Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Neanderthal in me

I inherited 2.5% of my DNA from our ancient Neanderthal cousins. It’s an average value, I’m told in my results. Some people have more, others, have less Neanderthal in them. I also hope to know soon what percentage of my genome is Denisovan (the third species of modern humans, whose fossils were discovered in a cave in Siberia, and officially recognized a year ago). Like the Neanderthals, they’ve been extinct for some 30 thousand years, they coexisted with Homo sapiens (ourselves) and Neanderthals, and like the Neanderthals, they interbred with us.