And raise an interesting question about the use of the term “hybrid.”
From The Scientist :
Recent research has revealed that all non-Africans living today retain a genetic trace—1-3 percent of the genome—of Neanderthal ancestry. And 40,000 years ago, human genomes may have contained twice as much Neanderthal DNA, according to a study published today (June 22) in Nature.
Genetic material recovered from 40,000-year-old human bones unearthed in Romania harbors about 6-9 percent Neanderthal DNA, the study reports. Some of this DNA was contained in three relatively large chromosome segments, suggesting the individual had a Neanderthal ancestor only four to six generations back. “I think the conclusions are quite clear, and it’s really quite remarkable that they were lucky to find a hybrid that was so recent to be able to date it to a few generations back,” said Rasmus Nielsen, a University of California Berkeley population geneticist who was not involved with the work.
Hybrid? Is that quite the right word?
This isn’t the first time researchers have identified a human-Neanderthal hybrid. Previously, researchers had found evidence of an older admixture event that occurred in the Near East in what is modern-day Israel. The new results suggest that Neanderthals and modern humans mixed in modern-day Europe. “What’s exciting about this is that it is evidence that Neanderthal mixture occurred in Europe as well,” said Reich. “What seems to have happened is that modern humans moved through Neanderthal territory and mixed with them multiple times through that span.”
Sounds like Europeans moving through the world via new technology in the early modern era.
So is every human being of mixed ancestry today a “hybrid”? Class, discuss.
See also: Neanderthal Man: The long-lost relative turns up again, this time with documents
and A deep and abiding need for Neanderthals to be stupid. Why?
Follow UD News at Twitter!
Also: Piecing together scraps of DNA from a 400,000-year-old hominin femur
Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista