Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
15 comments

Sci Tech

Neanderthal genome - our red-headed, muscle-bound siblings live on within us

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Interesting 4   Must Read 2   Well Said 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H2 5/12/10
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

opednews.com



Fascinating discoveries recently shed new light on the Neanderthal - researchers have sequenced the Neanderthal genome - we now know exactly what differs and what is the same between them and modern day humans. Not surprisingly, there are some major commonalities. Now we know that humans and Neanderthals interbred to some degree. Today, there remains a part of Homo neanderthalensis which lives on in Homo sapiens.

This is wonderful and exciting news for all except those who think existence is only 6k years old, and are convinced that Homo sapiens was created "special and different" from all other species.

Well, hold on, Fundie-fantasy-folks, because you're about to lose even more credibility if that's possible.


So what is a genome? Well, it's the enormously huge list of chemical bases - there are only four - Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine and Thymine, called ACGT respectively, which by their arrangement tell our bodies how to do everything involved in making our selves. Further, AT form a pair, and CG form a pair. When we sequence a genome, we basically identify and then create the list of many millions of bases/letters - ATCGCGGCATTA - etc, which form "sentences' and each sentence is a particular gene, for example, the gene to make an eye, or skin. Each cell in our bodies houses two sets of the human genome- the "Double Helix" shown above. Many things require combinations of genes. But all humans essentially have exactly the same genes. That's why research into genetics will help cure diseases - breast cancer is "expressed' by a defect in the language of the sentence. Once we learn to repair the poor genetic grammar, we'll have cured breast cancer. And on and on.

Evolution is basically a natural editing of the sentences. Sometimes it's well done, enabling an individual to better live and function in its environment, and sometimes it is disastrous- leading to extinction. Sometimes, a misplaced base pair has no effect whatsoever. It's a slow process. Imagine if one base pair changed per lifetime and you begin to get an idea of how long evolution takes. (That's not 'exactly' how it happens, you might fine three base pair changes in one lifetime, and none for many generations, but the concept is fine for understanding the seemingly endless length of time a change would take to manifest across a species.



It's no surprise at all that there are mutual genes with Neanderthals, really, but what we didn't know was that between 1 and 4% of the Eurasian genome comes directly from the Neanderthal. Yes, they were a separate line, but not so separate that interbreeding with sapiens couldn't happen, and now we know it did. Each time we make a leap in our knowledge, we learn more about the specifics of human and Neanderthal exchanges.

Forensic Anthropology scientists at both Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania have been working to further understand the connection between Neanderthals and humans.

Harold Dibble, a curator at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (if you haven't been, GO! it's one of the BEST) saw this coming years ago as scientists disagreed about many Neanderthal characteristics.

"In the late 20th century the field split over just how similar Neanderthals were to us, Dibble said. He calls the two factions the "smart Neanderthal camp" and the "dumb Neanderthal camp."

The "dumb" camp says Neanderthals were significantly less intelligent than modern man despite a comparable brain size. They lacked language and complex social order and couldn't possibly have interbred with our ancestors.

The "smart" Neanderthal camp says they had intelligence comparable to ours, they talked and otherwise behaved like human beings.

Professor Paabo with Neanderthal skull.

In 2007 Science Magazine announced that European researchers extracted enough DNA from two Neanderthal skulls to suggest their owners sported red hair and white skin when they were alive 43,000 and 50,000 years ago.

Recently announced research led by Professor Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has revealed the new data.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Carol is a writer - The Philadelphia Science Examiner - http://www.examiner.com/x-49657-Philadelphia-Science-Examiner, and the Philadelphia Freethought Examiner http://www.examiner.com/x-44168-Philadelphia-Freethought-Examiner; a painter and (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Is there such a thing as an ex-atheist?

Neanderthal genome - our red-headed, muscle-bound siblings live on within us

Neutrino mass disparity may modify the Standard Model of Particle Physics

Gulf Oil Spill- Is BP ignoring a green solution? PART III - the Armageddon scenario

Gulf oil spill - Is BP ignoring a green solution? Part II - Like a bird in oil

Creationist Kent Hovind's PhD thesis is a jumble of juvenile jabber

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
10 people are discussing this page, with 15 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Your title containing "our (evolutionary) siblings... by GLloyd Rowsey on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 12:20:19 PM
Hi Lloyd, Thanks for the compliment, and I would l... by Carol Everhart Roper on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 4:46:35 PM
There is now reasonable scientific proof that Euro... by TomK on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 1:47:04 PM
Never again will I refer to any of my...umm , dull... by cb on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 1:58:23 PM
of the Neanderthals by John Darnton portrays a gre... by Jay Farrington on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 4:14:26 PM
And it has numerous Darntons. He got the Pulitzer ... by GLloyd Rowsey on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:49:12 PM
Thank you for postingthis.Our local news printed m... by Lani Massey Brown on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 4:48:54 PM
I have been pondering the implications of this sto... by Kathy Stuart on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:05:23 PM
What a joy to see I had comments, and then see the... by Carol Everhart Roper on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 5:14:43 PM
Here's my understanding of where humans come from ... by TomK on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 9:34:19 PM
is hilarious especially because the racists amongs... by Archie on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 7:56:42 PM
there is some evidence that the gene for speaking ... by mnmike44 on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 9:46:13 PM
Hello, Ms Roper--Maybe not actually dumb, but over... by Carol Cleveland on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7:08:17 AM
Even here in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, ... by cb on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 8:15:45 AM
Please feel free to post all the verses here when ... by Carol Cleveland on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 10:41:30 AM