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Ancient DNA reveals that some Neanderthals were redheads
www.physorg.com ^ | 10/25/2007 | Harvard University

Posted on 10/25/2007 11:44:28 AM PDT by Red Badger

Ancient DNA retrieved from the bones of two Neanderthals suggests that at least some of them had red hair and pale skin, scientists report this week in the journal Science. The international team says that Neanderthals' pigmentation may even have been as varied as that of modern humans, and that at least 1 percent of Neanderthals were likely redheads.

The scientists -- led by Holger Römpler of Harvard University and the University of Leipzig, Carles Lalueza-Fox of the University of Barcelona, and Michael Hofreiter of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig -- extracted, amplified, and sequenced a pigmentation gene called MC1R from the bones of a 43,000-year-old Neanderthal from El Sidrón, Spain, and a 50,000-year-old individual from Monti Lessini, Italy.

"Together with other genes, this MC1R gene dictates hair and skin color in humans and other mammals," says Römpler, a postdoctoral researcher working with Hopi E. Hoekstra in Harvard's Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. "The two Neanderthal individuals we studied showed a point mutation not seen in modern humans. When we induced such a mutation in human cells, we found that it impaired MC1R activity, a condition that leads to red hair and pale skin in modern humans."

To ensure that the MC1R point mutation was not due to contamination from modern humans, the scientists checked some 3,700 people, including those previously sequenced for the gene as well as everyone involved in the excavation and genetic analysis of the two Neanderthals. None showed the mutation, suggesting that Neanderthals and Homo sapiens followed different evolutionary paths to the same redheaded appearance.

With Neanderthals' surviving bones providing few clues, scientists have long sought to flesh out the appearance of this hominid species found across Eurasia some 28,000 to 400,000 years ago. While anthropologists had predicted that Neanderthals might have had pale skin or red hair, the new work by Römpler and colleagues offers the first strong evidence to support this hunch.

Found in cell membranes, MC1R is a receptor that acts as a switch between production of the red-and-yellow pigment pheomelanin and the black-and-brown pigment eumelanin. Modern humans with mutations that cause complete or partial loss of MC1R function tend to be pale and red-haired, although many other pigmentation genes can also result in this phenotype.

In 2006, a team led by Römpler found a mutation in woolly mammoths that may lead to some blond mammoths; together with her colleagues, Hoekstra, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences at Harvard and curator in mammalogy in Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, has shown that this same mutation causes light coloration in mice. Römpler and Hoekstra are now collaborating to identify genetic changes responsible for pigment variation in other extant and extinct species.

"It has only recently become possible to decipher the genomes of species which became extinct thousands of years ago," Römpler says. "The methods used in these Neanderthal and mammoth studies could provide new insights into the coloration of other extinct hominids, animals, and plants."

Source: Harvard University


TOPICS: Germany; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: caveman; freckles; geico; gingergene; godsgravesglyphs; hair; helixmakemineadouble; neandertal; neandertals; neanderthal; neanderthals; redhair; redhead; redheads
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Well, DUH!..................

1 posted on 10/25/2007 11:44:29 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

2 posted on 10/25/2007 11:46:57 AM PDT by Zeppelin (Keep on FReepin' on...)
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To: Red Badger
Clearly!


3 posted on 10/25/2007 11:48:05 AM PDT by Rio (Don't make me come over there....)
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To: Red Badger

LOL


4 posted on 10/25/2007 11:48:07 AM PDT by Diamond
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To: Red Badger

Some redheads still are neanderthals.


5 posted on 10/25/2007 11:49:08 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: Red Badger

So much for Dumb Blonde jokes.


6 posted on 10/25/2007 11:49:59 AM PDT by golfisnr1 (Democrats are like roaches - hard to get rid of.)
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Cool!


7 posted on 10/25/2007 11:50:09 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: golfisnr1

But it sure explains a lot about red heads............


8 posted on 10/25/2007 11:50:33 AM PDT by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we have consensus.......)
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To: Froufrou

Pingaroo to Frou Frou!..........


9 posted on 10/25/2007 11:52:33 AM PDT by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we have consensus.......)
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To: Rio

Now that is a woman built like a brick pagoda with every brick in place.


10 posted on 10/25/2007 11:53:30 AM PDT by golfisnr1 (Democrats are like roaches - hard to get rid of.)
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To: Rio

Real fine genes in that Neanderthal!!


11 posted on 10/25/2007 11:55:24 AM PDT by Elsiejay (,)
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To: SunkenCiv

ping


12 posted on 10/25/2007 11:55:34 AM PDT by Founding Father (The Pedophile moHAMmudd (PBUH---Pigblood be upon him))
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To: Red Badger

brings back memories...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1322006/posts

Every few years we hear about this. I believe it, of course!


13 posted on 10/25/2007 12:00:08 PM PDT by xroadie
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To: Red Badger

14 posted on 10/25/2007 12:00:21 PM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Red Badger
And some of them mated with short less developed primates:


15 posted on 10/25/2007 12:01:01 PM PDT by VRWCmember (Fred Thompson 2008! Taking America Back for Conservatives!)
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To: VRWCmember

LMAO!


16 posted on 10/25/2007 12:02:42 PM PDT by RDTF ("Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear". Mark Twain)
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To: Red Badger

“But it sure explains a lot about red heads............”
It sure explains a lot about my ex-wives!


17 posted on 10/25/2007 12:04:56 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
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To: Red Badger

Homo sapiens sapiens redheads also make up a tiny fraction of the population (would Neanderthal redheads include [actual] blond(e)s, as in modern humans the mutation is supposed to be the same, but blond(e)s have thinner hair follicles)? The title slightly suggests that Neanderthals in general were redheads.


18 posted on 10/25/2007 12:09:10 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Red Badger

19 posted on 10/25/2007 12:10:10 PM PDT by RockinRight (The Council on Illuminated Foreign Masons told me to watch you from my black helicopter.)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

It sure explains a lot about my ex-wives!
____________

Absolutely LOL. Don’t tell me you were like my uncle. Married 3 times to exactly the same woman. Well, 3 different women, but they were exactly the same.


20 posted on 10/25/2007 12:11:46 PM PDT by dmz
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To: Red Badger; ValerieTexas

related Blast from the Past:

Redheads ‘are neanderthal’
Source: Times UK
Posted on 04/17/2001 07:38:43 PDT by sirgawain
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3adc5573604d.htm


21 posted on 10/25/2007 12:11:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, October 22, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Red Badger

there goes the politically incorrect adage: “red-headed stepchild”


22 posted on 10/25/2007 12:13:40 PM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: xroadie

One of my all-time favorites! ;-)


23 posted on 10/25/2007 12:14:17 PM PDT by wjcsux (Islam: The religion of choice for those who are too stupid for Scientology)
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To: Red Badger

My wife would say I resemble that remark.


24 posted on 10/25/2007 12:15:04 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: VRWCmember

Now that’s apropos!


25 posted on 10/25/2007 12:15:20 PM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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The Neandertal Enigma
by James Shreeve
Frayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]

26 posted on 10/25/2007 12:15:20 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, October 22, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Founding Father; blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Founding Father.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.

The quarterly FReepathon is underway.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


27 posted on 10/25/2007 12:15:26 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, October 22, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: VRWCmember
As crazy as Kucinich is, Bill Richardson gives him a figurative run for his money.

Both seem to be somewhat removed from [the way things are].

That Richardson got New Mexicans to vote him into the governorship is surprising.

28 posted on 10/25/2007 12:15:39 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: VRWCmember

You owe me a new keyboard, I just spilled my coffee LOL


29 posted on 10/25/2007 12:20:07 PM PDT by BigEdLB (BigEd)
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To: dmz
“Married 3 times to exactly the same woman. “
Outwardly, very different. One 5’2”. The other 5’10”. But somewhere in the reptilian parts of the brains, exactly alike!
30 posted on 10/25/2007 12:22:10 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
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To: SunkenCiv

So now we know that the expression “redheaded stepchild” has been around awhile


31 posted on 10/25/2007 12:22:38 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Moveon is not us...... Moveon is the enemy)
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To: Red Badger; All
Maybe now I can reclaim some dignity being Irish and blame the Neanderthals for Cindy Sheehan.


32 posted on 10/25/2007 12:22:51 PM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: SunkenCiv

I’ve been called a lot of things, but never a Neanderthal...;o])


33 posted on 10/25/2007 12:24:30 PM PDT by Monkey Face (It's time for Hallowe'en, so practice safe hex.)
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To: humblegunner

I found the reason you like red hats...


34 posted on 10/25/2007 12:25:42 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Tamar1973

ping!


35 posted on 10/25/2007 12:36:58 PM PDT by fishtank ("Patriotic Nationalism?" - YES!!!....."Globalist Multiculturalism?" - NO!!!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,)
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To: SunkenCiv

I love my Neanderthal!


36 posted on 10/25/2007 12:41:05 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: SunkenCiv

Wow, blast from the past indeed. A lot of old Freeper memories associated with many of those posters.


37 posted on 10/25/2007 12:53:09 PM PDT by SoDak
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To: TASMANIANRED; LUV W; MS.BEHAVIN

Redhead PING!


38 posted on 10/25/2007 12:55:04 PM PDT by Tamar1973 (Riding the Korean Wave, one BYJ movie at a time! (http://www.byj.co.kr))
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To: Red Badger

Well why wouldn’t there have been redheaded Neanderthals? Red hair is just a mutation of the genes that code for hair color, it’s not like it couldn’t have happened way back then.


39 posted on 10/25/2007 12:55:04 PM PDT by G8 Diplomat (Star Wars teaches us a foreboding lesson--evil emperors start out as Senators)
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To: G8 Diplomat

I agree....

40 posted on 10/25/2007 12:58:54 PM PDT by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we have consensus.......)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
That Richardson got New Mexicans to vote him into the governorship is surprising

What is surprising that all of those in NM that DID NOT vote for Richardson, voted for him. LBJ's "86 Dead Mexicans" have increased and multiplied exponentially throughout the Southwest .... O beg pardon .... Aztlán.

However, I find Bill Richardson somewhat interesting. I would love to know what he and Monca Lewinsky talked about.

41 posted on 10/25/2007 1:01:00 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (Ted Kennedy was not a licensed driver at Chappaquiddick!)
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To: cripplecreek

Spot on! Jimmy Carter’s one of them.


42 posted on 10/25/2007 1:01:20 PM PDT by mathurine
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To: Red Badger
Cavegirls were first blondes to have fun
43 posted on 10/25/2007 1:05:43 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Red Badger

This might be very interesting. Red hair and light skin go together. The adaptation appears to be related to life at high latitudes, such as Europe. It allows the skin more effectively to synthesize Vitamin D, particularly if much of the body is covered with clothing because of the cold.

I suspect that Neanderthals and modern humans were able to interbreed, but there is no longer any way to test this hypothesis by the usual means. If the two groups could not interbreed, and the Neanderthals and modern humans independently developed light skin for life in foggy, cold, northern latitudes, this would be a case of parallel evolution.

Of course, if you still think that the Earth and the whole Universe were formed in 4,004 BC, you will have trouble making sense out of all this.

Not all cave men were Neanderthals. The men who painted the fine pictures on the walls of the caves in southern France and northern Spain were Cro Magnon, which is a racial type of modern men. There is good evidence that they have left modern descendants.

The Neanderthals, on the other hand, were heavier-boned than modern humans, and had skull characteristics which would be very distinctive. They probably were muscular enough to be able to make short work of even our most grisly looking, steroid-enhanced pro-wrestlers. So why did the Neanderthals die out?

Perhaps global warming got them! ;-)


44 posted on 10/25/2007 1:19:25 PM PDT by docbnj
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To: docbnj

I don’t think they did die out. They were absorbed within the rest of the human race. Every now and then, a throwback pops up. They are still here..............


45 posted on 10/25/2007 1:21:30 PM PDT by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we have consensus.......)
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To: Red Badger
"I don’t think they did die out. They were absorbed within the rest of the human race. Every now and then, a throwback pops up. They are still here.............."

Good for you.

46 posted on 10/25/2007 1:28:15 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

Playing mostly for the NFL............


47 posted on 10/25/2007 1:29:17 PM PDT by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we have consensus.......)
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To: Tamar1973

Survival of the fittest....and that’s us! :D


48 posted on 10/25/2007 1:45:33 PM PDT by LUV W (Friendship is neither a contest nor a race. What matters is the feeling involved. <3)
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To: VRWCmember

Dummy and the Beast


49 posted on 10/25/2007 1:52:24 PM PDT by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: Tamar1973

Yee ha...

I knew my need to go primitive from time to time had to be genetic.


50 posted on 10/25/2007 1:56:54 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
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