By Reed DL, Smith VS, Hammond SL, Rogers AR derivative work: Conquistador [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Reading Time: < 1 minute By Reed DL, Smith VS, Hammond SL, Rogers AR derivative work: Conquistador [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Reading Time: < 1 minute

This is taken from an article on Science Alert. Continue here to read it in full, where you will also learn how genital warts appear to have come from interbreeding with Neanderthals…

Hints of an unidentified, extinct human species have been found in the DNA of modern Melanesians – those living in a region of the South Pacific, northeast of Australia.

According to new genetic modelling, the species is unlikely to be Neanderthal or Denisovan – two ancient species that are represented in the fossil record – but could represent a third, unknown human relative that has so far eluded archaeologists.

“We’re missing a population, or we’re misunderstanding something about the relationships,” Ryan Bohlender, a statistical geneticist from the University of Texas, told Tina Hesman Saey at Science News.

Bohlender and his team have been investigating the percentages of extinct hominid DNA that modern humans still carry today, and say they’ve found discrepancies in previous analyses that suggest our mingling with Neanderthals and Denisovans isn’t the whole story.

It’s thought that between 100,000 and 60,000 years ago, our early ancestors migrated out of Africa, and first made contact with other hominid species living on the Eurasian landmass.

This contact left a mark on our species that can still be found today, with Europeans and Asians carrying distinct genetic variants of Neanderthal DNA in their own genomes.

And that’s not all they’ve given us.

Earlier this year, researchers investigated certain genetic variants that people of European descent inherited from Neanderthals, and found that they’re associated with several health problems, including a slightly increased risk of depression, heart attack, and a number of skin disorders.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...