A study finds that humanity’s early ancestors had genetic variations associated with modern disease, and now the question is why
A reconstruction of Homo neanderthalensis, as created by artist John Gurche for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. A study led by University at Buffalo biologist Omer Gokcumen compared the DNA of modern humans to Neanderthals and Denisovans (another ancient hominin). The research found that genetic deletions associated with various aspects of human health, including psoriasis and Crohn’s disease, likely originated in a common ancestor of the three species.
Credit:From Shaping Humanity, by John Gurche.
Gokcumen and Lin’s co-authors included Jerry Ajay in UB’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Pavlos Pavlidis of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, part of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas in Greece, and Emre Karakoc from Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology.