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科學家比對古人種DNA 中國人有混種基因

Posted on: May 8, 2010


(明報)2010年5月8日 星期六 05:10 法新社/路透社/美聯社

【明報專訊】多國科學家通過基因分析發現,現代人類與已絕種的穴居人尼安德特人(Neanderthals)曾經交配,現時人類中有多達4%基因就是來自尼安德特人。

研究由美國加州專家格林(Richard Green)、德國專家帕博(Svante Paabo)和美國哈佛醫學院的賴克(David Reich)進行。

4%基因來自尼安德特人

科學家把從克羅地亞、德國、俄羅斯和西班牙發現,約於4萬年前生活的尼安德特人骨骼化石中提取DNA,然後和5名來自中國、法國、巴布亞新幾內亞、非洲南部和西部的5名現代人基因組進行比對,結果發現,現代歐洲、亞洲和大洋洲人,有約1%至4%的DNA源自尼安德特人,只是非洲人沒有。帕博直言,雖然只有1%至4%,卻足證我們是「混血兒」。

科學家推斷,尼安德特人與現代人非常可能在小範圍地區內交配過,時間或為現代人走出非洲、往歐亞方向繁衍時,即在中東遇到尼安德特人之時。格林說﹕「(尼安德特與現代人)確實存在一些低層次的交配。至於是否應稱我們是獨立物種,我願意把這一問題留給其他人去爭論,從基因上看,他們與我們的區別不大。」

帕博表示,這是專家第一次能辨別出將我們與其他古人種區分開來的遺傳特徵。科學家稱,發現尼安德特人基因組,不僅有助了解這一人類近親,更有助蒐集現代人類的進化信息,非常重要。

低額喜蹲 3萬年前絕種

尼安德特人是最接近人類的進化近親,擁有同一祖先,他們生活在約40萬年至3萬年前。這種喜歡蹲著、額頭較低的穴居人,在歐洲、亞洲中部和中東生活,距今3萬至5萬年前時,他們曾與人類在歐洲和西亞地區共同生活一段時間,但關於他們的證據,只去到2.8萬年前,相信尼安德特人就在那時絕種。

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