His team believes that when the SARS-CoV-2 virus binds to a human cell’s ACE2 receptor, the Neanderthal gene changes how a cell behaves.
In most people, this causes the cell to change shape and become less specialized and less susceptible to infection, thereby inhibiting the progression of infection.
“What this high-risk variant does is it creates a new signal that tells this gene to stay active a little too long in response to infection,” Prof Davies said.
“And so they stay in that state where they’re highly specialized, and they’re longer susceptible to infection.”
The number of deaths worldwide from this nefarious genetic variant “is in the hundreds of thousands to a million,” he told the audience.
“Dinner Date” between humans and Neanderthals
dr Davies and his colleague from Oxford Brookes University, Dr. Simon Underdown, a biological anthropologist, also revealed that the Neanderthal gene first entered humans 60,000 years ago after a romantic liaison and cross-species tryst between a human and a Neanderthal. A single cross-species linkage event jumped the deadly Covid gene into us from our now extinct cousin species.
“If that dinner between man and Neanderthal had gone wrong, we would have had a much better time in Covid, we would have had hundreds of thousands fewer deaths,” Prof Davies said.
“The reason we know that is because if that block of 28 individual letters changes, it’s inherited and you can trace that all the way back and it has to be a single event. It’s just so unlikely that you’ll get all 28 changes at the same time and in the same block.”
Neanderthals “looked just like us”
dr Underwood added that Neanderthals would likely have been very similar to humans.
“They probably look just like us,” he said. “If you put a hat and coat on one of these guys… you wouldn’t give them a second look.
“What would happen if a Neanderthal came into contact with Homo sapiens? Would they even recognize her as different? I would argue very strongly that they wouldn’t.”
“You would have thought they were unusual in that they didn’t look exactly alike, but they were so alike that they probably wouldn’t have even known it was something so different.
“We see the integration or sex of the Neanderthals about 60,000 years ago after they left Africa, and this is the event where James’ gene jumps over.
“This is the event where the gene that gives you more severe Covid jumps into the homo sapien lineage.”
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/06/09/neanderthal-gene-probably-caused-million-covid-deaths/ Neanderthal gene probably caused up to a million Covid deaths