December 8, 2022

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2022 Nobel Prize Winner Paper: The risk of severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals

2022 Nobel Prize Winner Paper: The risk of severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals



 

Interpretation of the 2022 Nobel Prize Winner Paper: The risk of severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals, and Indians and Europeans and Americans are at higher risk.

Neanderthals ( Homo neanderthalensis ), an ancient hominin active in Europe 200,000 years ago, ruled the whole of Europe, western Asia and northern Africa from 120,000 years ago, but surprisingly, About 35,000 years ago, the range of Neanderthal life began to shrink rapidly, and finally disappeared completely about 30,000 years ago.

 

It is worth noting that 35,000 years ago, it was the time when Homo sapiens (that is, we modern humans) came to Europe.

Many scholars believe that it was the arrival of Homo sapiens that brought the catastrophe of the Neanderthals, leading to their total extinction.

 

2022 Nobel Prize Winner Paper: The risk of severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals


Reconstruction of Neanderthals

 

Neanderthals have been extinct as a species for tens of thousands of years, but they are actually ubiquitous.

The Dete genes have been preserved in Homo sapiens forever.

DNA research analysis shows that our modern humans have 1% to 4% of the Neanderthal genetic components .

 

In fact, some of our human characteristics are due to the inheritance of Neanderthal genes. For example, in July 2020, a study published in the journal Current Biology showed that the sensitivity of modern humans to pain was inherited from Neanderthals. [1]

In June 2020, a study published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution pointed out that a considerable number of women inherited the progesterone receptor gene from Neanderthals [2] , which is a Gene variants associated with increased fertility, decreased first trimester bleeding, and decreased miscarriage.

These studies all come from the research team of Svante Pääbo, winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine .

 

In September 2020, Svante Pääbo also published a paper proposing that the genes of the extinct ancient Neanderthal are also related to the response of the immune system of modern humans to viral infection.

 

The research is titled: The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals , and was published in the top international academic journal Nature .

 

2022 Nobel Prize Winner Paper: The risk of severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals

 

 

The vast majority of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia have mild or even asymptomatic symptoms, but severe patients still face greater risks.

Previous studies have shown that the main genetic risk factor for the development of severe COVID-19 pneumonia is a gene cluster on chromosome 3 .

 

The study, published in Nature , confirms that the severe risk is caused by a genome segment of approximately 50 kb in length inherited from Neanderthals, with the highest genetic risk in South Asian and European populations and in East Asia and Africa have almost none.

 

2022 Nobel Prize Winner Paper: The risk of severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals

Genetic variants associated with severe COVID-19

 

Further analysis showed that the Neanderthal core risk gene segment for the COVID-19 severe disease occurred at a frequency of 30% in South Asian populations, 8% in Europe , 4% in the Americas , and almost none in East Asia and Africa .

 

 

This means that after being infected with the COVID-19, the possibility of East-Asia people developing severe disease is very low, and this is indeed the case.

 

 

 

References:
1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.06.045
2. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msaa119
3. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2818-3

2022 Nobel Prize Winner Paper: The risk of severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals

(source:internet, reference only)


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