Neanderthals: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

No hard feelings, ancestor!

One of my dear readers (Thanks, Lyn!) sent me a link to a fascinating article entitled, “How Neanderthal DNA affects human health—including the risk of getting Covid-19.” I am fascinated with all things Neanderthal, especially since learning that most humans have a small amount of Neanderthal DNA within them. They aren’t thuggish cavemen, these Neanderthals. They’re relatives.

The article listed the following traits that have been linked to Neanderthal DNA: Fertility, how we feel pain, immune system functionality, skin tone, hair color, height, sleep patterns, depression, addiction, the chance of being more severely ill when infected by COVID-19, decrease in miscarriages and bleeding while pregnant, hair color, baldness, and the skin’s capacity to tan.

Some of these traits I’m sure most of us could do without, while others would be most welcome. Unfortunately, you don’t get to pick and choose your DNA. I was amused that the article stressed, quite adamantly, that we should not blame Neanderthals for these connections. And of course you can have these traits without your Neanderthal ancestors being the source. So yeah, don’t go blaming them.

As if Neanderthals were around to be insulted. Come on. They’re beyond societal backlash.

But, okay. No hard feelings, ancestor! I’m sure you did your best. Thanks for making me me.

Great great great great great great grandpa? Is that you?

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Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

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