Human evolution Intelligent Design

Your daily dose of COVID crazy: Neanderthals are to blame for COVID-19

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No, really. This is from Phys.org:

This September, Pääbo and colleague Hugo Zeberg announced that the major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals. (We note that Nature publications prefer to include the h.) By any measure, this is a bold statement. The team found that severe COVID-19 disease is associated with specific genetic variants in six genes within a 50K-base-pair-long region of chromosome 3 that derived directly from a Neanderthal heritage. Similar investigations have also identified a protective Neanderthal haplotype on chromosome (chr) 12 that reduces the risk of severe COVID-9, and a protective region on chromosome 9 that is associated with the ABO blood groups.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Pääbo and Zeberg have just kicked things up a notch. The pair recently reported on the bioRxiv preprint server that another exclusively Neandertal variant, this time in the promoter region of the DPP4 gene at chr2q24.2, is really pulling the strings on COVID susceptibility. DPP4 is a widely expressed extracellular dipeptidyl peptidase involved in immune function and glucose metabolism. As it happens, DPP4 is also the receptor gene for the MERS coronavirus. Now we are getting somewhere.

Although other researchers have insisted DPP4 is not a SARS-CoV-2 receptor, it can be tough to ignore coincidental findings like this when therapeutic options are sorely needed.” at Phys.org

Paper. (open access)

Okay, but to the hammer everything looks like a nail.

Anyway, if you have Neanderthal genes, you are supposedly in trouble. However, if you are reading this, you are not dead already…

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?

10 Replies to “Your daily dose of COVID crazy: Neanderthals are to blame for COVID-19

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    I am certain I have Neanderthal genes
    I got the disease and I barely got sick
    I have an annoying leftover cough
    I never lost my breath I never experience severe symptoms of any kind

    I was sick for two days and recovered very quickly faster than my wife actually
    And she had it before me

    Can someone do me a favor I can’t seem to open this paper but can somebody look at their research and see the averages of people that actually experience severe symptoms and those that did not but had the gene

    Because I’m just gonna throw this out there I think this is a crock of shit much like most of the Covid science

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Well, of course. It’s been clear from the start that the “virus” is Deplorable breath. Masks protect Cro-Magnon “highly evolved” aristocrats from Neanderthal “unevolved” peasants.

    (“Highly evolved” aristocrats always have hyphenated names.)

  3. 3
    jerry says:

    The problem with this theory is that young people are unaffected. If genetic, that’s hard to explain.

    But hey, we may have a new theory for the disappearance of the Neanderthals, an early version of the bat virus.

  4. 4
    mahuna says:

    Um, most East Asians are NOT descended from Neanderthals. So why is COVID active in the Far East?

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    most East Asians are NOT descended from Neanderthals. So why is COVID active in the Far East?

    I believe East Asians have more Neanderthal DNA than Europeans. Most East Asian countries have fewer deaths from C19 than most areas of world.

  6. 6
    orthomyxo says:

    A very strange take on this. Neanderthals are but to blame for covid, but it’s clear this genetic sequence entered our species from Neanderthals. There also send to be good evidence that this sequence (specifically, and not Neanderthal genes in genert) increases the risk of severe case of covid. As do old age, various illnesses and (probably) the initial viral load a patient recieves. Nothing very controversial or crazy in that

  7. 7
    orthomyxo says:

    Aaron, the odds ratio is about 1.6 for the Neanderthal version of the sequence

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    I wonder if there’s any correlation between inherited Neanderthal genes and support for Donald Trump?

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    correlation between inherited Neanderthal genes and support for Donald Trump?

    Since East Asian have the highest Neanderthal genes, are you saying this means there is higher intelligence in this demographic group because of this?

  10. 10
    AaronS1978 says:

    @Orthomyxo
    Thank you I appreciate that

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