Scientists recently confirmed that humans continue to carry Neanderthal DNA and it’s all over our hair, skin and fingernails.
No matter how many products we slather on, we’ll still have the hair and skin of a Neanderthal.
Scientists recently confirmed that modern humans continue to carry the archaic DNA and it’s all over our hair, skin and fingernails.
More specifically, the genes we still carry are used in the production of keratin, the protein used in their formation.
Harvard University’s David Reich discovered this by studying the DNA of 1000 living individuals.
Most parts of the human genome contained no Neanderthal traces, but other areas were well populated with them.
Their introduction dates back about 50 to 60 thousand years when modern humans left Africa and met with Neanderthals in Europe and Asia. While interbreeding was not believed to be common, the beneficial Neanderthal genes remained with us after they died out.
Since then, much of the Neanderthal DNA has been stripped away, but the part that contributes to keratin making remains active.
Reich believes that its enduring presence is likely a matter of the body holding onto what’s best for it.
He says that body’s decision to carry on with the Neanderthal genes could have resulted from its need to adapt to colder environments, as they produce thicker hair and tougher skin.