Inbred Neanderthals left humans a genetic burden
The Neanderthal genome included harmful mutations that made the hominids around 40 percent less reproductively fit than modern humans, according to new estimates. Non-African humans inherited some of this genetic burden when they interbred with Neanderthals, though much of it has been lost over time. The results suggest that these harmful gene variants continue to reduce the fitness of some populations today. The study also has implications for management of endangered species.