neanderthal DNA

15 Feb 2016

People of Eurasian origin have inherited dna from Neanderthals - see

The discovery of this led to a raft of speculative ideas. Did Neanderthal genes influence physical characteristics of humans? (such as skin colour, eye colour, hair colour etc). Now we have a study in the journal Science (Feb 12th 2016) 'The phenotype legacy of admixture between modern humans and Neanderthals' by John Capra et al. The new analysis fond that Neanderthal dna could have influenced skin biology in modern humans, in particular the risk of developing sun induced skin lesions.

Meanwhile, you'll be happy to know gorillas split from the human tree as far back as 10 million years ago - see ... Shegihira Katoh in Nature February 2016.

While at ... two new hominin fossils discovered in a cave in South Africa have been dated 2 million years ago. They are apparently associated with early stone tools found in sediments that were washed into the same cave. Journal of Human Evolution (2016), DOI:10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.12.005

At ... Neanderthals could have lived and survived in Scandinavia. Mainstream find this somewhat surprising but it would not be if there had been changes in the position of the Poles, or differences in the axis of rotation. Might Scandinavia, just a few hundred thousand years ago, have been a warmer more temperate climate, quite equitable for humans to live and expand. In a catastrophic model the idea is not unreasonable - but is it likely? It seems the research is going back long before the Late Glacial Maximum - all the way to the Eemian inter glacial. As such, anything is possible as northern Europe appears to have been somewhat warmer than it is now at that time. Climate models were used to find out where Neanderthals could have survived together with the employment of propagation models (known spreads of animal and plant species). While thee is no physical evidence of Neanderthals in Scandinavia the research suggests they could have lived there if they had wished. They are known to have thrived in northern Germany, not too far away.