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Neanderthal DNA linked to higher fertility in modern humans


Scientist

Neanderthal DNA linked to higher fertility in modern humans

By Colin Barras A Neanderthal familyP.PLAILLY/E.DAYNES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARYA chunk of Neanderthal DNA carried by some people living today appears to reduce the chance of miscarriage and promote fertility. The finding is the latest evidence that Homo sapiens benefitted from Stone Age sexual encounters with other human species. Genetic studies suggest anatomically modern humans interbred with…

Neanderthal DNA linked to higher fertility in modern humans

By Colin Barras

A Neanderthal family

A Neanderthal family

P.PLAILLY/E.DAYNES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

A chunk of Neanderthal DNA carried by some people living today appears to reduce the chance of miscarriage and promote fertility. The finding is the latest evidence that Homo sapiens benefitted from Stone Age sexual encounters with other human species.

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Genetic studies suggest anatomically modern humans interbred with Neanderthals on several occasions, and that people of non-African descent carry about 1 to 2 per cent Neanderthal DNA in their cells. For about 10 years we have suspected that some of that Neanderthal DNA proved useful. It might have helped Homo sapiens

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