8 May 2010

You have had a couple of days or so to get used to being related to a pipid frog.

Now get used to this. Modern European and Asian humans, homo sapiens sapiens, likely interbred with Neanderthals – the word can be spelt Neanderthal or Neandertal – and as a result share about 1 percent to 4 percent of their DNA with Neanderthals.

You can read the science story, ‘A draft sequence of the Neandertal genome,’ in Science for 7 May 2010 pages 710-722.

New Scientist for 6 May 2010 has a summary article about it, ‘Neanderthal genome reveals interbreeding with humans,’ and the story appears in several newspapers.

Dienekes interestingly discusses doubts.

What a wondrous mixture we are. A new tick-box for the census: True-born, with a touch of frog and Neanderthal.