The news section of the University of Montreal website reports: Genetic research confirms that non-Africans are part Neanderthal. One way or another this is about you, so let’s dig right in with a few excerpts. The bold font was added by us:
Some of the human X chromosome originates from Neanderthals and is found exclusively in people outside Africa, according to an international team of researchers led by Damian Labuda of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center. The research was published in the July issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution.
You’ll need a subscription to read more than the abstract, but here’s the paper: An X-Linked Haplotype of Neandertal Origin Is Present Among All Non-African Populations. Let’s read on from the news report:
“This confirms recent findings suggesting that the two populations interbred,” says Dr. Labuda. His team places the timing of such intimate contacts and/or family ties early on, probably at the crossroads of the Middle East.
Don’t pass judgment on your ancestors, dear reader. It’s much too late for that. We continue:
Dr. Labuda and his team almost a decade ago had identified a piece of DNA (called a haplotype) in the human X chromosome that seemed different and whose origins they questioned. When the Neanderthal genome was sequenced in 2010, they quickly compared 6000 chromosomes from all parts of the world to the Neanderthal haplotype. The Neanderthal sequence was present in peoples across all continents, except for sub-Saharan Africa, and including Australia.
Note that we males, with a Y chromosome, have less Neanderthal in us than do females. That’s something to ponder, ladies. Here’s more:
“There is little doubt that this haplotype is present because of mating with our ancestors and Neanderthals. This is a very nice result, and further analysis may help determine more details,” says Dr. Nick Patterson, of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, a major researcher in human ancestry who was not involved in this study.
He thinks it’s “very nice”? We wonder what the creationists will have to say about this. By the way, the news article doesn’t say whether all non-Africans have the Neanderthal sequence in the X chromosome, but the abstract of the published paper discusses that. It says:
Here, we provide evidence of a notable presence (9% overall) of a Neandertal-derived X chromosome segment among all contemporary human populations outside Africa.
If you are so inclined, that allows you to hope that you ain’t no kin to no Neanderthal. One more excerpt from the news article:
So, speculates Dr. Labuda, did these exchanges contribute to our success across the world? “Variability is very important for long-term survival of a species,” says Dr. Labuda. “Every addition to the genome can be enriching.” An interesting match, indeed.
We suspect that the Discoveroids won’t touch this research. All that evolutionary talk about the benefits of variability will confuse them, because they think “Darwinism” means Hitlerian racial purity.
What do we make of these findings? It’s good, interesting research, but it doesn’t mean much at the personal level. We already know that a few million years ago we had ancestors in common with chimps, so identifying some non-Sapiens ancestors from 100,000 years ago shouldn’t change how we think of ourselves.
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