One Genetic Risk Factor for Severe Respiratory Distress from COVID-19 Derives from Neanderthals

Several days ago, Carl Zimmer, wrote a piece on a curious segment of the human genome, spanning 6 genes on Chromosome 3. This segment is unique in that 63% of Bangladeshi's carry at least one copy, and about 1/3 of of South Asians carry this variant. In Europe, only 8% of people carry this segment,... Continue Reading →

Humans, Denisovans & Neanderthals Were Genetically Less Different Than Polar Bears & Brown Bears

A study published a couple days ago in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows us that ancient humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans had more genetic similarities than polar bears and brown bears do. In other words, the genetic distance between our ancient relatives and us was smaller than between pairs of species that are... Continue Reading →

A Russian Ancestor to Native Americans

Russian archaeologists in 1976 excavating the Ust’-Kyakhta-3 site on the banks of the Selenga River A. P. Okladnikov During the 1970's, a site called Ust-Kyakhta found between the Mongolian borders and the southern banks of the Lake Baikal, was excavated. The Russian team unearthed many stone and bone tools as well as ceramics, and reindeer... Continue Reading →

Five Neanderthal Genomes Tell Us More Than Ever

We've been quite limited by our ancient DNA of Neanderthals due to limited sample size from the fossil record and then compounded with degradation and contamination of DNA. Last week, Nature, published a fantastic article ultimately from Svante Pääbo and Janet Kelso on a novel way to extract more DNA from less fossil sample; using... Continue Reading →

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