This week, the full high-quality genome sequencing of Neanderthals' DNA was made available for free online. Research into cross-breeding between Homo Sapiens (modern humans) and Neanderthals demonstrates sharing of some DNA that's important for the immune system.
However, researchers believe that these shared genes may also be responsible for autoimmune diseases. The allele most closely associated with Behcet's Disease, HLA-B51, has been specifically identified as one coming from Neanderthals. Therefore, those of you with a positive HLA-B51 (especially subtypes B510101 or B5108) might have been susceptible to developing an autoimmune disease like Behcet's because of this foreign Neanderthal DNA in your genes.
Of course, much more research needs to be done on these and similar findings, and this will be made easier now that Neanderthal DNA is available online for free. For example, are all autoimmune diseases triggered by having foreign Neanderthal DNA? No one knows yet. What about those of us with Behcet's who test negative for HLA-B51, like me?
What is known so far about the genetics of Behcet's is complicated and preliminary:
Info about this Behcet's/Neanderthals connecction was first reported two years ago (see link below). So the only new information is the full Neanderthal DNA being published online this week, hopefully so researchers around the world can conduct more studies -- especially into the genetics of autoimmune diseases.
From 2011: guardian.co.uk/science/blog...