Stretch of DNA associated with COVID-19 risk passed down from Neanderthals, study proposes

As scientists attempt to find out the exact cause of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still awaiting a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Now, a study has revealed interesting information about the deadly virus.

Research that is Pre published In biorXiv And awaiting peer review, divulged that a stretch of DNA associated with COVID-19 was transferred from Neanderthal 60,000 years ago, according to a report in new York Times.

The study by two Swedish geneticists, Schwente Pabo and Hugo Zeberg, also states that South Asians are more likely than Europeans to suffer from the disease, Reported Daily mail.

The reason behind this is that South Asia has a greater number of Neanderthal genes than Europeans.

Homo sapien invasion is one of the many theories that are believed to have led to the extinction of Neanderthals around 40,000 years ago. Picture: Sciencemag

Researchers from the Ths study found that genes in South Asia have a frequency of 30 percent, while only eight percent of Europeans have this variant.

The gene has the highest presence in Bangladesh because approximately 63 percent of its population carries at least one copy of the Neanderthal risk variant – known as chromosome 3.

According to Pabo and Zeberg, genes entered humans during cross-breeding with Neanderthals between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago.

Joshua AK, a geneticist at Princeton University, said, “This interaction that occurred 60,000 years ago continues to have an impact today.” Aki, however, was not part of this new study.

Neanderthals lived with humans and were very similar in appearance and shape but were generally stockier and more muscular.

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