Unique Fraction of Modern Human Genome Surprisingly Small, Comparison With Archaic Hominins Suggests
At most, just 7% of the human genome is unique to our species
We share most genes with Neanderthals, Denisovans, and other ancestors
Aylin Woodward | Jul 16, 2021 | Business Insider
Humans like to think they’re special, but our genes suggest that’s far from the case.
No more than 7% of the human genome is unique to Homo sapiens, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances.
We share the remaining chunks of our genetic material with other human ancestors, or hominins, including our Neanderthal cousins and the Denisovans first discovered in east Asia.
“The evolutionary family tree shows there are regions of our genome that make us uniquely human,” Richard Green, director of the paleogenomics lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz and co-author of the new study, told Insider. “Now we have a catalog of those, and it’s a surprisingly small fraction of the genome.”