Archaeologists discovered that babies with Down syndrome were buried in prehistoric times 03:18

An international team of scientists from Germany, Spain, Finland and other countries analyzed the genomes of nearly 10,000 ancient people to search for cases of chromosomal disorders. The study was published in the scientific journal magazine Nature Communications (NatComms).

During the study, experts examined materials dating back 5 thousand to 2.5 thousand years ago from graves on the territory of Spain’s Iberian Peninsula.

The DNA study showed that of 9,855 genomes tested, six cases of trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) and one case of trisomy 18 (the rarer and more severe Edwards syndrome) were found. In all cases, the owners of the defective chromosomes died either before or shortly after their birth.

Scientists noted that the prevalence of Down syndrome at the end of the Stone Age and the beginning of the Iron Age was four times lower than modern rates, and this was explained by the high mortality rate at birth.

Experts also found that despite external signs of genetic defects in children, ancient people treated them as members of their own community and gave them all due respect during funeral rites.

Previous scientists clarified The mystery of the oldest mummies in Egypt.

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Source: Gazeta


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