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Are Neanderthal Genes to Blame for Allergies?

"When modern humans were coming out of Africa, they met the Neanderthals who were living at that time in Europe and western Asia, interbred with them and carried with them some of the Neanderthal DNA as they migrated out into wider parts of the continent," Kelso says.

So Kelso and her colleagues and a second team from the Pasteur Institute decided to search through human DNA collected by the for genes from Neanderthals and a third kind of early human — the Denisovans — that may be involved in regulating immunity.

Both teams identified three genes from these two extinct groups that play a role today in controlling a part of the human immune system known as "innate immunity."

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Comments 3

  • Marie E Natzke

    Hi Kathy P

    I just received my DNA results and I have over 200 Neanderthal variants lol so yes I believe I can blame my ancestors for my allergies.

  • Shea

    Haha… That is interesting, I am going to have to read up on this topic!

  • K8sMom2002

    Very interesting … Marie, I read somewhere that there's more Neanderthal genes out there than they first thought, and that some of these were very important to our survival.

    Glad we have someone to blame all this mess on!