Saturday, February 21, 2009

Human evolution

Study on Neanderthals by German and US researchers.

Evolutionary process reveals only 1% difference in the genetic makeup between man and chimpanzee. It is further down to 0.5% with Neanderthals, a hominid species. This is the finding by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany and the 454 Life Sciences Corporation in Branford, Connecticut under Prof. Svante Paabo. While mitochondrial DNA of the Neanderthals analyzed in 1997 failed to place the Neanderthals as our ancestors, the study did show that they were our closest ancestors separated some 6,00,000 years ago and evolved separately. The mitochondrial DNA lies outside the nucleus of a cell and can be preserved longer than nuclear DNA. Some of the genes studied are more than 38,000 years old. One billion DNA fragments were obtained from three Croatian fossils by a novel method.

The DNA studies also show that the Neanderthals and the humans share common gene linked to language ability. Genes involving language and speech were found in the Neanderthal man suggesting their ability to talk. The DNA showed no ability to drink milk. Common cognition genes are also a possibility. Other studies reveal that human brain holds at least one Neanderthal gene. Some Neanderthals were probably redheads.

The study also concentrates on the gene flow between Neanderthals and the Europeans. No findings have ben reported from Africa.
Source: The Hindu, February 19, 2009
Image: Google

1 comments on "Human evolution"

Suresh on May 28, 2009 at 8:47 PM said...

I feel humans evolved from chimpanzee!! Nice information. Thanks for that! It was interesting!!



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