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Dna drilled up from the bottom of greenland’s ice sheet

Traces of DNA found in remains Neanderthal woman show date of first human-Neanderthal couplings is tens of millennia earlier than ly thought. A Neanderthal woman who lived and died in a Siberian cave 50, years ago has led researchers to the oldest known case of sex between modern humans and their beefy, thick-browed cousins.

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Tests revealed that the female, whose remains were recovered from the Altai mountains on the Russia-Mongolia border, carried traces of DNA from Homo sapiens who appear to have mated with her ancestorsyears ago. The discovery pushes back - by tens of millennia - the date of the first known couplings between the two groups, and shows that both Neanderthals and modern humans inherited DNA from the prehistoric trysts.

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The genetic legacy, which may affect human immune systemsand the risk of depression and even nicotine addictionis a smoking gun for interbreeding that took place after modern humans left Africa 60, years ago and met up with the Neanderthals. The latest study is the first to ask whether the archaic genes flowed in both directions. The scientists narrowed the suspects down to early human pioneers who left Africa about 40, years before the great migration that saw humans colonise the world.

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Their adventure was not entirely successful: like the Neanderthals, they appear eventually to have died out. Writing in the journal, Naturethe researchers describe how they compared complete and partial Neanderthal genomes with those from modern Africans who do not carry Neanderthal DNA. Modern humans evolved in Africa aboutyears ago. When they left the continent for the north, they encountered Neanderthals who had already settled in Europe and Asia and adapted to the cooler temperatures, lack of sunlight, and different diseases. The interbreeding swapped genes among the two groups.

Scientists have other evidence that Homo sapiens left Africa early but failed to establish themselves beyond the continent.

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They have recovered ,year-old modern human skeletons from the Skhul and Qafzeh caves in Israel. Meanwhile, a set of 47 modern human teeth found in a cave in southern China was recently dated to at least 80, years old. He said that the interbreeding could have occurred anywhere in southern Asia.

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This article is more than 5 years old. Ian Sample Science editor.

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Wed 17 Feb Fifth of Neanderthals' genetic code lives on in modern humans. Why did the Neanderthals die out?

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Topics Evolution Biology Genetics Anthropology news. Reuse this content.

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Oldest genome sequence of a modern human suggests Homo sapiens first bred with Neanderthals 50,, years ago.


T here are multiple answers to the question of where we come from: early hominins, monkeys, primordial goo, or the Big Bang, to name a few.


Unearthed by an ivory carver from a Siberian riverbank, a man's 45,year-old thigh bone reveals when people first mated with Neanderthals, an international genetics team reports Wednesday.