European Women with Neanderthal Progesterone Receptor Gene Are More Fertile

Hugo Zeberg, at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Karolinska Institutet, published an interesting study with colleagues Janet Kelso and Svante Pääbo on Neandertal admixture and its impact on modern day fertility. Diverging from a common human lineage over 600,000 years ago, Neandertals and modern humans began an exchange of genetic material... Continue Reading →

Vindija 33.19’s Genome Shows We Are More Neanderthal Than We Thought

Two new, fascinating papers on Neanderthal genetic introgression and the sequencing of an entire Neanderthal's genome came out this last week. Before these new studies, only one (Altai, Siberia 125ka) of four Neanderthal specimens have had their entire genomes sequenced with sufficient quality to compare to modern humans. This new genome comes from a 52,000... Continue Reading →

A Deeper Introgression Of Ancient Humans and Neanderthals

New ancient DNA discoveries from an ancient 124,000-year-old Neanderthal femur suggests modern human ancestors interbred with Neanderthals between 470,000 and 220,000 years ago. This is much earlier than previously thought. Cosimo Posth at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History led analysis of mitochondrial DNA from an ancient Neanderthal thigh bone discovered 80... Continue Reading →

The Krapina Neanderthals Used Toothpicks

Bulletin of the International Association for Paleodontology recently published discovery of multiple toothpick grooves on 130,000 year old Krapina Neanderthal teeth. David Frayer, professor emeritus of Anthropology at University of Kansas, who published the 2015 PLoS ONE study about a set of eagle talons jewelry is one of the study authors. The teeth and all the... 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 →

Neanderthal remains from Troisième Caverne in Goyet, Belgium have cut marks that imply they were butchered and processed for consumption similar to remains of reindeer and horse from the same site. With most of the bone fragments are from the tibia and femur bones, the researchers hypothesized those were consumed for their higher in meat... 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 →

At last week's Biology of Genomes meeting in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, Qiaomei Fu, a palaeogenomicist at Harvard Medical School, raised the concept that modern humans were mating with Neanderthals right near the time they became extinct. She and her team estimate that 5–11% of the genome of the 40,000 year old mandible from... Continue Reading →

Many cultures existed in Europe about 40-45,000 years ago. About 42,000 years ago, in southern Europe, the Protoaurignacian developed and the culture that followed marked a turning point in modern humanity. They made the earliest instruments, the earliest art, and possibly the first representation of a human figure. It has been hard to conclusively prove that the Protoaurignacians... Continue Reading →

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