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Complete Neanderthal Genome Sequenced – 1

Narrator: This is NIH Health Matters. I’m Joe Balintfy. Researchers have produced the first whole genome sequence of the Neanderthal. Neanderthals diverged from the primate line that led to present-day humans some 400,000 years ago. Dr. Jim Mullikin with the National Human Genome Research Institute explains that researchers got DNA samples from the bones of three female Neanderthals who lived some 40,000 years ago.

Mullikin: And they have been in these caves, buried under layers and layers of sediment for all those 10s of thousands of years.

Narrator: Initial analysis suggests that up to two percent of the DNA in the genome of present-day humans outside of Africa, originated in Neanderthals or in Neanderthals' ancestors. For more information on the Neanderthal genome and other genetic studies, visit Health Matters is produced by the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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This page last reviewed on March 16, 2011

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