Some researches had found that Human DNA has a bit of Neanderthal DNA. So they suggested there would have been crossing between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.

Now the Neanderthal looked a bit different from Homo sapiens, so is there something in human that has some neanderthal looks?

And is it only found in European people or also in Asian or African people. Could it be be possible that a larger hairiness of European man is due to Neanderthal DNA?


2 Answers 2


There was a very readable piece on this topic by Chris Stringer in Nature in 2012. At that time his general conclusion was:

It is not yet clear whether the archaic DNA many of us carry is tied to any visible traits.

Although he added:

More controversially, some of the known differences in coding DNA between Neanderthals and recent humans are associated with brain development and function

quoting the paper in Science (2010) in which the Neanderthal sequence was published. There may be more recent information of which I am not aware.

As to your question about Neanderthal DNA in different populations, it is not present in people of African origin, but is present in those of Europeans and Asian origin.


Adding to @David's answer, there has been some recent work looking at Neanderthal DNA in the context of Denisovan and modern human populations.

David Reich's group [Sankararaman et al. Nature 2014] found Neanderthal-derived alleles in genes that affect skin and hair (specifically keratin filaments), as well as some that confer risk of disease. Another cool finding:

... there is an approximately fivefold reduction of Neanderthal ancestry on the X chromosome, which is known from studies of diverse species to be especially dense in male hybrid sterility genes. These results suggest that part of the explanation for genomic regions of reduced Neanderthal ancestry is Neanderthal alleles that caused decreased fertility in males when moved to a modern human genetic background.

A pair of papers from the groups of Joshua Akey [Vernot and Akey. Science 2016] and Tony Capra [Simonti et al. Science 2016] found associations between Neanderthal alleles and various phenotypes including depression, hypercoagulation, and tobacco use. These results are nicely summarized here.


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