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The fate of Neanderthal genes

The Neanderthals disappeared about 30,000 years ago, but little pieces of them live on in the form of DNA sequences scattered through the modern human genome. A new study by geneticists at the University of California, Davis, shows why these traces of our closest relatives are slowly being removed by natural selection. Neanderthals split from our African ancestors over half a million years ago, and lived in Europe and Central Asia until a few tens of thousands of years ago. Archaeological discoveries have shown that they had quite a sophisticated culture. Thanks to DNA samples retrieved from a number of fossils, there is enough data on the Neanderthal genome to identify their genes among ours.

Visit Website | Image credit: Wikimedia Commons--Dr. Mike Baxter