Neanderthal genes helped Europeans live in colder climate
London: If you are a European and fat, chances are that you have inherited a gene variant from Neanderthals.
Scientists believe that modern Europeans share a number of genes involved in the build-up of certain types of fat with Neanderthals.
An international team of researchers led by Philipp Khaitovich of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, show that DNA sequences shared between modern humans and Neanderthals are specifically enriched in genes involved in the metabolic breakdown of lipids.
This sharing of genes is seen mainly in contemporary humans of European descent and may have given a selective advantage to the individuals with the Neanderthal variants, media reports said.
These ancient genes might have helped Europeans adapt better to colder climates, giving them an evolutionary advantage.
Neanderthals and modern humans are thought to have co-existed for thousands of years and interbred, meaning Europeans now have roughly 2 per cent Neanderthal DNA.
“This is the first time we have seen differences in lipid concentrations between populations,” evolutionary biologist Philipp Khaitovich was quoted as saying.
How our brains are built differently of lipids might be due to Neanderthal DNA, he added.
“We do not know what these lipid concentration changes do to the brain but the fact that Neanderthal variants might have changed our brain composition has interesting implications,” Khaitovich added.
Download the all new Zee News app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with latest headlines and news stories in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Business and much more from India and around the world.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: How to expand your existing business
- Prashant Bhushan questions Arvind Kejriwal on Lokpal through press conference
- UP: DM B Chandrakala participates in anti-riots drill in Bulandshahr
- PM Modi addresses the nation during Maan Ki baat
- Delhi police arrests BSF personnel, ISI operative for espionage
- Women fit only to deliver children, gender equality un-islamic: Kerala Muslim leader
- Russia strikes down Goa, India from its safe travel destinations list
- Arvind Kejriwal backs Tarun Gogoi's claim over Guv favouring BJP, suspects 'coop federalism'
- PM Modi leaves for Paris to take part in Climate Conference
- Intolerance issue: Aamir Khan's remarks 'innocent', says Rajkumar Hirani