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23andMe presents top 10 most interesting genetic findings of 2010
Date:1/12/2011

umans originated in Africa, had interbred with humans once they began migrating out of Africa.

Because African human populations are older, they tend to have more divergent genomes. But the human-Neanderthal split is older still, so the authors figured that any areas of the genome where variation was larger in populations outside of Africa may have entered the human genome through interbreeding. If they did arise through interbreeding, then the non-African segments should match Neanderthals. Researchers found at least 10 regions that fit these predictions.

Although they can't rule out the possibility that modern humans had already started diverging from Neanderthals before leaving Africa, the research team favors the idea of interbreeding in the Mid-East as the first modern humans left Africa. This would ensure that both the Asian and European populations picked up some Neanderthal DNA."

So you may not have been too far from the truth when you referred to your cousin as a Neanderthal!

The Spittoon also reported on a study published in Nature that used tufts of hair rescued from the permafrost in Greenland and then tucked away in a basement in Denmark for more than 20 years to give scientists their first glimpse into the genetics of an ancient human.

Eske Willerslev and Morten Rasmussen of the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen sequenced 80% of the genome of a man from the Saqqaq Culture who walked the earth about 4,000 years ago. By comparing this ancient DNA sequence to what is known about the genetics of modern humans, the researchers were able to piece together a picture of what the man they call Inuk ("human" or "man" in Greenlandic) likely looked like, where his people came from, and how he's related to modern populations.

More importantly this effort proved that full genome sequence analysis of ancient samples is feasible and is expected to bring abo
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Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein
jrubinstein@rubenstein.com
212-843-8287
23andMe Inc.
Source:Eurekalert  

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