Neanderthals have repeatedly mated with modern humans

Neanderthals have repeatedly mated with modern humans
Neanderthals have repeatedly mated with modern humans
Anonim

New research has shown that Neanderthals mated multiple times with anatomically modern humans and produced offspring.

effects-of-neanderthal-dna-on-modern-humans-l1
effects-of-neanderthal-dna-on-modern-humans-l1

Researchers at the University of Tempe found evidence that Neanderthals frequently mated and reproduced with anatomically modern humans, thereby disproving earlier research. In their work, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, Fernando Villanea and Joshua Schreiber describe their genetic analysis of East Asian and European peoples and how they differ from people from other regions.

In recent years, scientists have found that early humans who emerged from Africa encountered Neanderthals living in what is now Europe and East Asia. By comparing the DNA of Neanderthals to that of modern humans, the researchers found that there had been at least one mating that produced offspring. This is reflected in human DNA: approximately two percent of the DNA of modern non-African people belongs to Neanderthals. Also in the new study, there is evidence that there was more than one such case.

Their conclusions are quite logical, given that anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals have coexisted for almost 30 thousand years. Another recent study also indicated that there were multiple unions that produced offspring: some people from East Asia, for example, showed up to 20 percent more Neanderthal DNA than purebred Europeans.

Scientists have focused on one goal: to find out whether the mating was single or not. They analyzed data from the 1000 Genomes Project, calculating the amount of Neanderthal DNA in the genetic material of the volunteers. The first step was to split the data between people of European and Asian descent. This suggested that both groups showed signs of multiple early mating. The researchers then created simulations that summarized the different values between the two groups. Further, the data obtained from the simulations were entered into a machine learning algorithm, which showed the pattern of DNA inheritance based on the number of crosses.

The researchers concluded that it is likely that there have been repeated episodes of interbreeding between Neanderthals and humans from Europe and East Asia.

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