Are you a bit Neanderthal, and that’s your problem
When you think of Neanderthals (we all, occasionally, think about them!), then imagine, probably stoop-shouldered, bristling with saliva of a man who drags by the hair a woman into a cave to make a primitive party. And, of course, in his hands must be rough piece of wood, which can hardly be called a club. However, recent studies of the human genome made the explosion not so much in the scientific community (scientists assumed such an outcome), how many among the masses. DNA analysis showed that the Neanderthals were so similar to humans that no problems could interbreed with them. For this reason, in the genome of Europeans and Asians contains «a reference» to Neanderthal ancestors in an amount of from 1 to 4 percent.You think, well, you got a little Neanderthal! Everyone has an uncle, a cousin or a nephew who deserves this title fully. And the percentage is so low that it seems it has no effect, right?
Let’s take the model of our Russian society. Despite the fact that it is claimed as democratic, the vector of its development is determined by a small part of the population will gain 4 percent. And it’s not a question of justice. Some people just climb all the holes and solve or create problems, but others always rest at home. With the genome of the same story. 4 % — an influential minority that can guarantee you a passion for tobacco, alcohol, depression and propensity to obesity. The Neanderthals became extinct, but these prehistoric rascals found a way to affect our health. It is the study of this problem can help a person to decipher not only the formation but also the causes of many mental illnesses.Now we can no longer claim that Neanderthal is a primitive form of man. He’s not as stupid as it looks. Modern anthropologists easily put on the blades of the biologist Ernst Haeckel, who was so convinced of the stupidity of the Neanderthal man, offered to call him Homo stupidus. Fortunately, the eminent scientist did not listen. But it was a start — all the idiots today call Neanderthals.
But genome research has put everything in place. Institute of evolutionary anthropology max Planck and the company 454 Life Sciences began work on sequencing the Neanderthal genome in 2006. Preliminary results were published only four years later — in 2010. And full sequencing was completed only in 2013. The work was not easy, but we have on hand now is the most important, from the point of view of anthropology and human nature, data. They say that all modern humans who migrated from Africa, hung out with Neanderthals more than 40 thousand years ago. The word «hung out» we mean have sex. The researchers also found a link between Neanderthal genes and more than a dozen modern human traits, among which the most intriguing are depression and nicotine consumption.
It is clear to decode the genome and that the most difficult thing is to interpret it, more effort is required. Gene — this is not an open book, and the information that was received, but still must undergo a thorough analysis.
Back to depression. As scientists have discovered a penchant for it have extinct species? The development of dry, patchy skin after insolation (exposure to sunlight). That is, the descendants of Neanderthals for some reason did not receive enough vitamin D from the sun. Why? Modern science explains that depression negate the beneficial effects of the sun. So perhaps the Neanderthals suffered from depression.
There is even some theory that relate a number of psychiatric disorders, anxiety and depression with the development of adaptive traits. For example, you can’t find food for the third day in a row, and that means you need to concentrate on the problem. The more you pull with her decision, the more it absorbs you depressed. In the end, survives the one who solves the problem. In other words, if the Neanderthals had indeed supplied us with a bunch of mental problems, they did us a favor — the person who is prone to worry and prefer a lot of to ponder, usually has a much more developed verbal ability.The idea of depression as an illness did not appear immediately. Depression — a disease new which treatment began only a century ago. Our «dumb» ancestors (now it’s safe to call them as such) perhaps is stored in its genome the secret of healing. On the other hand, maybe it we don’t have? If our development is inextricably linked to the alarm?