Navigation Links
Ancient, modern DNA tell story of first humans in the Americas

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. University of Illinois anthropology professor Ripan Malhi looks to DNA to tell the story of how ancient humans first came to the Americas and what happened to them once they were here.

He will share some of his findings at the meeting, "Ancient DNA: The First Three Decades," at The Royal Society in London on Nov. 18 and 19.

Malhi, an affiliate of the Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois, will describe his collaborative approach, which includes working with present-day Native Americans on studies of their genetic history.

He and a group of collaborators from the Tsimshian Nation on the northwest coast of British Columbia, for example, recently found a direct ancestral link between ancient human remains in the Prince Rupert Island area and the native peoples living in the region today. That study looked at changes in the mitochondrial genome, which children inherit only from their mothers.

Other studies from Malhi's lab analyze changes in the Y chromosome or the protein-coding regions of the genome.

"The best opportunity to infer the evolutionary history of Native Americans and to assess the effects of European colonization is to analyze genomes of ancient Native Americans and those of their living descendants," Malhi said.

"I think what makes my lab unique is that we focus not only on the initial peopling of the Americas but also what happened after the initial peopling. How did these groups move to new environments and adapt to their local settings over 15,000 years?"

While continuing his work in British Columbia, Malhi also is setting up study sites in California, Guatemala, Mexico and Illinois.

"What's interesting about the northwest coast and California is that these communities were complex hunter-gatherer societies, whereas in Mexico and Guatemala, it's more communities that transitioned to farming and then experienced the effects of European colonization," he said.

Genomic studies can fill in the blanks on studies that seek to tell the story of life in the Americas before and after European colonization, Malhi said. Researchers may draw the wrong conclusions about human history when looking only at artifacts and language, he said.


Contact: Diana Yates
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Related biology news :

1. Ancient, bottom-dwelling critter proves: Newer isnt always better
2. Modern Mobility Aids, Inc. Announces a Revised Agreement for the Acquisition of Lumigene
3. Ancient whale species sheds new light on its modern relatives
4. Has modern science become dysfunctional?
5. Crime and punishment: The neurobiological roots of modern justice
6. Modern hybrid corn makes better use of nitrogen, study shows
7. Research: Modern Portfolio Theory optimizes conservation practices
8. Squid ink from Jurassic period identical to modern squid ink, U.Va. study shows
9. Woolly mammoth extinction has lessons for modern climate change
10. Fossil egg discovered in Lleida (Spain) links dinosaurs to modern birds
11. Modern culture 44,000 years ago
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Ancient, modern DNA tell story of first humans in the Americas
(Date:6/30/2017)... , June 30, 2017 Today, American ... and supplier of face and eye tracking software, ... Product provider program. "Artificial intelligence ... way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while ... being able to detect fatigue and prevent potential ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal ... and MD EMR Systems , an electronic ... for GE, have established a partnership to build ... and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice ... These new integrations will allow healthcare ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... Florida , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, ... technology company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on ... and Exchange Commission. ... on Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of ... as on the SEC,s website at . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/7/2017)... , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, ... in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... WALTHAM, Mass. , Oct. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... pioneering work of three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, ... whose breakthrough developments in cryo-electron microscopy ... this technology within the structural biology community. The ... Scientific. Scientists can now routinely produce highly resolved, ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... On Tuesday, October 24th, ABC² ... the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The featured speaker will be ... and open to the public, but registration is required. , WHAT: ABC² ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... 05, 2017 , ... Understanding the microbiome, the millions of bacteria that live ... You Are My Future, the newest exhibit on display at the University City Science ... condition through the lens of the gut microbiome. , Gut Love opens October ...
Breaking Biology Technology: