27 Aug '11, 6am

Sex with Neanderthals may have given modern man an added boost of immunity, says new research

CALIFORNIA - Scientists have long said modern humans and Neanderthals did not mate. Then they took that back and said they did mate but the Neanderthal DNA that existed in humans were not functional. Last week, scientists did another retraction: Apparently Neanderthals, and their sister-species the Denisovans, did have sex with modern humans and their DNA have been found to contribute to myriad immune genes still found in people of Europe, Asia and Oceania today. According to Prof Peter Parham of the Stanford University, California, who was the lead researcher on the Shaping of Modern Human Immune Systems by Multiregional Admixture with Archaic Humans report, "the cross breeding wasn't just a random event that happened, it gave something useful to the gene pool of the modern human." The study compared HLA genes, which are critical to our body's ability to identify and and ...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Science/EDC110827-0000585/Sex-...

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