Before outcrossing homo sapiensNeanderthals could have been many things, including the world’s first weavers, artists, and even crab cooks. Their contributions can extend to modern faces. Genetic material from this extinct crew member influences the shape of our noses today, according to new research.
and A study published May 8 in the journal communication biologyan international team of researchers suggests that a specific gene that leads to a taller nose (top to bottom) could be a product of natural selection when sentient humans adapted to colder climates after leaving the African continent. I have discovered that there is a
[Related: Humans and Neanderthals could have lived together even earlier than we thought.]
“In the past 15 years since the Neanderthal genome was decoded, we have found that our own ancestors apparently interbred with Neanderthals, leaving us with a tiny fragment of their DNA. said co-author Kaustubh Adhikari, a statistical geneticist at University College London. said in a statement“Here we find that some of the DNA we inherited from Neanderthals influences the shape of our face. It may have been useful to our ancestors.”
The research team used data from more than 6,000 volunteers from Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru, of mixed European, Native American and African descent. They compared their genetic information to photographs of their faces and looked at the distance from the edge of their lips to the tip of their nose to see how different facial features were associated with different genetic markers. .
“Most of the genetic studies on human diversity have looked at the genes of Europeans. help us better understand the genetics of said in a statement.
They found 33 new genomic regions associated with facial shape, 26 of which could be replicated using participants from East Asia, Europe, or Africa, compared with data from other ethnic groups. I was.
[Related: Europeans looked down on Neanderthals—until they realized they shared their DNA.]
They focused on a genomic region called ATF3, and found that many of the people who participated in the study on Native American ancestry had inherited genetic material from Neanderthals that contributed to the height of their noses. , compared with those of different cohorts of East Asian ancestry and looked at the same genetic material. There are also signs of natural selection in this gene region, suggesting an advantage for those who carry the genetic material.
“It has long been speculated that the shape of our nose is determined by natural selection. Noses may be better suited to the different climates in which our ancestors lived. said in a statement“The genes we identified here were inherited from Neanderthals and may have helped our ancestors adapt to colder climates as they migrated out of Africa.”
2021this same team also found that genes that affect facial shape were inherited from another extinct human species called Denisovans. We found 32 gene regions that influence facial features such as shape.