European and Asian genomes have traces of Neanderthal
Migrating humans interbred with Neanderthals after leaving Africa.
The genomes of most modern humans are 1–4% Neanderthal — a result of interbreeding with the close relatives that went extinct 30,000 years ago, according to work by an international group of researchers.
The team, led by Svante Pääbo, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, is reporting only 60% of the Neanderthal genome. But sequencing even this much of the genome was thought to be impossible just a decade ago.
"This will change our view of humanity," says John Hardy, a neuroscientist at University College London who was not involved in the research but studies genetic neurodegenerative diseases.