Category Archives: Ancestry

DNA breakthrough for unknown soldiers

The chances of identifying some of the 35,000 Australian soldiers who lie unknown in foreign fields are a step closer with a dramatic DNA breakthrough by Sydney scientists.
The Australian Army’s Unrecovered War Casualties unit and NSW Health Pathology’s Forensic Science Service have been working with more that 300 sets of remains thought to be Australian servicemen for the past few months.

Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets

If you’re looking for the middle of nowhere, the Bjaeldskovdal bog is a good place to start. It lies six miles outside the small town of Silkeborg in the middle of Denmark’s flat, sparse Jutland peninsula. The bog itself is little more than a spongy carpet of moss, with a few sad trees poking out. An ethereal stillness hangs over it. A child would put it more simply: This place is really spooky.

Cutting-edge Technology Solves Ancient Scientific Puzzles

ancient-gravesiteHere’s a riddle for you: What does an ancient tooth unearthed in Troy, a bald eagle feather, and a scrap of metal from a WWII fighter plane all have in common?

Your Neanderthal DNA might actually be doing you some good

neanderthals3Most human genomes harbor small fragments of Neanderthal DNA, the legacy of prehistoric hanky-panky between our ancestors and their hominid cousins.
For the most part, that inheritance has been detrimental. Research suggests that as much as 10 percent of the human genome was inherited from archaic hominids other than Homo sapiens, but the majority of that material was weeded out by tens of thousands of years of natural selection. The DNA that does remain has been blamed for increasing risk of depression, Type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, lupus, allergies, addiction and more.

A Skeleton Found in a Castle Could Be the Key to Cracking a 17th-Century Cold Case

george-iToday, any scandal by a member of the United Kingdom’s royal family will likely end up plastered on the front page of gossip magazines. But for centuries, intrigue among blue bloods carried much deadlier consequences. Now, as Alison Smale reports for The New York Times, a skeleton recently unearthed in a German castle could shed light on a 17th-century cold case linked to a then-future monarch.

First people on Vanuatu and Tonga came from Taiwan

vanuatu-skullMajor study of ancient DNA from skeletons found on the Pacific Islands uncovers the populations’ genetic pre-history. The first inhabitants of Vanuatu and Tonga came from East Asia and not from other parts of the Pacific as previously thought, a new DNA study has shown.

Parabon Seeks Volunteers for DNA Kinship Study to Help Identify Fallen Soldiers

parabon-flagReston, Va. (Ammoland.com) — Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon) announced today a call for participants in a research study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), in which DNA samples from distant relatives will be analyzed to develop innovative kinship and ancestry algorithms and associated laboratory methods to extend familial matching beyond current capabilities.

New DNA Analysis Shows Aboriginal Australians Are the World’s Oldest Society

aboriginal-kangaSmithsonian- For centuries, Aboriginal Australians have said they belonged to the oldest sustained civilization on the face of the Earth, citing their culture and history of oral storytelling that stretches back tens of thousands of years. Now, one of the most extensive analyses of Indigenous Australian DNA to date suggests that they’ve been right all along.

Someone stole thousands of vials containing the DNA of Italians with very long lifespans

dna-collection3Thousands of vials containing the DNA of Italians with very long lifespans have gone missing.
This DNA was collected years ago as part of widespread research interest in the island of Sardinia, whose residents are some of the world’s longest living people. On average, 21 out of every 10,000 residents in one area of Sardinia live to age 100. In comparison, only four out of 10,000 Americans get to celebrate that birthday.

Is it your second cousin? Cotton swabs may tell you

DNA RelationshipsWith a new technique, a simple swab sample can accurately confirm relatedness between two individuals as distant as second cousins. With more DNA datasets at hand, the method could be utilized to identify disaster victims in mass floods and tornadoes that destroy entire communities.

Quest Diagnostics and AncestryDNA Collaborate to Expand Consumer DNA Testing

ancestry DNAMADISON, N.J., and LEHI, Utah, Aug. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, and AncestryDNA, the leader in family history and consumer genomics, are teaming up to help meet the rapidly growing consumer demand for genetic tests that provide insights into genetic ethnicity, origins and other factors. The new collaboration will allow AncestryDNA to scale its testing services and pave the way for new wellness offerings.

Richard III’s missing teeth in skull may prove he DIDN’T kill Tower of London princes

lost BoysInnocent: New evidence blows a major hole in the story of Richard III and the princes in the Tower
It is one of the most dramatic and controversial tales in British history – how two young princes were murdered by their dastardly uncle so he could claim the throne for himself.

Blood of King Albert I identified after 80 years

Tree Leaves RelicThe death of King Albert I of Belgium in 1934 — officially a climbing accident — still fuels speculation. Forensic geneticist Maarten Larmuseau and his colleagues at KU Leuven (University of Leuven, Belgium), have now compared DNA from blood found on the scene in 1934 to that of two distant relatives. Their analysis confirms that the blood really is that of Albert I. This conclusion is at odds with several conspiracy theories about the king’s death.

First farmers had diverse origins, DNA shows

Zagros MountainsResearchers compared the genomes of ancient Neolithic skeletons from across the Middle East, where farming began.
The results shed light on a debate over whether farming spread out from a single source in the region, or whether multiple farmer groups spread their technology across Eurasia.

Russian scientists dissect ancient organs from 800-year-old mummy

SalekhardThe child, aged around six or seven, was found close to the town of Salekhard. Researchers took samples of tissue and probed the boy’s internal organs.
It is hoped these will reveal how people lived at the time, possibly their diet. Experts have started establishing the boy’s DNA and hunting for descendants