The Oldest Humans, Aboriginal Australians

A genetic and cultural analysis, published in Nature, of 83 Aboriginal Australians and 25 Papuans from New Guinea suggests there was just one wave of humans out of Africa, 72,000 years ago. These these early migrants gave rise to all contemporary non-Africans, including indigenous Australians and Papuans. This group descended directly from the first people to... Continue Reading →

No, Neanderthals Didn’t Give Us Schizophrenia

Thanks to twin studies, schizophrenia is one of the few mental illnesses that we know have a genetic inheritance pattern. Schizophrenia often presents as a inability to separate reality from non-reality, where patients often experience hallucinations and stimuli that do not exist, such as hearing voices. Just how this deleterious disease came about to be... Continue Reading →

Decoding The Origins Of Ötzi’s Gut Flora

In Science this week, researchers have reported they have reconstructed the entire genome of the H. pylori that lived in Ötzi's gut and the results give us an interesting picture into the peopling of Europe approximately 5,000 years ago. Most H. pylori lives harmlessly in our stomachs. Sometimes this bug can cause ulcers and stomach cancer.... Continue Reading →

Thank Your Neandertals & Denisovans For Your Allergies

Two new papers in the American Journal of Human Genetics document how we should thank archaic humans like Neandertals and Denisovans for our allergies and boosted immune systems. Both studies highlight the functional importance of three inherited of Toll-like receptor genes; TLR1, TLR6, and TLR10. These toll like receptors respond to antigens from bacteria, fungi, and parasites and... Continue Reading →

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