Category Archives: Ancestry

DNA yields secrets of human pioneer

Universal ManUniversal human: This reconstruction is of a different modern human from Romania 43,000 years ago. But it gives some clues to what the Siberian man may have looked like. This population was not long out of Africa and genetically midway between Europeans and Asians.

How ancient DNA is rewriting human history

Human skullThere are no written records of the most important developments in our history: the transition from hunting and gathering to farming, the initial colonization of regions outside Africa, and, most crucially, the appearance of modern humans and the vanishing of archaic ones. Our primary information sources about these “pre-historic” events are ancient tools, weapons, bones, and, more recently, DNA. Like an ancient text that has picked up interpolations over the millennia, our genetic history can be difficult to recover from the DNA of people alive today. But with the invention of methods to read DNA taken from ancient bones, we now have access to much older copies of our genetic history, and it’s radically changing how we understand our deep past. What seemed like an episode of Lost turns out to be much more like Game of Thrones: instead of a story of small, isolated groups that colonized distant new territory, human history is a story of ancient populations that migrated and mixed all over the world.

Discovered 2.3 k-yr-old human skeleton throws light on our ancestry

archeologistWashington, Sept 30 (ANI): A new research has revealed about the discovery of a 2,330-year-old human skeleton in the southernmost tip of Africa, throwing some light on human origins.

European Ancestors Hailed from Three Different Groups

european-skullThe modern European gene pool is likely a bit confused now, with international travel spreading people far and wide. However, in the case of native Europeans whose family never left the continent, it has been found that they likely boast a cocktail of genetic information from three distinct “tribes” of ancestors.

The Kennewick Man Finally Freed to Share His Secrets

kennewick manHe’s the most important human skeleton ever found in North America—and here, for the first time, is his story

Genographic Project DNA Results Reveal Details of Puerto Rican History

Puerto RicoLet’s go back 520 years ago to the year 1494 on the island of Vieques, off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico’s mainland.
Tainos, the largest indigenous Caribbean population, were living a life based on the cultivation of root crops and fishing when upon the shores arrived Columbus and his fleet, having crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the second time in as many years. At that point in time everything changed.
What’s written on paper has told us much about what happened next. What’s written in the DNA of today’s Puerto Ricans can tell us some more.

Present-Day Tibetans Inherited Genetic Gifts from Paleolithic-Era Ancestors

TibetanPlateauThe world had been awash in news about how we can see the evidence in our DNA of ancient humans mating with Neanderthals and their close relatives, the Denisovans. Now in a new study out in the journal Nature, a group of researchers has found the strongest evidence to date that this mating mattered.
Modern Tibetans are incredibly well adapted to the harsh environment of the Tibetan plateau. This place is cold, doesn’t have a lot of resources and has about 40% lower levels of oxygen than at sea level. It turns out that a big reason Tibetans do so well compared to everyone else is because of a version of the EPAS1 gene their ancestors got from the now extinct Denisovans. Most every Tibetan who is well adapted to this environment has the Denisovan version of the EPAS1 gene.

Saginaw veteran hopes DNA holds key to World War 2 mystery

Jim CetroneSAGINAW, MI — Saginaw resident Tony Cetrone’s brother went missing in action on an island battlefield in World War II.
He never expected to get a telephone call 70 years later asking if he was the brother of Private Peter Cetrone.

Search For Mona Lisa Continues, DNA Tests Carried Out On Skeletal Remains

Mona LisaResearchers recovered skeletal remains from a centuries-old Florence tomb on Tuesday (April 28) in order to carry out DNA tests that could confirm the identity of the woman whose enigmatic smile Leonardo da Vinci immortalized in the “Mona Lisa”, one of the world’s most famous paintings.
A round hole, just big enough for a person to wriggle through, has given access through the stone church floor to the family crypt of Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, whose wife Lisa Gherardini is thought to have sat for the Renaissance master in the early 16th century.

Blood in gourd ‘is not from beheaded Louis XVI’

gourdA sample of blood long thought to belong to French King Louis XVI is probably not authentic, scientists say.
An elaborately decorated gourd was thought to contain a handkerchief that had been dipped in the king’s blood after he was killed by guillotine by French revolutionaries in 1793.

Researchers open gilded box with bones of Swedish medieval king for DNA analysis

King Erik in his CoffinUPPSALA, Sweden — Researchers from Uppsala University on Wednesday opened a small gilded box containing the skull and bones of Swedish King Erik IX, who became a national saint after he was murdered in 1160.

Neanderthals Lived in Small, Isolated Populations, Gene Analysis Shows

Wilma NeanderthalGenetic differences highlight how the path of these ancient humans diverged from ours..

DNA tests begin on bones of ‘King Canute’

King CanuteDNA analysis of the oldest royal bones in England has begun at Winchester Cathedral.
Experts could finally be on the verge of resolving an internationally-significant mystery that has perplexed historians for centuries.

Richard III DNA test sparks controversy

tdy_King_Richard_130204_vembedlarge456King Richard III has been dead for more than 500 years, but his bones continue to ignite fresh controversy.
The medieval king, unearthed from a Leicester parking lot in 2012, has been the center of debate over where and how his body should be reburied. Now, a plan to sequence the full genome of Richard III has brought new strife.

Tracing Ancestry, Researchers Produce a Genetic Atlas of Human Mixing Events

ChromosomeResearchers have found genetic evidence for hundreds of examples of the large-scale mixing of human populations in the past 4,000 years.