miércoles, 5 de octubre de 2016

Animal hybrids may hold clues to Neandertal-human interbreeding

Physical changes in the bodies of other species could give insights into hominid history

Neandertals are the comeback kids of human evolution. A mere decade ago, the burly, jut-jawed crowd was known as a dead-end species that lost out to us, Homo sapiens.

But once geneticists began extracting Neandertal DNA from fossils and comparing it with DNA from present-day folks, the story changed. Long-gone Neandertals rode the double helix express back to evolutionary relevance as bits of their DNA turned up in the genomes of living people. A molecular window into interbreeding between Neandertals and ancient humans suddenly flung open....

...  Scientists presented findings on hybridization’s physical effects in a variety of animals in April at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Atlanta. Biological anthropologist Rebecca Ackermann of the University of Cape Town in South Africa co-organized the session to introduce researchers steeped in human evolution to the ins and outs of hybridization in animals and its potential for helping to identify signs of interbreeding on fossils typically regarded as either H. sapiens or Neandertals. [...] Science News