Human evolution Intelligent Design Medicine

Claim: Neanderthal protein may reduce COVID-19’s severity

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The protein is called OAS1:

“The protective effect was particularly large,” points out Dr. Zhou, “such that we observed a 50% decrease in the odds of very severe COVID-19 per standard deviation increase in OAS1 circulating levels. Interestingly, for non-African peoples, this protective effect is likely inherited from a Neanderthal derived form of OAS1 called p46.”

This form of OAS1 likely emerged in people of European ancestry through interbreeding with Neanderthals tens of thousands of years ago. Evolutionary pressure slowly increased the prevalence of this form of OAS1, such that it is now detectable in more than thirty-percent of people of European descent. It is likely that the form of the protein has served as protection against earlier pandemics.

Because drug development, even in the accelerated environment of pandemic research, takes time it is particularly exciting that molecules which can increase OAS1 activity are currently in pre-clinical development for eventual deployment in clinical trials.

Original story from McGill University, “Neanderthal Protein May Reduce the Severity of COVID-19” at Technology Networks

The paper is open access.

Neanderthal man gets smarter and more socially acceptable every time he crosses our radar. At one time, the story would have been: A COVID-like illness wiped him out.

Note: Some sources claim that Neanderthal genes increase COVID-19’s severity. Believe what you want but be nice to the Neanderthals you run into. They’ve put up with enough abuse.

18 Replies to “Claim: Neanderthal protein may reduce COVID-19’s severity

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    Oh that evolutionary magic of evolutionary Pressure was definitely the reason why oas1 Became more prevalent we don’t even have to explain why it became more prevalent it’s already been explained with a simple wave of a hand “evolutionary pressure” and explained

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    We used to refer to this class of viruses as the common cold, before we imbued it with mysterious maleficent TrumpWitch Superpowers.

  3. 3
    BobRyan says:

    We used to differentiate various types of viruses, rather than lump everything under one thing. Anyone who tests positive for a coronavirus, which includes the common cold, who dies is being classified as a COVID-19 death, regardless of the actual cause of death.

    In a good year, influenza kills about 40,000 Americans, with an average of 56,000 per year. According to the CDC, there have been 1499 positive tests for influenza A & B for the entire season.

    The same site shows pediatric deaths by year for the past 3 influenza seasons as 188, 144, 195. This season they are showing 1. This is clear evidence that the CDC has no interest in accurate numbers when it comes to COVID-19.

  4. 4
    orthomyxo says:

    Quite amazing that we stand a year into this pandemic and people can still repeat garbage disinformation like the above.

    For the record, covid-19 tests are specific to covid-19 (not all coronviruses), the flu is rare this year because it’s much less transmissible than covid, so knocked back by mitigation measures and Abby conspiracy theory about misclassified deaths has to explain the huge excess mortality experienced in the us

  5. 5
    AaronS1978 says:

    Well ortho if its all garbage do us all a favor and start wearing three masks and for good measure stuff a view in your mouth

  6. 6
    orthomyxo says:

    I’m sorry, what?

  7. 7
  8. 8
    orthomyxo says:

    A lot of those links are about false negatives, none suggest covid tests would give false positives from other coronavrius

  9. 9
    BobRyan says:


    False data leads to not having all the facts to make a proper determination. Last August, the CDC admitted only 6% of COVID-19 deaths were from only COVID-19, with the remainder being comorbidity. Included in the comorbidity was influenza and heart disease, to name just two of the several categories. COVID-19 attacks the lungs on a weakened system. The fact that non respiratory deaths were included should have raised several red flags about the numbers.

    Below is one article among many that came out.

    The chart shows influenza as the leading cause of comorbidity. The CDC never altered the numbers and continues to include influenza as COVID-19 deaths. Just because someone has COVID-19, does not mean they die from COVID-19. Influenza is deadly and it is impossible to get through a single season without 10s of thousands of deaths.

  10. 10
    orthomyxo says:

    More conspiracy theory and garbage.

    The truth is only ~6% of death certificates of covid victims list only covid. Most of them also lost pneumonia (caused by covid) out respiratory failure (caused by covid) and others contributing factors such as heart disease. That table doesn’t list flu as the leading comorbidity, it groups all the reporting codes associated with respiratory disease and failure (including flu).

    And your baseless conspiracy theory still has to account for the huge number of excess deaths this last 12 months. If covid wasn’t killing these people did we secretly have one of the worst flu pandemics since 1918?

  11. 11
    ET says:

    Covid-19 is just natural selection in action. People with health and nutritional deficiencies are dying. And all it takes to fight this thing are the proper OTC supplements, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C, NAC, quercetin, CQ10, and other anti-oxidants to keep your body clean of free radicals.

  12. 12
    BobRyan says:

    Why are COVID-19 deaths showing a spike during influenza season if it is not influenza? To say there are almost no influenza deaths is to ignore reality.

  13. 13
    orthomyxo says:

    Because covid is seasonal for similar reasons as flu. The is almost no flu this year, as a result of school closures and masks and the like. CDC surveillance tested 22k respiratory samples last week for 30 positives:

    So, again, his does your conspiracy theory explain the huge excess in deaths in the last 12 months

  14. 14
    BobRyan says:


    There are states that did very little, like Florida, yet those states are all showing very little influenza deaths. Rather than report what people are dying from, which is important for accuracy, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 who dies is being listed as a COVID-19 death, including hear failure. SARS 2 only attacks the lungs in the most severe cases. The extreme symptoms remain the same, which is difficulty breathing and a high fever. If the lungs do not fill with liquid, the cause of death cannot be SARS, unlike influenza which can cause a wide range of problems that go beyond the lungs.

  15. 15
    orthomyxo says:

    More garbage. Can you answer the question I put to you many times now. Why have so many people died in the last 12 months?

  16. 16
    ET says:

    So many people have died in the last 12 months because so many people are unhealthy. Natural selection eliminates the less fit and that is what we are seeing. Countries with 50% or more obesity rate are seeing more deaths than countries that don’t have an obesity problem. Go figure…

  17. 17
    orthomyxo says:

    I’m sure that thought is a great comfort to the families of hundreds of thousands of people, ET.

  18. 18
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Orthomyxo “ I’m sure that thought is a great comfort to the families of hundreds of thousands of people, ET.“

    Especially to those who are at greater risk to COVID due to natural aging processes, congenital defects, work related injuries, and those who could not afford to provide their family with a well balanced diet on their $7 an hour minimum wage.

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