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The Neanderthal genome included harmful mutations that made the hominids around 40% less reproductively fit than modern humans, according to estimates published in the latest issue of the journal GENETICS.

The Neanderthal genome included harmful mutations that made the hominids around 40% less reproductively fit than modern humans, according to estimates published in the latest issue of the journal GENETICS.

Image issue du site Web http://lemag.rueducommerce.fr/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/grotte.jpg

Image issue du site Web http://lemag.rueducommerce.fr/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/grotte.jpg

The Asian melting pot:  WE MAY have lived alongside an archaic human species just 10,500 years ago in China. Controversial bone discoveries suggest we even interbred with and cannibalised these mystery hominins.

The Asian melting pot: WE MAY have lived alongside an archaic human species just 10,500 years ago in China. Controversial bone discoveries suggest we even interbred with and cannibalised these mystery hominins.

Site:  Tautavel, France  Date of discovery:  1971  Discovered by:  Henry and Marie Antoinette de Lumley  Age:  About 450,000 years old  Species:  Homo heidelbergensis  The features of this cranium are most similar to much larger specimens of Homo heidelbergensis.  Its small size suggests that it is a female of this early human species.

Site: Tautavel, France Date of discovery: 1971 Discovered by: Henry and Marie Antoinette de Lumley Age: About 450,000 years old Species: Homo heidelbergensis The features of this cranium are most similar to much larger specimens of Homo heidelbergensis. Its small size suggests that it is a female of this early human species.

Early Hominid Fossil Sites | Where Is the Birthplace of Humankind? South Africa and East Africa Both Lay Claims

Early Hominid Fossil Sites | Where Is the Birthplace of Humankind? South Africa and East Africa Both Lay Claims

Ardi — short for Ardipithecus ramidus — likely walked upright one million years before Lucy, the famous fossil skeleton whose species was regarded as the first member of the human lineage.

Ardi — short for Ardipithecus ramidus — likely walked upright one million years before Lucy, the famous fossil skeleton whose species was regarded as the first member of the human lineage.

Map of eastern Africa migration Homo erectus first left Africa around 1.8 million years ago (green arrow). Our species, Homo sapiens, made the journey about 120,000 years ago (orange arrow). But stone tools such as this one from Jebel Faya may indicate a separate group of humans migrated from eastern Africa (red arrow) around the same time.  (EPA/Bernd Weissbrod)

Map of eastern Africa migration Homo erectus first left Africa around 1.8 million years ago (green arrow). Our species, Homo sapiens, made the journey about 120,000 years ago (orange arrow). But stone tools such as this one from Jebel Faya may indicate a separate group of humans migrated from eastern Africa (red arrow) around the same time. (EPA/Bernd Weissbrod)

Scientists have determined that a variation of a gene that increases the risk of a person developing type 2 diabetes by 25 percent was was likely introduced into human populations by Neanderthals more than 60,000 years ago.

Scientists have determined that a variation of a gene that increases the risk of a person developing type 2 diabetes by 25 percent was was likely introduced into human populations by Neanderthals more than 60,000 years ago.

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