Neanderthal DNA may be defective in severe coronovirus reactions

A team of experts from Neanderthal genetics examined a single strand of DNA that is associated with some of the more serious cases of Kovid-19 and compared it to sequences given to surviving Europeans and Asians from Neanderthal ancestors.

The DNA strand is found on chromosome 3, and a team of researchers in Europe have added some changes to the order in which there is a risk of becoming more seriously ill with Kovid-19.

“, We show that the risk is conferred by a genomic segment … inherited from Neanderthal and run by about 50% of people in South Asia and about 16% in Europe today,” Schwente Pabo And Hugo Zeberg’s Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in a paper accepted for publication in the journal Nature.

“It turns out that this gene variant was inherited by modern humans from Neanderthal when they intervened about 60,000 years ago,” Zeberg said in a statement.

“Today, people who have inherited this gene variant are three times more likely to require artificial ventilation if they are infected with the novel coronavirus Saras-COV-2.”

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Pabo and Zeberg found similar variations in DNA in 50,000-year-old Neanderthal skeletons found in Croatia and some of them in skeletons found in Siberia.

Studies have shown that modern humans interfered with Neanderthals and a related species, known as Denisovans, thousands of years ago. Studies estimate that about 2% of DNA in people of European and Asian descent can be traced back to Neanderthals.

“It is not currently known which feature in the Neanderthal-derived region faces a risk for severe Kovid-19 and if the effect of any such feature is for SARS-CoV-2, for other coronaviruses or other pathogens. Is specific, ”the researchers wrote. .

“There is nothing really medically or biologically special about this version that originated in Neanderthal,” Dr. Jeffrey Barrett, a geneticist at the UK’s Sanger Institute who was not involved in the study, told CNN.

“There is a large proportion of genetic diversity in humans, some of which originated in our pre-human ancestors, some in Neanderthal, some during the time when all ancient humans lived in Africa, and some more recently.”

Barrett stated that this particular stretch of DNA reveals only a small percentage of the difference in severity of disease in coronovirus patients.

“However, in relation to the current epidemic, it is clear that gene flow from Neanderthal has tragic consequences,” Pabo and Zeberg conclude in their study.

Katie Hunt of CNN contributed to this report.


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