BAMAD no.66

 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. 66
Brit-Am Anthropology and DNA Update
17 December 2009, 30 Kislev 5770
1. Jewish Ancestry in between Europe and the Middle East
2. Question about the Proposed Brit-Am DNA Service and Taking a Test at Present
3. Environmental Influence on mt[female-transmitted]DNA Markers
4. People who look young for their age 'live longer'
5. Brit-Am Vindicated Yet Again! Environmental Influence on DNA

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1. Jewish Ancestry inbetween Europe and the Middle East
Brit-Am Explanation:

The study below analyzed autosomal microsatellite loci
i.e. points on chromosomes that are common to both male and female and not peculiar to only one of the sexes.
[Most DNA studies nowadays focus on either on the Y (male only) chromosome on or
mtDNA which concerns only the females.]
features for some reason seem to be considered more likely to have been affected by environment.

Genomic microsatellites identify shared Jewish ancestry intermediate between Middle Eastern and European populations

BMC Genetics 2009, 10:80 doi:10.1186/1471-2156-10-80
Naama M Kopelman et al

Background: Genetic studies have often produced conflicting results on the question of whether distant Jewish populations in different geographic locations share greater genetic similarity to each other or instead, to nearby non-Jewish populations. We perform a genome-wide population-genetic study of Jewish populations, analyzing 678 autosomal microsatellite loci in 78 individuals from four Jewish groups together with similar data on 321 individuals from 12 non-Jewish Middle Eastern and European populations.
Results: We find that the Jewish populations show a high level of genetic similarity to each other, clustering together in several types of analysis of population structure.
Further, Bayesian clustering, neighbor-joining trees, and multidimensional scaling place the Jewish populations as intermediate between the non-Jewish Middle Eastern  and European populations.
Conclusion: These results support the view that the Jewish populations largely share a common Middle Eastern ancestry and that over their history they have undergone varying degrees of admixture with non-Jewish populations of European descent.

2. Question about the Proposed Brit-Am DNA Service and Taking a Test at Present

Dear Yair,

Regarding DNA project by Brit-am.

I was wondering, if Brit-am wants to analyze DNA, would it be possible to get a lot of data from the National Geography project??nbsp; They have a lot of data.?nbsp; Or do you have in mind that those who believe they are from the 10 lost tribes would have their data collected together and show more of a pattern, is why you are interested in this project??nbsp; We had considered having more DNA testing done by the National Geographic project but we can wait for a while longer if it will be more beneficial to the info about the 10 tribes?

Keep your thoughts about this coming.

Charlotte Mecklenburg

Brit-Am Reply:
If we go ahead with the Brit-Am DNA Project we will be glad to obtain date from wherever it is may be available. This is our practice in every other field of research.
We would advice you and anybody else who may be considering taking a DNA test to go ahead and do so.
Certainly do not hold yourselves up on our account.
We are still in the planning stage or even just before it. We are talking and that is about it. Based on past experience this could go on indefinitely or it could suddenly take on a life of its own.
The idea at present is that people take DNA tests either through a DNA Service we intermediate with or otherwise. We take the results and analyze them and submit a report. We also would take the results of those who have done a DNA test elsewhere and analyze them as well.
We would do this for a fee.
We see our suggestion as providing a needed service,  possibly providing Brit-Am with extra information, and last but not least, providing Brit-Am with an additional source of income. At present through offerings and sales of publications we function but there is not much of a surplus and often there is a lack of needed finance. The proposed service would be intended to help stabilize the situation.

3. Environmental Influence on mt[female-transmitted]DNA Markers
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 11:48:32 +1300
From: Alister John Marsh
Subject: Re: [DNA] R-U152 and R-L21 on the European Continent


You said....

Perhaps it is necessary to turn to the chemistry of the system to understand why it is a weak assumption to take a snapshot of what is evident from today (e.g., via father - son observation of mutation rates), and say that it must have been so in the past.  The more I learn about the process of methylation, and the role of histones in gene expression and other genetic mechanisms, the more it becomes apparent that environmental factors (which of course have not been constant over the eons) can impact on what occurs at the genomic level.  Basically, in my view, without considering epigentics the snapshot is going to be very blurry and the interpretation of what is seen could be out and out wrong.  Mutation rates may have to consider both time and place.  Boil it down and what I am saying is that the confidence interval of any interclade date proposed is likely so large as to afford a very high probability of being vastly off the mark when sailing in the waters beyond "genealogical time" (e.g., 1300 AD or so when surnames were adopted).

Dr. Zhivotovsky has at least offered one approach that would compensate to a degree for the above, but I would argue that using a single figure for such a complex process may "work" some of the time and for some locations, but surely it is not able to capture the spectrum of change from the "Dark Ages" through the mists of early time (e.g., Paleolithic).

My views are similar to yours on this. 

Recently I was rewatching a programme on plagues and mutations which provided resistance to plagues.  There was statistical evidence given that a population hit drastically by one plague incident many hundreds of years ago had selected certain mutations for survival above others in those communities, and those mutations were more common today in that isolated community than in neighbouring communities which missed that severe plague.

All or most Y-DNA mutations may seem benign in a comfortable environment, and may be passed on for hundreds of years.  But if a major stressor hits a population, plague, famine, tsunami, volcano, war or whatever, it may place for the first time evolutionary pressures on the survival of some mutations which have seemed benign for hundreds or thousands of years.  Using father-son mutation rates to infer long term rates "may" be risky. 

In the case of mtDNA SNP mutations, one study involving Iceland suggested that when part of a population moved from the ancestral environment to quite different environment, the rate of accumulation of SNP mutations differed between the home population and the relocated population, where different evolutionary pressures were present. 

I wonder if it is possible that some seemingly benign Y-DNA STR mutations might be either advantageous or disadvantageous in the face of "severe" population stressors. We would not detect this effect in father son studies in a comfortable environment.

Even social structure might affect survival of Y-DNA mutations to some degree. In polygamist societies where a dominant male has many wives, Y-DNA STR/ SNP mutations may be involved to some degree in selecting the alpha male, if surviving intense competition is necessary to father the bulk of the next generation.

In a non polygamist society, where modern medicine and science keep the weak child alive at birth, most males survive, and have an opportunity to breed and pass on their less favourable mutations.  They may even pass on beneficial mutations which might have been lost had they not survived at birth with the help of modern medicine.  What ever is going on is likely to be extraordinarily complex.

Some good well dated archaeological Y-DNA would be interesting evidence to consider.


4. People who look young for their age 'live longer'

People blessed with youthful faces are more likely to live to a ripe old age than those who look more than their years, work shows.

Danish scientists say appearance alone can predict survival, after they studied 387 pairs of twins.

The researchers asked nurses, trainee teachers and peers to guess the age of the twins from mug shots.

Those rated younger-looking tended to outlive their older-looking sibling, the British Medical Journal reports.

The researchers also found a plausible biological explanation for their results.

Key pieces of DNA called telomeres, which indicate the ability of cells to replicate, are also linked to how young a person looks.

In the study, the people who looked younger had longer telomeres.

 It's probably a combination of genes plus environment over a lifetime that are important
UK expert Professor Tim Spector

Professor Tim Spector, a UK expert who has been doing his own twin research, said:

"It's probably a combination of genes plus environment over a lifetime that are important."

He said the findings also show that people are good at assessing how well someone is and that doctors should eyeball their patients.

"If a patient looks older than their years then perhaps they should be more concerned," he said.

5. Brit-Am Vindicated Yet Again! Environmental Influence on DNA:
The articles below show regular environmental influence on DNA. This was expected and known about.
The influences however appear to take place MUCH QUICKER THAN IS USUALLY ADMITTED!
We are influenced by pour environment and this influence is genetically transmitted!
This is what Brit-Am has been saying all along!

Concerning those DNA genes that determine modern racial classifications:
Mt[female-transmitted]DNA is influenced by the environment as has been proven and is now being admitted.
The only question that remain are how radical the changes are and how quickly they take place, i.e. one generation? three generations? a hundred? thousand?
Y [male-transmitted] Chromosome DNA MUST ALSO BE AFFECTED BY ENVIRONMENT!
The experts have yet to openly admit this.

Where you live can affect your genes
By Nicky Phillips for ABC Science Online

NCSU research: In habitats, houses or tents, lifestyle affects health

International Team IDs Gene Expression Mediators in Moroccan Populations

From: Craig Blackwood
You may be interested in this article

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