Lectures and seminars What is life? Neandertal Gene Variants and Risk of Severe COVID-19
Speaker: Hugo Zeberg, Neuroscience, KI and Max Planck Institute, Leipzig
Host: Ingemar Ernberg
Some people become seriously ill when infected with SARS-CoV-2 while others get only mild or no symptoms. In addition to risk factors such as advanced age and diabetes, gene variants also make people more or less sensitive to developing severe COVID-19. The major genetic risk factor is located on chromosome 3 and dramatically increases the risk of respiratory failure and even death. We have shown that this risk factor is inherited from Neandertals.
Hugo Zeberg did his PhD in computational neuroscience but has since shifted to evolutionary genetics. He studies gene flow from Neandertals and Denisovans into modern humans. His interest lies in genetic variability and the functional consequences thereof, particularly how archaic gene variants impact people living today.