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Neanderthals Essay

676 words - 3 pages

An ancient human species known as Neanderthals has long been extinct, but lived among modern peoples’ ancestors long ago. Though not identical to Homo sapien DNA, Homo neanderthalensis DNA is most closely related to modern day Russians, Australians, and many current Europeans. Neanderthal DNA, though miniscule, has been found throughout Europe and Australia, but those modern humans did not descend from them. It is believed that Homo sapiens lived alongside Neanderthals and may have interbred with them every once in a while. But, since humans have been breeding primarily with other humans through history, the Neanderthal DNA within people’s genomes has decreased over time. Although there a ...view middle of the document...

Further DNA sequencing is required in order to truly answer the question presented; Which modern geographic group is most related to ancient Neanderthals? Also combining with the Neanderthal and Russian DNA on the DNA sequencing “trees”, was the DNA of modern day Australians and the mtDNA of ancient Aboriginals. This finding was the most surprising, seeing as Australia is nowhere near where Neanderthals are known to have lived. So how did the DNA of ancient Neanderthals of Western Europe end up within the genome of Australian aboriginals? When migrating out of Africa, people did not emerge together. Groups moved together, in waves, and then moved on to populate the globe. The group of humans that moved on to be Australians must have not gone directly south. It is very possible that interbreeding occurred before the aboriginals made it to Australia, carrying the Neanderthal DNA within them along the way.
The “unrooted tree” comparing multiple modern DNA sequences, ancient neanderthal DNA and ancient African DNA showed a break off of the common ancestor. Branching off of the African DNA, the Neanderthal, Russian and Australian DNA grouped...

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