Distant Relatives Shagging Neanderthals Invented Genital Warts

By Gary Cutlack on at

Scientists given the really shitty job of researching genital warts for the betterment of mankind think they know where they came from. Basically your dad.

Or at least your great-great-great-times-one-million-grandad, as they believe that the current form of sex warts may have been first transmitted to humans due to sex between Neanderthals and early humans. According to Molecular Biology and Evolution, the Neanderthals and Denisovans that left Africa some 500,000 years ago were loaded with a variant of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes the warts, which was passed on to Homo sapiens after some heavy nights out on the fermented fruit.

The researchers explain: "...the interbreeding events between Neanderthal and Denisovan populations with modern human ancestor populations lead to a host-switch through sexual transmission of the HPV16A virus lineage from archaic populations into the modern human ancestors. The HPV16A lineage, thus transmitted, expanded rapidly in the new host populations and became dominant in Eurasia and in the Americas."

So it was a case of getting off with someone a bit rough and waking up to regret it. Plus ça change. [MBE via Ars]

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