Neanderthal Genomics Suggests a Pleistocene Time Frame for the First Epidemiologic Transition

Neanderthal Genomics Suggests a Pleistocene Time Frame for the First Epidemiologic Transition

Charlotte Jane Houldcroft , Simon Underdown
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/017343

High quality Altai Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes are revealing which regions of archaic hominin DNA have persisted in the modern human genome. A number of these regions are associated with response to infection and immunity, with a suggestion that derived Neanderthal alleles found in modern Europeans and East Asians may be associated with autoimmunity. Independent sources of DNA-based evidence allow a re-evaluation of the nature and timing of the first epidemiologic transition. By combining skeletal, archaeological and genetic evidence we question whether the first epidemiologic transition in Eurasia was as tightly tied to the onset of the Holocene as has previously been assumed. There is clear evidence to suggest that this transition began before the appearance of agriculture and occurred over a timescale of tens of thousands of years. The transfer of pathogens between human species may also have played a role in the extinction of the Neanderthals.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s