What makes us different from Neanderthal Man?


Deutsch: Rekonstruierter Neandertaler im Neand...

Deutsch: Rekonstruierter Neandertaler im Neanderthal-Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This video is about a study of Neanderthal DNA and how their genome differed from ours. The differences are important since chimps are our closest living relatives. Neanderthal was much closer in capabilities so the differences will be interesting to discover. I have one problem in thinking DNA is the sole cause of our differences. That is that epigenetics plays a major role. Chimps have mostly the same DNA as we do but their epigenetics is very different. It is similar to a MAC and a PC running on the same Intel Chip. The hardware (DNA) is the same but the systems are very different in their implementation of that hardware. Neanderthal might have a very similar genome to us but a very different epigenome. Time will tell.

Visualizing Our Epigenome

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We all hear a lot these days on DNA testing and the human genome. Most of us can picture DNA as a double helix with rungs like a ladder. These rungs are the instructions that DNA brings to bear. Now we are beginning to hear more about another layer on top of our genome called the epigenome. What is this layer? How can it be visualized? How does it affect our genome? This important video shows how the epigenome interacts with our genome much like software interacting with hardware on modern computers.