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Tibetans get high-altitude edge from extinct Denisovans' genes

Tibetans get high-altitude edge from extinct Denisovans' genes

Forget climbing Mt. Everest — for most humans, just eking out a living on the harsh Tibetan plateau is challenge enough. But Tibetan people have thrived there for thousands of years, and a new study says it's thanks to a genetic adaptation they inherited from an ancient human relative.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, identifies a long segment of DNA shared by the extinct people known as Denisovans and modern-day Tibetans. The segment contains the gene scientists think gives Tibetans a lung up over lowlanders at high altitudes.

No one knew the Denisovans ever...

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