Ciccillo’s legacy

The relationship between Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthalensis has been debated for many years. The emerging technologies of DNA sequencing have shed light on this issue. Indeed, the sequencing of Neandertal genes revealed that a variable percentage of his DNA is present within Homo Sapiens genome. This means that somewhere in our history, Neandertal and Sapiens mated and the genes derived from the interbreeding still live within us. Are there any functional consequences on our life and health, then? The answer is yes. Pathogens responsiveness, blood clotting and mood stability may be all due to our Neandertal heritage.

About the Author

Alessandra Maria Adelaide Chiotto
Alessandra Maria Adelaide Chiotto graduated in Molecular Biotechnologies at University of Turin in 2013. She joined a PhD program in Molecular Medicine in 2014 and she performed her research first at MBC-Molecular Biotechnology Center in Turin, then at NICO- Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi in Orbassano (To). She has been involved in the studies of Central Nervous System development since her graduation thesis. In particular she is currently interested in Down syndrome pathology. Her research is mainly focused on biomolecular aspects of neuronal differentiation and cerebral cortex development. In her free time she is interested in human evolution, specifically in molecular aspects derived from ancient genomes sequencing. She attended paleoanthropology courses and she participated in excavation campaigns in Neandertal relevant sites. foto (ph. Credit Barbara Magnani)

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