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Neandertal gene variant increases risk of severe Covid-19

A segment of DNA that causes their carriers to have an up to three times higher risk of developing severe Covid-19 is inherited from Neandertals

01-Oct-2020

Covid-19 affects some people much more severely than others. Some reasons for this such as old age are already known, but other as yet unknown factors also play a role. This summer, a large international study linked a group of genes on chromosome 3 to a higher risk of hospitalisation and ...

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New method: Y chromosomes of Neandertals and Denisovans now sequenced

Neandertals have adopted male sex chromosome from modern humans

28-Sep-2020

An international research team led by Martin Petr and Janet Kelso of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has determined Y chromosome sequences of three Neandertals and two Denisovans. These Y chromosomes provide new insights into the relationships and ...

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Neandertals may have had a lower threshold for pain

People who inherited a special ion channel from Neandertals experience more pain

27-Jul-2020

Pain is mediated through specialized nerve cells that are activated when potentially harmful things affect various parts of our bodies. These nerve cells have a special ion channel that has a key role in starting the electrical impulse that signals pain and is sent to the brain. According to a ...

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Neandertal genes in the petri dish

Researchers are studying the Neandertal DNA found in modern humans using stem cells and organoids

22-Jun-2020

Protocols that allow the transformation of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines into organoids have changed the way scientists can study developmental processes and enable them to decipher the interplay between genes and tissue formation, particularly for organs where primary tissue ...

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Research links personality traits to toilet paper stockpiling

High levels of emotionality and conscientiousness are indicators for stockpiling behavior

16-Jun-2020

People who feel more threatened by COVID-19 and rank highly on scales of emotionality and conscientiousness were most likely to stockpile toilet paper in March 2020, according to a new study by Theo Toppe of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Following the ...

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Women with Neandertal gene give birth to more children

Neandertal progesterone receptor has a favourable effect on fertility

29-May-2020

One in three women in Europe inherited the receptor for progesterone from Neandertals – a gene variant associated with increased fertility, fewer bleedings during early pregnancy and fewer miscarriages. This is according to a study published by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for ...

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DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments

New method retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments – even in the absence of skeletal remains

02-May-2017

While there are numerous prehistoric sites in Europe and Asia that contain tools and other human-made artefacts, skeletal remains of ancient humans are scarce. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have therefore looked into new ways to get ...

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New test for ancient DNA authenticity throws doubt on Stone Age wheat trade

09-Nov-2015

A cooperation of scientists at the MPI for Developmental Biology in Tübingen and the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology developed a new test to verify the authenticity of ancient DNA. They applied the test to a sample from submerged sediment off the Isle of Wight, thought to provide evidence of ...

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Kiwi bird genome sequenced

28-Jul-2015

Researchers of the University of Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have now sequenced the genetic code of this endangered species and have identified several sequence changes that underlie the kiwi’s adaptation to a nocturnal lifestyle: They found several genes ...

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Mixed genes

An interactive world map of human genetic history reveals likely genetic impacts of historical events

17-Feb-2014

When individuals from different groups interbreed, their offspring's DNA becomes a mixture of the DNA from each admixing group. Pieces of this DNA are then passed along through subsequent generations, carrying on all the way to the present day. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for ...

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