African populations also have some Neanderthal genes as the newest research says

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Based on previous researches scientists detected that genetic makeup of European, American and Asian people contains some Neanderthal DNA. Scientists thought, until this time, that this genetic sequences of modern human people got in after the emigration from the African continent, in this way these DNA sequences aren't presented in the population of Africa. However a new research convinced the opposite of that.

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Turned out that African population also share Neanderthal ancestry, in findings that add a new twist to the tale of ancient humans and our closest known relatives.

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Before this time it was believed that only non-African people carried Neanderthal genes cause of the interbreeding after a major human migration out of Africa and across the whole world about 60,000 years ago.

The latest researches say that human and Neanderthal lineages are more closely intertwinted than once thought, and now it has pointed to far earlier interbreeding events, about 200,000 years ago.

"Our results show this history was much more interesting and there were many waves of dispersal out of Africa, some of which led to admixture between modern humans and Neanderthals that we see in the genomes of all living individuals today,"

said the senior author of the research, Joshua Akey, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University.

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The findings show that European and Asian populations carry about 1% Neanderthal DNA, compared with on average 0.3% for the people with African ancestry.

"An important aspect of our study is that it highlights humans, and hominins, were moving in and out of Africa for hundreds of thousands of years and occasionally admixing,"

said Akey.

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"These back-to-Africa migrations, largely from ancestors of contemporary Europeans, carried Neanderthal sequences with them, and through admixture, contributed to the Neanderthal ancestry we detect in African individuals today."

The signs suggest, Akey and his colleagues believe, that this Neanderthal DNA brought to Africa by ancient Europeans, whose ancestors - over many generations - had left Africa, met and mated whit Neanderthals, and after that they turned back to the old continent and mixed with local populations.

The increasingly accurate details of the samples of the migration of our ancestors and their intimate conntacts with other types of human are coming in the spotlight thanks to the emergence of more sophisticated gene research methods.

These types of statistical methods allow scientists to put the Neanderthal genome and ancient human DNA side by side to collate with the genomes of populations who are living in different places find out that the different lineages have been steadily swerving or whether there are blips where large chunks of DNA were renewed at certain time points.

The most recent comparison shows us the previously unnoticed ancient human genes in the Neanderthal genome, and these genes undoubtedly point to the signs of an interbreeding events dating to about 200,000 years ago. This suggests that an early group of humans migrated from Africa to the Middle East, than from there to Europe and Asia, where they contacted with Neanderthal populations and left a pale imprint in their genome what is still possible to be recognized, after more than 100,000 years later.

The treatise highlights the relative lack of genetic researches in the African population. However, the deficiency of these types of genetic researches is also uncomfortable because the modern human first released in this continent and the populations of African people are more different than the populations of the whole word together.

"To more fully understand human genomic variation and human evolutionary history, it is imperative to comprehensively sample individuals from all regions of the world, and Africa remains one of the most understudied regions,"

said Akey.

Furthermore that is a great and obscure question too for scientists that the whole population of the African continent has the Neanderthal DNA sequences in their genome, or there are some group of people whose roots of ancestry stretch into the deep past over than hundreds of years before.

Donát Novák

February 2020