Julianne Moore, Neanderthal goddess?
Adds Dr. Clive Finlayson, director of the Gibraltar Museum, "It suggests there may be a propensity towards the reduction of melanin in populations away from the tropics. If the Neanderthal and modern variants are different, it may be a good example of parallel, or convergent evolution - a similar evolutionary response to the same situation."
However, it is not likely that the lovely Julianne Moore has any Neanderthal ancestors. According to Dr. Lalueza-Fox, the Neanderthal version of the gene is not found in modern humans, which suggests that Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons did not breed with each other.
The BBC also has a couple of interesting articles here and here about prevailing theories as to why the Neanderthals were displaced by our Cro-Magnon ancestors and eventually perished in their last refuge in southern Spain. The main causes put forth thus far seem to be a combination of climate change and inferiority to Cro-Magnons either in terms of technology or intelligence. One idea that occurred to me that I did not see discussed is whether it was possible that the Neanderthals may have been susceptible to diseases to which the Cro-Magnons were immune. A stark example of this from recent recorded history is the tremendous devastation that smallpox inflicted on the native American population from the time of Hernando Cortez. I don't know if this possibility was already considered and discarded, but if it has not, maybe it is something worth exploring.