BAMAD no.23

 DNA and 
 Anthropology Updates 

Updates in DNA studies along with Anthropological Notes of general interest with a particular emphasis on points pertinent to the study of Ancient Israelite Ancestral Connections to Western Peoples as explained in Brit-Am studies.


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Brit-Am Anthropology and DNA Update
1. DNA of Ancient and Modern Sardinia
2. Latin America: A Mixed Population
3. Why men should pair off with younger women
4. We prefer people we think are similar to ourselves
5. Optimistic mothers have boys, study says

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1. DNA of Ancient and Modern Sardinia
(a) Ancient mtDNA from Late Bronze and Iron Age Sardinia
From the paper:
In the multidimensional scaling of Fig. 3, Nuragic Sardinians cluster with the majority of the European populations. Given the small sample size, inevitable in ancient DNA studies, it is at present impossible to infer their evolutionary relationships from mtDNA aYnities. Nevertheless, in relation with ancient samples, Nuragic Sardinians appear more related to the Iberians than to the Etruscans, whose position in the graph is eccentric. Three data points are not enough for a robust generalisation. However, one can at least conclude that Sardinians and Iberians show a greater genealogical continuity with the Bronze-Age inhabitants of the same regions than the Tuscans.

Human Genetics Volume 122, Numbers 3-4 / November, 2007. DOI: 10.1007/s00439-007-0403-6

Abstract We sampled teeth from 53 ancient Sardinian (Nuragic) individuals who lived in the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age, between 3,430 and 2,700 years ago. After eliminating the samples that, in preliminary biochemical tests, did not show a high probability to yield reproducible results, we obtained 23 sequences of the mitochondrial DNA control region, which were associated to haplogroups by comparison with a dataset of modern sequences. The Nuragic samples show a remarkably low genetic diversity, comparable to that observed in ancient Iberians, but much lower than among the Etruscans. Most of these sequences have exact matches in two modern Sardinian populations, supporting a clear genealogical continuity from the Late Bronze Age up to current times. The Nuragic populations appear to be part of a large and geographically unstructured cluster of modern European populations, thus making it difficult to infer their evolutionary relationships. However, the low levels of genetic diversity, both within and among ancient samples, as opposed to the sharp differences among modern Sardinian samples, support the hypothesis of the expansion of a small group of maternally related individuals, and of comparatively recent differentiation of the Sardinian gene pools.

(b) Brit-Am Notes:
(1) Wikipedia: Sardinia
 Y Chromosome
The original Nuraghe inhabitants of Sardinia, who are now concentrated in the interior of the island due to pressure from colonists, are a genetic anomaly[citation needed] in the region. They belong to Y-chromosome haplogroup I, which otherwise has high frequency only in Scandinavia and the Croatia-Bosnia area.

Furthermore, the I haplogroup of the indigenous Sardinians is of the I1b1b subtype, which is unique to the island. The I1b1b haplogroup also has a low distribution in and around the Pyrenees, indicating some migration of Sardinians to or from that area. The Sardinian subtype is more closely related to the Croatian-Bosnian subtype than to the Scandinavian subtype. Sardinia also has a relatively high distribution of Y-chromosome haplogroup G, stemming from people that migrated to Sardinia from Anatolia. The Y-chromosome haplogroup G also has a relatively high concentration in and around the Pyrenees, again indicating migration of Sardinians to or from that area.

(2) Changes of Population?
We saw remarks to the effect that the population of Sardina had changed several times due to exterminations and expulsions followed by re-colonization.
The above sources however indicate a continuity.

2. Latin America: A Mixed Population
Study unlocks Latin American past
The arrival of Europeans changed more than just the landscape
European colonisation of South America resulted in a dramatic shift from a native American population to a largely mixed one, a genetic study has shown.

It suggests male European settlers mated with native and African women, and slaughtered the men.

But it adds that areas like Mexico City "still preserve the genetic heritage" because these areas had a high number of natives at the time of colonisation.

The findings appear in the journal Public Library of Science Genetics.

The international team of researchers wrote: "The history of Latin America has entailed a complex process of population mixture between natives and recent immigrants across a vast geographic region.

"Few details are known about this process or about how it shaped the genetic make-up of Latin American populations."

'Clear signature'

The study examined 249 unrelated individuals from 13 Mestizo populations (people from a mixed European/native American origin) in seven countries, ranging from Chile in the south to Mexico in the north.

 Not only did the European settlers take away land and property, they also took away the women.
"There is a clear genetic signature," explained lead author Andres Luiz-Linares from University College London.

"The initial mixing occurred predominately between immigrant and European men and native and African women."

He said that the study showed that it was a pattern that was uniform across Latin America.

"We see it in all the populations we examined, so it is clearly a historical fact that the ancestors of these populations can be traced to matings between immigrant men and native and African women."

The researchers found that within the genetic landscape of Latin America, there were variations.

"The Mestizo with the highest native ancestry are in areas which historically have had relatively large native populations," they reported.

This included Andean regions and cities such as Mexico City, where major civilisations were already established by the time Europeans reached the continent in the late 15th Century.

"By contrast, the Mestizo with the highest European ancestry are from areas with relatively low pre-Columbian native population density and where the current native population is sparse," they added.

Bloody past

Explaining the fate of native males when the Europeans arrived, Professor Luiz-Linares said: "It is a very sad and terrible historical fact, they were basically annihilated.

"Not only did the European settlers take away land and property, they also took away the women and, as much as possible, they exterminated the men."

He said the findings could help people change their perception of Latin American history.

"It is very important in terms of rescuing the past and recognising the roots of the population, and the living presence of natives within the current population," Professor Luiz-Linares explained.

As well as providing an insight into the past, the team hopes that the findings will also help shape studies aimed at identifying and analysing diseases.

3. Why men should pair off with younger women

4. We prefer people we think are similar to ourselves

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 10:01pm GMT 17/03/2008
The roots of being able to discriminate between races may go deep, according to a 2006 study at Tel Aviv University which involved caucasian infants raised in Israel, African infants raised in Ethiopia, and Ethiopian infants raised in Israel.

The team found that when presented with photos on a screen, the white Israeli infants preferred looking at new faces of their own race; African babies raised in Ethiopia preferred to look at African faces. But the Ethiopian-Israeli infants, who had been exposed since birth to people of both races, showed no preference.

5. Optimistic mothers have boys, study says
Women who believe they are going to live for a long time are more likely to give birth to sons than less optimistic women, a new study suggests.

Researchers reached the strange conclusion after completing a survey of British women who had recently become mothers. They found that for every extra year a woman thought she was going to live, the odds of her firstborn being a boy increased significantly.

See also:
BAMAD Archives
DNA Refuted. The "Cohen Gene"
R1b The Western Japhet?? or not?
haplogroup I
Brit-Am DNA
Queries about Race

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