Homo genus hodgepodge

Science study proves that modern humans and Neanderthals once interbred

Scientists recently proved that the genetic makeup of “modern” humans and Neanderthals is more similar than previously thought, according to National Geographic News.

In early May, the publication Science published a study that shows evidence that Homo sapiens (“modern” humans) interbred with Neanderthals—an extinct member of the Homo genus—in the Middle East not long after modern humans left Africa. It was previously thought that the interbreeding took place in Europe, if at all.

Scientists reached their conclusion by comparing the genomes of people living in China, France, Papua New Guinea, southern Africa and western Africa to what’s been pieced together of the Neanderthal genome. The results found that all the humans—even ones from China and Papua New Guinea, where Neanderthals never lived—shared 99.7 percent of the same DNA.