By Deon Liles

This publication presents an Introductory method of Human Evolution.

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Extra resources for An introduction to human evolution

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Some parts of the Neanderthal genome have more in common with chimps than humans, while other parts are shared by both Neanderthals and humans. Neanderthals and most humans share a lactose-intolerant variant of the lactase gene that encodes an enzyme that is unable to break down lactose in milk after weaning. Humans and Neanderthals also share the FOXP2 gene variant associated with brain development and with speech in humans, indicating that Neanderthals may have been able to speak. Chimps have two amino acid differences in FOXP2 compared with human FOXP2.

Copy number variation More recently a better understanding of the structure of the genome has been gained with the publication of two examples of full sequences of an individual's genome. This represents a new development because the Human Genome Project and a parallel project by Celera Genomics produced two haploid sequences, both of which were an amalgamation of sequences from many individuals. Recently the diploid sequences of both Craig Venter and James Watson have been published. Analysis of diploid sequences has shown that non-SNP variation accounts for much more human genetic variation than single nucleotide diversity.

The measures of sequence divergence shown in the table only take the substitutional differences, for example from an A (adenine) to a G (guanine), into account. DNA sequences may however also differ by insertions and deletions (indels) of bases. These are usually stripped from the alignments before the calculation of sequence divergence is performed. The overall sequence divergence between humans and chimpanzees for example is close to 5% if indels would be included. Modern humans Map of the migration of modern humans out of Africa, based on mitochondrial DNA.

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