A close-up of the 3D printed reconstruction of a female Denisovan clay bust on a white stand in a museum.

Gene variants inherited from one of our closest extinct relatives, the Denisovans, may make carriers more likely to develop neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia, a new study suggests.

Modern humans are believed to have migrated out of Africa around 60,000 years ago and then interbred with Denisovans in Asia. As a result, traces of Denisovan DNA can be found within the genomes of some people today: About 4% to 6% of modern New Guinean and Bougainville Islander DNA is Denisovan, as well as about 0.2% of mainland Asians and Indigenous American DNA.

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