drunk), Cause you're pretty when I'm drunk (you're pretty when I'm drunk), Cause you're pretty when I'm drunk (you're pretty when I'm drunk), and I'm pretty f*king drunk!"
Bloodhound Gang.




2.9% Neanderthal
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 4/11/2014 11:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
That puts me in the 82nd percentile heh




ADHD=Neanderthal?
By CalaverasGrande on 4/11/2014 3:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
Could this explain the preponderance of ADHD, dyspraxia and dyslexia among European descended males compared to Asian, middle eastern and African males?

Ps I'm pretty much Scotch/Irish/Welsh and was diagnosed ADHD in 3rd grade.




By T2k on 4/19/2014 6:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
...ie Brits and Irish - they are all descendants of a bunch of ugly, low-IQ, rowdy-sneaky, uncivilized half-humans.
It all makes sense now.




Haha, sitting around a camp fire
By BSMonitor on 4/11/2014 9:34:08 AM , Rating: 1
You mean rape and pillage, and pop out blended offspring ??




Typical Jack Mick article
By YearOfTheDingo on 4/11/2014 8:23:34 PM , Rating: 1
The ignorance displayed in this post is just breathtaking. You'd think, in this day and age, someone would be a little more careful with such a sensitive topic.

The notion that the appearance of modern Europeans has anything to Neanderthals is complete rubbish. From linguistic analysis, we know that Indo-European speakers are relative late-comers to the continent. Ten thousand years ago, they were still living in Central Asia. How the freaking hell could they be getting it on with Neanderthals half a million years before?




Not News
By Trisagion on 4/10/14, Rating: -1
RE: Not News
By DukeN on 4/11/14, Rating: -1
RE: Not News
By retrospooty on 4/11/2014 12:28:39 AM , Rating: 1
LOL... but seriously it's not news, the fact has been known for years. The info has been around for a long time and has been posted on this very site at least twice before.


RE: Not News
By Sazabi19 on 4/11/2014 8:22:30 AM , Rating: 2
Yea I was going to ask why this was put up again, the same story was published here just last month I believe. This one just wasn't as long and detailed or full of graphs.


RE: Not News
By Milliamp on 4/11/2014 3:39:50 AM , Rating: 4
We are all the retarded offspring from butt sex of a monkey fish frog.


RE: Not News
By StevoLincolnite on 4/11/2014 3:44:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We are all the retarded offspring from butt sex of a monkey fish frog .


Stop insulting my mother.


RE: Not News
By atechfan on 4/11/14, Rating: -1
RE: Not News
By Sazabi19 on 4/11/14, Rating: -1
RE: Not News
By tonyswash on 4/11/2014 8:39:22 AM , Rating: 1
I remember years ago reading the excellent novel 'The Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean Auel which is about a Cro-Magnon child who loses her parents in an earthquake and is adopted by a tribe of Neanderthal and grows up amongst them. Highly speculative but very entertaining.


RE: Not News
By Any14Tee on 4/13/2014 7:05:06 PM , Rating: 2
And the child you is the Apple of their parent's eye grows up to be famous, inventing a smart phone with round corners, sorry couldn't resist!

Actually getting back to topic, not completely sold on this hypothesis, there is also an opposing argument, which disputes this claim. The shared genome (i.e. chromosomes of a living thing, including its genes and DNA) between Homo neanderthalensis Homo sapiens derived from a common ancestry, not interbreeding.


RE: Not News
By Any14Tee on 4/13/2014 7:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
"And the child you"
.....And the child who..


RE: Not News
By NellyFromMA on 4/11/2014 12:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
Wow what a derogatory and scummy thing to say. I'm sure you're a prize, right? That's the best you've got, to make fun of someone's wife.

I think I found the real Neanderthal.


RE: Not News
By Sazabi19 on 4/11/2014 2:28:00 PM , Rating: 2
It was aimed at them both :) Never said I was a prize either. I've got more but I try to keep it in check. I never said anything about her being a missing link to Neanderthal either ;) (think Lucy). And wow... gee, call me Neanderthal, boy that hurts, especially coming from you.


RE: Not News
By NellyFromMA on 4/14/2014 11:20:19 AM , Rating: 2
LOL, read anything I write on here. It's contents speak for itself.

From my area, demeaning a female is highly offensive. Especially the particular person you mention. Attack her policies perhaps.

I'm sure you were kidding, but it was in poor taste.


RE: Not News
By rountad on 4/11/2014 9:02:34 AM , Rating: 1
You really think that a Yale graduate who rose to become president is retarded?


RE: Not News
By therealnickdanger on 4/11/2014 9:13:35 AM , Rating: 2
Why yes, of course. Proper debate and discourse is dead. The ad hominem attack is the first line of defense to support one's views. Didn't you get the memo, idiot?


RE: Not News
By Dorkyman on 4/11/2014 3:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Astonished at the lack of intellectual honesty these days. "W is stupid. Koch Brothers are evil. Republicans hate women. If you disagree with Obama, you're a racist." Yeah, right.

The Libs in the USA have evolved into a venom-spewing, brain-switched-off mob. I only hope that people living in other countries can keep their common sense while we lose ours. Strange times.


RE: Not News
By Rukkian on 4/11/2014 5:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
You saying
quote:
The Libs in the USA have evolved into a venom-spewing, brain-switched-off mob.
when everybody does it is pretty telling. This is not a lib vs rep deal unless you get all of your news from faux news.

Not saying libs are any better (or worse) than cons. See it for what it is, many people seem to resort to these type of tactics.

Anybody that can be in Whitehouse has to be pretty smart, however, of all of the presidents that have been around in the television (and internet?) age, W came across sort of aloof and I can see why some may say his is an idiot. While I didn't like his policies, and the way the government was run, I don't think he was an idiot.

I actually think that Obama is probably not quite as bright as W, although he comes across more so on TV usually due to him being a better (imo) public speaker, and better at telling people what they want to hear.

I personally think Clinton was the best President in my short life time due to him being more centrist instead of pushing way left (or right). The majority of the country seems to be stuck on pointing fingers. This seems to be what the 2 parties want so we don't ever actually hold anybody accountable. In the end, both parties are full (almost entirely) of people that really only care about themselves instead of actually doing things for the people.


RE: Not News
By EricMartello on 4/14/2014 10:25:35 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
when everybody does it is pretty telling. This is not a lib vs rep deal unless you get all of your news from faux news.


No, actually, not everybody does it. The majority of character attacks and other fact-less nonsense comes from the left, because that is the side of politics where facts do not exist.

If you have a problem with a news outfit that reports facts and allows opposing viewpoints to debate then you have a problem with Fox News. If you think you are "smart" because you buy into that whole anti-fox bit then you've already taken a big stride toward being part of America's problem - a liberal.

quote:
Not saying libs are any better (or worse) than cons. See it for what it is, many people seem to resort to these type of tactics.


Again, false. The most recent presidential campaigns highlighted the difference quite clearly. Obamas re-election campaign was ENTIRELY comprised of lies, half-truths and character attacks. Romney did not stoop to obama's level and instead campaigned on what he wanted to do - revitalize America's economy. Romney has already been vindicated in showing that he was right about the things he said during his campaign while obama continues to look as dumb as he is.

The media was entirely complicit in playing up obama and playing down romney, as they always are, ensuring that Americans who rely on the news do not get all of the facts and cannot make an intelligent decision. Fox News, was the only news outfit that gave fair coverage to all sides.

quote:
Anybody that can be in Whitehouse has to be pretty smart, however, of all of the presidents that have been around in the television (and internet?) age, W came across sort of aloof and I can see why some may say his is an idiot. While I didn't like his policies, and the way the government was run, I don't think he was an idiot.


And yet GW ran the USA far better than obama has...what you believe you didn't like was all of the BS that the media spun against him and you were too lazy to verify.

Many of GW's policies were so effective that obama didn't even change any of them, and when they were about to expire, he renewed them - yes, the very same policies he campaigned against.

quote:
I actually think that Obama is probably not quite as bright as W, although he comes across more so on TV usually due to him being a better (imo) public speaker, and better at telling people what they want to hear.


Which is why he doesn't do interviews on Fox News.

quote:
I personally think Clinton was the best President in my short life time due to him being more centrist instead of pushing way left (or right). The majority of the country seems to be stuck on pointing fingers. This seems to be what the 2 parties want so we don't ever actually hold anybody accountable. In the end, both parties are full (almost entirely) of people that really only care about themselves instead of actually doing things for the people.


Clinton wasn't a centrist, he was a realist who understood that if he wanted to get anything done he'll have to find some common ground between opposing ideas. He did try and fail to get cap-n-trade passed, and under obama the liberals are trying this failure of an idea again by having CO2 labeled a "pollutant" among other things.

The political left only exists to benefit the rich, wealthy elites that want to keep their money and power. Commoners who buy into the propaganda that the left cares only become stepping stones for these pieces of trash to stay in power.

The political right is the party that wants a reduced government with more limited powers, and is not concerned about telling people what they should consider to be "the greater good", rather they want people to be able to make it on their own.

Your generalizations highlight your ignorance on politics, probably because you are one of those buffoons who "gets his news from the daily show".


RE: Not News
By sgw2n5 on 4/14/2014 12:00:46 PM , Rating: 2
The funny (well... more sad really) thing is that I'm sure that you believe everything you just posted.

You really are deluded.


RE: Not News
By EricMartello on 4/14/2014 4:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
Oh my...the only thing sharper than your wit is a rubber spatula.


RE: Not News
By sgw2n5 on 4/15/2014 2:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the irony of insulting someone's wit while flubbing the insult will of course be lost on you...


RE: Not News
By EricMartello on 4/15/2014 4:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
Bet you wish you could edit or delete that comment, don't you? LOL


RE: Not News
By Jeffk464 on 4/14/2014 1:01:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The ad hominem attack is the first line of defense to support one's views. -


Oh yeah, well your a poo poo head.


RE: Not News
By spamreader1 on 4/11/2014 10:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
Some of the dumbest people I've met were highly educated. Don't know about the rest of you.


RE: Not News
By gamerk2 on 4/11/2014 11:59:47 AM , Rating: 2
Not dumb, "isolated". They've been exposed to a singular worldview, which results in a bright, but very closed mind.


RE: Not News
By drlumen on 4/11/2014 12:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Some got a degree but just barely... Lawyers spring to mind.

Like the old joke, by process of elimination, somewhere out there is the world's worst doctor - and someone has an appointment with him (or her) tomorrow.


RE: Not News
By rountad on 4/11/2014 1:58:50 PM , Rating: 2
Hi Everybody!


RE: Not News
By jmunjr on 4/12/2014 9:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
Had you written that Obama was the offspring of a neanderthal and not Bush there would be cries of racism... Sad double standard so many live by...


RE: Not News
By Jeffk464 on 4/14/2014 12:59:16 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
retarded George W Bush


George Bush senior was not the inept dumb ass that his son was and he ironically only got one term.


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