The team also compared these Neandertal genomes to the genomes of people living today, and showed that all of the late Neandertals were more similar to the Neandertals that contributed DNA to present-day people living outside Africa than an older Neandertal from Siberia. Intriguingly, even though four of the Neandertals lived at a time when modern humans had already arrived in Europe they do not carry detectable amounts of modern human DNA. “It may be that gene flow was mostly unidirectional, from Neandertals into modern humans,” says Svante Pääbo, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
“Our work demonstrates that the generation of genome sequences from a large number of archaic human individuals is now technically feasible, and opens the possibility to study Neandertal populations across their temporal and geographical range,” says Janet Kelso, the senior author of the new study. Paper. (paywall) – Mateja Hajdinjak, Qiaomei Fu, Alexander Hübner, Martin Petr, Fabrizio Mafessoni, Steffi Grote, Pontus Skoglund, Vagheesh Narasimham, Hélène Rougier, Isabelle Crevecoeur, Patrick Semal, Marie Soressi, Sahra Talamo, Jean-Jacques Hublin, Ivan Gušić, Željko Kućan, Pavao Rudan, Liubov V. Golovanova, Vladimir B. Doronichev, Cosimo Posth, Johannes Krause, Petra Korlević, Sarah Nagel, Birgit Nickel, Montgomery Slatkin, Nick Patterson, David Reich, Kay Prüfer, Matthias Meyer, Svante Pääbo, Janet Kelso. Reconstructing the genetic history of late Neanderthals. Nature, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/nature26151 More.
It isn’t very surprising if the gene flow was mostly unidirectional, assuming that Neandertals were less numerous than migrants. People must form relationships with someone if they want to have a family. Maybe not the person they had expected.
See also: Researchers: Modern humans “interbred with” Denisovans twice
Neanderthal Man: The long-lost relative turns up again, this time with documents
A deep and abiding need for Neanderthals to be stupid. Why?