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Genetics: Neanderthals Made Modern Humans Susceptible To COVID-19

As noted by TASS , it was found that the genes associated with complications of coronavirus infection were still in Neanderthals. Therefore, it is entirely possible that Neanderthals rewarded modern humans with a problematic part of the genome. The report says This genetic variation is found very unevenly in the genomes of modern humans about 30% of South Asians 8% of Europeans, 4% of Americans and is extremely rare in East Asia. This explains why people from Bangladesh who live in the UK are about twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as the rest of Britons.

The “weak link” is the third chromosome. The SLC6A20 gene (previously associated with the work of immunity) and a number of segments are isolated here. They increase the risk of being in intensive care or dying from coronavirus by almost 2 times. At the same time, the analysis showed that the genes of the third chromosome associated with the coronavirus were isolated into two separate, abnormally long structures. They are similar to the DNA segments inherited from the ancient representatives of the genus Homo. The experts separately examined the structure of a similar part of the third chromosome in Neanderthals and Denisovans.

It turned out that the problematic version of genes from the third chromosome dominated the genomes of European Neanderthals and was found in some of their Altai relatives. At the same time, the DNA of Denisovans, as well as modern inhabitants of Africa, whose ancestors never came into contact with representatives of ancient Homo, did not have them. That is, modern humans inherited these gene variations from the Neanderthals.

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