You have allergies because your ancestors had sex with Neanderthals
BY: Troy Frisby
Undoubtedly, allergies are kind of the worst.
But at least there's an incredibly interesting reason why humans have them: because our ancestors had sex with Neanderthals.
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Neanderthals and Denisovans were living in Europe and Asia for hundreds of thousands of years.
That gave them plenty of time to adapt to the local pathogens, or anything that can cause disease.
According to studies published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, when humans made their way over from Africa about 50,000 years ago, everyone started interbreeding.
The humans took on some genes from both the Neanderthals and Denisovans. For the most part, those genes were incredibly helpful for ancient humans adapting during that period of time.
But those genes are still within us, and they overreact to foreign substances.
Intellectually, the idea is kind of cool, with the immune system trying to destroy something it sees as a threat.
If only we could harness those powers for something useful, like stopping crime, instead of turning us into sniffly, itchy, sneezy, miserable hot messes several months out of the year.
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