Jan 9, 2016

Neanderthals may be to blame for your allergies

Posted by in category: genetics

Wow — now, I know who to blame for my hay fever allergy.

If you want someone to thank for your immunity to a whole host of pathogens — or, someone to blame for your allergies — look no further than Neanderthals.

Humans carry three important genes that hail from two ancient, human-like species: Neanderthals and Denisovans, both of which have been extinct for tens of thousands of years.

The new finding, published Thursday in the American Journal of Human Genetics, points to a growing body of evidence of interbreeding between humans and other archaic species.

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