Neanderthals And Immunity Boost
August 27, 2011 by staff
Mate with Neanderthals and other ancient group called Denisovans introduced genes that help us cope with the virus today, they conclude.
Previous research had indicated that interbreeding took prehistoric up to 4% of modern human genome.
The new work identified stretches of DNA derived from our distant relatives.
In the human immune system, HLA (human leukocyte antigen) family of genes plays an important role in defense against foreign invaders such as viruses.
The authors say that the origin of some HLA class 1 genes is proof that our ancient relatives interbred with Neanderthals and for a period Denisovans
At least one variety of HLA genes occurs frequently in the current populations of Western Asia but rare in Africans.
Researchers say it’s because after the ancient humans left Africa some 65,000 years ago, began to raise their earliest relationships in Europe, while those who remained in Africa no.
“The HLA genes that Neanderthals and Denisovans had, have adapted to life in Europe and Asia for several hundred thousand years, while recent immigrants from Africa had not had these genes,” said study leader Peter Parham of Stanford University School of Medicine in California.
“So getting these genes in mating would give an advantage to people who bought them.”
When the teamanlyzed a variant of HLA-called HLA-B * 73 in modern humans, who found evidence that it was Denisovans junction.
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