4,000 Years Of Conquerors Left Little Genetic Impact in Near East

Without a doubt, the Near East has been a linguistic, cultural and religious crossroad for many thousands of years. This area has had many different rulers, including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Christian European Crusaders, Arabs, and Ottomans. Many of these groups instilled everlasting cultural changes on the local population, including changes to... Continue Reading →

European Women with Neanderthal Progesterone Receptor Gene Are More Fertile

Hugo Zeberg, at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Karolinska Institutet, published an interesting study with colleagues Janet Kelso and Svante Pääbo on Neandertal admixture and its impact on modern day fertility. Diverging from a common human lineage over 600,000 years ago, Neandertals and modern humans began an exchange of genetic material... Continue Reading →

A new paper in Nature Communications documents a strange bottleneck event occurring about 7,000 years ago, where the genetic diversity of the Y chromosome completely collapsed leaving about one male to 17 females. We all know the agricultural revolution happened around 12,000 years ago. Societies grew in size and many organized around patrilineal kinships. Turning... Continue Reading →

Denisovans & Modern Humans Introgressed At Least Twice

Sharon Browning and colleagues published a paper in Cell last week that shows there are uniquely different Denisovan genomes in the DNA of East Asian individuals, indicating that interbreeding with Homo sapiens happened in two independent episodes. See we already knew Aboriginal genomes from Australia and Papua New Guinea contain fragments of Denisovan DNA. Introgression of... Continue Reading →

How Was The Pacific Settled?

Two different studies in in Nature Ecology & Evolution and Current Biology looked at the genetic variation of people inhabiting Vanuatu to help answer the question when did humans settle the Pacific, likely the last region on Earth to be occupied by us. Lead author of the study in Current Biology, David Reich, from Harvard Medical School,... Continue Reading →

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