In DepthANCIENT DNA

Neandertal genome reveals greater legacy in the living

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Science  06 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6359, pp. 21
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6359.21

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Summary

By sequencing a remarkably complete genome from a 50,000-year-old bone fragment of a female Neandertal found in Vindija Cave in Croatia, researchers now report a new trove of gene variants that living people outside of Africa inherited from Neandertals. Some of this DNA could influence cholesterol levels, the accumulation of belly fat, and the risk of schizophrenia and other diseases. The genome is only the second from a Neandertal sequenced to such high quality that it can reliably reveal when, where, and what DNA was passed from Neandertals to modern humans—and which diseases it may be causing or preventing today.