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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:10 AM

DNA study traces ancestry of Native Americans to Beijing

Present-day Asians and Native Americans are descended from a group of people who were already in China 40,000 years ago, according to an analysis of fossil DNA published this week.
The genetic analysis showed that the early modern humans in Beijing had already diverged genetically from the ancestors of modern-day Europeans.
The researchers took nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from a leg bone found in the Tianyuan Cave in China in 2003.


Using this, they reconstructed the genetic profile of the leg’s owner, a person who lived at a very interesting time in the history of modern humans, the researchers said in a statement Monday.
“This individual lived during an important evolutionary transition when early modern humans, who shared certain features with earlier forms such as Neanderthals, were replacing Neanderthals and Denisovans, who later became extinct,” said lead author Svante Paabo, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
The genetic analysis from the ancient bone showed similarities to genetic profiles from modern-day Asians and Native Americans, the researchers explained.

But the analysis showed that the early modern human near Beijing had already diverged, genetically, from the ancestors of modern Europeans.
In addition, the proportion of Neanderthal and Denisovan-DNA was no higher than that of modern-day humans in the region.
Scientists had previously found fossils of people from Eurasia 40,000 to 50,000 years ago who looked like modern-day humans.
But the researchers emphasized that the genetic relationships between these early modern humans and today’s people had not yet been fleshed out.
“More analyses of additional early modern humans across Eurasia will further refine our understanding"



http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/22/dna-study-traces-ancestry-of-native-americans-to-beijing/

15 replies, 1848 views

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:12 AM

1. Cool.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:59 AM

11. Rawstory rewrote the title and got it false though, dumbing down complexity.

This is shared ancestry and not traced ancestry, it is DNA comparison with a sample of one person in one group of the comparison.

The math of demographic genetics elucidates very different perspectives on the significance of the finding. The post 70 kya bottleneck means founder effects and rebound effects, with long-term genetic swamping from sheer numbers advantage of refugia regions imparting the small proportion of Neanderthal and Denisovian DNA remaining in those descendants today.

Everyone with a little bit of Neanderthal DNA, roughly all non-Africans, and everyone with a little Denisovian DNA, another giant segment, has sufficient ancestors in those branches long ago to have had some of that DNA propagate in their family until the present.

The human gene pool has had episodes of isolation, when the ocean became separate lakes, and of crossing geographic bottlenecks and founding new expansive genetic pools. DNA is going to fill in a big story, but first we need to understand what the implications of findings are. How will the story change when we have a sample of two, or thirty?

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:08 AM

2. Uh, there were no Chinese restaurants in Beijing....

...40,000 years ago. The existence of Beijing is just a minor hyperbole on the part of the author of the article.

Otherwise, yeah! Understanding the structure of DNA (Franklin, Gosling, Crick & Watson), plus the abilities to extract DNA from fossils, and rapidly sequence and compare, provides an amazing set of tools for understanding animal evolutionary development and distribution.

Maybe we should get together at Lee Ho Fooks to discuss this...over a big dish of Beef Chow Mein. Aaahoo!

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Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:05 AM

3. If you're in Beijing, they wouldn't be called *Chinese* restaurants.

They're just restaurants.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:25 AM

4. They went from here to there.

...it is said.

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Response to Berlum (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:38 AM

10. ''There is no shelter for evil.''

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:36 AM

5. The DNA link between Asians and Native Americans is always an interesting read. n/t

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:44 AM

6. By Native Americans are they talking about all the pre-Colombian natives in all the Americas?

I've seen documentaries linking some South American ancient people with Africans.

Interesting subject.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:45 AM

8. Something like that.

It would not be good to push the idea too far, lots of inference and speculation in all this.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:45 AM

7. This has been suspected for a very long time.

There is a map in the Smithsonian that I saw many decades ago that showed the same familiar Asian facial features from China, all the way down to the San Blas Indians of Panama.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:45 PM

14. My attention was caught by the clothing similarities as well. The Mosuo of Tibet are a matriarchal

group and their clothing styles, weaving, and color schemes are very reminiscent of NA in the Americas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosuo

With google image the striking similarities are even more obvious when you have a whole array of outfits all lined up.

I've often thought that these more primitive cultures that stress matriarchy are probably more "true" to our real heritage than a patriarchy. Women are so obviously more "powerful" as those who birth life and sustain infants to health and vitality during the child's early years. I can't imagine the brutality it took to destroy that power and institute men as more "powerful" than women in a culture like that.

Fascinating article though. K&R



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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:20 AM

9. Tianyuan Cave is 30 miles SW of Beijing.

Science News = http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130121161802.htm

A Relative from the Tianyuan Cave: Humans Living 40,000 Years Ago Likely Related to Many Present-Day Asians and Native Americans

Jan. 21, 2013 — Ancient DNA has revealed that humans living some 40,000 years ago in the area near Beijing were likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans.

An international team of researchers including Svante Pääbo and Qiaomei Fu of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, sequenced nuclear and mitochondrial DNA that had been extracted from the leg of an early modern human from Tianyuan Cave near Beijing, China. Analyses of this individual's DNA showed that the Tianyuan human shared a common origin with the ancestors of many present-day Asians and Native Americans. In addition, the researchers found that the proportion of Neanderthal and Denisovan-DNA in this early modern human is not higher than in people living in this region .....

.... "More analyses of additional early modern humans across Eurasia will further refine our understanding of when and how modern humans spread across Europe and Asia," says Svante Pääbo.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:02 AM

12. A good read here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21123717

... Research in the last few years has shown that early modern humans interbred with ancient human species such as the Neanderthals and Denisovans as they migrated from Africa and settled across the world.

Around 40,000 years ago ... Genetic studies of people living at this important crossover period could help scientists understand when and how this interbreeding took place. ...

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:26 PM

13. Thanks for the links! Interesting subject. nt

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:51 PM

15. some present day chinese ethnic groups

share physical traits very similar to Native Americans. I've always been intrigued by how similar Tibetans and Mongolians, and native North Americans look for instance. Also, the similarities of teepees and yurts.

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