Researchers from the Max Planck Institute suggest that one single chromosome dpubles the risk of getting severely ill – and we can blame the pre-historic Neanderthals for that.
Many of us may be completely unaware we have Neanderthal DNA. But a strange reminder has come in the form of COVID-19. Neanderthal genes are linked to how ill people get with COVID.
That’s what scientists are saying. Modern humans and neanderthals split hundreds of anything up to a million years ago. But their genetic remants are still with many of us today. It’s thought some of the genes helped them fight infection. But today it may be a different story. Let’s look at the mysterious world of some of our ancestors and the coronavirus.
Those with copies of the chromosome from both parents could face an even higher risk. This sequence of genes is more common in people from some regions of the world than others. If you’re of South Asian descent, you’ve got a much higher chance of carrying this ancient gene. From Africa? Your chances are lower — it appears Neanderthals never lived on the continent.
It’s not all bad news though. Researchers say that the Neanderthal genes can also carry benefits when it comes to Covid. The journalists appearing together live in our show without masks both tested negative to COVID-19 immediately before recording and were separated by a transparent screen in between them.
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