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Humans and neanderthals may not have interbred afterall

A new mitochondrial DNA study, which challenges a recent nuclear DNA study, indicates that neanderthals did not interbreed with humans as was previously thought.

Barbujani’s team analyzed maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA from European Neandertals, Stone Age Europeans and living Europeans. If nuclear DNA lines leading to Neandertals and Europeans are older than corresponding mitochondrial DNA lines, then a long period of shared ancestry could explain why Neandertals and today’s Europeans share some nuclear DNA, the researchers propose online August 24 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

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Story: Science News | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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