View Full Version : The Neanderthal DNA you carry may have surprisingly little impact on your looks, mood

04-23-2020, 01:13 PM

Paleogeneticists realized about 10 years ago that most Europeans and Asians inherited 1% to 2% of their genomes from Neanderthals. And Melanesians and Australian Aboriginals get another 3% to 6% of their DNA from Denisovans, Neanderthal cousins who ranged across Asia 50,000 to 200,000 years ago or so.


They found, for example, that Icelanders had inherited 3.3% of their archaic DNA from Denisovans and 12.2% from unknown sources. (84.5% came from close relatives of the reference Neanderthals.)

Population geneticist Joshua Akey of Princeton University says the discovery of Denisovan DNA in Icelanders is “fascinating.” He notes that it likely didn’t come from a Denisovan who paddled to Iceland, but from a Neanderthal or modern human who mixed it up with a Denisovan long before present-day Icelanders reached the island.

J Man
04-23-2020, 02:02 PM
I don't know what to make of those conclusions. Either the authors are way off or they managed to discover something no one else has yet.

04-24-2020, 01:12 AM
I'm thinking, Aren't Icelanders more inbred than mainland Europe? They've historically been an insulated and a small community without much outside influence.

This coupled with their unique climate and geography, I would think that a large part of the 12.2% of unknown source dna are a result of their large scale inbred past that sped up natural selection.

I think what is happening on the island is a process of natural selection on steroids.

04-24-2020, 02:28 AM
I have a DNA match in Iceland at My Heritage, along with two in the Faroe Islands. I assume related to my paternal side, as my dad was 3/4 Norwegian. Maybe I should be tested for Neanderthal-Denisovan?

04-25-2020, 02:03 AM
ANE contained a small amount of Denisovan did it not? Couldn't 'unknown' just be from Neanderthals who are a bit different than the ones we've sequenced?

04-25-2020, 02:55 AM
Couldn't 'unknown' just be from Neanderthals who are a bit different than the ones we've sequenced?

Or archaic ancestry that got into some Neanderthals from their Eurasian predecessors (erectus or whatever).

J Man
04-26-2020, 03:25 PM
Is there any way that we can see the SNPs used in this paper with their proper "rs" labels?