Category Archives: Ancestry

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.

Oldest Burial Yields DNA Evidence of First Americans

Clovis eraDNA harvested from the remains of an infant buried 13,000 years ago confirms that the earliest widespread culture in North America was descended from humans who crossed over to the New World from Asia, scientists say.

Which parts of us are Neanderthal? Our genes point to skin and hair

Neanderthal characteristicsA double-barreled comparison of ancient Neanderthal DNA with hundreds of modern-day genomes suggests that many of us have Neanderthal skin and hair traits — but other parts of the Neanderthal genome appear to have been bred out of us along the way.

Bone fragment ‘could be King Alfred or son Edward’

Alfred A fragment of pelvis bone unearthed in Winchester in 1999 may belong to King Alfred the Great or his son Edward the Elder, academics have said.

Year in Review: New discoveries reshape debate over human ancestry

AustralopithicusHuman evolution appears poised for a scientific makeover, as unexpected and provocative findings have raised new questions this year about two poorly understood periods leading to the emergence of Homo sapiens.

Mystery early human revealed by DNA data

Denisova Cave1DNA analysis of early human remains from a Siberian cave has revealed the existence of a mystery human species.
A team of researchers speculates that this could have been Homo erectus, which lived in Europe and Asia a million years ago or more.