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Decoding the genome has yielded evidence of hybridization between Homo sapiens and Neanderthal man

Did the immigrants from Africa breed with the Neanderthals in Israel? A study published in Science reveals that 1-4% of the genome of the Europeans, the Chinese and the inhabitants of Papua New Guinea originated from the Neanderthals, the only place where they could have met was the Middle East

Neanderthal man - from Wikipedia, illustration from the 19th century Public domain image
Neanderthal man - from Wikipedia, illustration from the 19th century Public domain image

After extracting ancient DNA from 40,000-year-old Neanderthal bones, scientists were able to obtain a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome. This research yielded important insights into the evolution of modern man. In this way, the pendulum of the studies that move between the fact that the species are completely different and the fact that the Neanderthals assimilated with modern man will be disposed of.

Among the findings, published in the May 7 issue of the journal Science, it was found that shortly after the first modern humans migrated from Africa, some of them interbred with the Neanderthals, following the discovery of non-African pieces of DNA found in the genome of modern humans today.

"Now we can say that, apparently, there was gene flow between Neanderthals and modern humans," said the paper's first author, Richard Green of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Green, now a professor of biomolecular engineering at UC Santa Cruz's Baskin School of Engineering, began working on the Neanderthal genome as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Svante Pabo, director of the genetics department at the institute, leads the Neanderthal genome project, which includes an international consortium of researchers. David Reich, a population geneticist at MIT and Harvard, also played a central role in new research and the ongoing investigation of the Neanderthal genome.

"Sequencing the Neanderthal genome allows us to begin to define all of these traits in our genome where we differ from all other organisms on Earth, including the relationship with our evolutionary relatives, the Neanderthals," said Pabo.

The researchers identified a catalog of genetic characteristics unique to modern humans by comparing the Neanderthal genome, a modern human genome, and chimpanzee genes. The genes involved in cognitive development, skull structure, metabolism, skin morphology and physiology are among the most prominent factors that have undergone important changes in recent human evolution.

"With this paper, we're just scratching the surface," Green said. "The Neanderthal genome is a goldmine of information about human evolution, and it will be possible to continue to carry out this type of research for many years to come."

Neanderthals lived in large areas of Europe and Western Asia before becoming extinct about 30,000 years ago. They coexisted with humans in Europe for thousands of years, and fossil evidence has led some scientists to hypothesize that modern humans interbred with Neanderthals. However, it turns out that the non-African genes are found not only in Europeans but also in East Asia, and Papua New Guinea, where the Neanderthal man did not reach.

"This script is not what most people expected," Green said. "We found the genetic signal of the Neanderthals in all the non-African genome segments, which means that the breeding happened at an early stage, probably in the Middle East, and is common to all the descendants of the first humans who migrated out of Africa."

The study did not attribute a functional significance to the non-African origin because only 1-4% of the genome of the inhabitants who are not of African origin originates from the Neanderthal genome. According to Green there is no genetic evidence that any important trait came from the Neanderthals. These are fragments of a genome, hinting at what was in the past.

The DNA studied was extracted from three Neanderthal bones found in Vindiga Cave in Croatia, and smaller amounts of sequence were obtained from three bones from other sites. One of the bones from Windiga is of a Neanderthal from 38 years ago and the other of a Neanderthal who died 44 years ago.

Extracting the genome sequence - which represents the genetic code on all the chromosomes of an organism - from such ancient DNA is an extraordinary technological achievement. Neanderthal human bones were not well preserved, and more than 95 percent of the DNA extracted from them came from bacteria and other organisms that took over the bone.

The researchers had to develop special methods to extract the Neanderthal DNA and ensure that it was not contaminated with human DNA. They used a new technology to obtain data directly from the extracted DNA sequence without amplification. However, although genome scientists prefer to sequence at least 4-5 times to ensure accuracy, most of the Neanderthal genome has so far only been sequenced twice.

The Neanderthal draft sequence is probably full of errors, Green said, but the comparison with the genomes of modern humans and chimpanzees allows it to be used despite its limitations. Places where humans differ from chimpanzees, while Neanderthals still have a sequence from the first ancestor that separates humans from chimpanzees may represent uniquely human genetic traits. Such comparisons have allowed researchers to catalog genetic changes that have become permanent or in modern humans in recent times over the past hundreds of thousands of years.

"The findings shed light on a critical time in human evolution since we separated from the Neanderthals," Green said. "We want to understand what the adaptations are to the changes that have taken place in the last 300,000 years, in which we became fully modern humans. This is the area I find most exciting. We are currently still trying to identify candidates for further research.”

The ancestral line of humans and chimpanzees probably separated 5-6 million years ago. By analyzing the Neanderthal genome and comparing it to modern man, Green and his colleagues estimated that his ancestor, the Neanderthal population, split from modern man 270 to 440 years ago.

Evidence that more recent genes flowed between Neanderthals and humans came from analysis showing that Neanderthals are closer to some races of modern humans than others. The researchers looked at the place where DNA sequences are known to vary between individual humans by a single "letter". While comparing different humans with Neanderthals they checked how the Neanderthal sequence is similar or different with the different humans.

The frequency of Neanderthal adaptations should be similar in all populations if genes flowed between Neanderthals and humans before the separations. However, this is not what they found. They looked at the diversity of modern humans, including people from South Africa, West Africa, Papua New Guinea, China and Western Europe. The researchers found that the frequency of Neanderthal genes is similar to that of non-Africans compared to the frequency of changes in the genes of African residents.

According to Green, even a very small number of cases of interbreeding could explain these results. The researchers estimate that gene flow between Neanderthals and humans occurred between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago. The best explanation is that interbreeding happened when early man came out of Africa and encountered Neanderthals for the first time.

"We can't imagine how a cultural contact between humans and Neanderthals took place, but the knowledge of gene flow is important, and it's fascinating to think about how the meeting could have happened," said Green.

The researchers could not rule out a possible alternative explanation for their findings. In this scenario, the genetic signal he discovered could represent an ancient genetic base that existed within Africa, such that today's ancestral non-African population was closer to Neanderthals than was the ancestor of today's African population. "We think that's not the case, but we can't rule out that possibility," Green said.

The researchers expect many new findings to emerge from the ongoing study of Neanderthal genome sequences. Pabo's group recently found evidence of a previously unknown type of hominid. After analyzing the DNA sequence of the finger bone discovered in Siberia, it turned out to be Neanderthal.

35 תגובות

  1. Eshin, son of Yitzchak and Rebekah, was red and had a thick mane of hair, with animal accents.
    His mother Rebecca was temporarily barren... Rachel too...

  2. To Yuval Chaikin.
    In the past we also claimed that the mother of the Saudi oil minister Zaki Yamani is a Jew from Yemen and was one of the Yemenis who claims to have known his family and him as a small child in Yemen.
    I don't understand what it adds and what it contributes to looking for a Jewish origin in all kinds of gentiles, oppressors or righteous people. If we do genetic tests, we may discover that many gentiles have Jewish ancestry and this was also done for Portugal and Italy, and it is true.

  3. The use of the word "man" and especially in such articles, is simply wretched and ridiculous.
    "Adam" is of course named after "Adam" from the story of the Bible, a relatively close story in the history of mankind.
    He is also not neutral and too masculine, there is nothing to be done.

    We need to use the concept of Homo sapiens, or invent a more neutral word than "man" that connects us to stupid beliefs in the stories of the Bible.

    Quickly eliminate the word "male" "female" "person" "men" "women" and invent other words that better describe reality, without the chauvinist biblical context.

    These words also legitimize brain malignancies and incorrect links like commenter 1's.

  4. deer. Thanks for an interesting and original response. Whoops - you are a disgusting racist. Gulliver - what? A. Ben-Ner - It doesn't seem like you really had anything to say. Mr. Blizovsky - Thank you for the article, but please ask the website editor to hire a professional translator. The translation was confused and confusing.

  5. Gulliver

    Listen... I don't understand at all what you're talking about and I don't think anyone else here does either.
    What does the Higgs particle have to do with the whole topic?
    I will ask you honestly: do you know what the Higgs field is - or did you just hear that the Higgs particle is important and based your comment on that? - I really don't see the connection.
    In fact, I can ask the same question about almost everything you wrote in your response.

    I recommend that you write a longer and more detailed explanation of your theory and also include the following words:
    Anti-matter, dark energy, about symmetry, string theory and time travel and just to be sure, mention quantum theory a few more times (Higgs was a nice gloss).
    You should also talk about multi-dimensions, aliens, a thing or two about the new particle accelerator in Switzerland (maybe hiding results???) and something about scientists thinking they know everything.

    For a start this will be good, then if you want to progress, you will have to start your own blog and fill it with your impressive insights.

    I don't think what you wrote is a particularly interesting challenge.

  6. I don't know who to agree with in the debate - but in my opinion, a little modesty will not harm any of the commenters, including the author of the article. And "by the way" - I would be happy if the translation and proofreading of the article indicated seriousness, beyond the desire to demonstrate knowledge. Sorry.

  7. No. Ben-Ner.
    Do you doubt the existence of a "primary" particle?
    Thank you for the compliments you showered on me, but I don't deserve them. Of course, what I wrote about the DNA is aimed solely at those whose genome is made up of some substance - unlike you, apparently. And I would actually love to meet you, since I have never met a being who is pure spiritual and intelligent energy.
    I have never claimed to see any complete picture, nor have I written such decisive articles as if I were seeing it (which I cannot say about Mr. Blizovsky who insists on calling everything anti-Darwinist -
    "religious") .
    With all the appreciation for the modesty you showed, it is in its place, since reading comprehension is still a challenge for you (in a positive sense, of course, you don't need to insult, it's not personal, I don't know you personally, unfortunately).

  8. Now the blacks can look down on all other humans
    - Including all the racists. They don't have any trace of a Neanderthal gene
    In contrast to the residents of Bnei Barak and Immanuel.

  9. Question: How close is the Neanderthal genome to that of Homo sapiens? Is it like the proximity between the genome of the Caucasian and the Negroid, for example?

  10. To the very learned Gulliver Foyle.
    In response to your very learned words in response #18 to what was said:
    “……Everything is information at high speed (see quantum physics) and there is order – if not intelligence – in the way this information is arranged in the universe. If you want, replace the word information with the word sub-sub-atomic particles (Higgs? - bits?) ..."
    Are you claiming that there was a Higgs particle in the DNA of the Neanderthals?
    Are you claiming that the Neanderthals had a merciful mass?
    Bold, original and far-reaching claims indeed. Not to say somewhat stupid (in the positive sense of course, you don't need to insult, it's not personal, I don't know you personally, and maybe it's good that way).
    The existence of the "Higgs" has not yet been proven and you are already basing the theory of evolution on it. Little Darwin next to you.
    There is no doubt that, if these are your claims about what the "complete picture" looks like, as you say, then I would not be surprised if
    Indeed, Avi Blizovsky finds it difficult to see her as you say. Even I, with all modesty, find it difficult to see her.
    Maybe you can enlighten us and elaborate. Or do you also not believe in the ability of the other surfers to "see" what you call "the complete picture" and what I call (with your permission) "the follies in their folly".

  11. In order to calm down some of the debates about evolution, I suggest (for those who have not yet read it), to read the book "Evolution in four dimensions" by: Chava Yablonka and Marion G. Lamb.
    Although it is not an easy book to read for those who are not familiar with basic terms in biology, it is definitely recommended...

    Hanan Sabat

  12. Advantageous traits may have entered this hybridization regardless of whether it was consensual or forced:
    Mercy, sympathy, concern for others - findings that emerge from caves where Neanderthal man was (burial of the dead and more). This is on the border of racial theory, so we will be careful. Let's not forget that there is no big difference between blacks and whites - that is, maybe
    The Neanderthal and we were very similar species.
    Also, let's not forget that the Neanderthal man adapted for a long time to the conditions in Europe and Asia, and therefore had features suitable for the environment. I have always believed that there is no obstacle to having a relationship between these 2 human species - they are very similar, unless there was sterility in the relationship - that is, it was not possible to have fertile offspring, such as a mule from a donkey and a horse.

  13. I agree with my father.
    In my opinion, Gulliver's words express a Lilliputian mind.

  14. Regardless, I think it's worth doing another proofreading before publishing an article. It gives the feeling of a more serious article..

  15. Nonsense in juice. If evolution is sufficient to explain the complexity of nature, there is no need to complicate the explanation with religious elements of one kind or another.
    The non-random elements are not in genes but in the process of evolution.

  16. Mr. Blizovsky - I'm glad that the facts don't confuse you... by the way, in my opinion, both creationists and Darwinists have "unclean" interests. But I'm sure you've heard of the "directed hand" school of thought - non-random elements in the genome have some source and reason... but I don't have the strength or time to explain that it's all high-speed information (see quantum physics) and there is order - if not intelligence - in the way this information is arranged in the universe. If you want, replace the word information with the word sub-sub-atomic particles (Higgs? - bits?)...
    And forgive me if I doubt your ability to see the whole picture.

  17. Chest (6):

    I see that you have started to block comments on your "blog" that present you with difficulties that you are unable to deal with.
    You are definitely an "enlightened" person.

  18. Michael, thanks for the referral to Zvi Messini. I will delve into it soon. But it is important for me to clarify that since I suffered from the Jerusalem syndrome and wrote what I wrote about the connection between Judaism and Islam, I have suffered from other syndromes - some of them are reassuring.

    A point touched on a very important point, perhaps unintentionally: not long ago I read a scholarly opinion that Ahmadinejad is a converted Jew, and it sounds even more convincing than Hitler's grandfather.

    While writing these lines, a burning idea came to me: to spread throughout Iran the fact of the Jewishness of their revered leader

  19. jubilee:
    I don't know if that's what you meant, but it is possible to find a parallel between the question you ask at the end of response 8, and the question he asked at a point in response 11 (which is wise...)

    By the way, I googled your name and saw comments you wrote (I assume it's you - please confirm or deny) on the subject of the relationship between the Arabs of Israel and the people of Israel.
    I wanted to ask you, in this context, do you know Zvi Messini and his initiative?

  20. my father (response 10)

    According to the biological definition, your words are understood above them. According to the religious definition. However, ………

    abandoned. Not important. I was just kidding

  21. One of the Neanderthal genes that was the same as the Spines is FOXP2 which is related to the ability to speak.

  22. Is it possible that the same Neanderthal genes are expressed here and there in humans more than modern genes?
    For example Ahmadinejad

  23. For Jubilee, not necessarily. It's not other animals. These are humans who probably left Africa a hundred thousand years earlier, and despite this disconnect, could still breed with those who left after them.

  24. Chest:
    Now that you're developing your nonsense website, maybe you'll let us know?
    Anyone who wants to chat with you can do so there.

    my father:
    Maybe charge him money for posting his site on your site?

  25. It turns out that sexual behaviors forbidden in the Torah, "You shall not have sex with other animals", are indeed allowed and even desired in evolution. Have we come to understand the roots of the conflict between Darwinism and creationism?

  26. They will have a problem, because there is no such thing as followers of Achaic evolution. There is an evolution that has one random component but many non-random components that prevent that random component from running amok. I'm not writing the response to you because I know it's been explained to you and you don't understand, but it should be made clear to the readers that this term is a term coined by creationists to deliberately misrepresent evolution with its scarecrow, then throw away the scarecrow and mislead readers or listeners as if what What has fallen is evolution itself.

  27. Maybe it was some ayatollah who fancied a hairy and sweaty Neanderthal... Well done for the excellent translation and the amazing proofreading...

  28. to the point

    I understand that what bothers you is whether they got married before Moshe and Israel or did they just mercifully get married?
    Indeed this is a difficult question. I believe that what happened is that Shabbat Yisrael was kosher, Neanderthal, and since then it has left its mark on the array of our precious gardens.
    So Shabbat Shalom to you and to all the people of Israel
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  29. hybridization? Maybe it was rape?
    In this sense it seems that the story of Cain and Abel is parallel to the story of the Sapiens and the Neanderthals
    : )

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