viernes, 10 de abril de 2015

Neanderthals were killed off by diseases from modern humans

New research suggests it may actually have been infectious diseases carried by our modern ancestors as they migrated out of Africa that finished them off.

Scientists studying the latest genetic, fossil and archaeological evidence claim that Neanderthals suffered from a wide range of diseases that still plague us today.

They have found evidence that suggests our prehistoric cousins would have been infected by diseases such as tuberculosis, typhoid, whooping cough, encephalitis and the common cold.

But anthropologists from Cambridge University and Oxford Brookes University say that new diseases carried by modern humans may have led to the downfall of Neanderthals.

They speculate that pathogens like Heliocbacter pylori, the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers, were brought to Europe by modern humans from Africa and may have infected Neanderthals, who would have been unable to fight off these new diseases.

However, Neandethals may have also helped modern humans by passing on slivers of immunity against some diseases to our ancestors when they interbred.

Dr Simon Underdown, a principal lecturer in anthropology at Oxford Brookes University and co-author of the study, said: 'As Neanderthal populations became more isolated they developed very small gene pools and this would have impacted their ability to fight off disease. [...]

Link 2: La enfermedades infecciosas de los neandertales (Vía B&W 2)
El patógeno Helicobacter pylori migró fuera de África con los humanos modernos y llegó a Europa después de hace 52 ka y pudo haber sido transmitido a los neandertales...

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