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It has long been known that the
Neanderthal traces remained in the genome of modern humans. According to the
genetic and archaeological research, Neanderthals and ancestors of modern
people were living together and actively interbred. The first read of
Neanderthal genome was done several years ago. Its origin is from the remains
found in the cave of Vindija in Croatia, and the ones found in the Altai. The
research showed that modern Europeans and Asians have Neanderthal genes in
their genome, but not Africans. This reveals the meeting time for Homo sapiens
and the Neanderthals, which happened after migration of  Homo sapiens from Africa to other continents.

The genome of the Altaian
Neanderthal female was the first to be read with high accuracy – every
nucleotide in the DNA was read at least ten times. However, recently, the
description of the second highly precise Neanderthal genome was published it in
the article in Science. The DNA used for analysis was the one extracted from
the remains of the same Vindija cave. Compared to the Altaic remains, the
genome of the Croatian Neanderthal female gives more information about which
genes should have come from Neanderthals because the remains of the Vindija
cave are closer to the contact zone with Homo Sapiens both in time and place of

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Also, the most modern methods were
used this time for the analysis of the Neanderthal genome. These techniques
allow distinguishing the desired DNA from accidental contamination while
increasing the accuracy of reading the sequences of nucleotides. As a result of
the analysis, the authors enlarged the list of genes that modern humans
inherited from the Neanderthals. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for
Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and other laboratories in Europe, Asia,
and the US have identified Neanderthal genes that regulate the level of vitamin
D and low-density lipoproteins in the blood, which contribute to the
development of atherosclerosis (Prüfer et al., 2017). In addition, the study
showed that the number of Neanderthals included genes associated with
schizophrenia, obesity, eating disorders, and autoimmune diseases.

It is well known that genes do not
necessarily manifest themselves in the external appearance of an individual,
but also regulate their behavior. Michael Dannemann and Janet Kelso, one of the
leaders of the new study of the Neanderthal genome, analyzed the genomes of
more than a hundred thousand modern Europeans and compared these data with
their appearance, lifestyle, history of diseases and other features of life. It
turned out that Neanderthal genes quite well coincide with appearance, habits,
and behavior of modern humans. The color of hair and skin, as well as the
tendency to be an owl, that is, to sleep during the day, and to work in the
evening and at night, are often manifested due to the Neanderthal genetic
inheritance. Besides, for the same feature, there are several alleles of
Neanderthal genes that can give a person darker or lighter hair and skin
(Dannemann & Kelso, 2017).

The testing used to assess the
amount of Neanderthal DNA that we may have mixed with our own was done by using
modern human baseline genotype and phenotype data, collected by UK Biobank
(Dannemann & Kelso, 2017). The genotype data was filtered, and single
nucleotide polymorphisms were annotated as non-archaic and archaic-like ones.
Then, the genotype and phenotype data were correlated, and phenotypic impact of
archaic and non-archaic alleles was estimated.

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