Scientists: Sex with Neanderthals Homo sapiens protected from viruses

Neanderthals viral defenses

When Homo sapiens crossed paths with their Neanderthal cousins tens of thousands of years ago in Europe, they also encountered unsafe new pathogens-and, though interbreeding, the genes to fight those infections, a new study suggests.

The paper's authors, Dmitri Petrov of Stanford University and his former postdoc, David Enard of the University of Arizona, note that the H. sapiens who left Africa for Europe tens of thousands of years ago would likely have encountered pathogens that Neanderthals had always been exposed to.

The findings, led by researchers from the Universities of Arizona and Stanford, showed that while Neanderthals became extinct about 40,000 years ago, many modern Europeans and Asians today carry about 2 per cent of Neanderthal DNA in their genomes. They then identified 152 Neanderthal DNA snippets present in the genes that make these proteins.

In 2016, while working at Stanford University with researcher Dmitri Petrov, Enard found roughly a third of all protein adaptations in the human genome were triggered by viral infections. The team of researchers examined 4.500 genes from modern humans that interact with the RNA viruses. During this time the body of members of this species have developed immune defenses against viruses, widespread in Europe and Asia.

"It made much more sense for modern humans to just borrow the already adapted genetic defences from Neanderthals rather than waiting for their own adaptive mutations to develop, which would have taken much more time", added David Enard, a former postdoctoral fellow in Petrov's lab. "Modern humans and Neanderthals are so closely related that it really wasn't much of a genetic barrier for these viruses to jump".

The Cell study provides new details about the role of adaptive introgression, or hybridization between species, in human evolution.

‘Venom’ breaks records, ‘A Star Is Born’ shines at the box office
The films' combined success helped make this the best October weekend at the movies of all time in North America. Coming in at No. 2 this weekend is the music-heavy drama " A Star Is Born ".

After a series of studies, scientists concluded that breeding humans with Neanderthals was necessary for all of their descendants.

What's more, different viruses influenced genetic swapping between the two species. These genes are the ones that interact with RNA viruses such as HIV, influenza A, and hepatitis C, suggesting that the genes that humans inherited from Neanderthals helped the ancient humans to fight off the viruses that the Neanderthals were already accustomed to.

In the current study, the investigators annotated thousands of genes in the human genome that are known to interact with pathogens-more than 4,000 of the 25,000 total genes. "Even without having access to the viruses themselves, scientists who study prehistoric epidemics will be able to learn about the pathogens that drove them".

"You can think about these hereditary adjustments like impressions from long-wiped out dinosaurs saved in fossilized mud", Enard said.

In the study, scientists show that the genetic defences that Neanderthals passed to us were against RNA viruses, which encode their genes with RNA, a molecule that is chemically similar to DNA.

Related News:

  • Robertson: Two-horse title race talk well off the mark

    Robertson: Two-horse title race talk well off the mark

    On the other hand, Liverpool are third behind Manchester City and Chelsea on the Premier League table but have the same points as the other two teams.
    Israel reduces Gaza fishing zone in reprisal for protests

    Israel reduces Gaza fishing zone in reprisal for protests

    The Health Ministry in Gaza reported three deaths, including a 12-year-old boy, and more than 400 wounded. Following a period of relative calm, there has been a resurgence in mass protests in recent weeks.
    United Nations  report on climate change sets off alarm bells

    United Nations report on climate change sets off alarm bells

    While the United Nations panel says technically that's possible, it saw little chance of the needed adjustments happening. Monday's report is three years in the making and is a direct result of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement .
  • 5,000 feared missing as Indonesia quake death toll rises

    5,000 feared missing as Indonesia quake death toll rises

    Hundreds of people Saturday rushed a truck carrying gas cylinders for cooking, with long and desperate queues quickly forming. Many thousands of people are still too afraid to stay in their houses, especially at night, owing to the ongoing aftershocks.
    Reported explosion at oil refinery in Saint John, NB

    Reported explosion at oil refinery in Saint John, NB

    Bob McVicar, a resident in the New Brunswick city, posted on Facebook that it felt like a "bed-shaking explosion". Crews are fighting a major fire at the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick.
    #MeToo movement hits MoS MJ Akbar, actor Alok Nath

    #MeToo movement hits MoS MJ Akbar, actor Alok Nath

    Supporting the writer-producer, CINTAA general secretary Sushant Singh said a show-cause notice will be sent to Nath. Nanda also shared that Alok Nath "brutalised" at her own residence after offering to drop her home from a party.
  • Avengers 4 Rumored To Have Big Time Jump

    Avengers 4 Rumored To Have Big Time Jump

    According to a user on Twitter claiming to be connected in Hollywood, The Avengers 4 will start five years in the future. Ruffalo joked, "I've kind of got a punk rock soul and I felt like 'dude, everyone has tattoos".

    How To Watch Google's Pixel 3 Event In Australia

    Talking about Pixelbook 2, the Chrome OS notebook is expected to retain the same form factor and ports as the first model . The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL are expected to come in Pink and Mint colours besides the usual white and black.
    IOS 12.0.1 fixes iPhone XS charging and WiFi glitches

    IOS 12.0.1 fixes iPhone XS charging and WiFi glitches

    Apart from that, there are also fixes to subtitles not appearing in some video apps and Bluetooth unavailability issue. The latest iOS build will also help an iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max select the correct Wi-Fi network to use.
  • Netanyahu and Putin to meet over downed Russian plane

    Netanyahu and Putin to meet over downed Russian plane

    It is not the first time Sara Netanyahu, an educational psychologist, has come before a court over alleged misbehavior. In 2016, a court ruled that she had abused one of her housekeepers and was ordered to pay a fine of $42,000 (£32,189).
    Missing Saudi Journalist Killed Inside Istanbul Consulate: Turkish Police Sources

    Missing Saudi Journalist Killed Inside Istanbul Consulate: Turkish Police Sources

    Turkish authorities have concluded that the Saudi journalist had been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in istanbul . Suggestions by Saudi- friendly analysts that Qatari agents connived with Ankara to kidnap Mr Khashoggi are far-fetched.
    Umpire Angel Hernandez Had An Atrocious Game 3

    Umpire Angel Hernandez Had An Atrocious Game 3

    In the postseason, Porcello's record is decidedly more mixed. "Obviously this is my first, but I'm excited", Eovaldi said. Luis Severino will go for the Yankees while Nate Eovaldi will toe the rubber for Alex Cora's Red Sox .


Most liked

Russian Federation 'tried to hack Foreign Office', says British diplomat
The OPCW is headquartered in the Netherlands, where the Dutch government has confirmed the attempted attack. Here is a summary of the GRU's activities, according to western intelligence agencies.

Google Pixel 3 Event
However, the main underline of the event will be the new Pixel 3 series which will comprise of Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL . The Engadget editor also mentions the single 12.2MP rear camera and dual 8MP front-facing camera on the Pixel device.

Drew Brees passes Peyton Manning's record as Saints beat Redskins
Adrian Peterson had just six yards on four carries before leaving with a shoulder injury. "What we did tonight", Smith said. This was the fifth straight game Washington hasn't scored a touchdown in the third quarter, dating back to a year ago .

Lacazette confident more to come from high-flying Arsenal
And after the initial hiccup at the start of the season, the London outfit are finally showing potential under their new manager Unai Emery .

Naomi Osaka: I was more emotional than what I normally am
Caroline played incredible today, it's always tough playing against her and I have never won. The time off allowed her body to mend and she returned to the sport in January 2015.

Rare White tiger kills Japan zookeeper in attack
A zookeeper died after a white tiger mauled him Monday afternoon at a zoological park in Kagoshima, rescue workers said. White tigers, a sub-species of its orange Bengal tiger cousins, are extremely rare in the animal kingdom.

Skripal attack: Bellingcat names second Salisbury suspect
The poisoning of Skripal, a former Russian agent who was convicted of spying for Britain, became a major global incident. The website said it discovered Mishkin's real identity after obtaining a scanned copy of his passport.

UChicago Alum, Former Professor Wins Nobel Prize in Economics
Last year, the honour went to United States economist Richard Thaler, a co-founder of the so-called "nudge" theory. They were honoured for integrating climate change and technological innovation into macroeconomic analysis.

International Monetary Fund predicts India will grow at 7.3% in 2018-’19
That includes President Donald Trump's imposition of tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods, as well as on aluminum, steel and other products worldwide.

Why Arsenal’s 5-1 win is "deceitful", Lacazette
He is believed to be on around £110,000 a week with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on £170,000. We will enjoy it, we are working well and we want to continue like this.

India thrash Windies to record largest-ever Test win
India 1st Innings: 649 for 9 in 149.5 overs ( Virat Kohli 139, Prithvi Shaw 134, Ravindra Jadeja 100; Devendra Bishoo 4/217). Mumbai: The omission of Murali Vijay and Karun Nair from the Indian Test squad against West Indies has raised a debate.

Three Strikes: Red Sox silence Yankee Stadium in 16-1 blowout
Of the 18 batters Severino faced Monday, seven connected on balls that had exit velocities at 100 miles per hour or faster. Yet Severino was late to throwing his warm-ups, potentially because he wasn't aware of the start time of 7:40 p.m.

Hillary and Bill Clinton to go on tour this year
The tour kicks off on November 18 in Las Vegas and the visits to other cities start in April 2019. They'll make stops in both Canada and the US throughout their tour.

Eagles place RB Ajayi on IR, reportedly has torn ACL
The season, and possibility the entire tenure with the Eagles, is now over for Ajayi, who is in the past year of his contract. Or, of course, they could try to pursue trades for other, cheaper running backs or simply sign an existing free agent.

Taylor Swift endorses a political candidate for the first time
Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. Swift won a legal battle previous year against a radio host she accused of groping her at a meet-and-greet event in 2013.