"Those of us who live outside Africa carry a little Neanderthal DNA in us," Pääbo says. The study estimates that between 1 and 4 percent of non-African DNA is inherited from these long-ago liaisons with our Neanderthal cousins.
"To me this is the most interesting result," says Willerslev. "This is not only showing the Neanderthals and our ancestors had something to do with each other sexually, but that we have to look at the genome scale level to see it." Willerslev also notes that the results could be a blow to racists everywhere, since the study shows Africans are "the only pure modern humans."
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