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Only 7% of the human genome is unique to our species

Small differences

What parts of the genome separate modern humans from archaic hominins? Only 1.5 to 7 percent of the modern human genome is unique to us. It is possible that a small fraction of the DNA genome may have a significant impact on what differentiates modern humans … Mutations that contribute to uniquely human characteristics are contained in a small part of the genome and appear to primarily affect genes related to brain development.

In other words, at least 93% of the modern human genome is shared between our species and the other two ancient hominins.

The researchers used a genetic analysis technique called ancestral recombination graphing to make their discovery. Using publicly available data from modern human, Neanderthal, and Denisovan genomes, they then sequenced these genomes themselves and used the cited tool. ancestral recombination graphl to sketch a genetic tree encompassing all three species.

Applied to the three species, it is mapped how they are related throughout the genome, finding shared and distinct regions.

The algorithm also highlighted which genes humans inherited from an even older ancestor, one that lived around 500,000 years ago., which eventually gave rise to our species, as well as Neanderthals and other hominids.

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