6 Traits You Can Thank Neanderthals for – From Bad Habits to Sleep Times

Strange but true


Part of the club?

Research has shown That many humans have Neanderthal DNA. People with European or Asian backgrounds have between 1% and 2%, and up to 4% if they are from East Asia, thanks to hybridization between humans and Neanderthals.

Because Neanderthals likely evolved outside of Africa, some African populations have almost no Neanderthal DNA.

Now, a genetic engineer shares the six physical traits and behaviors that have been linked to Neanderthal DNA, 40,000 years after their extinction.

“Neanderthal DNA represents only a small proportion of the modern human genome, and these effects are just one piece of the genetic puzzle that makes each person unique,” ​​says Sibnem Unloesler, of the Renewal Institute in London. He told the Daily Mail this week.

A 2016 study by researchers from Vanderbilt University linked one length of Neanderthal DNA to a higher risk of nicotine addiction. Getty Images

Here's a look at the characteristics, from smoking to having thick, straight hair, being a morning person, and having a severe case of COVID-19.

Smoking

A 2016 study conducted by researchers from Vanderbilt University One length of Neanderthal DNA has been linked to an increased risk of nicotine addiction, which is surprising because tobacco did not become popular in Europe until the mid-to-late 16th century.

“The brain is incredibly complex, so it is reasonable to expect that introducing changes from a different evolutionary path might have negative consequences,” Corinne Simonetti, a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University and first author of the study, said. He said at the time.

Having straight and thick hair

“Neanderthal man DNA has been linked to changes in hair characteristics. “Some people of Neanderthal ancestry may have had slightly thicker or straighter hair,” Unloisler told the Daily Mail. “Studies have also shown a higher frequency of the genetic variant associated with red hair in Neanderthals.”

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Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany in 2017 identified Neanderthal alleles — different forms of genes — that contribute to hair and skin color. Getty Images/iStockPhoto

Being an early bird

A study published last month found that Neanderthals in Eurasia experienced more seasonal variation than their relatives in Africa, which affected their internal biological clock and made them more likely to wake up early in the morning.

“At high latitudes, it is advantageous to have a body clock that is more able to anticipate and change to match changing seasonal light levels,” says study co-author Tony Capra, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. , He told CNN in December.

He added: “Having a 'faster' running clock facilitates this ability, and makes individuals more likely to wake up early.”

Neanderthals became extinct 40,000 years ago, but many humans have a small portion of their DNA. ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Having a long nose

2023 study from University College London Found a gene inherited from Neanderthals that leads to a longer nose from top to bottom.

“There has long been speculation that the shape of our noses is determined by natural selection; our noses can help us regulate the temperature and humidity of the air we breathe, and noses of different shapes may be better suited to different climates,” said first study author Dr. Qing Li, from Fudan University. The time in which our ancestors lived.

“The gene we identified here may have been inherited from Neanderthals to help humans adapt to colder climates as our ancestors moved out of Africa,” Lee continued.

Development of a severe case of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Researchers found that mutations in part of chromosome 3, the third largest pair of 23 chromosomes in humans, may cause… It predisposes people to developing a more severe case of COVID-19.

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The genomic segment is inherited from Neanderthals.

Struggling to tan

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany in 2017 Neanderthal alleles have been identified – Different forms of genes – which contribute to hair and skin color.

“Individuals of Neanderthal ancestry may have tended toward lighter or darker skin tones, with alleles associated with lighter skin tones that may have provided increased resistance to UV rays in areas with low sunlight intensity,” Unloisler explained to the Daily Mail.


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