Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oh man this explains a lot always thought my Australian friends were a little weird

Washington - Neanderthals and modern humans interbred, probably when early humans first began to migrate out of Africa, according to a genetic study released on Thursday.

People of European, Asian and Australasian origin all have Neanderthal DNA, but not Africans, researchers reported in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

The study may help resolve the long-running debate over whether Neanderthals and modern humans did more than simply live side by side in Europe and the Middle East.

"Those of us who live outside Africa carry a little Neanderthal DNA in us," said Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, who led the study.

"The proportion of Neanderthal-inherited genetic material is about 1 to 4 percent. It is a small but very real proportion of ancestry in non-Africans today," Dr David Reich of Harvard Medical School in Boston, who worked on the study, told reporters in a telephone briefing.