Those years in which we live with the Neanderthals

Those years in which we live with the Neanderthals


Neandertals and ancestors of modern humans they crossed at multiple moments during a period of about 30,000 years, as revealed A study published by the magazine «Nature» and collected by Efe.

The research, developed by the Temple University of Philadelphia (United States), addresses the relationship between the Neanderthals of western Eurasia and the "anatomically modern humans" who left Africa.

For this, the experts carried out large-scale genetic analyzes of DNA fragments of Neanderthals present in current humans from East Asia and Europe.

They found that the meetings between both groups during that period of just over 30.00 years they have left a footprint in the genomes of contemporary non-African populations.

"When anatomically modern humans dispersed out of Africa, they came into contact and hybridized with Neanderthals. The Neanderthal component in the genome of modern humans is ubiquitous in non-African populations and, however, is quantitatively small, representing an average of only 2% of these genomes, "the authors explain in the text.

This pattern of descent Neanderthal in modern humans, remember, has so far been interpreted as evidence that there was only one mixing period, which occurred shortly after the departure of our ancestors from Africa.

"However, subsequent research has shown that Neanderthal ancestry is between 12 and 20% higher in modern individuals from East Asia than in Europe," explain the authors, Fernando Villanea and Joshua Schraiber.

Both argue that the DNA patterns of Neanderthal origin present in modern humans are better explained by the existence of several episodes of miscegenation that occurred between Neanderthals and European and East Asian populations.

Experts conclude that the recurrence in encounters between those humans and Neanderthals fits with the emerging vision that points to the interactions between different groups of hominids were frequent and more complex than previously thought.

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