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Category Archives: Ancestry
BERLIN — Europeans appear to be more closely related than previously thought.
Scientists who compared DNA samples from people in different parts of the continent found that most had common ancestors living just 1,000 years ago.
Huffington Post Blog from Spencer Wells-I recently turned 44. As with all of one’s birthdays, a milestone like this is a chance to gaze backward and assess, as well as an opportunity to look to the future and imagine possibilities. As I do this, though, I’m cognizant of a friend who is being celebrated for turning 60 this year. She’s been in my life since before I was born, and she will be around long after I’ve faded into distant memory. But, in the way that humans do when we describe a feature in the natural world, we’ve assigned to her a birthday based on when we first recognized how special she was. I’m talking, of course, about deoxyribonucleic acid — DNA, our blueprint, the hardware/software combination that keeps us on the straight and narrow, controlling our development as we grow from fertilized egg to adult, as well as our biological evolution as a species.
Windsor may have been popular with royalty rather earlier than generally thought.
Archaeologists, excavating near the Royal Borough, have discovered the 4400 year old gold-adorned skeleton of an upper class woman who was almost certainly a member of the local ruling elite.
The tale surrounding the discovery of King Richard III’s skeleton beneath an English parking lot is about much more than a pile of 528-year-old bones — all you have to do is look at the face of Philippa Langley as she breaks down during an archaeological autopsy.
“I don’t see bones on that table,” she says, during an emotional scene in a new documentary about the king’s remains. “I see the man.”
Polynesian DNA has unexpectedly been discovered in the bones of now-extinct Native Americans who once lived in the interior of Brazil. These surprising findings are raising a variety of suggested answers to how this occurred, including the travels of ancient seafarers or the more recent slave trade.
Svante Pääbo, PhD, director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is the recipient of the 2013 Genetics Prize of The Gruber Foundation. Pääbo is being honored with this prestigious international award for his pioneering research in the field of evolutionary genetics. He is considered the founder of molecular paleontology, the application of genetics to the study of prehistoric life.
LONDON — Leicester, the university that led the effort to identify the remains of English King Richard III, is an appropriate institution to carry out such a remarkable piece of DNA investigation. Its genetics department was the birthplace of “DNA fingerprinting” in 1984, when Professor Alec Jeffeys discovered how to identify people by amplifying tiny amounts of DNA from crime scenes.
The Faroe Islands, a tiny, windswept land halfway between Scotland and Iceland, is so barren its 50,000 inhabitants import almost everything except fish and sheep. Now it wants to leap to the frontier of genetic medicine.