One You Never Saw Coming: Ozzie has Neanderthal Genes

Just Imagine. The man who bites heads off birds and fronted for the hyper-heavy metal band, Black Sabbath, has bits of Neanderthal coursing though his veins. Ozzie Osbourne joins DNA co-discoverer James Watson and Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates as persons having their entire genome sequenced and analyzed. Ozzie it seems has a little segment on his chromosome 10 that very likely traces back to a Neanderthal forebearer. Says the unflappable Ozzie, “”Given the swimming pools of booze I’ve guzzled over the years—not to mention all of the cocaine, morphine, sleeping pills, cough syrup, LSD, Rohypnol…you name it—there’s really no plausible medical reason why I should still be alive. Maybe my DNA could say why.” Brutish determination ,it seems, is the answer.  I am taking up funds to get a similar DNA sequence done for Dick Cheney. Any ideas on his forebearers? Meanwhile here’s some Black Sabbath to tide you over:

Source: Scientific American

–Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

26 thoughts on “One You Never Saw Coming: Ozzie has Neanderthal Genes”

  1. testing, please ignore.


  2. FFLEO,

    Don’t be too hard on ol’ Sharon. From what I’ve read, she’s had the patience of a saint in helping Ozzy career stay afloat (she’s heavily involved in his management) until she could help him get cleaned up. She’s annoying as Hell, I’ll give you that, but you’d have to be to be able to put up with some of the stuff Ozzy has pulled over the years.

  3. Well, I have irrefutable evidence that Ozzie is a caveman Neanderthal of the worst, dumbest sort. That is, instead of clubbing Sharon Osborne over the head and then draggin’ her back to hisn cave for matin’, he should have just clubbed her and left well enough alone.

  4. @Mespo

    I was going off of the belief that has been held the longest in science, which is that the ancestors of modern humans and neanderthals did not mate and produce offspring that turned into the modern human. Apparently, the latest research is saying that this long-held belief may not be completely true. However, I would not jump to any conclusions since new research needs to be verified by additional research before it completely eradicates the traditional view.

    It is highly plausible that the genes are really from a common ancestor, but that is not really a sensational statement at all. If that was all the researchers were saying, it wouldn’t really be that newsworthy. I remember learning that humans share about 60% of their genes with bananas.

    Anyway, thanks for posting information about this new research. I also found an interesting article about it here:

  5. Cheney would be impossible to cross-match as there are no known samples of Satan’s DNA.

  6. Elaine,

    You haven’t met my ex-wife. Although in her defense, she may not be a Neanderthal and is likely more closely related to Cheney or perhaps a lamprey.

  7. “Neanderthals Didn’t Mate With Modern Humans” (Elaine)

    Probably a drunken one-night stand down by the water hole.

  8. Earlier this year I read “Pandora’s Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization”—a book written by Spencer Wells who is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and director of the Genographic Project. In the book, Wells writes that “Neanderthal and human lineages appear to have split about 500,000 years ago, based on the levels of DNA divergence.”

    BTW, the book made for fascinating reading.

    Some links for those interested in further reading on the subject:

    Mutations in Moms’ Genes Reveal Human Migration Through the Ages
    By Brandon Kim (6/29/2007)

    DNA passed down through generations of mothers could help answer big questions about the human journey across continents, thanks to a massive new database created by the The Genographic Project.

    The project has already yielded some provocative evidence about modern humans’ interactions with Neanderthals. The DNA data shows no evidence of mutations known to be common in Neanderthals, which suggests that modern humans — at least those of European descent — may not have mated with the long-extinct humans.

    “We don’t see any Neanderthal lineages in the European gene pool,” said Spencer Wells, a population geneticist and director of the Genographic Project. “It would be my guess that there was no interbreeding. I can’t imagine that humans and Neanderthals didn’t give it a try — maybe they formed infertile offspring. But it’s speculative.”

    The database is the tip of the iceberg for a burgeoning field of science called genetic anthropology, which involves combining DNA data with physical evidence and histories of past civilizations. The database contains more samples than in any previous collection of its kind. As scientists study it further, they expect a detailed history of human migration in Europe will emerge.

    Researchers collected mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, from nearly 80,000 people, who received a report on how their ancestors came to live where they live.


    The Genographic Project News (National Geographic)

  9. Although one lives to be of service, I do hope you haven’t incurred the waking wrath of she who must be obeyed. 😉

  10. Buddha/rafflaw:

    Stop it you guys, this is a very scientific post. I’m now laughing so hard I woke up the wife!

  11. mespo,

    In re Ozzy: It makes perfect sense. Given the abuse Ozzy has subjected himself to over the years and survived, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d had Rhino DNA or perhaps a set of extra chromosomes altogether.

    In re Cheney: I not sure a blend of petroleum byproducts and demon blood have measurable DNA.

  12. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Ozzie Ozbourne is part caveman. I wouldn’t be surprised that he is actually 100% neanderthal.

  13. Anna:

    You’ve gotten hold of some bad information. Extinct does not mean that no DNA of the Neanderthals exists (there’s lots of it as noted below) nor that Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons don’t share a common ancestor. So not so curious after all.

    From Wiki:

    “Svante Pääbo has tested more than 70 Neanderthal specimens. Preliminary DNA sequencing from a 38,000-year-old bone fragment of a femur found at Vindija Cave, Croatia, in 1980 showed Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens share about 99.5% of their DNA. From mtDNA analysis estimates, the two species shared a common ancestor about 500,000 years ago. An article[36] appearing in the journal Nature has calculated the species diverged about 516,000 years ago, whereas fossil records show a time of about 400,000 years ago.[37] A 2007 study pushes the point of divergence back to around 800,000 years ago.”

  14. This is an interesting result since neanderthals went extinct and none of their DNA supposedly survived. Hmmm…

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