272: Neanderthal Grabby Hands

272: Neanderthal Grabby Hands

Brain Junk
Brain Junk
272: Neanderthal Grabby Hands

In Northern Europe, up to 30% of men over the age of 60 can be affected by Dupuytren’s Disease. Hand and finger tendons thicken and contract causing permanent loss of mobility. Turns out this disease is a leftover from Neanderthal genes.

Show notes:

Molecular Biology and Evolution article: Major Genetic Risk Factors for Dupuytren’s Disease Are Inherited From Neandertals June 2023

Dupuytren Contracture: what exactly is it and how does it affect a person’s hands

Nature Ecology and Evolution article: Encounters with archaic hominins Nov 2018

The sailor’s handshake and syphilis

Amy mentioned the book The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels and how it led her on a deep dive into handshakes

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