posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 06:52 PM
Ok I will try this a different way.
There is still debate over whether we (Homo sapiens) breed with neanderthals (Homo neanderthalus) or we just retained some genes from the last common
ancestor, that were better adaptions. The level of "sharing" for neanderthals and Denisovians is quite low (between 3 and 5 for neanderthals, and 3
and 6% in Melenesians for Denisovians), Homo floresiensis ("the hobbit") probably did not contribute to our genome (we don't know as they are still
trying to analyse the little bugger), despite having been around up to 12000 years ago. (I will talk about DNA analysis at the end of this).
Yes we probably breed with both Neanderthals and Denisovians, and offspring likely resulted. It is obvious from the DNA studies that some genes gave
an advantage for some environments (ie it is thought that pale skin and red hair may have come from neanderthals, but it also could have been
Denisovians). But it is not a huge amount that has survived, we also do not share SNP (Single nucleotide polymorphisms) in either Y chromosomes (from
daddy, and only to males) or mitochondrial DNA (from mummy and can only be handed on by females). Does that make us hybrids? Possibly, but not really
at the same time. We vary more within what was called "race" (a poor idea scientifically it turns out) than between them, and then it's not very
much. We also do not know what our ancestors breed with to get to Homo sapiens.
So the idea of "hybrids" only really applies to the generations following interbreeding. H. sapiens has done a good job thus far removing
competition (perhaps if N Essex, E. Lensher and C. Xavier are right, Homo superior is amonst us?)
Ok so DNA analysis. Since the Human genome project put the first genome out, we have managed to come ahead leaps and bounds in technology. We are
approaching the "$1000 genome in under a week" mark, where it costs $1000 (USD) or less and takes less than a week to analyse a genome. This is an
important mark, because it makes it a competitive technique for insurance companies to pay for. At the moment you take 2-3 weeks, and costs around
$5000 (numbers change a lot, and I've not looked this up since march). We have over 1000 genomes of individuals now. The problem with ancestors is
DNA degrades, it is why we here about Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA studies ahead of full genomes. They are cheaper and faster (smaller things
to analyse) and they talk about "genetic clans" for each. But that does not tell you about an individual. We have two to five tests of neanderthals
(I know some where in process. and I am unsure if they are published yet) so its a tiny group of data, and a fingerbone/tooth (they used the tooth I
think) of the Denisovians. It is why Denisovians have not yet been given a Homo name (stop s'n-word'ing Bevis) like Homo Devisovialus or similar. The
individual is not a species till we find more. They found a foot bone in the same cave (some toe bone I think) that prelim tests imply was a
neanderthal, they also have found evidence of Homo sapiens lurking in the same cave, all we know is there is a possibility of a occupation of that
cave by two to three species over time. We don't know if they "got it on" with each other, or not.