The Y-Chromosomal Footprint Of Phoenicians Throughout The Mediterranean

The Phoenician civilization is understood to be the dominant maritime trading culture between the period of 1550 BC to 300 BC. While they were based out of the Levant, their city-states were spread all across the Mediterranean. The golden age of Phoenician culture and seapower is usually placed around 1200–800 BC. When Cyrus the Great... Continue Reading →

The Genetics Of “Who’s Your Daddy?”

When the headlines behind this story came across my RSS reader the other day, I was gonna file it under my proverbial "Captain Obvious" category. The basic premise is the potential link between last name and Y chromosome type. We already know that in deep ancestries, like among Jewish people, the Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH)... Continue Reading →

Newly Discovered Y-Chromosome SNP Among Tanzanian, Nambibian, Botswanan, Angolan Men Correlates With The Arrival Of Pastoralism In Southern Africa

According to this press release, a new paper reports on the discovery of a 10,000 year old SNP on the Y-chromosomes of men from Tanzania and southern Africa. It will be appearing in PNAS' online early edition tomorrow (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0801184105). The SNP is thought to have originated in eastern Africa, "The team analyzed Y chromosomes... Continue Reading →

On the Evolution of Language

Both Nature and PNAS have put out two fascinating papers on the evolution of language. Nature's "Quantifying the evolutionary dynamics of language," studies how grammatical rules change over time, a term the authors call regularization. The authors specifically studied the regularization of English verbs over the past 1,200 years. Here's a summary of what they... Continue Reading →

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