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September 5th, 2008
In the News: Did Early Europeans Interbreed with Neanderthals?

Neanderthal reconstruction
Photo: Stefan Scheer, Neanderthal Museum, Mettman, Germany

There were thousands of years that Neanderthals and Homo sapiens inhabited the same regions in Europe. How much did these groups intermingle?

One answer comes from looking at early human DNA… Does it contain any genetic traces of interbreeding with Neanderthals?

The answer, apparently is no. The scientists behind a recent study published in the journal Cell sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of a Neanderthal who lived 38,000 years ago.

While the scientists have been congratulated for the feat — it’s difficult to build a reliable sequence using ancient DNA — the results show no evidence of intermingling.

Get the full story here.

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