Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Research shows humans and Neanderthals almost missed out on mating

See also

The first study of the contributions of Neanderthal peoples to the human genetic structure indicates that humans and Neanderthals may have just been barely genetically compatible according to research published by David Reich, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, and colleagues in the Jan. 29, 2014, issue of the journal Nature.

The researchers examined the genetic contribution of a Neanderthal that lived 50,000 years ago to the genetic structure of non-African Europeans and people from sub-Saharan Africa. People of true African descent never mated with Neanderthals because these people never migrated to Europe.

The researchers found that about two percent of the present human genetic structure is a contribution from Neanderthals.

The scientists found that the difference between the genetic structure of Neanderthals and the genetic structure of humans was so great that only a few of the progeny from the breeding of humans and Neanderthal may have survived. Some of the children born to Neanderthal and human parents may have been sterile.

Neanderthal contributions to modern humans included higher levels of keratin, the fibrous protein that produces toughness in skin, hair and nails. This addition could have helped humans survive in cold climates.

Some of the disadvantages of Neanderthal DNA included a higher potential to have diabetes, Crohn's disease, lupus, and an inability to quit smoking tobacco.

The researchers note that many of the 100,000 genetic additions contributed to the human genome by Neanderthals were either lost due to adaptation or bred out of humans.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • Purchase Your Pair of Google Glass Today
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518193403" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Camp Invention
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Stanford scientists Matthew Kanan and Christina Li have created an oxide-derived copper catalyst that converts carbon monoxide to ethanol.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518178005" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!