American scientists have found that only seven percent of our genome is characteristic exclusively of Homo sapiens: all other parts of it were the same as in people of other species, as well as more distant ancestors.
It is known that all people of non-African descent carry from two to four percent of Neanderthal genes, and indigenous Melanesians, for example, also carry Denisovan genes.
At the same time, most of the genetic variations in humans arose even before we split with the two above-mentioned species of the genus Homo ("People"). Genes common with them appeared, according to experts, from 520 thousand to 630 thousand years ago.
Scientists from the universities of California and Wisconsin (USA) examined DNA extracted from the remains of Neanderthals and Denisovans dating from 40 thousand to 50 thousand years ago, as well as 279 modern people from around the world.
To determine which genes are inherent exclusively in people of our species - Homo sapiens - we have developed a special technique. It turned out that only seven percent are unique to our species. At the same time, some people have some of them, while others do not. Therefore, even less - only 1.5 percent of genes - are characteristic in general for all sapiens living today. The work was published in the journal Science Advances.
The researchers believe that the regions of the genome discovered are related to the development of our nervous system and brain functions. Such a small part of the genome, which distinguishes our species from others that have become extinct, according to scientists, suggests that we are very young representatives of the Homo genus, if we judge on a historical scale.