Friday, September 23, 2011

First Aboriginal genome sequenced

Previous genetic studies on modern Asian and Oceanic populations have suggested a single migration that eventually led to all modern populations in Asia, Australia, and Oceania today. However, sequence analysis of this first aboriginal genome is strongly suggestive of two waves of migration. The first migrants branched off from African humans around 60,000 years ago and constituted the ancestors of modern Papua New Guineans, Australians, and Oceanians. The second wave of migrants were the ancestors of modern mainland Asians.

Further supporting this theory was the discovery that a small portion of the aboriginal genome is derived from Neanderthals and another small chunk is distinctly Denisovan. Papua New Guineans were previously thought to be the only population with Denisovan-derived DNA (until now!). Looks like that first wave of migrants were getting down and dirty, while the second wave kept it clean (to be fair, the Denisovans may have disappeared by the time of the second migration).

No comments:

Post a Comment