Modern Humans Share Disease-Associated Genetic Variants Like Crohn’s with Ancient Neanderthals And Denisovans

Modern Humans Share Disease-Associated Genetic Variants Like Crohn’s with Ancient Neanderthals And Denisovans
NeanderthalsScientists at the State University of New York at Buffalo have discovered that genetic variations associated with certain modern medical disorders reach back to distant antiquity, predating the Neanderthals and Denisovans (another ancient hominin about which little is known due to scarcity of remains), as well as contemporary humans. Research led by SUNY Buffalo assistant professor of biological sciences Omer Gokcumen, PhD compared modern human DNA to that of Neanderthals and Denisovans, and found that genetic deletions associated with various aspects of human health, including psoriasis and Crohn’s disease, as well as growth hormone treatment response, likely originated in a common ancestor of all three species about 500,000 years ago. In a new study published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, Dr. Gokcumen and his research colleagues compared modern human genomes with those of Neanderthals and Denisovans. Genomes of these earlier forms of humans had been previously sequenced using human remains. The primary research interest of the Gokcumen Evolutionary and Anthropological Genomics Lab at the Department of Biological Sciences at SUNY, Buffalo is investigation of a diverse set of questions in anthropology and evolutionary biolo
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