Current Neandertals News and Events

Current Neandertals News and Events, Neandertals News Articles.
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Neandertal gene variants both increase and decrease the risk for severe COVID-19
Last year, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany showed that a major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neandertals. Now the same researchers show, in a study published in PNAS, that Neandertals also contributed a protective variant. Half of all people outside Africa carry a Neandertal gene variant that reduces the risk of needing intensive care for COVID-19 by 20 percent. (2021-02-16)

New evidence: Neandertals buried their dead
Was burial of the dead practiced by Neandertals or is it an innovation specific to our species? For the first time in Europe, however, a multi-disciplinary team led by researchers at the CNRS and the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (France) and the University of the Basque Country (Spain) has demonstrated, using a variety of criteria, that a Neandertal child was buried, probably around 41,000 years ago, at the Ferrassie site (Dordogne, France). (2020-12-09)

The impact of Neandertal DNA on human health
A researcher at the University of Tartu described new associations between Neandertal DNA and autoimmune diseases, prostate cancer and type 2 diabetes. (2020-12-03)

Denisovan DNA in the genome of early East Asians
Researchers analyzed the genome of the oldest human fossil found in Mongolia to date and show that the 34,000-year-old woman inherited around 25 percent of her DNA from western Eurasians, demonstrating that people moved across the Eurasian continent shortly after it had first been settled by the ancestors of present-day populations. This individual and a 40,000-year-old individual from China also carried DNA from Denisovans, an extinct form of hominins that inhabited Asia before modern humans arrived. (2020-10-29)

Neandertal gene variant increases risk of severe COVID-19
A study published in Nature shows that a segment of DNA that causes their carriers to have an up to three times higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neandertals. The study was conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. (2020-09-30)

Y chromosomes of Neandertals and Denisovans now sequenced
An international research team led by Martin Petr and Janet Kelso of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has determined Y chromosome sequences of three Neandertals and two Denisovans. These Y chromosomes provide new insights into the relationships and population histories of archaic and modern humans, including new evidence for ancient gene flow from early modern humans into Neandertals. (2020-09-24)

Neandertals may have had a lower threshold for pain
Pain is mediated through specialized nerve cells that are activated when potentially harmful things affect various parts of our bodies. These nerve cells have a special ion channel that has a key role in starting the electrical impulse that signals pain and is sent to the brain. According to a new study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden people who inherited the Neandertal variant of this ion channel experience more pain. (2020-07-23)

A Neandertal from Chagyrskaya Cave
Until now, only the genomes of two Neandertals have been sequenced to high quality: one from Vindjia Cave in modern-day Croatia and one from Denisova Cave in Siberia's Altai Mountains. A research team led by Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has now sequenced the genome of a third Neandertal whose remains were found - 106 kilometres away from the latter site - in Chagyrskaya Cave. (2020-06-17)

Women with Neandertal gene give birth to more children
One in three women in Europe inherited the receptor for progesterone from Neandertals -- a gene variant associated with increased fertility, fewer bleedings during early pregnancy and fewer miscarriages. This is according to a study published in Molecular Biology and Evolution by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. (2020-05-26)

Neandertals were choosy about making bone tools
Evidence continues to mount that the Neandertals, who lived in Europe and Asia until about 40,000 years ago, were more sophisticated people than once thought. A new study from UC Davis shows that Neandertals chose to use bones from specific animals to make a tool for specific purpose: working hides into leather. (2020-05-08)

Science publishes study on Neanderthals as pioneers in marine resource exploitation
The journal Science has published a study led by the University of Barcelona, which presents the results of the excavation in Cueva de Figueira Brava, Portugal, which was used as shelter by Neanderthal populations about between 86,000 and 106,000 years ago. The study reveals fishing and shellfish-gathering contributed significantly to the subsistence economy of the inhabitants of Figueira Brava. The relevance of this discovery lies in the fact that so far, there were not many signs of these practices as common among Neanderthals. (2020-03-26)

Neanderthals ate mussels, fish, and seals too
Over 80,000 years ago, Neanderthals fed themselves on mussels, fish and other marine life. The first evidence has been found by an international team including Göttingen University in the cave of Figueira Brava in Portugal. The excavated layers date from 86,000 to 106,000 years ago, the period when Neanderthals settled in Europe. Sourcing food from the sea at that time had only been attributed to anatomically modern humans in Africa. Results were published in Science. (2020-03-26)

Study 'cures' oldest case of deafness in human evolution
An international team of researchers including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has published a new study examining a 430,000-year-old cranium of a human ancestor that was previously described as deaf, representing the oldest case of deafness in human prehistory. (2019-10-15)

Neanderthals commonly suffered from 'swimmer's ear'
Abnormal bony growths in the ear canal were surprisingly common in Neanderthals, according to a study published Aug. 14, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Erik Trinkaus of Washington University and colleagues. (2019-08-14)

Out of Africa and into an archaic human melting pot
Genetic analysis has revealed that the ancestors of modern humans interbred with at least five different archaic human groups as they moved out of Africa and across Eurasia. (2019-07-15)

The ancient history of Neandertals in Europe
Parts of the genomes of two ~120,000-year-old Neandertals from Germany and Belgium have been sequenced at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology. The analyses showed that the last Neandertals, who lived around 40,000 years ago, trace at least part of their ancestry back to these European Neandertals that lived around 80,000 years earlier. The 120,000-year-old Neandertal from Germany, however, carried some ancestry that may originate from an isolated Neandertal population or from relatives of modern humans. (2019-06-26)

Ancient DNA analysis adds chapter to the story of neanderthal migrations
After managing to obtain DNA from two 120,000-year-old European Neandertals, researchers report that these specimens are more genetically similar to Neandertals that lived in Europe 80,000 year later than they are to a Neandertal of similar age found in Siberia. The findings, which reveal a stable, 80,000-year ancestry for European Neandertals, also suggest that this group may have migrated east and replaced some Siberian Neandertal populations. (2019-06-26)

Tibetan plateau first occupied by middle Pleistocene Denisovans
A joint research team led by CHEN Fahu from the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and ZHANG Dongju from the Lanzhou University reported their studies on a human mandible found in Xiahe, on the Northeastern Tibetan Plateau. (2019-05-07)

First hominins on the Tibetan Plateau were Denisovans
So far Denisovans were only known from a small collection of fossil fragments from Denisova Cave in Siberia. A research team now describes a 160,000-year-old hominin mandible from Xiahe in China. Using ancient protein analysis the researchers found that the mandible's owner belonged to a population that was closely related to the Denisovans from Siberia. This population occupied the Tibetan Plateau in the Middle Pleistocene and was adapted to this low-oxygen environment long before Homo sapiens arrived in the region. (2019-05-01)

Neandertals' main food source was definitely meat
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany describe two late Neandertals with exceptionally high nitrogen isotope ratios, which would traditionally be interpreted as the signature of freshwater fish consumption. By studying the isotope ratios of single amino acids, they however demonstrated that instead of fish, the adult Neandertal had a diet relying on large herbivore mammals and that the other Neandertal was a breastfeeding baby whose mother was also a carnivore. (2019-02-18)

Modern humans replaced Neanderthals in southern Spain 44,000 years ago
The University of Cordoba, in collaboration with the University of Granada, participated in an international study published today in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, proving that Neanderthals were replaced by modern humans in southern Iberia 5,000 years before than previously thought (2019-01-30)

Neandertal genes shed light on unique aspects of the modern human brain
A characteristic feature of modern humans is the unusually round skull and brain, in contrast to the elongated shape seen in other human species. By studying Neandertal DNA fragments found in the genomes of living Europeans, scientists have now discovered genes that influence this globular shape. An interdisciplinary research team, led by the Max Planck Institutes for Psycholinguistics and Evolutionary Anthropology, brought together fossil skull data, brain imaging and genomics, as reported in Current Biology. (2018-12-13)

Study reconstructs Neandertal ribcage, offers new clues to ancient human anatomy
An international team, which included researchers from universities in Spain, Israel, and the United States, including the University of Washington, has completed the first 3D virtual reconstruction of the ribcage of the most complete Neandertal skeleton unearthed to date. Using CT scans of fossils from an approximately 60,000-year-old male skeleton, researchers were able to create a 3D model of the chest -- one that is different from the longstanding image of the barrel-chested, hunched-over 'caveman.' (2018-10-30)

Neandertal mother, Denisovan father!
Up until 40,000 years ago, at least two groups of hominins inhabited Eurasia -- Neandertals in the west and Denisovans in the east. Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig (Germany) sequenced the genome of an ancient hominin individual from Siberia, and discovered that she had a Neandertal mother and a Denisovan father. (2018-08-22)

Neandertals practiced close-range hunting 120,000 years ago
An international team of scientists reports the oldest unambiguous hunting lesions documented in the history of humankind. The lesions were found on skeletons of two large-sized extinct fallow deer killed by Neandertals about 120,000 years ago around the shores of a small lake (Neumark-Nord 1) near present-day Halle in the eastern part of Germany. (2018-07-02)

New technology reveals secrets of famous Neandertal skeleton La Ferrassie 1
An international team of researchers, led by Dr. Asier Gomez-Olivencia of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and including Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam, has provided new insights on one of the most famous Neandertal skeletons, discovered over 100 years ago: La Ferrassie 1. (2018-03-27)

New insights into the late history of Neandertals
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have sequenced the genomes of five Neandertals that lived between 39,000 and 47,000 years ago. These late Neandertals are all more closely related to the Neandertals that contributed DNA to modern human ancestors than an older Neandertal from the Altai Mountains that was previously sequenced. Their genomes also provide evidence for a turnover in the Neandertal population towards the end of Neandertal history. (2018-03-21)

Cave art and painted shells suggest neanderthals were artists, understood symbolism
Neanderthals were artists, according to a new study in Science, which reveals that the oldest cave art found in Europe predates early modern humans by at least 20,000 years, and so must have had Neanderthal origin. (2018-02-22)

Modern human brain organization emerged only recently
Homo sapiens fossils demonstrate a gradual evolution of the human brain towards its modern globular shape. (2018-01-25)

Scientists discover oldest known modern human fossil outside of Africa
A large international research team, led by Israel Hershkovitz from Tel Aviv University and including Rolf Quam from Binghamton University, State University of New York, has discovered the earliest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa. The finding suggests that modern humans left the continent at least 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. (2018-01-25)

Oldest human fossil outside of Africa discovered, with tools nearby
A human fossil found in Israel substantially shifts the estimated timeframe for when humans first left Africa, suggesting they did so approximately 40,000 to 50,000 years sooner than previously thought. (2018-01-25)

Older Neandertal survived with a little help from his friends
An older Neandertal from about 50,000 years ago, who had suffered multiple injuries and other degenerations, became deaf and must have relied on the help of others to avoid prey and survive well into his 40s, indicates a new analysis published Oct. 20 in the online journal PLoS ONE. (2017-10-23)

More traits associated with your Neandertal DNA
After humans and Neandertals met many thousands of years ago, the two species began interbreeding. Recent studies have shown that some of those Neandertal genes have contributed to human immunity and modern diseases. Now researchers reporting in the American Journal of Human Genetics on Oct. 5 have found that our Neandertal inheritance has contributed to other characteristics, too, including skin tone, hair color, sleep patterns, mood, and even a person's smoking status. (2017-10-05)

New Neandertal and archaic human genomes advance our understanding of human evolution
Two new studies on ancient genomes provide valuable insights into the lives of our ancestors and their cousins, the Neandertals. First, scientists have sequenced a new genome of a female Neandertal, which is only the second genome of the species to be fully sequenced with such a high level of quality. (2017-10-05)

Ancient genomes shed light on divergence in human populations
Sequencing and analysis of ancient African genomes suggests that humans first began to diverge as a population between 350,000 and 260,000 years ago. (2017-09-28)

Neandertal skeleton reveals the growth pattern of our extinct cousins
A new analysis of a well-preserved Neandertal child's skeleton reveals that Neandertals may have had extended period of brain growth compared to modern humans. (2017-09-21)

DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments
Researchers have developed a new method to retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments -- even in the absence of skeletal remains. (2017-04-27)

400,000-year-old fossil human cranium is oldest ever found in Portugal
A large international research team, directed by the Portuguese archaeologist João Zilhão and including Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam, has found the oldest fossil human cranium in Portugal, marking an important contribution to knowledge of human evolution during the middle Pleistocene in Europe and to the origin of the Neandertals. (2017-03-13)

Dental plaque DNA shows Neandertals used 'aspirin'
Ancient DNA found in the dental plaque of Neandertals -- our nearest extinct relative -- has provided remarkable new insights into their behavior, diet and evolutionary history, including their use of plant-based medicine to treat pain and illness. (2017-03-08)

New finds from China suggest human evolution probably of regional continuity
In their recent study, paleontologists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) and their collaborators reported two early Late Pleistocene (~105,000- to 125,000-year-old) crania from Lingjing, Xuchang, China. They exhibit a morphological mosaic with differences from and similarities to their western contemporaries. This morphological combination reflects Pleistocene human evolutionary patterns in general biology, as well as both regional continuity and interregional population dynamics. (2017-03-03)

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