Study: Just 7% of our DNA is unique to modern humans

Scientists have been comparing the DNA of modern man to our extinct ancestors. They found just 7% of our DNA is unique to modern humans; the rest is shared by early ancestors.

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National News

July 16, 2021 - 2:02 PM

Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON (AP) — What makes humans unique? Scientists have taken another step toward solving an enduring mystery with a new tool that may allow for more precise comparisons between the DNA of modern humans and that of our extinct ancestors.

Just 7% of our genome is uniquely shared with other humans, and not shared by other early ancestors, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances.

“That’s a pretty small percentage,” said Nathan Schaefer, a University of California computational biologist and co-author of the new paper. “This kind of finding is why scientists are turning away from thinking that we humans are so vastly different from Neanderthals.”

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