Genetic Switches Cause Differences between Neanderthals and Humans

Genetic Switches Cause Differences between Neanderthals and Humans

Israeli scientists have discovered genetic switches that might have caused differences between extinct Neanderthals and modern humans.

It could be surprising for you to know that humans and extinct Neanderthals were 99.84 similar genetically. These species’ genomes differed by a small percentage and after four of knowing the same researchers have answer for the same as well.

They found many genetic switches that were off in Neanderthals were turned on in humans and vice-versa. It has also been found that while humans suffer from neurological and psychiatric disorders but Neanderthals did not.

“Any given gene might do many things in the brain. When dozens of brain-related genes became more active in today’s humans that somehow produces the harmful side effect of neurological illness”, affirmed lead author Liram Carmel from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Some of the genes related to autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease were more likely to be off in Neanderthals and were found to be on in modern humans.

Researchers have mapped and reported that Neanderthal and human are epigenome. They found over 99% of the maps matched. During the evaluation process, researchers found HOXD, a cluster of five genes influencing size and shape of limbs to be absent in the ancient species.

Person’s genome can vary from another’s due to diet, environment and other factors. Therefore, it is almost impossible to know whether the ‘on/ off’ pattern in Neanderthal genes is typical of the species overall or particular to the individual studied.

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