Sunday, October 27, 2013

Oldest Full Modern Human Genome Holds Big Surprise for Native American Ancestry

Michael Balter of Science reports in this week's issue on the announcement at a recent conference of the sequencing of the whole genome of a Siberian individual living 24,000 years ago (also currently in press at Nature). This is the oldest genome of a modern human ever sequenced to date, at almost five times the antiquity of the next most ancient modern human genome. But even more interesting was the research team's findings with regard to the individual's ancestry. This ancient Siberian was found to be most closely related to living Native Americans. However, approximately one third of the of the genome showed an affinity to living Europeans. This may suggest that Native Americans had European ancestry prior to admixture following European colonization of the New World after 1492. It will be extremely interesting to see the forthcoming Nature paper, especially given the challenges of sequencing modern human ancient DNA, and considering that the researchers involved were likely themselves of European descent!

Additionally, you can listen to the Science podcast interview with Michael Balter on this research.

No comments:

Post a Comment