Thursday, May 6, 2010
Neanderthals: Not Extinct, Just Called “Humans” Now
Before “Neanderthal” was a pejorative, it was a species of pre-historic weird things that roamed Europe and Asia and died off sometime after the Ice Age ended—or so we thought. However, a new study shows that some of this Neanderthal D.N.A. has been preserved within human D.N.A. “In a significant advance, the researchers mapped most of the Neanderthal genome—the first time that the heredity of such an ancient human species has been reliably reconstructed. The researchers, able for the first time to compare the relatively complete genetic coding of modern and prehistoric human species, found the Neanderthal legacy accounts for up to 4% of the human genome among people in much of the world today,” reports The Wall Street Journal.