Article Analysis of The Date of Interbreeding between Neanderthals and Modern Humans

Topics: Africa, Gene, DNA Pages: 3 (824 words) Published: February 2, 2014
In the article “The Date of Interbreeding between Neandertals and Modern Humans” written by Sriram Sankararaman and his co-authors, a research of genomic relation between Neandertals and Modern Humans was conducted. The paper states that the genome of Neandertals is genetically closer to modern non-African humans than it is to modern African humans. The reason given is because of an interbreeding possibility between Neandertals and Europeans or West Asians. The first trace of Neandertals found outside Africa is estimated about 230,000 years ago in European fossil record while the existence of modern human is estimated about 200,000 years ago in African fossil record. The similarities between Neandertal’s and modern human’s living time and place are good proofs to back up the hypothesis of interbreeding between them even though Neandertals is not in the range of modern human variation. The hypothesis was tested by the analysis of the draft sequence of the Neandertal genome. The result showed that the amount of alleles which are shared between Neandertal genome and non-African people genome is greater than the sub-Saharan African people genome. The history of gene flow from Neandertals to modern human proved that the interbreeding between Neandertals and non-African modern human might occur during the time Neandertals expanded out of Africa to Europe and Middle East. Another possibility is that the population of the two groups of people was subdivided before modern humans expanded out of Africa. If this hypothesis is true, it can explain well why the genome of Neandertals has more similarities to non-African modern humans than to sub-Saharan Africa people. Research results showed that there is a relation between the hypothesis of subdivision population structure of ancient modern human and Neandertals and the gene flow from Neandertals to modern humans. However, in order to answer the question why the genome of Neandertals is genetically closer to non-African...
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