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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Gingers descended from Neanderthals?

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Author Topic: Gingers descended from Neanderthals?
Pete at Home
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43866502/ns/technology_and_science-science/

The picture is just hilarious. Wait until Cartman gets hold of this.

quote:
Early humans and Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalenis) co-existed, and researchers have long searched for evidence that the two groups mated.

Labuda got his first sign of the interbreeding about a decade ago when he discovered a snippet of DNA on the X chromosome found only in non-Africans and whose origin was unknown. (X chromosomes are sex chromosomes; women have two and men have one, paired with a Y chromosome.)

But until 2010 the group didn't have anything to compare the snippet with. That year, the Neanderthal genome was sequenced, and a team of researchers (not including Labuda) reported in the journal Science that between 1 and 4 percent of the genome of some modern humans hails from Neanderthals, stocky hominids who lived between 130,000 and 30,000 years ago.


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Pete at Home
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/3311826/DNA-reveals-some-Neanderthals-were-ginger.html

quote:
An international study of the bones of two cavemen found a gene that affects the production of melanin, associated with fair skin and fiery hair.

This indicates that some Neanderthals had pale skin and red hair, much like modern day humans.

Currently, less than 2 per cent of the world's population have red hair, with most of those being European.



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JWatts
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Was this research sponsored by Trey Parker and Matt Stone?
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Pete at Home
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I hope South Park does something about this discovery.
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TheDeamon
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
Was this research sponsored by Trey Parker and Matt Stone?

Jesse Jackson and the NAACP.

It's further proof that the white man is keeping the human race down.

Also, Discovery was reporting that the only regional ethnicity that doesn't show genetic markers for interbreeding with Neanderthals are those of direct African descent(ie Blacks).

Asian, European, Native American, Polynesian, and Aboriginal people all have markers showing Neanderthals in their family history. Certainly puts a different spin on who is more "racially pure."

[ July 24, 2011, 06:00 PM: Message edited by: TheDeamon ]

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Pete at Home
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Hehe.

Although you're right that Africans are the only population where these markers don't exist, only 9% of the population have these markers in Europe. And Europe appears to be the place where the interbreeding took place.

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TheDeamon
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Although you're right that Africans are the only population where these markers don't exist, only 9% of the population have these markers in Europe. And Europe appears to be the place where the interbreeding took place.

And interesting possible pseudo-correlation to this:
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-human-neanderthal-20110729,0,6450193.story

quote:
The researchers identified three factors as indicators of relative population size: the number of dwelling sites, the size of those occupied areas and the densities of stone tools and food remains.

The human sites were two to three times larger, and about 2.5 times more numerous. The researchers also found that human sites were 1.8 times more densely populated because their inhabitants left more tools and food remains per square meter of soil than the Neanderthals did.

Putting all three factors together, humans would have outnumbered native Neanderthals at least 9 to 1, the researchers said, though they suspect the ratio was even greater.

9:1 would get you 10%
10:1 would get you 9.09%
11:1 would get you 8.33~%

And this report is blind to the evidence of mixing between the groups. Looking at these two reports, they may not have been crowded out, they(the Neanderthals) may have simply been absorbed by some of incoming groups of humans, rather than crowded out/left to die.

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TommySama
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The $1 million South Park question is: did these neandethals have souls, and if not, does that mean that those of us with neanderthal DNA have less soul than those without? My understanding of the blues leads me to conclude that only blacks have soul... in more ways than one!
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noel
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I am going by memory, but I am fairly certain that the gene for red pigmentation in neanderthals was isolated prior to mapping the complete genome, and that the human version is not a continuation of it, ie., it rose independently... just like blue eyes, which often come in tandem with red hair, appeared at the end of the last ice age.

It seems that the mixing between sapiens/neanderthalis took place in the northern levant, not Europe. This is why all races but the negroid acquired neanderthal genes, it is the hub from which the "out of Africa" hypothesis would posit first contact.

As I recall, the project manager for the neanderthal genome believes 4% is the *lower* limit for a neanderthal contribution.

[ August 15, 2011, 02:04 AM: Message edited by: noel ]

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hobsen
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An article relating to this was published as follows:

Science 30 November 2007:
Vol. 318 no. 5855 pp. 1453-1455

The abstract notes:
quote:
The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) regulates pigmentation in humans and other vertebrates. Variants of MC1R with reduced function are associated with pale skin color and red hair in humans of primarily European origin. We amplified and sequenced a fragment of the MC1R gene (mc1r) from two Neanderthal remains. Both specimens have a mutation that was not found in ∼3700 modern humans analyzed. Functional analyses show that this variant reduces MC1R activity to a level that alters hair and/or skin pigmentation in humans. The impaired activity of this variant suggests that Neanderthals varied in pigmentation levels, potentially on the scale observed in modern humans. Our data suggest that inactive MC1R variants evolved independently in both modern humans and Neanderthals.
This is disappointing to me as I had hoped that interbreeding with Neanderthals would have explained what seems to have been a rapid shift to pale skin among northern Europeans, which is mysterious because the evolutionary advantage conveyed would appear to be slight.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
This is disappointing to me as I had hoped that interbreeding with Neanderthals would have explained what seems to have been a rapid shift to pale skin among northern Europeans, which is mysterious because the evolutionary advantage conveyed would appear to be slight.

This assumes that the shift to light skin was independent of any other traits. It's quite possible that the skin color shift was a side effect of other more useful new traits.
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AI Wessex
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There is research that shows a correlation between ultraviolet screening in dark skin and vitamin-D deficiency. At higher latitudes, lighter skin filters out less UV.
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hobsen
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Thinking about this some more, I realized that our African ancestors probably wore little clothing and spent a lot of time in direct sunlight, as that was their only good light source. Making flint tools, for example, would have been near impossible by firelight or even the light of torches. So they had large areas of skin exposed to sunlight, and the efficiency of their mechanism for making vitamin-D became adapted to those conditions.

The difference for those who moved north was not merely that the sunlight was less strong but that going without most clothes loses its appeal when you live on the edge of a glacier. So most of their exposure to sunlight was then probably to the face, which has a lot less area than the back and shoulders. No doubt the efficiency of making vitamin-D increased, but perhaps not enough to match the reduction in both the area of skin and the hours of exposure. Under such conditions I can see that getting rid of melanin to make the facial skin a better receptor for sunlight could be important.

Anyway, according to the article cited, although Neanderthals also may have developed lighter skin, they did so in a different manner than modern humans. So unless that can be disproved, such traits do not seem to have been derived from them.

[ August 20, 2011, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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noel
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Hobsen,

The melanin content is pretty clearly associated with latitude independent of which branch of homo sapiens we look at.

Similar patterns appear to arise not only in pigmentation, but facial characteristics in inter-specie hominid comparisons. This is one of the causes of difficulty in tracing archaic hominid origins, and descendents. For example; the flat face, and eye socket structure of pre-sapient skulls found in Asia mirror adaptations made by modern humans.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
Anyway, according to the article cited, although Neanderthals also may have developed lighter skin, they did so in a different manner than modern humans. So unless that can be disproved, such traits do not seem to have been derived from them.

I prefer Occam's French Tickler to his Razor. In case of two hypotheses of equal probability, pick the more interesting one. [Wink]

[ August 24, 2011, 04:11 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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