So, non-Africans are definitely part Neanderthal

Finally the DNA evidence is in from Paabo ect. I thought I detected signs of a back track last year when he said they had probably had sex.

Neanderthal Genome Yields Insights Into Human Evolution and Evidence of Interbreeding With Modern Humans

 “We can now say that, in all probability, there was gene flow from Neanderthals to modern humans,” said the paper’s first author, Richard E. (Ed) Green of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

I’m trying to locate the full text for the Science article later. But my PC time is a bit limited today. However, I am officially entering smug mode now. Told you so.

I image there are a few anthropologists hopping up and down like excited orangutans right now at the news. To quote John Hawks:

Out-of-Africa movement was a major mechanism of recent human evolution. The genetic ancestry of living people is multiregional.

And

It does define all non-Africans today as an interspecific hybrid population.

From the article..

“The scenario is not what most people had envisioned,” Green said. “We found the genetic signal of Neanderthals in all the non-African genomes, meaning that the admixture occurred early on, probably in the Middle East, and is shared with all descendants of the early humans who migrated out of Africa.”

Which would suggest that the Levant, where modern humans and Neanderthals co-existed for some time about 120k ago was a mixing place for the two. According to the article, between 1% nd 4% of the genomes of non-Africans in Neanderthal in origin, which pretty much tallies with some of the older studies done (they are on the blog if you want to hunt them down).

The estimate of the time of admixture is around 50,000-80,000 years, however I’m not really sure why that should be correct, seeing as they first encountered each other prior to the ‘beach buggy’ colonisation of S/SE Asia, which would kind of place 80k as a bare minimum age, and more like 100k as there is some evidence of modern humans in SE Asia 74k ago under the Toba ash (necessitating a dispersal date for SE Asian populations of about 95k min). I also wonder what implications this has for the route out of Africa, as an exit via the Gate of Tears would make it less likely they’d come into contact with the Med coast Neanderthals of the era. I wonder if the number is more a composite of the very early mix in the Levant, followed by a later addition of Neanderthal DNA in Europe.

Having a happy day :)

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14 responses to “So, non-Africans are definitely part Neanderthal

  1. Giorgio Chelidonio

    Thanks. Here’s a shorter text about it.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100506141549.htm

  2. “I image there are a few anthropologists hopping up and down like excited orangutans right now at the news”.

    It looks like. Some of happiness and others quite frustrated. I fin this quite funny. :D

  3. My understanding is that they only compared the DNA of five modern humans to the Neanderthal DNA. They say that they were surprised not to find more Neanderthal DNA in the Frenchman than in the other two non-Africans, because of the 10,000 years or so during which Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons both inhabited Europe, but they suggest that this could be due to the subsequent arrival of other populations. Obviously they chose a Frenchman because France is where the greatest number of Neanderthal fossils has been found, but some other Europeans might have more Neanderthal heritage than that particular Frenchman.

  4. Not so defineatly.

    The researchers were not able to rule out one possible alternative explanation for their findings. In that scenario, the signal they detected could represent an ancient genetic substructure that existed within Africa, such that the ancestral population of present-day non-Africans was more closely related to Neanderthals than was the ancestral population of present-day Africans. “We think that’s not the case, but we can’t rule it out,” Green said.

    • The researchers were not able to rule out one possible alternative explanation for their findings.

      No, btu it wasn’t considered ‘parsimonious’.

      Also there are other studies that show genes found in Europeans/East Asians but not Africans have tmrca of dates that make it impossible for them to have come from Africa at all recently (over 1million years in one case, and some European traits for hair colour are over 100k old. PLus there are neanderthal physical traits in Europeans.

  5. “However, I am officially entering smug mode now. Told you so”.

    Several others of us too. I’ve long though there can be no other explanation for our evolution.

    “I also wonder what implications this has for the route out of Africa, as an exit via the Gate of Tears would make it less likely they’d come into contact with the Med coast Neanderthals of the era”.

    I’ve often argued with Maju/Luis over that point. To me it’s always been far more likely they emerged into the Levant rather than across the much more difficult Bab al Mandab and subsequently the extremely difficult Yemen coast.

    “seeing as they first encountered each other prior to the ‘beach buggy’ colonisation of S/SE Asia”

    I have doubts about that route too, and I’m sure conclusive evidence will be unearthed that will to disprove that idea too. I strongly suspect that humans carrying Y-hap C and mtDNA N moved east through Central Asia during a more moderate climate interval and then down the east Eurasian coast to Australia. On the other hand I quite agree that mtDNA M and Y-hap F/K moved through India to SE Asia, but they arrived in New Guinea some time after people had already reached Australia.

    • To me it’s always been far more likely they emerged into the Levant rather than across the much more difficult Bab al Mandab

      Yes, the GOT is a bugger to cross, and the assumption that they SWAM it is just ridicolous. And it would have to be a whole tribe of 20 plus individuals. I’ve always thought a Nile corridor through the desert and out via Sinai was more realistic. I suspect a lot of the DNA bottle-necking took place as the moved north along the Nile- its the most perfect location, a long narrow corrido, repeatedly sampling from the same population as they expand in a single direction. I suspect that is where Y chr DE had its origin, and I suspect E is actually native to the Nile Delta area not Asia, and it curled back around the Mahgreb coast…

      strongly suspect that humans carrying Y-hap C and mtDNA N moved east through Central Asia during a more moderate climate interval and then down the east Eurasian coast to Australia.

      Possible, but I’m okay just omitting the Saudi coast. I think that the gulf of Persia would be a natural path to follow into South Asia, so I’m happy with mixing in Israel and spreading out via the Gulf.

  6. Have the neo-nazi,k.k.k.,scotish rites,white supremist read this yet!!

  7. Uhh soo… Africans are the only humans?… wtf…?

  8. Thanks. I guess we all somehow knew this, because, many people have one or two “neanderthal physical characteristics”. I guess, I have some “Neanderthal” characteristics like the retro molar space posterior to the third molar, blood type “O”, 3 extra ribs (the extra ribs are very small), my hair is reddish blonde. I am Argentinean; my grandparents in both maternal and paternal side were Irish. However, up of today, no Neanderthal bone has been found in Ireland.
    There are a lot of people, with some Neanderthal physical characteristics in Europe as well as in the Americas. Some, American natives or “indians” including North and South, also, have some neanderthal characteristics.

    • A lot of the geens for lighter hair etc have an estimated date older than the OOA- so guessing that ginger gene is quite possibly nenaderthal!

  9. @Hadding: “My understanding is that they only compared the DNA of five modern humans to the Neanderthal DNA”.

    No, they used 12 modern people from five different populations: 1 Papuan, 1 Japanese, 2 Chinese, 3 Europeans (one of them a French and other two Caucasoids from Utah, of likely British/Danish ancestry), 1 San and 4 Yoruba (Nigerians).

    @Terry, Mathilda:

    “Yes, the GOT is a bugger to cross, and the assumption that they SWAM it is just ridicolous”.

    They crossed with boats or rafts. There is genetic evidence in the form of very old L(xM,N) lineages in Arabia Peninsula that strongly suggests, IMO, that narrow seas were not a barrier for this dynamic population in which our species had coalesced into by that time. The fact that they had no problems crossing to Australia, etc. a few millennia later and the very fact that even Crete had been colonized by unknown hominins c. 130,000 BP shows that crossing straits was not a major obstacle already and that at least some peoples were perfectly able to do it.

    @Hilaria: “I guess, I have some “Neanderthal” characteristics like the retro molar space posterior to the third molar, blood type “O”, 3 extra ribs (the extra ribs are very small)”…

    Neanderthals had no such characteristics. The extra ribs look like a very peculiar mutation in your private lineage, same as the odd molar space (Neanderthal dentition was very complete and robust). Not sure which was Neanderthal blood type(s) but group O is not just the most common human blood group but it’s particularly common in Ireland of all places.

    Hoping not to offend but your case really seems one of “Nanderthalophylic hypochondria”. ;)

  10. William Monif

    Out of Africa and multi-regional theory have now combined to the agnst of theory extremists. We did not wipe out the Neanderthals, nor did they die out…. remnants remain.

  11. Most of the literature puts out of SE Asia dispersal at 65,000 kya. Any date that gets modern humans to Europe, Australia, New Guinea and the Phillipines by 45,000-50,000 kya fits the archeological data. mtDNA mutation dating suggests 50,000-70,000 kya for South Asia and a Y-DNA mutation based date for South Asia based on haplotype C is less than 60,000 kya.

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