Tag Archives: neanderthal

Video Tip of the Week: Neandertal Inheritance and Consequences

Ok, it’s been a while since this was a regular feature. But I am still finding that I want to show some videos of science topics and software tools sometimes. So it may not be a regular feature, but I will be highlighting some videos that seem interesting to me for various reasons.

This video struck me because I recently gave a talk about the information from ancestral genomes and the influence of the DNA on us today (as well as how we visualize that). They use software that we’ve talked about before, PolyPhen and SIFT, in this analysis. And it would have been handy to have this as a resources to give out to the audience members, who were general public folks in a pub. I am impressed that a research team did this additional step of explaining their research in this way.


Dannemann, M., Prüfer, K., Wagner, A., & Kelso, J. (2017). Functional implications of Neandertal introgression in modern humans Genome Biology 18:61. DOI: 10.1186/s13059-017-1181-7


Friday SNPpets

This week’s SNPpets include real-time visualization of Ebola spread, precision medicine informatics, big capacity for whole genomes, “genetobollocks” for a new description of media coverage of genomics papers, Neanderal pathogenic variants, and re-examining old problems on a couple of matters.

Welcome to our Friday feature link collection: SNPpets. During the week we come across a lot of links and reads that we think are interesting, but don’t make it to a blog post. Here they are for your enjoyment…

https://twitter.com/marimiya_tky/status/608055768181575680 also possible tip

We’re all Neanderthal now, and I can analyze that…

If you haven’t been reading the news, the draft sequence of the Neandertal (or is it Neanderthal, spell check won’t take the former) was released and published in Science today. There is a lot of fascinating stuff over there. Still reading it. Of course the big news, the stuff thats flying through the news, are non-African genomes are 1-4% Neanderthal. This seems to conclusively settle the question that yes, we are a little bit Neanderthal and we didn’t replace them, we absorbed them with some interbreeding. Perhaps not so completely as that but definitely some admixture going on. As Razib of Gene Expression points out, it’s fascinating to watch how quickly, in the face of data, the paradigm has shifted. (great post and discussion, should read it).

As Razib points out, and as you can read in the announcement at UCSC, the UCSC Genome Browser now has the draft data up in the hg18 genome assembly. Like the coding region allelic differences data, selective sweep data, etc. With the Neanderthal data now being in the UCSC Genome Browser and other data sources, we can pull apart that data, analyze it.. (and you know I’ll be putting my personal genome in a comparative track when I ever get it. Just curious ya know).

(btw, there is an interesting photo, copyrighted… so I won’t post it here, you might want to check out. There’s an interesting story there, how our illustrations of Neanderthal have evolved over the years to be more ‘humanizing’ as we learn that they made tools, had culture and now… are part of our ancestry…”)

I am itching to go play there and see what I can see, as I am sure many scientists are. It’s also fascinating to be in this world of huge amounts of data coming quickly. I think a lot of paradigms will be shifting for a while.

UCSC Main site: http://genome.ucsc.edu and click Neandertal from left navigation button.

Ancient Genomes: Neanderthal

So, yesterday was the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. Lots of festivities and NPR stories surrounding that day including a few announcements like UCSC announcing their v200th browser code a day early so as to coincide (they couldn’t resist the coincidence :)). Another announcement that was apropos was the announcement that researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have finished the draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome. Since only about 63% of the genome is actually covered (3.7 billion bps covered of the 3.2 billion bp genome, with duplications), when one announces a “draft” can be a bit arbitrary, so the 200th anniversary of the of the man who wrote “The Descent of Man, and selection in relation to Sex” is as good a time as any. And we are learning a few things like, Neanderthal’s might have had the physical ability for language, but couldn’t stand milk as adults (didn’t agree with their digestion). It is expected a draft and research will be published at the end of this year. We’ll report on that of course, and link to any browsers they might be setting up :D. Ancient genomes are teaching us some things.

Speaking of which, the Exploratorium, an excellent science museum in my fair city, has a great exhibit (on site and online) on the ‘how we know things’ and how science works. This exhibit is specifically on the origins of humans and Neanderthal DNA and the research at Max Planck figures prominently.