Scientists Decode Neanderthal Genome

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2009 7:04 PM CST
A Neanderthal man.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – Scientists using ancient fossils have pieced together a rough draft of Neanderthals' genetic code, the Times of London reports. The development could eventually shed light on how they thought, spoke, and functioned, and why they disappeared. Because Neanderthals are humans' closest relatives, scientists may be able to get a better sense of just what enabled homo sapiens to dominate the world. No family reunions, though: There's nowhere near enough DNA to consider cloning.

“Studying the Neanderthals and studying the Neanderthal genome will tell us what makes modern humans really human, why we are alone, why we have these amazing capabilities,” said a co-leader of the project.