BAMAD no.52

 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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BAMAD no. 52
Brit-Am Anthropology and DNA Update
14 May 2009, 20 Iyar 5769
1. Do Cold and gloomy climates stimulate the Intellect?
Britain's gloomy weather boosts the brain, claim Australian scientists
2. The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans
3. Non-Paternity Events

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1. Do Cold and gloomy climates stimulate the Intellect?
Britain's gloomy weather boosts the brain, claim Australian scientists

Cheer up! Britain's gloomy weather may not be good for the soul but it's great for the mind, claim scientists in sunny Australia.
By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent

Extracts Only:
Psychologists have discovered that people performed better in memory tests when the weather was bad and they were feeling grumpy.
The research discovered that the worse the weather and the more depressed the individual, the sharper their brain.
The findings were made by the University of New South Wales School of Psychology. The team carried out the study by questioning shoppers at a Sydney store over two months.
They tested their memory and found that they recalled three times as much information when the weather was bad and they were feeling down.
Professor Joe Forgas, who led the research, said: "It seems counter-intuitive but a little bit of sadness is a good thing.
"People performed much better on our memory test when the weather was unpleasant and they were in a slightly negative mood.
"On bright sunny days, when they were more likely to be happy and carefree, they flunked it."
The research mirrors previous research that showed that gloomy students received better grades than those that were happy.

"They point to a growing body of evidence that the way people think, the quality of their judgements and the accuracy of their memory are all significantly influenced by positive and negative moods," the researchers said.
They concluded that "memory is far more accurate" on gloomy days.

Professor Forgas added: "More and more evidence from experiments like this is showing that mild, fleeting moods can have a profound yet subconscious influence on how people think and deal with information.

"Being happy tends to promote a thinking style that is less focused on our surroundings. In a positive mood we are more likely to make more snap judgments about people we meet. We are more forgetful and yet we are paradoxically far more likely to be overconfident that our recall is correct.

"Mild negative mood, in turn, tends to increase attention to our surroundings and produce a more careful, thorough thinking style.
"Accurately remembering mundane, everyday scenes is a difficult and demanding task, yet such memories can be of crucial importance in everyday life, as well as in forensic and legal practice.

2. The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans
Extracts Only:
Sarah A. Tishkoff 1*, Floyd A. Reed 2{dagger}, Fran oise R. Friedlaender 3{dagger}, Christopher Ehret 4, Alessia Ranciaro 5{ddagger}, Alain Froment 6{ddagger}, Jibril B. Hirbo 1, Agnes A. Awomoyi 7, Jean-Marie Bodo 8, Ogobara Doumbo 9, Muntaser Ibrahim 10, Abdalla T. Juma 10, Maritha J. Kotze 11, Godfrey Lema 12, Jason H. Moore 13, Holly Mortensen 14, Thomas B. Nyambo 12, Sabah A. Omar 15, Kweli Powell 16, Gideon S. Pretorius 17, Michael W. Smith 18, Mahamadou A. Thera 9, Charles Wambebe 19, James L. Weber 20, Scott M. Williams 21

We studied 121 African populations, 4
African American populations, and 60 non-African populations for patterns of variation at 1327 nuclear microsatellite and insertion/deletion markers. We identified 14 ancestral population clusters in Africa that correlate with self-described ethnicity and shared cultural and/or linguistic properties. We observe high levels of mixed ancestry in most populations, reflecting historic migration events across the continent. Our data also provide evidence for shared ancestry among geographically diverse hunter-gatherer populations (Khoesan-speakers and Pygmies). The ancestry of African Americans is predominantly from Niger-Kordofanian (~71%), European (~13%), and other African (~8%) populations, although admixture levels varied considerably among individuals. This study helps tease apart the complex evolutionary history of Africans and African Americans, aiding both anthropological and genetic epidemiologic studies.

3. NonNon-Paternity Events
Some interesting articles and surprising information
Statistics maybe of  questionable reliability: Sometimes they are based on extrapolations from inherited medical conditions where the underlying assumptions are incorrect. Other sources are inferences from paternity tests but only men with a motivation to take tests are liable to do so.

Statistical Normalcy is that of a society with family values, economic and social stability, and relative egalitarianism.
In such cases the figure will be from 1.3 to 2 %. Examples of such groupings include Orthodox Jews, Mormons, similar religious groups, the citizens of Switzerland.
In promiscuous societies it reaches up to 30% but seems to taper off after that.

Quotations below are presented for the sake of interest.
They are not necessarily to be presumed reliable.

Canada 10%

"that as many as 30 percent of American, British and Italian babies are secretly illegitimate"
the rate of "false paternity" in the U.S. is estimated to be between two and five percent
An evolutionary biologist at the University of Manchester estimates that in 10 percent of British births, the mother was sleeping with a man who had "stronger" sperm than her husband.
10.1% from Schact and Gershowitz in a study of correlation between blood groups and fatal pediatric diseases for negroes.

"Men with high paternity confidence (subjects in genetic studies) have very low rates of nonpaternity (median = 1.9%, N = 22).
Men with extremely low paternity confidence (cases of disputed paternity resulting in paternity tests) have much higher levels of nonpaternity (median = 30.2%, N = 30).
When the high and unknown paternity confidence samples are combined, the median nonpaternity is 3.9% (range: 0.4 ? 32.0)."

"On the whole, the evidence suggests relatively low rates of misattributed paternity, at least in Western countries - perhaps between 1% and 3%". (This statement appears to be based on "inspection" rather than "statistics").

England (Liverpool): ... Blood group studies indicate levels of paternal discrepancy .... up to 20-30% ....

"Actual figures range from 1 percent in high-status areas of the United States and Switzerland, to 5 to 6 percent for moderate-status males in the United States and Great Britain, to 10 to 30 percent for lower-status males in the United States, Great Britain and France. Moreover, the men most likely to sexually hoodwink the lower-status males are men of higher status."

Sephardic Kohanim (Jewish priests): 0.4%.
Ashkenazic Kohanim (Jewish priests): 1.2%

"These low estimates of around one to three per cent from UK laboratories carrying out pre-natal diagnosis for cystic fibrosis are probably the most accurate estimates":

"And it turns out that misattributed paternity is as minimal as 1% among very high-status American males but up to 30% among unemployed, deprived, inner-city males."

"In Utah, or at least in the families at the heart of the various genetics studies over the years, the rate of "nonpaternity," as it is called, is less than 1 percent, private industry researchers and University of Utah scientists say. "They stick to their knitting," said Mark Skolnick, the chief scientist at Myriad Genetic Inc."

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