The Neanderthal genes in humans: Our ancient relatives live on

The Neanderthal genes in humans: Our ancient relatives live on

Author: MozaicNook

Did you know that there might be a little bit of Neanderthal in you? No, it is not just that one uncle who insists on eating without a fork. Science reveals that many of us have genes from our long-lost relatives, the Neanderthals. Let’s enter into the intriguing realm of the Neanderthal genes in humans and see what they mean for our health, history, art and differences.

Who were the Neanderthals?

We will now take a moment to contemplate the nitty-gritty of human Neanderthal genes. However, before doing this, let me first take you down memory lane. A kind of human extinct about 40,000 years ago living all over Europe was referred to as Neanderthals. They were our closest evolutionary relations since we shared a common ancestor with them which was Homo sapiens around 600 thousand years back. These creatures were strong, robust and adapted to extreme cold weather during ice age.

How did we get Neanderthal genes?

Modern humans lived beside these hominins for thousands of years. Our ancestors met up with them when they left Africa for Europe and Asia. And this wasn’t a case where they were shyly avoiding eye contact across the campfire either way it turned out; there is evidence that Homo sapiens interbred with some populations of archaic humans known as Neandertal leading to gene flow between these two groups.

What percentage of neanderthal genes do we have?

Today non-African populations carry between 1-2% neandertal DNA .you may think this is small but it can have an effect on our biology and health .Sometimes individuals can have slightly more or less neandertal DNA depending upon their ancestry

The role of neandertal genes in modern humans

The latters are not just a vestige of the past but are implicated in the many facets of human life. Below are some examples:

Immune system

Some neandertal genes can help strengthen our immune system and make us more resistant to specific pathogens that our ancestors would have faced when they migrated.

Skin and hair

Neandertal heritage is responsible for certain skin and hair qualities like tanning ability or even some hair color shades. Therefore, next time you admire your long beautiful locks, remember to thank your Neanderthal ancestors for them.

Disease susceptibility

Some neandertal DNAs may be beneficial; others might predispose us to modern diseases. Research has shown a relationship between type 2 diabetes, lupus, Crohn’s disease and neandertal DNA.

Behavioral traits

It is possible that there are neurological traits inherited from Neandertals according to some researches we could find out about any other day. While the specifics remain unclear, it is quite entertaining to think of how our forebears could have affected our present-day conduct.

The genetic legacy of neanderthals

This goes beyond being a peculiar genetic fact: that there are neanderthal genes in humans. It shows how much interconnected the history of mankind is with evolution. Some interesting facts about our inheritance from this species include:

Cold adaptation

Neandertal genes helped early Homo sapiens deal with cooler temperatures by providing such survival advantages as fat storage and controlled temperature during ice age period.

Resistance to pathogens

Neanderthals brought new genetic variations into the populations of early humans which improved their resistance against pathogen (which was crucial because new diseases confronted these groups as they faced different environmental condition).

Sunlight and production of Vitamin D

Our forefathers, it is believed, might have been helped in synthesizing vitamin D more effectively when they entered places that had lower light intensities by some Neanderthal genes. When humans moved to high latitudes, this adaptation became advantageous to them.

Interesting: Your Neanderthal Genes And Mosquito Bites

Are mosquito bites extremely itchy for you? You may have Neanderthals to thank for that. Some studies indicate that mosquito bites are likely to be influenced by Neanderthal genes such as how our immune system react with the mosquito saliva making it worse. Therefore, the next time you scratch a mosquito bite, understand that what makes you itch could be your inner Neanderthal speaking out!

Where is Neanderthal genetic research headed?

Through advancements in genome technology we are gaining an understanding of how much influence Neanderthal genes have on modern human beings. More research in the future may give us details on how these age-old genes impact on our health, behavior or even response towards contemporary medical treatment.

Acknowledging Our Origin from The Neanderthals

The presence of Neanderthal genes amongst humans serves as a captivating evidence about our shared evolutionary past; reminding us of a time when our ancestors braved nature’s harshness and formed friendships with their nearest and dearest neighbors who were Neanderthals. So remember when you get tempted to grunt in frustration or flex and demonstrate your strength again, remember that your lineage comes from them-your ancestors who lived next door thousands of years ago.

For instance, whether one talks about the immune system or skin or reaction against mosquitoes’ bites; there is a slight but momentous contribution rendered by neandethal in all this regard. Inside you there exists a neandethal waiting for acknowledgement and pride on what has been an awesome journey through human evolution leading up here today.