The 2020 pandemic changed the world, but it did not change scientists — they still continue to study the virus and its impact on people. So, a new study has shown that covid is harmful to humans because of a gene from Neanderthals.
A group of British scientists has found that people have a hard time tolerating coronavirus infection because of one special gene. He came to us about 60 thousand years ago. And the reason for this is sex with a Neanderthal who “infected” a person with this “vulnerability” gene.
“If you stop and think about it, it’s because of one interspecies relationship and one child. That is, people once had a chance to endure the pandemic much better,” she noted James Davis, Associate Professor of Genomics at the Radcliffe School of Medicine, University of Oxford
The scientist is referring to the genetic variation associated with the LZTFL1 gene, due to which lung cells produce more protein on their surface. Namely, this protein “clings” to coronavirus bacteria, which allows the infection to spread effectively in the body and cause greater harm to health.
It is reported that the variation of LZTFL1 can be found more often in people of South Asian origin. However, it is also noted that the same Neanderthals passed on useful genes to humanity, too: for example, those that help in the fight against other bacteria or make it possible to better adapt to a new diet.