At most, 7% of the human genome is unique to our species


Will Oliver/PA Images

No more than 7% of the human genome is unique to Homo sapiens, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances.

We share the remaining chunks of our genetic material with other human ancestors, or hominins, including our Neanderthal cousins and the Denisovans first discovered in east Asia.

“The evolutionary family tree shows there are regions of our genome that make us uniquely human,” Richard Green, director of the paleogenomics lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz and co-author of the new study, told Insider. “Now we have a catalog of those, and it’s a surprisingly small fraction of the genome…”

“More or less everywhere we look, admixture is not the exception at all, but rather the rule,” Green said.

Of course I find the research fascinating. Not that the admixture of Neanderthal and Denisovan genes [and others] diminishes or alters the Homo Sapiens characteristics. Still, I reflect upon what colors my emotions and judgement from my Neanderthal ancestors. I have 3% directly identifiable genetic material from that stream of evolution.

3 thoughts on “At most, 7% of the human genome is unique to our species

  1. Allez hop says:

    Denisovans https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denisovan
    Four per cent of the Denisovan genome comes from an unknown archaic human species which diverged from modern humans over one million years ago.
    “Before splitting from Neanderthals, their ancestors (“Neandersovans”) migrating out of Africa into Europe apparently interbred with an unidentified “superarchaic” human species who were already present there; these superarchaics were the descendants of a very early migration out of Africa around 1.9 mya [million years ago]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7032934/

  2. p/s says:

    Neandertal and Denisovan blood groups deciphered https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/923583
    “The extinct hominin lineages of the Neandertals and Denisovans were present throughout Eurasia from 300,000 to 40,000 years ago. Despite prior sequencing of about 15 Neandertal and Denisovan individuals, the study of the genes underlying blood groups had hitherto been neglected. Yet blood group systems were the first markers used by anthropologists to reconstruct the origins of hominin populations, their migrations, and their interbreeding.” https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0254175
    Geographic origin, blood group and dating of individuals studied (IMAGE) https://scx1.b-cdn.net/csz/news/800a/2021/neandertal-and-denisov.jpg

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