Category Archives: Ancestry

Humans are still evolving: Huge DNA study tracks how the British have changed since the Romans were in charge

DNA RomeWhile we may not be sprouting wings, gills or an extra pair of legs any time soon, a new study has shown that human evolution is continuing to grind away.
New genetic analysis has revealed the traces of human evolution in action, showing how the British population has subtly changed since Roman rule, 2,000 years ago.

The Efforts to Identify the Lost Souls of America’s Potter’s Fields

Potters Field 1From New York’s Hart Island to Dunn County, Wisconsin, experts and volunteers alike work to provide closure to the families of those interred in unmarked graves.

Are you my mummy? DNA tests to seek modern relatives of 800 year old mummified boy

MummyThe images show scientists as they carefully peel away the cocoon – including birch bark and copper – which led to the mummification of a boy aged six or seven who lived close near to the modern town of Salekhard. The lower part of his face, including his teeth, become suddenly visible for the first time in around eight centuries.

Ancient DNA from Spain’s ‘pit of bones’ could reveal the origin of Neanderthals

Neanderthals1New analysis of DNA from a collection of bones found in Spain – the oldest human DNA of its kind ever studied – could help write the history of early humankind.

Putting names to bones

tdy_King_Richard_130204_vembedlarge456The art and science of identifying famous people from the past

DNA From Earliest Muslim Graves In France Reveals North African Origins

Nimes BurialsArchaeologists have long known about Arab-Muslim expansion throughout the Mediterranean region in the Middle Ages. Reaching the Iberian Peninsula in 711 AD, Arab armies and Muslim troops spread into France, Spain, and Portugal. But while written records document this expansion, archaeological and burial evidence of early Muslims past the Pyrenees is basically non-existent. In a new study out today, a group of researchers has published the first DNA evidence of people from Muslim-style burials in Nîmes, France.

Ancient Irish genome reveals a massive migration from the east

DNA LabJust over 5,000 years ago, there lived an Irish farmer with black hair and dark eyes. Her DNA spoke of ancestors mostly Middle Eastern in origin, and she would have looked more like a southern European woman than a red-haired Irish lass.

Rulemaking Under Way for DNA Testing for Hawaiian Homelands

Hawaian VillageWhen the state deemed Leighton Pang Kee ineligible for one of the most valuable benefits available to Native Hawaiians — land at almost no cost — because he couldn’t show that he was at least 50 percent Hawaiian, he sued.

Your Hair Mites Are So Loyal Their DNA Reflects Your Ancestry

Hair mitesMost people would probably prefer to forget that their eyebrows are also shaggy ecosystems, home to scores of microscopic hair mites. But a DNA analysis reveals that your mites are incredibly loyal to you—and that could help scientists trace ancient human migrations and perhaps find new ways to treat common skin ailments

Will DNA Tests Finally Settle Controversy Surrounding Russia’s Final Tsars?

Tsar Nicholas and his familyTsar Nicholas II is shown here with his family in the 1910s. All were executed shortly after the 1917 Russian Revolution. Remains of the tsar, his wife Alexandra, top right, and their children — Olga, far left, Maria, top left, Anastasia, with arm around Alexei, and Tatiana — have all been tested. Now the Russian Orthodox Church has ordered new DNA tests to confirm the identities of Maria and Alexei.

DNA Reveals Mysterious Human Cousin With Huge Teeth

MolarThe analysis of a fossil tooth from Siberia reveals that a mysterious people known as Denisovans, discovered a mere five years ago, persisted for tens of thousands of years alongside modern humans and Neanderthals.

Incan Child Sacrified to the Gods Reveals History of American Expansion

Inca mummyThe mummy of an Incan child who was sacrificed to the gods more than 500 years ago belonged to a previously unknown offshoot of an ancient Native American lineage, new research finds.

Tsar Nicholas II: DNA Analysis Proves That Bones Discovered In Russian Mine Are Genuine

Czar NicholasIITsar Nicholas II can finally be laid to rest with his murdered family, as new DNA tests have revealed that the bones found in a Russian mine a quarter of a century ago were genuine, proving beyond any doubt that the discovered skeletal remains belonged to Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, according to The Daily Mail.

Mitochondrial DNA Recovered From Alaska’s Ancient Infants

Alaska-infant-DNAFAIRBANKS, ALASKA—Archaeologist Ben Potter of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and geneticists Dennis O’Rourke and Justin Tackney of the University of Utah have analyzed mitochondrial DNA recovered from the remains of two infants found at the Upward Sun River site in Interior Alaska.
The cremated remains of a three-year-old child were also recovered at the site, but they did not yield any genetic material. “These infants are the earliest human remains in northern North America and they carry distinctly Native American lineages.

Family Tree DNA Partners with National Geographic’s Genographic Project to Provide Additional Insight into Family History and Ancestral Roots

MigrationHOUSTON, Oct. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Family Tree DNA, the world’s most comprehensive ancestry DNA combined database, announces a collaboration with National Geographic’s Geno 2.0 Next Generation, the latest product offering from National Geographic’s Genographic Project, a multi-year research initiative tracing the roots of human origin.