To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Neanderthal genome project

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Neanderthal genome project is an effort of a group of scientists to sequence the Neanderthal genome.

It is coordinated by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, and was initiated by 454 Life Sciences, a biotechnology company based in Branford, Connecticut in the United States. Founded in July 2006, the project published their results in the May 2010 journal Science detailing an initial draft of the Neanderthal genome based on the analysis of four billion base pairs of Neanderthal DNA. The study determined that some mixture of genes occurred between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans and presented evidence that elements of their genome remain in that of modern humans outside Africa.[1][2][3]

In December 2013, scientists reported, for the first time, a high coverage genome of a Neanderthal. The genome was extracted from the bone fragment of a Neanderthal female from around 50,000-100,000 years ago, found in a cave in the Altai mountains of Siberia.[4][5]

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    69 188
    1 406
    36 390
    1 261
    1 302
  • What Neanderthal DNA Is Doing To Your Genome
  • Scientists Release Full Neandertal Genome
  • The Neanderthal Genome Project
  • Neandertal genome confirms they were human
  • Science Bulletins: Neanderthal DNA Sequenced


Neanderthals and modern humans, Homo sapiens, have shared a long and intertwined history. We split from a common ancestor around 700,000 years ago, spent some time apart, but then hooked back up again before the Neanderthals died out 40,000 years ago. Even though they’re gone, a part of them lives on – their DNA. That’s because for some of our history together, early humans had occasional… dalliances with Neanderthals. Our species were similar enough that the resulting offspring were still fertile. And so that history is still within us today. Scientists estimate that for many of us, about 2% of our DNA is from Neanderthals. And it’s not just sitting there, doing nothing. A paper out this week in the journal Cell shows that those bits of Neanderthal DNA can control how active your genes are. In some cases, it turns out, your Neanderthal genes get turned on more, while in others, the Neanderthal versions get turned on less -- especially in your brain, and if you have them, your testicles. These findings reveal a new way that all that ancient interbreeding is still showing up today, in you body. Because we’ve sequenced the Neanderthal genome from fossils, we already know about a bunch of gene variants that we’ve inherited from our archaic cousins. Some of these relate to height or how well our immune systems work. Others change our risk for diseases like schizophrenia and lupus. There are probably a lot that we don’t even know about yet, and different people have different ones. But one way these genes might affect us is by altering how often these genes are expressed, or turned on. Turning on a gene means using that DNA sequence to make a kind of copy, in the form of RNA, which is then used ultimately to make proteins. If a gene is highly expressed, that means it’s getting used to make lots of RNA, which usually means more of that gene’s protein is getting made. So if the remaining bits of Neanderthal DNA in our genome are changing how genes are expressed, that could be really important for human health. To find out what’s going on, geneticists at the University of Washington measured levels of RNA in different tissues from more than 200 people who had Neanderthal ancestry. They looked at over 5,000 spots in their genomes, where the people had inherited both a Neanderthal version of a gene -- from either their mom or dad -- and a modern human copy, from the other parent. This way, they could see whether one was expressed more than the other. We usually think of these two versions of a gene -- what geneticists call alleles -- as being used pretty much equally. But it turned out, a quarter of the time, there was a difference in how much the Neanderthal copy was expressed compared to the modern human version. That’s a lot of places where having Neanderthal DNA might change something! The geneticists also noticed something else. Sometimes Neanderthal sequences were used less than the modern human counterparts, and sometimes they were used more, but overall, they balanced out. But when they compared different kinds of tissues, from different parts of the body -- and they tested more than 50 of them -- some interesting patterns emerged. In brains and testicles, specifically, Neanderthal variants weren’t expressed as much. This included a gene whose protein helps develop neurons and create synapses, and another one that works in the whip-like tail of sperm. For some reason, we’re just not using those genes that much. This, the scientists say, is a sign that the brain and testicles have evolved pretty rapidly since Neanderthals and modern humans diverged some 700,000 years ago. After all, our brains are structurally quite different from Neanderthals. And as for the testicles, well, reproduction tends to be very species specific – that’s why cross-species hybrids are often less fertile. What scientists think happened is that in many cases, when Neanderthal genes got mixed in with ours, the proteins that help turn on a gene were no longer as compatible with some of the Neanderthal DNA, which led to a lower expression of those genes. But there are still plenty of instances where Neanderthal genes are going strong. And since early humans also had…you know, special relations… with other early hominins, like the Denisovans as well, the research team plan next to check whether a similar thing might have happened with them, as well. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow, brought to you by our patrons on Patreon. They are people who give us money so that we can make the show for everyone in the world. Why do they do that? They get stuff and also just because they are cool, so thank you those folks! If you want to help out with that, go to And if you just want to help out with that, go to And if you just want to keep getting this good stuff or getting smarter with us, you can go to and subscribe.



According to preliminary sequences, 99.7% of the nucleotide sequences of the modern human and Neanderthal genomes are identical, compared to humans sharing around 98.8% of sequences with the chimpanzee.[6] (For some time, studies concerning the commonality between chimps and humans modified the commonality of 99% to a commonality of only 94%, showing that the genetic gap between humans and chimps was far larger than originally thought,[7][8] but more recent knowledge states the difference between humans, chimpanzees and bonobos at just about 1%-1.2% again.[9][10])

The researchers recovered ancient DNA of Neanderthals by extracting the DNA from the femur bones of three 38,000-year-old female Neanderthal specimens from Vindija Cave, Croatia, and other bones found in Spain, Russia, and Germany.[11] Only about half a gram of the bone samples (or 21 samples each 50–100 mg[1]) was required for the sequencing, but the project faced many difficulties, including the contamination of the samples by the bacteria that had colonized the Neanderthal's body and humans who handled the bones at the excavation site and at the laboratory.[12]

Additionally, in 2010, the announcement of the discovery and analysis of Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the Denisova hominin in Siberia revealed that this specimen differs from that of modern humans by 385 bases (nucleotides) in the mtDNA strand out of approximately 16,500, whereas the difference between modern humans and Neanderthals is around 202 bases. In contrast, the difference between chimpanzees and modern humans is approximately 1,462 mtDNA base pairs. Analysis of the specimen's nuclear DNA is under way and is expected to clarify whether the find is a distinct species.[13][14] Even though the Denisova hominin's mtDNA lineage predates the divergence of modern humans and Neanderthals, coalescent theory does not preclude a more recent divergence date for her nuclear DNA.


In 2006, two research teams working on the same Neanderthal sample published their results, Richard Green and his team in Nature,[15] and Noonan's team in Science.[16] The results were received with some criticism, mainly surrounding the issue of a possible admixture of Neanderthals into the modern human genome.[17] The speech-related gene FOXP2 with the same mutations as in modern humans was discovered in ancient DNA in the El Sidrón 1253 and 1351c specimens,[18] suggesting Neanderthals might have shared some basic language capabilities with modern humans.[19]

 Svante Pääbo, director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and head of its Neanderthal genome project.
Svante Pääbo, director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and head of its Neanderthal genome project.

In 2006, Richard Green's team had used a then new sequencing technique developed by 454 Life Sciences that amplifies single molecules for characterization and obtained over a quarter of a million unique short sequences ("reads"). The technique delivers randomly located reads, so that sequences of interest, e.g. genes that differ between modern humans and Neanderthals, show up at random as well. However, this form of direct sequencing destroys the original sample so to obtain new reads more sample must be destructively sequenced.[20]

Noonan's team, led by Edward Rubin, used a different technique, one in which the Neanderthal DNA is inserted into bacteria, which make multiple copies of a single fragment. They demonstrated that Neanderthal genomic sequences can be recovered using a metagenomic library-based approach. All of the DNA in the sample is "immortalized" into metagenomic libraries. A DNA fragment is selected, then propagated in microbes. The Neanderthal DNA can be sequenced or specific sequences can be studied.[clarification needed][20]

Overall, their results were remarkably similar. One group suggested there was a hint of mixing between human and Neanderthal genomes, while the other found none, but both teams recognized that the data set was not large enough to give a definitive answer.[17]

The publication by Noonan, and his team revealed Neanderthal DNA sequences matching chimpanzee DNA, but not modern human DNA, at multiple locations, thus enabling the first accurate calculation of the date of the most recent common ancestor of H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis. The research team estimates the most recent common ancestor of their H. neanderthalensis samples and their H. sapiens reference sequence lived 706,000 years ago (divergence time), estimating the separation of the human and Neanderthal ancestral populations to 370,000 years ago (split time).[21]

Earlier mitochondrial DNA research led by geneticist Svante Pääbo in 1997 had indicated present day Homo sapiens and Neanderthals mtDNA split into separate lineages approximately 500,000 years ago.

Green et al. calculated a divergence time of 516,000 years ago and do not indicate a split, while they claim the average divergence time between alleles within humans is thus 459,000 years with a 95% confidence interval between 419,000 and 498,000 years. These two dates (~500k) were calculated with assumption on non-selective pressure. If positive selection forced mtDNA changes then the split time may be shorter. In this study, the team stated:

"Neanderthal genetic differences to humans must therefore be interpreted within the context of human diversity."

On the other hand, Noonan et al. found no evidence of Neanderthal admixture to the modern human genome, but they did not preclude admixture of up to 20% with a certainty better than 95%, and hence did not claim to present a definite answer to the question.

In February 2009, the Max Planck Institute's team led by Pääbo, announced that they had completed the first draft of the Neanderthal genome.[12] An early analysis of the data suggested in "the genome of Neanderthals, a human species driven to extinction" "no significant trace of Neanderthal genes in modern humans".[22] New results suggested that some adult Neanderthals were lactose intolerant.[19] On the question of potentially cloning a Neanderthal, Pääbo commented, "Starting from the DNA extracted from a fossil, it is and will remain impossible."[12]

In May 2010, the project released a draft of their report on the sequenced Neanderthal genome. Contradicting the results discovered while examining mitochondrial DNA, they demonstrated a range of genetic contribution to non-African modern humans ranging from 1% to 4%. From their Homo sapiens samples in Eurasia (French, Han Chinese & Papuan) the authors state that it is likely that interbreeding occurred in the Levant before Homo sapiens migrated into Europe.[23] However, this finding is disputed because of the paucity of archeological evidence supporting their statement. The fossil evidence does not conclusively place Neanderthals and modern humans in close proximity at this time and place.[24] In 2015, Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University reported that a skull found in a cave in northern Israel, is "probably a woman, who lived and died in the region about 55,000 years ago, placing modern humans there and then for the first time ever"[25] and pointing to a potential time and location when modern humans first interbred with Neanderthals.

Previously, in 1999, a report was made of a rib fragment from the partial skeleton of a Neanderthal infant found in the Mezmaiskaya cave in the northwestern foothills of the Caucasus Mountains that was radiocarbon-dated to 29,195 ± 965 B.P., and therefore belonging to the latest lived Neanderthals. Ancient DNA was recovered for a mtDNA sequence showing 3.48% divergence from that of the Feldhofer Neanderthal, some 2,500 km to the west in Germany. Phylogenetic analysis placed the two in a clade distinct from modern humans, suggesting that their mtDNA types have not contributed to the modern human mtDNA pool.[26]

See also



  1. ^ a b Green RE, Krause J, Briggs AW, et al. (May 2010). "A draft sequence of the Neandertal genome" (PDF). Science. 328 (5979): 710–22. doi:10.1126/science.1188021. PMID 20448178. 
  2. ^ The Neanderthal in Us
  3. ^ "Neandertal DNA may raise risk for some modern human diseases". Science News. Retrieved 2016-02-15. 
  4. ^ Zimmer, Carl (December 18, 2013). "Toe Fossil Provides Complete Neanderthal Genome". New York Times. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ Prüfer, Kay et al. (December 18, 2013). "The complete genome sequence of a Neanderthal from the Altai Mountains". Nature. 505: 43–49. Bibcode:2014Natur.505...43P. doi:10.1038/nature12886. PMC 4031459Freely accessible. PMID 24352235. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ Than, Ker (6 May 2010). "Neanderthals, Humans Interbred—First Solid DNA Evidence". National Geographic Society. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Cohen, Jon (29 June 2007). "Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%" (PDF). AAAS. 
  8. ^ "Humans and Chimps: Close But Not That Close". Scientific American. 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2006-12-20. 
  9. ^ Wong, Kate (1 September 2014). "Tiny Genetic Differences between Humans and Other Primates Pervade the Genome". Scientific American. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  10. ^ Gibbons, Ann (13 June 2012). "Bonobos Join Chimps as Closest Human Relatives". Science/AAAS. 
  11. ^ "Scientists Decode Majority of Neanderthal Man's Genome". Deutsche Welle. 13 February 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c McGroarty, Patrick (12 February 2009). "Team in Germany maps Neanderthal genome". The Associated Press. 
  13. ^ Brown, David (March 25, 2010). "DNA from bone shows new human forerunner, and raises array of questions". Washington Post. 
  14. ^ Krause J, Fu Q, Good JM, et al. (April 2010). "The complete mitochondrial DNA genome of an unknown hominin from southern Siberia". Nature. 464 (7290): 894–7. doi:10.1038/nature08976. PMID 20336068. 
  15. ^ Green, Richard E.; et al. (16 November 2006). "Analysis of one million base pairs of Neanderthal DNA" (PDF). Nature. 444 (7117): 330–336. doi:10.1038/nature05336. PMID 17108958. 
  16. ^ Noonan, James P.; et al. (17 November 2006). "Sequencing and Analysis of Neanderthal Genomic DNA" (PDF). Science. 314 (5802): 1113–1118. doi:10.1126/science.1131412. PMC 2583069Freely accessible. PMID 17110569. 
  17. ^ a b Timmer, John (2006-11-17). "Welcome to Neanderthal genomics". 
  18. ^ Krause J, Lalueza-Fox C, Orlando L, et al. (November 2007). "The derived FOXP2 variant of modern humans was shared with Neandertals". Curr. Biol. 17 (21): 1908–12. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.10.008. PMID 17949978. 
  19. ^ a b Inman, Mason (12 February 2009). "Neanderthal Genome "First Draft" Unveiled". National Geographic News. 
  20. ^ a b Lynn Yarris (15 November 2006). "Neanderthal Genome Sequencing Yields Surprising Results and Opens a New Door to Future Studies". Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  21. ^ Noonan et al. (2006): "Our analyses suggest that on average the Neanderthal genomic sequence we obtained and the reference human genome sequence share a most recent common ancestor ~706,000 years ago, and that the human and Neanderthal ancestral populations split ~370,000 years ago, before the emergence of anatomically modern humans."
  22. ^ Wade, Nicholas (12 February 2009). "Scientists in Germany Draft Neanderthal Genome". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  23. ^ "Draft full sequence of Neanderthal Genome". Science Mag. 7 May 2010. 
  24. ^ Wade, Nicholas (6 May 2010). "Signs of Neanderthals Mating With Humans". The New York Times. 
  25. ^ Skull discovery suggests location where humans first had sex with Neanderthals
  26. ^ Igor V. Ovchinnikov; Anders Götherström; Galina P. Romanova; Vitaliy M. Kharitonov; Kerstin Lidén; William Goodwin (30 March 2000). "Molecular analysis of Neanderthal DNA from the northern Caucasus". Letters to Nature. Nature 404. pp. 490–493. doi:10.1038/35006625. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 

Further reading

External links

This page was last modified on 25 February 2017, at 07:52.
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.