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Where is the Neandertal mtDNA?

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanAugust 10, 2006 6:11 PM


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Blogger NuSapiens offers an intriguing <a href=" comment on my post about Neandertal introgression:

It's been shown that some mtDNA lines are associated with metabolic adaptations related to climate. This is a serious violation of the neutrality requirement for tracking things, especially far back in time. Adam and Eve are cute stories, but I wonder whether they will be around after another generation. Neanderthal disappeared during a climate shift in Europe. If Neanderthal mtDNA was adapted to Euro-tundra, I wouldn't expect that to stick around very long during a thaw period. If at all, it might be in the far north.

Does this make sense? There is evidence for selection on particular metabolic rates in mtDNA. In fact, we also know that modern high latitude populations exhibit metabolic adaptations.

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