YouTube celebrity: E. Asians “better at perception than Europeans” but not as fast “at processing language”
From his YouTube bio:
I’m Hesham and I graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2016. I’m currently a student doctor and I publish medical and health videos here on YouTube. I took the decision to do this after witnessing firsthand how doctors and other healthcare professionals tended to speak “over” rather than “to” their patients. With this in mind, I took the decision to start this YouTube channel where I publish medical and health videos and do my best to make them as accessible and engaging (and entertaining?) as possible. Because I genuinely think that science and medicine *can be* fun, so long as you present them in the right way.
On Oct. 10, Hesham uploaded a video on “Neanderthal DNA a Risk Factor for Corona virus.”
“2020 has basically been the year of the Coronavirus… we’re all just basically living in the shadows of Sars Covid 2. Over the last 12 months some risk factors have clearly emerged for developing Covid 19… old age… preexisting conditions like heart disease, diabetes…”
“Africans whose ancestors never left Africa have very little Neanderthal DNA”
Hesham goes on to quote geneticist Svante Pääbo, a favorite of this site :
They published a paper in Nature through genome wide association studies they were able to identify 6 genes all located next to each other on Chromosome 3. The study in Nature: “The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals.”
“Basically, if you have these 6 genes you are significantly more likely to develop the more severe form of COVID-19… and scientists are pretty sure we got these genes from our extinct Neanderthal cousins.”
Hesham then gives a detailed explanation of Neanderthals splitting off from Homo sapiens. He explains Neanderthals and Homo sapiens interbred on two separate occasions, the latest being 50,000 years ago.
“This explains why people of different ethnic backgrounds, have different levels of Neanderthal DNA. It all depends on whether your ancestors interbred with Neanderthals once or twice, or none at all. Africans whose ancestors never left Africa have very little Neanderthal DNA.”
He then drops a bombshell. 7 minutes in…
“Actually it suggested that the differences we see in Neanderthal genes we see in different humans today could explain some of the ethnic differences that exist among humans. Like why East Asians have slightly larger brains than Europeans, that are better at perception than European brains, but have to work harder at processing language.”
Watch Hesham’s most excellent video on Neanderthal DNA and COVID-19 at YouTube. And as he requests, hit the Like button and Subscribe.