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Genome of Neandertals Reveals Inbreeding

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the cracking-the-code dept.

Science 109

sciencehabit writes "In a report on the most complete genome of a Neandertal ever sequenced, an international team of researchers has found that the parents of a Neandertal woman from Siberia were as closely related as half-siblings. The genome also shows that at some point the Neandertals interbred with other human groups, including their cousins the Denisovans, and our own modern human ancestors. There are even signs of Denisovans interbreeding with a mysterious archaic species. In all, the study suggests very close encounters among the several kinds of hominins living in the past 125,000 years. The detailed genome of the extinct Neandertals—our closest relatives—also offers a new look at the genetic differences that set our species apart from all the others."

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Inbreeding? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45732845)

So, they are from Alabama or the Carolinas?

No: inTERbreeding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45732919)

But hey. If it floats your skirt up, go ahead and fantasize.

Re:No: inTERbreeding (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#45733073)

I guess family reunions would have been a great place to pick up.

Re:No: inTERbreeding (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#45733429)

Anything that MOVES!

Re:No: inTERbreeding (4, Funny)

grasshoppa (657393) | about a year ago | (#45733721)

Correction: Anything that doesn't move fast enough!

Yes: INbreeding (-1, Flamebait)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#45733225)

FTA, first sentence...

If you think Europe’s royal families had a limited gene pool after centuries of inbreeding, consider the Neandertals of Siberia.

later they also discuss inTERbreeding among other imaginary species that these guys invent to get more funding

these are modern humans...eventually this stuff will be disproven if anyone takes the time to really check out what's going on

this reminds me of Clovis Culture...it denied any trans oceanic contact beyond a Bering Straight migration that could have only happend once...all from some rock paintings and evidence of axe sharpening

BAM!

Clovis Culture took a giant shit on anthropology in the Americas for almost a Century...now polyneisian potatoes in Chile, Inuits recorded in Europe in 1000 AD, the whole Lief Ericson thing, and genetics of the Incas vs Africans shows that the Americas was progressively settled as long as humans have reached it

Science can be just as closed minded and dogmatic as religion on this stuff

Re:Yes: INbreeding (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year ago | (#45734873)

LOL, yeah, they still believe there is such a thing as "Native Americans". Even funnier they still picture them living in "harmony" with nature.Some of these people used to burn pine trees for tribal entertainment, pretty colored fire. Easy to see a LOT of forest fires happening. Garbage was left everywhere. Early strait crossers also ate everything big , slow and easy to catch that they came across; Elephants, giant ground sloths,Camels, whatever was easy and didn't fight effectively. Of course, they got bred with every civ that came over to look around. Which probably include, Vikings, Minoans, Celts( we find Ogam language carved into river rocks to this day.) Chinese( anchor stones all along west coast) Romans (galleys found in Gulf of Mexico) , some say Egyptians because of south American cultures similarities. We know the explorer/conquistadors knocked off some ass when they landed, better believe everyone else did too. This was a melting pot long before "modern" civ showed up.
AND you won't hear any of this in a classroom because it's "Not nice", "politically incorrect" even "racist", BUT, it is true by archaeological evidence, SO closed minded Pop scientists can kiss my ass. Not really any such thing as an "Indian", but I am still for the U.S. honoring treaties with what I will call the early settlers.

Some Indians called *themselves* Indians (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45734987)

Not really any such thing as an "Indian"

Then explain Inde, the Apache people's name for themselves before U.S. westward expansion.

Re:Some Indians called *themselves* Indians (3, Informative)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#45736009)

Not really any such thing as an "Indian"

Then explain Inde, the Apache people's name for themselves before U.S. westward expansion.

While that may be true, it was Columbus who referred to the indigenous people of the Americas as Indians, erroneously thinking he had made it to the Indian Ocean. Even after people realized it was an error, the name stuck (which is why we also have the Carribean called the West Indies). Columbus, never met an Apache, so it is unlikely that Indie or whatever word they had for themselves factored in. If they were using this term prior to the end of the 15th century, then it is coincidence. If use of that term came later, then it is likely they adopted it from early encounters with various European groups.

Re:Some Indians called *themselves* Indians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45736301)

I thought Indes were musicians who still use Myspace.

Re:Yes: INbreeding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45737321)

I think your thoughts on what is taught don't match up with what is actually taught.

Re:No: inTERbreeding (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45733611)

But hey. If it floats your skirt up, go ahead and fantasize.

Inbreeding was also noted: The parents of a Neandertal woman from Siberia were as closely related as half-siblings.

Half sibs sounds like the "modern family" isn't as modern as the hipsters would have you believe.
My god nothing has changed in over a hundred thousand years!

Re:Inbreeding? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#45732937)

So, when a cave couple divorced, were they still brother and sister?

They are not from Alabama (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#45732943)

But modern humans are not from ONE SINGLE stock either.

For example, the Denisovans have offsprings, but only part of the modern humans are their offsprings.

And then, while most modern humans have Neandertal genes inside them, some modern humans do not.

Re:They are not from Alabama (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733017)

But modern humans are not from ONE SINGLE stock either.

For example, the Denisovans have offsprings, but only part of the modern humans are their offsprings.

And then, while most modern humans have Neandertal genes inside them, some modern humans do not.

I see. So Neandertals were from Mississippi.

Got it.

Re:Inbreeding? (-1, Offtopic)

Barsteward (969998) | about a year ago | (#45734351)

no, i'm guessing NRA membership

Re:Inbreeding? (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#45738023)

There's a good point hidden in the above AC's trollish "joke"; inbreeding happens with almost all, if not all, species, especially when there is a small population of that species. That includes Neanderthals and modern humans, dogs, cats, bonobos...

This story brings to mind an old pop song by some one hit wonder I haven't heard in almost half a century --

I'm a neanderthal man
You're a Neanderthal girl
Lets make Neanderthal love
In this Neanderthal world

(IIRC it was that one verse repeated over and over, a really repetitious and stupid but catchy pop song)

Not surprising (4, Insightful)

JasoninKS (1783390) | about a year ago | (#45732849)

Not a surprise really. There weren't exactly large groups running around to intermingle. You want to procreate and expand the species you had to look within your own local group.

Re:Not surprising (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#45732923)

Not a surprise really. There weren't exactly large groups running around to intermingle. You want to procreate and expand the species you had to look within your own local group.

They probably didn't have intolerant idiots telling them who they could mate with, either.

Re:Not surprising (1)

quantaman (517394) | about a year ago | (#45733041)

They probably didn't have intolerant idiots telling them who they could mate with, either.

Taboos against inbreeding are hardly the result of intolerance since inbreeding drastically increases the probability of recessive genes becoming expressed. Since recessive genes are rarely expressed they're not exposed to the same selection pressure and tend to be less fit as a result.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733183)

They probably didn't have intolerant idiots telling them who they could mate with, either.

Taboos against inbreeding are hardly the result of intolerance since inbreeding drastically increases the probability of recessive genes becoming expressed. Since recessive genes are rarely expressed they're not exposed to the same selection pressure and tend to be less fit as a result.

Yeah, but try telling that to a caveman and all you get back is "Oog make fire! Fire hot! Hot like Oogs sister!".

Re:Not surprising (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#45733203)

They probably didn't have intolerant idiots telling them who they could mate with, either.

Taboos against inbreeding are hardly the result of intolerance since inbreeding drastically increases the probability of recessive genes becoming expressed. Since recessive genes are rarely expressed they're not exposed to the same selection pressure and tend to be less fit as a result.

So your claim is that by engaging in inbreeding, we are putting evolutionary pressure on the recessive genes, thus removing them from the gene pool, and that this is beneficial?

You are aware that, if you have a single gene for sickle cell anemia, rather than coming down with the disease, you're effectively immune to Malaria, since the blood cells will sickle in the presence of Malaria, but not otherwise, right?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110428123931.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Re:Not surprising (4, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | about a year ago | (#45733255)

Taboos against inbreeding are hardly the result of intolerance since inbreeding drastically increases the probability of recessive genes becoming expressed. Since recessive genes are rarely expressed they're not exposed to the same selection pressure and tend to be less fit as a result.

So your claim is that by engaging in inbreeding, we are putting evolutionary pressure on the recessive genes, thus removing them from the gene pool, and that this is beneficial?

Beneficial for the species possibly, but not for the poor individuals who are tasked with the job of carrying those genes out of the pool.

(though it might be bad of the species as you'll lose some diversity too, recessive genes still get selection without inbreeding)

You are aware that, if you have a single gene for sickle cell anemia, rather than coming down with the disease, you're effectively immune to Malaria, since the blood cells will sickle in the presence of Malaria, but not otherwise, right?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110428123931.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Recessive genes are less fit on average, that doesn't mean in some instances they can't be as or even more fit than their non-recessive counterparts.

The sickle cell gene example, aside from being fascinating, actually proves my point. It would not have survived as a dominant gene in that form since the side effects of full expression are too harmful, it either would have been removed from the genepool, mutated to only go sickle with Malaria, or another gene would have popped up that made it only go sickle with Malaria. It's the fact that it's recessive that's allowed it to retain such poor fitness.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733601)

So what you're saying is that you want to fuck your own sister.

Re:Not surprising (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45733213)

inbreeding drastically increases the probability of recessive genes becoming expressed

Not just that, but copy errors, but the thing is that while the relative increase is drastic (> 5x) the absolute occurrence is still small enough (~ 1/20) that enough people "get over" the taboo and the results aren't terrible.

Anecdotally, I know that the renters across the street had a kid with "those problems" but I also don't know who the people are that I meet everyday who don't have them.

Anyway, the Neanderthals probably got by OK, if not ideally this way. Well enough to merge back into the mainline lineage anyway.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Alomex (148003) | about a year ago | (#45733371)

the absolute occurrence is still small enough (~ 1/20)

It is 1/20 for each defective gene you carry, so the final probability ends up being much higher.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733567)

Tell that to the Targaryens.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733673)

It still beats extinction and no sex.

Re:Not surprising (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a year ago | (#45734449)

Take that ginger kids!

Re:Not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45734829)

Taboos against inbreeding are hardly the result of intolerance since inbreeding drastically increases the probability of recessive genes becoming expressed.

This is an urban myth, happily kept alive by those on higher moral grounds (sarcasm intended). The chance of the offspring of 2 full cousins having diseases from recessive genes is between 2 and 3 percent higher than the chance for 2 random people. Although 2-3 percent may still seem like a lot today, back in the times we are talking about here, it was a fart in the wind and would have gone entirely unnoticed unless the Neanderthals managed to master advanced statistics.

Re:Not surprising (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#45737311)

Taboos against inbreeding are hardly the result of intolerance since inbreeding drastically increases the probability of recessive genes becoming expressed.

This is an urban myth, happily kept alive by those on higher moral grounds (sarcasm intended). The chance of the offspring of 2 full cousins having diseases from recessive genes is between 2 and 3 percent higher than the chance for 2 random people. Although 2-3 percent may still seem like a lot today, back in the times we are talking about here, it was a fart in the wind and would have gone entirely unnoticed unless the Neanderthals managed to master advanced statistics.

This is compounded across generations. It is 2 or 3 percent per generation as the bad genes stick around.

Re:Not surprising (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#45734215)

Or the Westermarck effect, apparently.

Re:Not surprising (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45732963)

Agreed. What is so surprising about some inbreeding? The human animal is an animal after all. Take any animal, and set a limited population apart. They're going to mate, and that population will continue mating, until something happens to reintroduce that limited population back into the larger population. It isn't a matter of preference - it's a matter of necessity.

Once reintroduced into the larger population, some limited inbreeding may or may not continue. But, interbreeding is going to happen as well.

Life. What a concept. Life struggles to continue, under all conditions.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45734137)

So what you're saying is Life....finds a way.

Re:Not surprising (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#45736273)

"So what you're saying is Life....finds a way."

Don't you remember? That wasn't 'Life' that was...Newman!

Re:Not surprising (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about a year ago | (#45733651)

Replying to undo moderation mouso.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733821)

Not a surprise really. There weren't exactly large groups running around to intermingle. You want to procreate and expand the species you had to look within your own local group.

Precisely, the landscape wasn't peppered with groups of humans. When you ran into another group your first reaction would have been to cautiously interact with them rather than attack. The opportunity to find a mate that wasn't closely related to you was way more important than wiping out the other group when you could just stay out of their territory and remain friends. These people would not have cared very much if a perspective mate was a Neanderthal, Denisovian or another modern human. Conflict only starts to become common when population levels rise and resources become a limited quantity and our ideas of racial 'purity' are a modern phenomenon.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45734213)

The opportunity to find a mate that wasn't closely related to you was way more important than wiping out the other group when you could just stay out of their territory and remain friends

Or if they were weak, you could simply slay the males and the elderly, plunder their resources, and take their women as breeders.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45734807)

It would have been a surprise if it did not happen. After all the same thing happened in Homo Sapiens until very recently. If there are not many people, and they don't move around a lot, this is what happens.

But of course putting 'incest' in a title will get you a lot of readers!

Re:Not surprising (2)

RockDoctor (15477) | about a year ago | (#45735121)

There weren't exactly large groups running around to intermingle.

Precisely. At this time the entire humanoid population of Europe was under a hundred thousand. Less than a football (any shape or rules) stadium full, spread over an entire continent.

At which sort of population density, almost everyone you meet has at least one great grandparent in common with you (a modern definition of "incest") ; most people you meet on a daily basis have a grandparent in common with you.

So, for both Neander-boys and Neander-girls, you get what you can get. If they hadn't, then they'd have become extinct within a couple of tens of years, instead of a couple of myriads (10^5) of years. Seen in that light, it wasn't an unsuccessful strategy.

Re:Not surprising (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year ago | (#45736325)

It seems to be working for Iceland, for that matter.

The first Neanderthal sister . . . (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45732851)

. . . so easy, a caveman could do her!

Re:The first Neanderthal sister . . . (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#45732931)

You nearly made me snort my coffee.

Re:The first Neanderthal sister . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733081)

And you made me snort my cocaine. Or at least that's what I'm saying if I get caught.

Re:The first Neanderthal sister . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733189)

Here we go with the "Yo Mama/Sister..." jokes.

Re:The first Neanderthal sister . . . (2)

Zynder (2773551) | about a year ago | (#45733271)

Yo momma so stupid she's your sister?

I don't think I did that right. Someone else care to try?

Incest (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#45732861)

Incest is best. Keep it in the family. Or genus

Incest is Bestest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733115)

Technically in-breading can't occur in clones.

Look at the Chines: Chromosomes just line-up and what is left behind is the same as what you are arriving to.

Re:Incest is Bestest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733161)

Six is having problems
Adjusting to his clone status


--Alice Cooper

Re:Incest is Bestest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733287)

WTF is a Chine? Lamest racial slur. EVAR.

Gee, you think? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#45732907)

You don't say. [amam-magazine.com]

Not separate species after all then (-1, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#45732927)

Every biologist wants to discover a new species - so they grab onto every straw to find one - resulting in many bogus species.

And yet ... (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#45732939)

... there is no record of a Slashdotter ever having bred with a supermodel.

Re:And yet ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45732971)

But maybe with a life-like doll?

THIS JUST IN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45732945)

People will fuck anything that moves! News after football.

a DuPont trait, actually (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year ago | (#45732947)

in runs in the family

Neandertals... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45732951)

It's all relative in West Virginia.

Inbreeding? You don't say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45732993)

Well that certainly explains this animated feature, voiced by the last living Neandertal:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8mKIuZ4tIzk#t=8

Actualy This Was All Explained (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733023)

On Acient Aliens.... :-)

What did the Neandertal say on his first date ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733029)

"Squeal like a pig !"
.
.
.
.
.
.

( apologies to James Dickey and the cast and crew of the film "Deliverance" )

And someone at Slashdot has a sense of humor of sorts ...

captcha = stiffer

Re:What did the Neandertal say on his first date ? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#45733101)

You mean "squeal like a H. Sapien"

Re:What did the Neandertal say on his first date ? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#45737043)

I think Ned Beatty needed the apology; and a hug.

We're all the same... (2)

HellCatF6 (1824178) | about a year ago | (#45733043)

There was a great article in Science a few weeks ago evaluating 6 extremely complete skeletons that were "collected" by a giant cat about a million years ago. (reference below)
The biggest revelation to many biologists was the amount of variation among the skulls. If they'd been found independently, they probably would have been put into different species. It's almost as if biologists haven't figured out that people vary quite a bit within species.
Why can't we just see ourselves as one big amorphous mass of metabolism - still trying to climb out of the primordial ooze?

A Complete Skull from Dmanisi, Georgia, and the Evolutionary Biology of Early Homo, by David Lordkipanidze, Marcia S. Ponce de León, Ann Margvelashvili, Yoel Rak, G. Philip Rightmire, Abesalom Vekua, and Christoph P. E. Zollikofer Science 18 October 2013: 326-331. An early Pleistocene adult skull illuminates the evolution and morphology of the first hominins outside Africa.

Re:We're all the same... (1, Insightful)

Empiric (675968) | about a year ago | (#45733205)

I'm persistently surprised also by how often evolutionary biologists seem oblivious to the notion of a "birth defect".

Note that I am not saying that evolution didn't happen. I'm saying that species categorization and the "evidence" for them have become so scientifically loose that the claims are unfalsifiable.

Re:We're all the same... (1)

Atomic Fro (150394) | about a year ago | (#45733693)

Jack Horner did a great TED Talk [ted.com] about this very issue as it applies to paleontology.

It was giants (1)

ksemlerK (610016) | about a year ago | (#45733145)

The Bible says so.

Re:It was giants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733513)

Those were the people from the north, visiting the more slender built tribes of the south for purposes of trade, adventure and glory.

This just in.. (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | about a year ago | (#45733209)

Humans like to have sex.

Re:This just in.. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45733953)

That's like saying life likes reproducing...

NeandertHal get it right (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#45733243)

Just because they're trendy to talk about, you don't need to use some new-age, look at me, I know about Neanderthals and Denisovans way of spelling their name. They're Neanderthals, despite the fact that 'tal' is the German word that it's based on.

Re:NeandertHal get it right (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733313)

I noticed your sig and I'm a bit low at the moment so: I just want to tell you all here that the LHC is in Europe.

Whar's mah karmah?

Re:NeandertHal get it right (2)

formfeed (703859) | about a year ago | (#45733343)

They're Neanderthals, despite the fact that 'tal' is the German word that it's based on.

Thal is the older German spelling of Tal, meaning valley. Both are pronounced the same, with t not th. It simply means Neander valley. The Valley is now called Neandertal, but my uncle kept his original name.

inbreeding (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year ago | (#45733311)

an international team of researchers has found that the parents of a Neandertal woman from Siberia were as closely related as half-siblings

So pretty much like the European royal families, huh?

Re:inbreeding (1)

rts008 (812749) | about a year ago | (#45733489)

Yes, since the first comment came up, I was looking for this very comment.

My first thought when I read the article was...'Hmmm, it didn't work out too well for the Neandrathals inbreeding just like it did not work for the Hapsburgs either.

Re:inbreeding (1)

kenai_alpenglow (2709587) | about a year ago | (#45734609)

or the pharaohs...

Re:inbreeding (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | about a year ago | (#45737433)

Yeah, The Ptolemy's made any European Monarch's gene pool look down right diverse!

Re:inbreeding (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a year ago | (#45735443)

The Hapsburgs were more about marrying nieces to their uncles. Which only became a problem when it happened over half a dozen generations, such that Charles II's great great grandma was also his great great great great grandma on the other side.

FUCK YOU OTHER DUCK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733335)

http://imgur.com/gallery/Zl836nj [imgur.com]

oidfgjfoigmoidjgdifgmdofigmdoifgm

Re:FUCK YOU OTHER DUCK (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about a year ago | (#45739677)

I'm intrigued as to what's behind that link, but given the title I don't think I'm game to click it.

Foreplay Neandertal (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | about a year ago | (#45733495)

Ma? You awake?

"set our species apart from all the others" (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about a year ago | (#45733515)

Sweet FA sets us apart from all the others. We're just the latest and most successful members of the genus homo.

Re:"set our species apart from all the others" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733671)

Sweet FA sets us apart from all the others. We're just the latest and most successful members of the genus homo.

Ha! Faggot!

Hence the extinction... (1)

antdude (79039) | about a year ago | (#45733599)

I read that inbreeding was bad and causes issues like defects.

Re:Hence the extinction... (2)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about a year ago | (#45733773)

The problem with inbreeding depends on the closeness of the relationship. With your sibling? If you carry ANY defective recessive genes at all, the chances of a child having it expressed is one half. With your 2nd cousin? A much lower chance of recessives matching. But in a small community, you'll almost certainly be marrying a cousin of some degree or another, even if your culture either marries outside the village (Ashkenazim) or raids for women (Viking or Polynesian, for example). If your culture tracks genealogy and tries to prevent inbreeding, then the problem is reduced. (People in the "Old Country" didn't know WHY inbreeding was bad, but they could see the effects!)

Re:Hence the extinction... (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#45734265)

While closeness is important, repeated closeness is a much bigger factor. You could have a child with your sister with a fairly small chance of birth defects, but if those offspring had offspring, the chances increase dramatically. IIRC, cousin marriages were common in the middle east, but it's a system of parallel cousin marriage with rules that prevent repeatedly drawing from the same small gene pool. It's an interesting mechanism of staying within the tribe without most of the adverse effects of incest.

Re:Hence the extinction... (2)

Cutterman (789191) | about a year ago | (#45734615)

Not so. In Saudi, where cousin marriages are very common, the incidence of genetic defects (particularly ano-genital malformations) is very high. A reconstructive surgeon's paradise. Mac

Inbreeding? In a Small Tribe? I'm SHOCKED! (2)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about a year ago | (#45733743)

Any small tribe or village, even up to the last century, is going to have some inbreeding; if there's only 250 people in your village (and assuming that the population has been relatively stable for the last few hundred years) and every potential mate in your village is at least a 4th cousin, probably more than one way. As James Burke noted, the steam engine caused a revolution in genetic engineering, because with the railroad and the steamship, it was possible to meet and mate with people who weren't related to you at all.

Hybrid vigor works on people. Look at the stature of people from feudal Japan and China; stereotypically small, almost tiny. When those people came to Hawaii and wed other Japanese (and Chinese) people from other villages, their children were inches taller - living in the same culture, often on similar diets. Their children were taller still, and THEIR children are the size of everybody else.

Re:Inbreeding? In a Small Tribe? I'm SHOCKED! (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#45733775)

The summary clearly states inTERbreeding, the title turned it into inbreeding which is more or less the opposite. But this is Slashdot where the editors can't write and the posters can't read.

Re:Inbreeding? In a Small Tribe? I'm SHOCKED! (1)

iamagloworm (816661) | about a year ago | (#45734119)

The summary clearly states inTERbreeding, the title turned it into inbreeding which is more or less the opposite. But this is Slashdot where the editors can't write and the posters can't read.

except that TFA includes the quoted title from the summary...

Re:Inbreeding? In a Small Tribe? I'm SHOCKED! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45734243)

The summary clearly states inTERbreeding, the title turned it into inbreeding which is more or less the opposite. But this is Slashdot where the editors can't write and the posters can't read.

Hmmm who can't read?

Source article:

"Paabo and his colleagues could tell that this Siberian Neandertal was the product of inbreeding and that her ancestors also chose their mates from their extended family. This suggests that this Neandertal woman came from a small, isolated population, the team reports online today in Nature."

Abstract Here: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12886.html

" mating among close relatives was common among her recent ancestors"

Yes, the article also discusses interbreeding.

Re:Inbreeding? In a Small Tribe? I'm SHOCKED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45733929)

Does stature have survival value? Seems very unlikely to me.

Re:Inbreeding? In a Small Tribe? I'm SHOCKED! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45735199)

Depends on the environment. But it doesn't need to have survival value, it just needs to improve reproductive success over several generations (its no good having lots of children if it results in fewer grandchildren). Look at the male Peacock's tail, in itself it is clearly detrimental to survival, but a big colourful tail works as an indicator of greater fitness to the females.

Re:Inbreeding? In a Small Tribe? I'm SHOCKED! (1)

Valdrax (32670) | about a year ago | (#45738359)

When those people came to Hawaii and wed other Japanese (and Chinese) people from other villages, their children were inches taller - living in the same culture, often on similar diets. Their children were taller still, and THEIR children are the size of everybody else.

Similar, but almost certainly not the same diet their parents had growing up. Heights is up across the Western world across population due to increases in available calories. The Dustbowl and the Great Depression were the last times in America that large swathes of the population suffered famine. Despite all the unhealthy effects of too many calories in the American diet, we generally have far more access to protein and to vitamins & minerals than our ancestors from about a century ago and than people in most of China even today.

Ironically though, too much nutrition (i.e. obesity) in childhood can retard the adolescent growth spurt. This is part of why America is no longer the tallest nation.

aha! Cowboy Neal's long-lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45734361)

family tree discovered! good job! Q: What's the definition of incest? A: Sibling revelry!

Laugh (1)

koan (80826) | about a year ago | (#45736399)

And what arose form this inbreeding?

Modern Man.

populations NOT species (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45737233)

While it may beOK to identify different human populations; this news does great disservice to the fact these all the SAME species. Next we'll be identifying the moderns populations of humans residing in sub-Sahara Africa as less than human.

What happens in Neander Valley ... (1)

donberryman (591775) | about a year ago | (#45737603)

... stays in Neander Valley.

Genocide- and organised religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45738003)

There is only ONE intelligent ape species on this planet- us. But we know, as an absolute fact, that once there were many. What happened? Organised religion.

Before the age of writing (recorded history), Man (us) developed 'organised religion', and organised religion had only ONE real goal- to exterminate every other intelligent ape species on the planet.

Human spirituality is the most beautiful aspect of Man, and organised religion the most vile and evil perversion of our inherent spirituality. Given that every individual can find spiritual purpose for themselves in their own lives, WHAT, exactly, do you think the purpose of organised religion is meant to be?

Organised religion seeks to define "THE OTHER", and inherently define 'the other' a fundamental 'evil' or a fundamental 'lesser'. Put simply, 'the other' is to be exterminated or enslaved. Judaism, for example, spent most of the last one thousand years plus defining the dark-skinned Humans of Africa as 'the other', and actively generated as many mechanisms as possible, first in partnership of the pre-Muslim peoples, then in partnership with the Muslims, then in partnership with the Modern Christians of Europe and the Americas, to enslave these people. Organised religions, by definition, define their members as the "MASTER RACE" or "THE CHOSEN PEOPLE" (same thing), and need to emphasis this fact by identifying "sub-Humans", and treating these people as badly as possible.

Man's first organised religions had it 'easy'. The 'others' were the other intelligent ape species, easily identified by appearance, and different inherent patterns of behaviour. Just as Judaic (Judaism and Modern Christianity are Judaic religions- original Christianity was not) America criminalised sex and marriage between 'white' and 'black' Humans across most of America's history, our ancestors living in far less developed societies (pre-writing) were infinitely more vulnerable to the racist messages of the leaders of the first organised religions.

We wiped out the 'competition', although to ordinary Humans, our genetic cousins were NEVER competition. Not all of this extermination was done with blatant mass murder, although much went this way. Just as much extermination happened using the British Empire methods of 'reservations' and forced 'migration' where 'the other' could be indirectly starved, or herded together to suffer the maximum effects of disease, and massive increases in the rates of infant mortality.

Again, put simply, the leaders of early organised religions did whatever their local flock would tolerate. Direct mass murder where possible. Indirect mass murder (as seen in more recent times with the culling of the local population in parts of Africa, the Americas, and the South Asian islands down through Australia) where the flock proved to be more 'sensitive'.

Today, organised religion (especially the Judaic trio of Islam, Judaism and Modern Christianity) is more aggressive and more murderous than at any previous time. 'Freedom of Conscience' has not lessened the grip of organised religion, but through "trial by fire" forced organised religion to become vastly more, well 'organised' and educated in the means of effective population control.

Today, the most powerful organised religious leaders agree with Bill Gates and Tony Blair that at least THREE BILLION of us are "surplus to requirements". Blair is happy to point to the genocide of other intelligent ape species to justify his claim that "sometimes god's will means doing the 'unthinkable' ".

Obligatory - Joe Dirt (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | about a year ago | (#45739203)

So I did a real bad thing there because...

...l think you're my sister.
Is that all? No.
My family's last name is Buckwalter.
My brother's name is Cletus.
So you see, we're not related.
We can have sex again.
Joe, what's the matter?
Don't I turn you on?
I don't know what the problem is.
Would it help if you went back to thinking I'm your sister?
Like I'm some sort of white-trash perv?!
I'm your sister. I'm your sister.
Oh, you're my sister!
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