Tuesday, September 6, 2011
"The downside of sex with Neanderthals"
A paper in this week's Science (original research article HERE) compares the whole genome sequences of modern humans and Neanderthals (and Denisovans) to identify specific functional regions of the human genome likely gained through 'admixture' (i.e. sex) with Neanderthals. Interestingly, one of these regions represents a variant of an HLA (immune-related) gene that's associated with auto-immune disorders like Behcet's disease.
The Guardian has a nice summary of this research HERE.