Denisovans Gave Some People Cold Tolerance Too
Native Americans, the Inuit and some Siberians likely can tolerate cold temperatures better than the rest of us due to their Denisovan or other archaic human ancestry, according to a paper published in 2016 in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. Lead author Fernando Racimo of the New York Genome Center told Seeker that he and his team identified a genetic variant in the mentioned living groups. It is thought to cause a certain type of body fat, commonly known as "brown fat," to generate heat.
He added, "The gene is also involved in a number of other traits, like body fat distribution, bone and facial morphology (structure)."
Mystery Human Species Detected in Pacific Islanders
Melanesians - people native to Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, West Papua and the Maluku Islands - could carry DNA from a now-extinct ancestor that is so far unknown in the fossil record, a genetic analysis revealed.
Their mystery relative "could have been a population relative to Denisova, or something more distantly related," Ryan Bohlender, lead author of the research, told Seeker.