North Pole News: “Cold Tolerance Among Inuit May Come From Extinct Human Relatives”
From the New York Times:
By STEPH YIN DEC. 23, 2016
A new study, published on Wednesday in Molecular Biology and Evolution, identifies gene variants in Inuit who live in Greenland, which may help them adapt to the cold by promoting heat-generating body fat. These variants possibly originated in the Denisovans, a group of archaic humans who, along with Neanderthals, diverged from modern humans about half a million years ago.
“As modern humans spread around the world, they interbred with Denisovans and Neanderthals, who had already been living in these different environments for hundreds of thousands of years,” said Rasmus Nielsen, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley and an author of the paper. “This gene exchange may have helped some modern humans adapt to and conquer new environments.”
The new study follows earlier research by Dr. Nielsen and colleagues, which found genetic mutations that might help the Inuit metabolize unsaturated fatty acids common in their diet of whales, seals and fish.
The Inuit are a type of Eskimo (not all Eskimos are Inuits).
This is an example of Greg Cochran’s insight in the 1990s that modern humans probably inherited cold climate adaptations from archaic human populations through interbreeding. This was an overlooked implication of the Out of Africa theory.
Peace on earth toward Anatomically Modern Humans, Denisovans, and Neanderthals of good will no matter what your precise admixture.