Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Genetics of Neanderthals vs. Modern Humans

Thomas C. Erren, Paul Cullen, Michael Erren;, Edward M. Rubin, and James P. Noonan
Science 23 March 2007: 1664.
I didn't put a link to this letter and reply because there is no abstract. The first letter is from someone who thinks that we should start by looking at specific regions in the neanderthal genome as opposed to the whole genome (areas related to fat metabolism - why fat metabolism? I don't know - someone please explain why this would be interesting when comparing neanderthals and moderns...I can see for comparing humans and other apes ...
Noonan argues in response that we should first start by looking at the whole genome, then focus in on areas that look promising.
This raises a lot of issues as to what we expect the differences between neanderthals and humans to be, how well we know the genetics of these traits, and of course cost-efficiency issues.
by the way, there's a pretty funny quote at the end of the first letter.

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