Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past May 2, 2017 20:05:06 GMT
Post by Admin on May 2, 2017 20:05:06 GMT
Author: David Reich, D. Phil., Professor of Genetics Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School
Reich argued that, based on currently available ancient DNA, all of the main Indo-European daughter branches may have expanded from the Yamnaya culture on the Pontic-Caspian Steppe in ancient Russia via massive migrations soon after the Neolithic period ∼4,500 years ago. Yamnaya is the archaeological Russian culture responsible for spreading "Late-Proto-Indo-European" languages. The ‘steppe hypothesis’ by Reich et al. proposes that early Indo-European speakers spread into Europe after the invention of wheeled vehicles.
Beginning in 2010, it became practical to sequence whole genomes from DNA extracted from ancient human boness, and to analyze the data to understand changes in biology over time. Since that time then, the amount of ancient DNA data has increased at an extraordinary rate, with the number of samples with at least one-fold genome coverage being 5 five in 2013, 18 in 2014, and 116 in 2015. Dr. Reich will begin his lecture by describing how present-day Europeans derive from a fusion highly divergent ancestral populations as different from each other as are Europeans and East Asians. He will then summarize the history of modern humans in Europe over the approximately 45,000 years since they first arrived. He will next describe the spread of farming populations from the Near East over the last twelve thousand years. He will finally conclude by describing explaining how the analysis of ancient DNA has led to. Some of the insights about human biological change over time.