Guardian: Neanderthal genes increase risk of serious COVID 19

Strand of DNA inherited by modern humans is linked to likelihood of falling severely ill

An exhibit at the Neanderthal museum in Krapina, Croatia. A strand of DNA increasing the risk of developing severe Covid-19 has been inherited from the Neanderthals, scientists believe. Photograph: Nikola Solic/Reuters/Corbis

Modern humans and Neanderthals could be forgiven for having other issues on their minds when they interbred in the stone age. But according to researchers, those ancient couplings laid a grim foundation for deaths around the world today.

Scientists have claimed that a strand of DNA that triples the risk of developing severe Covid-19 was passed on from Neanderthals to modern humans. The genetic endowment, a legacy from more than 50,000 years ago, has left about 16% of Europeans and half of south Asians today carrying these genes.

The origins of the risk genes came to light when scientists in Sweden and Germany compared the DNA of very sick Covid-19 patients with that from Neanderthals and their mysterious sister group, the Denisovans. The stretch of DNA that makes patients more likely to fall seriously ill closely matched that collected from a Neanderthal in Croatia.

“I almost fell off my chair because the segment of DNA was exactly the same as in the Neanderthal genome,” Hugo Zeberg, an assistant professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, told the Guardian.

Zeberg and his co-author, Svante Pääbo, director of the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, suspect the Neanderthal genes have persisted in modern humans because they were once beneficial, perhaps helping to fight off other infections. Only now – when faced with a new infection – has their downside been exposed.

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  1. Could this be more evidence that COVID19 is chimerically developed in a lab to affect targeted genome types? I have a percentage of the Neanderthal gene in me and unfortunately my son is currently covid positive. Trying to be more of an information theorist than a conspiracy theorist here, but governments have been very effective with their chemicals and biologicals when they want to be (small pox). You may say it doesn’t matter the origins of this virus however studies, treatment models and vaccination programs indicate otherwise. I have spoke with others often about this lab created theory and their fairly convincing response is – if cofefe19 were created in a lab some ‘whisltleblower’ with knowledge would certainly come forward and they believe no entity exists with the power to suppress this information. Maybe worse than conspiracy theorists are the delusional and misinformed mass media hive that has become (always has been)the predominant mentality of society.

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