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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mmmm...hot redheaded Neanderthal babes...

AFP: Study: Some Neanderthals had red hair and fair complexions

Some of our cave-dwelling Neanderthal relatives probably had red hair and fair complexions, much like modern-day humans of Celtic origin, according to a study released Thursday.

The finding comes from the first such analysis of DNA evidence taken from Neanderthal fossils recovered from El Sidron in northern Spain and Monti Lessini, Italy.

An analysis of the DNA revealed that the ancient hominids carried a mutation in the MC1R gene that codes for a protein involved in the production of melanin -- a substance that gives skin its color and also protects skin against ultraviolet light.

Melanin, again.

In modern humans, primarily of European descent, mutations in the MC1R gene are thought to be responsible for red hair and pale skin by dampening the activity of the protein.

The mutation observed in the Neanderthal genes was different from the one documented in humans, but when scientists inserted the Neanderthal gene into cells in a test tube, it seemed to have the same effect on melatonin production as the modern human genes, according to the study published in Science.

The genetic analysis doesn't seal the deal, but since the fossil record of Neanderthals does not include any samples of skin or hair, it is the best guide available, said Michael Hofreiter, a paleogeneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig, Germany.
Hofreiter said the number of red-headed Neanderthals was probably pretty small, possibly just one percent of the population.

But it was unlikely to have been tied to just a few ethnic groups and therefore red-heads might have been seen in any part of Europe or Asia where the ancient hominid lived.

Neanderthals, whose ancestors diverged from that of modern humans about 300,000 years ago, colonized Europe and parts of Asia, dominating Europe until about 30,000 years ago.
The study suggests that the genes that confer pale skin and red hair evolved separately in humans and our closest extinct relatives.

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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