Synopsis main content.

Synopsis

Could Neanderthals speak? Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany—the same team that sequenced large portions of the Neanderthal genome last November—have uncovered a clue. After sequencing the DNA of a Neanderthal bone freshly excavated from a Spanish cave, the scientists found that the code for a gene implicated in speech, FOXP2, is identical in Neanderthals and humans. While many genes play a part in language capabilities, FOXP2 is the only one scientists have identified thus far.