Skip to comments.DNA Reveals Neanderthal Redheads
Posted on 05/20/2008 6:22:40 PM PDT by blam
DNA reveals Neanderthal redheads
Neanderthals pigmentation possibly as varied as humans, scientists say
By Steve Bradt
With Neanderthals surviving bones providing few clues, scientists have long sought to flesh out the appearance of this hominid species. Illustration created by Knut Finstermeier, Neanderthal reconstruction by the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museum Mannheim
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 Harvards 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 Harvards 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 that 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.
This one’s going to be fun! Beats all the Ted Kennedy threads getting pulled.
Does anyone know why my article titled "Redheads 'Are Neanderthals" that I've had in my FR files for years now says: "No such file (give_legacy_article)"?
Wonder if they tweeked their spear tips down to a RCH?
Red heads: Cavemen carried the same genetic trait that makes (l to r) Mick Hucknall, Chris Evans and Prince Harry
It's in the 30,000-year-old genes: Anne Robinson, Geri Halliwell and Belinda Carlisle
So my niece was right.
Reconstructed skeleton believed to be a hybrid Modern Human/Neanderthal
There is an old legend that redheads get their coloring from interbreeding between Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens, that it is a Neanderthal gene.
I think that was disproved years ago, but you still hear it sometimes.
I would rather see Leatherface hanging over my bed in the middle of the night than that.
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I’m starting to get South Park withdrawal. I think I’ll watch Ginger Kids tonight.
How about albinism as a Neanderthal trait? I’ve known a bunch and they all look pretty Neanderthalish.
“DNA reveals Neanderthal redheads”
Must have got it from all those Scottish Rangers fans they arrested in Manchester last week.....
Can’t wait to tell my missus that she is a neanderthal - yes she is a fiery red head
No way! National Geo. showed expert recreations and they were all dark skinned. No real big on converstion either according to Nat. Geo.
I knew that reminded me of someone.
Were they all feisty?
Bring it on.
Esau was covered with red hair all over and was a good hunter.
“23”: And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
“24”: And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
“25”: And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
“26”: And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
“27”: And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
Thanks. This explains volumes about me...
Harvard? Another source, please.
Reference: Carles Lalueza-Fox, Holger Römpler, Michael Hofreiter et al., A melanocortin 1 receptor allele suggests varying pigmentation among Neanderthals. Science, October 25, 2007
Römpler, Lalueza-Fox, and Hofreiter's co-authors are David Caramelli and Elena Pilli of the University of Firenze; Claudia Stäubert and Torsten Schöneberg of the University of Leipzig; Giulio Catalano of the University of Firenze and Universitat Pompeu Fabra; David Hughes, Nadin Rohland, and Mark Stoneking of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology; Laura Longo of the University of Siena; Silvana Condemi of CNRS; Marco de la Rasilla and Javier Fortea of the University of Oveido; Antonio Rosas of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid; and Jaume Bertranpetit of Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
The work was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science; the Generalitat de Catalunya; the Max Planck Society; the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung; the IZKF Leipzig; the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes; and the Autonomous Government of Asturias.
Really. Blond wooly mammoths. That was the coolest idea brought up in the article. I want one now. How’s that Japanese guy doing with his cloning of mammoths? I haven’t heard anything about that for years.
When you do, make sure you have a box of chocolates in your hand.
[and a Kevlar vest around your chest]
The old-style URLs sometimes work, sometimes don’t. I think the new software just has a little owie in it, nothing serious. It was out a few weeks, then it worked for a little while, then when I tried it again, that error you showed. Bummed. Of course, the Wayback Machine still has all or most of them.
Ancient DNA Reveals Neandertals With Red Hair, Fair Complexions
Science Magazine | 2007-10-26 | Elizabeth Culotta
Posted on 10/28/2007 4:03:27 PM PDT by Lessismore
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LOl - I think I’ll do it from another State
Even wiser....via ‘CandyGram’, just to be absolutely safe.....;-]
Gerri Halliwell and Belinda Carlisle got their red hair from a bottle. The carpet doesn’t match the drapes.
Even wiser....via ‘CandyGram’, just to be absolutely safe.....;-]
It was mistaken for a Teddy thread and pulled?
yeah, but we don’t care!
What kind of flowers do you want?
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