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Neanderthal genes

14 August 2012

It didn't take long for the consensus to shoot down in flames the idea that 4 per cent of Neanderthal genes have survived in modern European and Western Asian populations. They are now saying this is due to modern humans and Neanderthals having a common ancestor and it is therefore a remnant of even earlier peoples, presumably Homo erectus or related, where the 4 per cent is derived – anything but upset the idea of a pristine purist strain of humanity with an origin somewhere in Africa. See www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-08/uoc-rrd081312.php as an example, but pretty well forecast on a variety of other sites as well. The study was financed by among others the Leverhulme Trust – see www.leverhulme.ac.uk

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