Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Neanderthal Theory

Who would have ever known that Neanderthals were freckle-faced redheads? Does that mean the Vikings were descended from them? You know, Eric the Red, Leif, Bjarne and the gang of conquering Norse explorers?

The image is a modified reconstruction of Gibraltar Neanderthal child, from the web site: "The Neanderthal Theory of Autism, Asperger and ADHD".

Scientific Thoughts writes that Neanderthal was a species of the genus Homo (Homo Neanderthalensis) that inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia about 230,000 to 29,000 years ago. Their bodies were designed for cold, short and robust with large noses. Scientists are now isolating genetic fragments from fossils to map their DNA.
"How cool will it be, if we could reconstruct an extinct animal from the fragments of its fossilized genome? Such a project is currently being unveiled at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, where U.S. and German scientists have launched a project to recreate the Neanderthal genome."

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