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Who Were the Neanderthals?

Who Were the Neanderthals?

Chapter:
(p.103) 7 Who Were the Neanderthals?
Source:
Darwinian Detectives
Author(s):
Norman A. Johnson
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306750.003.0007

How close were the Neanderthals to modern humans? Are Neanderthal genes in our gene pool? This chapter explores recent studies analyzing the DNA from Neanderthal fossils to provide a framework to address these and related questions. Based on these fossil DNA studies, it appears that little if any gene flow occurred between Neanderthals despite many centuries of these groups living in proximity. For this reason, Neanderthals and modern humans are likely separate species.

Keywords:   fossil DNA, gene flow, modern humans, Neanderthals, PCR, species

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