Mailbag: Neandertal interbreeding

Re: Neandertal ancestry

I stumbled across your (excellent) website this morning and enjoyed a couple of your articles concerning Neandertals. I know you're a busy guy so I'll get straight to it: Your articles discuss varying levels of Neandertal DNA in present-day human populations. I thought the issue of whether Neandertals and modern humans successfully interbred was still very much undecided? For reasons I've always presumed to be largely sentimental, I hope the Neandertals "survived" via interbreeding, rather than simply disappeared from the face of the Earth. Your articles are very uplifting.

Great to hear from you and thank you so much for the kind words!

There is no doubt anymore; many of us have Neandertal ancestors. Now we are working on determining which parts of the genome this involves in different living people, and how the pattern of interbreeding took place.