Ever wish you had superhuman immunity, or at least a little extra strength to help keep you healthy?
It turns out we may have picked up some caveman immune power, thanks to genes that strengthen the immune system, according to a new report from the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Immune Genes from Neanderthals
Key immune genes were passed down from Neanderthals, who died out approximately 30,000 years ago, and other early hominids, to modern humans, according to the findings published in the journal Science. (Read Zinc Supplements Could Increase Immunity)
The addition of Neanderthal genes led to the introduction of new variants of immune system genes, which are critical for our body’s ability to recognize and destroy pathogens, the authors note.
The Stanford researchers estimate that as much as 4 percent Neanderthal DNA can be found in the genetic blueprint of some present-day humans.
The Stanford study was funded by National Institutes of Health, the Yerkes Center, the National Science Foundation and the National Cancer Institute.
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Source: Stanford University School of Medicine