Did Neanderthal sex cause your peanut allergy? Did you know that you could have an allergy because one of your ancestors bred with a Neanderthal? Out of all the weird facts I’ve posted this does seem to be one of the hardest to believe but if you are ethnically European or Asian, then about 2% of your genetic make-up originated from Neanderthals.
Some animal species are so closely related that it’s possible for them to breed. Horses can breed with donkeys to create mules and Lions can breed with Tigers to create Ligers or Tigons. It appears that Homo Sapiens and and Neanderthals were close enough for this to happen.
US genetics company 23andme is a company that provides customers with personalised genetic reports letting them know about things like inherited conditions and genetic risk facts. Another part of their work is genetic research and they have discovered that around 60,000 years ago there was interbreeding between your homo sapiens and neanderthal ancestors and that had an impact on the survival of our species and who we are today.
Many modern humans carry three genes that boost the immune system giving people a resistance to a hostile environment but this does come at a price. These same genes cause allergies that make us react to certain environmental factors. This is what makes us sneeze, itch and make us generally uncomfortable. These are some of the same genes that we inherited from our Neanderthal ancestors.
For further information about the study on Neanderthal DNA at 23andme please click here