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Neanderthal DNA may account for addictions and depressions

People can provide some pretty creative excuses for why they're overweight or a heavy smoker - but here's one you won't have heard before. Apparently, it could be thanks to having Neanderthal genes. The US team behind the finding identified 135,000 single-letter variations in the genetic code that were highly likely to have originated from Neanderthals. And then linked these to various health conditions. The research was led by Dr Tony Capra, from Vanderbilt University.

(Picture: The study discovered associations between Neanderthal DNA and a wide range of modern traits, including immunological, dermatological, neurological, psychiatric and reproductive diseases. Credit: Michael Smeltzer/Vanderbilt Univ/PA)

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