Thursday, August 09, 2007

Neanderthal DNA will help to unlock the secrets of humanity
NEANDERTHAL Man has begun to give up his genetic secrets almost 30,000 years after he last walked the Earth, providing critical insights into the genes that make human beings what they are today.

DNA extracted from a Neanderthal bone has been analysed in detail for the first time and the genetic code of humanity’s closest cousin will be mapped completely within two years, scientists announced yesterday.

The development will allow scientists to compare the human genome with that of our nearest living and extinct relatives — the chimpanzee and the Neanderthal — to tease out the differences between the three. These variations will in turn reveal the genes that make us human.