Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA may have helped early Melanesian people survive

phys.org | 9/5/2019 | Staff
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A team of researchers from the U.S., Italy and France has found evidence that suggests DNA inherited from Neanderthals and Denisovans may have helped early Melanesian people survive in their island environment. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their genetic study of Melanesian people and what they found.

Prior research has shown that modern humans have Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in their genes—the results of past interbreeding. Prior research has also shown that some modern humans have more such DNA than others—Melanesian people, for example, have the highest concentration of both Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in their genes. Why this is the case is still unclear. As part of an effort to find out, the researchers with this new effort carried out an extensive genetic study of modern Melanesian people.

Work - Data - Simons - Genome - Diversity

The work consisted of extracting data from the Simons Genome Diversity Project and genotyping copy number variants (CNVs) in 249 modern human genomes along with 72 great ape genomes. CNVs are significant in the study because unlike single-nucleotide variants,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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