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AMH and Neanderthal Nuclear DNA.docx

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ANTH 1131

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AMH and Neanderthal Nuclear DNA Comparing AMH to Neanderthal Nuclear DNA  In 2009, Max Planck Institute in Germany finished a draft sequencing of the entire Neanderthal genome  They compared this to a sample of modern humans  On average, AMHs differ from each other at 100 base pairs, which is a very low variability  So far, AMHs differ from Neanderthals’ sequence at 206 base- pairs positons (out of portion of the genome examined so far)  Suggests split from common ancestor between 350,000 and 800,000 years ago – mean split time of 500,000 years ago  However, also appears that Neanderthals did contribute some genetic material to modern humans – we did interbreed, probably when we were leaving Africa - Most humans from outside of Africa have some genetic material from Neanderthals, while people of African descent do not Evidence in Support of Regional Continuity (not very good evidence or arguments):  Visible morphological continuity between pre-modern and AMH remains in Europe and Asia?  Theory we evolved from pre-modern species in the regions based on fossils  Autralasia (SE Asia and Australia): - Fossils that show in general profile that modern Australians look very similar; genetic ancestral transition from Homo erectus in Australia - Theory that a new species didn’t come into an area and replace the species that were already living there, but that the new species evolved from the previous species - However, the sample of the fossils they use to show that there was genetic ancestral transition is very small and biased; not very good theory  Persistence of non-adaptive traits across the transition from Neanderthals to AMHs in Europe?  Theory that if modern humans lived in Europe for a long enough time, they can get adaptive characteris
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