Human evolution

Neanderthal genes promote daytime napping and smoking… ?

Spread the love

A take on getting to know our inner Neanderthal from Ruth Williams at The Scientist,

For example, being a self-described night owl and being prone to daytime napping were both traits positively influenced by Neanderthal variants, as were loneliness, low mood, and smoking. Genetic loci associated with having red hair were found to be devoid of Neanderthal variants, suggesting red-headed Neanderthals were either rare or non-existent. The new study also supports Capra and colleagues’ previous observations that Neanderthal variants are associated with sun-induced skin lesions, mood disorders, and smoking.

That traits such as skin color, sun-burning, and sleep patterns were identified by the analyses might be explained by the Neanderthals’ adaptations to life at more northern latitudes, suggests Capra. But for other traits, he notes, determining how the effects seen in present-day people might once have affected Neanderthals themselves “is one of our crucial challenges.” For example, he says, “of course, Neanderthals were not smoking.” More.

Actually, we don’t know that Neanderthals were not smoking, only that they were probably not smoking tobacco, native to the Americas.

Here’s a question: Is what we are finding out about some of our ancient ancestors anything that was predicted earlier? If not, the UD News coffee room is still sourcing a recycler for splintered lecterns…

See also: Getting to know our inner Neanderthal

and

Neanderthal technology was hardly dumb

5 Replies to “Neanderthal genes promote daytime napping and smoking… ?

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    Neanderthal “high pitched voice” –

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o589CAu73UM

    Serious study but hard not to laugh.
    Seems Neanderthal sounded like an angry Monty Python.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    So instead of cartooning the Neanderthal as a big violent thug, we should be drawing a Goth.

  3. 3
    J-Mac says:

    That’s not all…
    They also promote an addiction to coca-cola, a tendency to wear irregular underwear as well as frequent faxed-food deliveries of halibut…

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac,
    The Coca-Cola addiction was not due to a genetic mutation in our ancestors, but an epigenetic variation they acquired through their uncontrollable consumption of the popular beverage, specially after the refrigerators became affordable and they all had one in their homes. 🙂
    This is a proven fact. The archeologists have found gazillion empty Coca-Cola cans buried deep in the same terrains where the Neanderthals resided after they were granted political asylum in Europe. Next to the empty cans the archeologists also found a few driver’s licenses belonging to old Neanderthal folks. Those are matter-of-fact evidences no one can deny. 🙂

  5. 5
    Peer says:

    “Because Neanderthal alleles are relatively rare, the researchers needed data representing a really large number of people. They found what they were looking for in data representing more than 112,000 participants in the UK Biobank pilot study. The Biobank includes genetic data along with information on many traits related to physical appearance, diet, sun exposure, behavior, and disease.”

    In reality…What they are looking at is variation in the human population; alleles likely generated via a non-random mutational mechanism. Hotspots independently introduced in the DNA sequence, which do not tell anything about ancestry.

Leave a Reply