Neanderthal Genes Covid or Why Some Got Sick and Others Didn’t

Neanderthal Genes Covid or Why Some Got Sick and Others Didn’t

Both a dataset from the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative and the results of a genome-wide association research point particularly to a genomic fragment on chromosome 3 that is 50 kilobases in size as the primary genetic trigger for severe COVID-19. It is a part that paleogenomicist Svante Paabo and his coauthor Hugo Zeberg demonstrated in 2020 that was actually acquired from Neanderthals between the ages of 50,000 and 70,000 years ago. That’s really incredible, isn’t it?!

It is yet to be determined precisely how these Neanderthal genes came to play such a significant role in the human genome. However, the findings that the researchers uncovered are as follows.

Single-cell sequencing of RNA was utilized to investigate how 22 different blood cell types responded to SARS-CoV-2 infection. After that, these data were linked with the serological and genetic data that had been acquired from the same people. This made it feasible to analyze the degree of discrepancy amongst individuals on the basis of their immune reactions to SARS-CoV-2 and to determine the variables that contributed to this disparity.

[…], this work provides a beautiful example, all the way to the molecular level, of how a small part of our genome that was inherited from Neanderthals is impacting our health . . . to this day, stated geneticist Steven Reilly from the Yale School of Medicine.

Scientists have found hundreds of genes that both change antiviral processes and are the consequence of a past insertion between Neanderthals and modern humans (Homo sapiens) through an analysis of the 1,200 genes uncovered in the Neanderthal genome. This comparison allowed the scientists to find the genes. In addition, the researchers have shown that the expression of about 1,200 human genes in the aftermath of SARS-CoV-2 is controlled by human genetic variables. The prevalence of the alleles that govern these genes might differ between the populations that have been researched.

And now for something absolutely extraordinary. Neanderthal genetic material makes up between 1.5 and 2% of the genomes of people living in Europe and Asia. There is an accumulation of information that points to connections between Neanderthal heritage and modern-day resistance to infection.

There is a need for further investigation, and we should expect to get more information soon.

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