Neanderthal Genes Found in Modern Human DNA, Harvard Medical School Study

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Neanderthals that have been extinct for 28,000 years are living on in human DNA, according to research that suggests their genes may help us better accommodate the cold and be linked to some present-day diseases.

The Neanderthal genes make up only about 2 percent to 4 percent of the DNA carried by a given human today, according to a paper published in the journal Science. Even so, it may be linked to the development of our hair and skin, as well as to immune disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, the research found.

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