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Neanderthals and humans interbred 47,000 years ago for nearly 7,000 years, research suggests

Neanderthal genes seen in modern humans may have entered our DNA through an interval of interbreeding starting about 47,000 years ago that lasted nearly 7,000 years, new research finds.

Neanderthals were among the closest extinct relatives of modern humans (Homo sapiens), with the ancestors of both lineages diverging about 500,000 years ago. More than a decade ago, scientists revealed that Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of modern humans who migrated out of Africa. Today, the genomes of modern human populations outside Africa contain about 1% to 2% of Neanderthal DNA.

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