Research conducted by US genetics company 23andme has revealed that people who carry three specific genes are the descendants of Homo sapiens who liked to cave draw and chill with Neanderthals. In other words, these guys were fans of ‘inter-breeding’. Since Homo sapiens and Neanderthals are technically different species, although closely related, they shouldn’t really have been sticking their private bits inside of one another. Think lion banging tiger or zebra railing horse. Not the done thing really.
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All of this would have happened around 40,000 years ago, and scientists believe that we can attribute most modern day allergies to the free-spirited sex lives of our hairy elders. Basically, some of the more adventurous amongst the earliest humans left Africa to explore. Soon they stumbled upon Neanderthals and Denisovans, both of whom had spent 200,000 years adapting and evolving to their environment, with their bodies learning to combat the diseases and viruses that were common in Eurasia.
Janet Kelso, who worked on the study conducted by 23andme, said of their findings:
Interbreeding with archaic humans does indeed have functional implications for modern humans.
The most obvious consequences have been in shaping our adaptation to our environment – improving how we resist pathogens and metabolise novel foods.
What this means is that people who carry the three genes (and had ancestors who were into that kinky inter-special filth) have stronger immune systems and are predisposed to fight viruses that attack them.
But this comes at a price, and as such anyone who has the three genes is automatically more likely to suffer from hay fever, sneezes, itches and general allergy complaints. You win some, you lose some, I guess.
Personally, I just think it’s pretty ironic that even today people don’t want to accept same-sex relationships – yet most of our elders were one stone’s throw away from shagging animals by the sounds of it.
What a world.