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. 67
Brit-Am Anthropology and DNA Update
3 January 2010, 15 Tevet 5770
1. Argentinean Ancestry
2. Personality Judgments Based on Physical Appearance
3. MtDNA and Environmental Influence
4. The Importance of mtDNA and Historical Changes
mtDNA selection in Iceland?
5. Brit-Am DNA Project to be Placed on BackBurner for Time Being
1. Argentinean Ancestry
New comprehensive study on continental ancestry of Argentineans (Corach et al.
An interesting find from the study:
Whereas 96% of the individuals with European surnames carried European
Y-chromosomes, 50% of the samples from individuals with Amerindian surnames had
European Y chromosomes.
The combined use of Y-chromosome, mtDNA, and autosomal markers in a sample gives
us a rare opportunity to see how well inferences of ancestry from uniparental
markers matches with that from autosomal ones:
European ancestry in mtDNA (44.3%) and Y-chromosome (94.1%) gives an estimate of
69.2%, compared to 78.6% for autosomal markers. Native S. American in mtDNA
(53.7%) and Y-chromosome (4.9%) gives an estimate of 29.3%, compared to 17.28%
for autosomal markers. Finally, African mtDNA (2%) and Y-chromosomes (0.9%)
gives an estimate of 1.45% compared to 4.15% for the autosomal markers.
2. Personality Judgments Based on
Laura P. Naumann et al.
Despite the crucial role of physical appearance in forming first impressions,
little research has examined the accuracy of personality impressions based on
appearance alone. This study examined the accuracy of observers' impressions on
10 personality traits based on full-body photographs using criterion measures
based on self and peer reports. When targets, posture and expression were
constrained (standardized condition), observers' judgments were accurate for
extraversion, self-esteem, and religiosity. When targets were photographed with
a spontaneous pose and facial expression (spontaneous condition), observers'
judgments were accurate for almost all of the traits examined. Lens model
analyses demonstrated that both static cues (e.g., clothing style) and dynamic
cues (e.g., facial expression, posture) offered valuable personality-relevant
information. These results suggest that personality is manifested through both
static and expressive channels of appearance, and observers use this information
to form accurate judgments for a variety of traits.
and Environmental Influence
Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup
However Balloux et al. (2009) have shown that mtDNA also correlates with climate
and that temperature-based natural selection has helped shape global mtDNA
patterns so that the assumption of pure genetic drift may be incorrect.
The worm in the fruit of the mitochondrial DNA tree
4. The Importance of
and Historical Changes
selection in Iceland?
In other ancient European samples, it is pretty clear that selection must
explain differences in mtDNA haplotype frequencies over time. Neolithic Germans
were dominated by a haplotype that is vanishingly rare in Europe today ("Early
European mtDNA: only mysterious if you want it to be"). Similar but less extreme
results are also true of medieval British and medieval Danes. All over Europe,
some mtDNA haplotypes have been proliferating in the last few thousand years,
and others have been declining. That is in accordance with other evidence that
mtDNA has been selected in recent populations (Mitochondrial DNA adaptations in
living human populations"), as well as the associations of various mtDNA
haplotypes with human chronic diseases.
Humans are not exceptional here, either -- for example medieval skeletons of
Scandinavian dogs show mtDNA selection has happened to them, too.
Human mtDNA variants have been found to be associated with chronic diseases of
aging , brain disorders (Zhu et al. 2004), performance in athletes (Niemi and
Majamaa 2005), and longevity itself (Niemi et al. 2005). The present pattern of
variation also appears to be correlated with climate (Ruiz-Pesini et al. 2004),
and may affect the dietary energetics and insulin metabolism (Lowell and
Simply put, variation in mtDNA is a strong target for further research into the
effects of aging, metabolism, and disorders of the brain for a reason: it
impacts all these areas strongly.
5. Brit-Am DNA Project to be Placed on
for Time Being
Our proposed incursion into the field of commenting on personal DNA results etc
will not go into
effect in the near future if at all.
We simply lack the background, expertise, time, and resources to do justice to
such an endeavor.
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