bannerHON
img
HONnews
HONnews
img PATIENT / PARTICULIER img PROFESSIONNEL DE SANTE img WEBMESTRE img
img
 
img
HONcode sites
Khresmoi - new !
HONselect
News
Conferences
Images

Themes:
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z
Browse archive:
2019: A M F J
2018: D N O S A J J M A

 
  Other news for:
Genetics
Viruses
 Resources from HONselect
Did Neanderthal DNA Help Early Humans Fend Off Disease?

By Robert Preidt

THURSDAY, Oct. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Mating with Neanderthals helped boost modern humans' ability to fight novel viruses in Europe and Asia, a new study contends.

Before vanishing about 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals interbred with modern humans who had migrated out of Africa. As a result, many modern Europeans and Asians have about 2 percent of Neanderthal DNA in their genomes, the researchers explained.

Some bits of Neanderthal DNA are more common in modern humans than others, and scientists wondered if this was because those genes provided specific evolutionary advantages.

The new Stanford University study suggests that may be the case.

"Our research shows that a substantial number of frequently occurring Neanderthal DNA snippets were adaptive for a very cool reason," said researcher Dmitri Petrov, an evolutionary biologist at Stanford.

"Neanderthal genes likely gave us some protection against viruses that our ancestors encountered when they left Africa," Petrov said in a university news release.

When modern humans migrated out of Africa to Europe and Asia, they were exposed to new viruses. But Neanderthals had been living outside of Africa for hundreds of thousands of years, and their immune systems had evolved defenses against those viruses, the study authors explained.

According to David Enard, a former postdoctoral fellow in Petrov's lab, "It made much more sense for modern humans to just borrow the already adapted genetic defenses from Neanderthals rather than waiting for their own adaptive mutations to develop, which would have taken much more time."

The researchers found that the genetic defenses that modern humans received from Neanderthals were against RNA viruses, which encode their genes with RNA, a molecule that's chemically similar to DNA.

The study was published online Oct. 4 in the journal Cell.

More information

The Smithsonian Institution has more on Neanderthal genes.

SOURCE: Stanford University, news release, Oct. 4, 2018

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=738314

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
DNA
Research Personnel
RNA
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


Home img About us img MediaCorner img HON newsletter img Site map img Ethical policies img Contact