Homo neanderthalensis nearly made it through two Ice Ages in Europe, only to disappear roughly 30,000 years ago. That’s about 15,000 years after our own ancestors arrived and settled the continent. For most of our own species’ time on Earth, Neanderthals were around, too. Some people even suspect that our own ancestors did them in.
Many wonder if there was interbreeding. Might some of us have a few distinctly Neanderthal genes?
Richard “Ed” Green, PhD, studies Neanderthal DNA at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Green is part of a lab team headed by Svante Pääbo, a Swedish scientist internationally renowned for studies of Neanderthal genes. Green visited UCSF’s Mission Bay campus in late July and gave a seminar talk highlighting the lab team’s recent discoveries.
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