Science

Neanderthal DNA influences our looks, mood, and behavior, says study

A month ago, a study related to a Neanderthal boy’s skeleton found from the caves of Spain, revealed that our extinct Neanderthal ancestors grew almost like us that means the general pattern of a Neanderthal’s growth is very similar to modern humans. And now a recent study has indicated that many people’s skin tone, hair color, and even mood, are likely due in part to sexual rendezvous between their human ancestors and Neanderthals many thousands of years ago.

Recently, researchers studied about the genome sequence of a Neanderthal woman skeleton collected from Vindija Cave in Croatia and found out that we share a lot of common traits with our Neanderthal ancestors. Starting from bad behavior to good looks, all the things of modern human beings are influenced by our extinct ancestors. Also a lot of health-related things like Schizophrenia, cholesterol, eating disorders and heart issues are driven by Neanderthal DNA.

Scientists at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology recently made a deeper analysis of the influence of the two percent of Neanderthal DNA that most non-African people carry in their genes today. Although researchers got many genetic evidences of human interbreeding in previous studies, now they got the hints about how the genes work and how they influence the activities of modern human beings.

The research team collected the genetic, physical, and lifestyle information from over 112,000 UK individuals whose database were kept in UK Biobank. Lead author of the study, Janet Kelso, a computational biologist said that he was surprised by observing that different multiple Neanderthal alleles contributed towards skin and hair tones of human beings and added that they could now show that it is skin tone and the ease with which one tans, as well as hair color, that are affected.

Another co-author of the study, Michael Dannemann told that those findings suggest that Neanderthals might have differed in their hair and skin tones, much as people do now. Researchers also informed that along with hair and skin tones, Neanderthal DNA also influenced less tangible traits such as mood, sleep patterns and also smoking habits and all of these things are linked with light exposure. The study was published in a paper in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

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