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Did the orientation of the continents hinder ancient settlement of the Americas?
Date:9/21/2011

long lines of latitude," said Ramachandran.

To test this hypothesis the team analysed genetic variation data from 68 populations, 39 from Eurasia and 29 from Native Americans. The data were used to identify relationships between the genetic and geographic distances between populations on each continent.

The results confirmed that the increase in genetic distances along lines of longitude in the Americas occurs over shorter geographic distances than the increase in genetic distances in Eurasia along lines of latitude.

"For many years anthropologists have asked who the first Americans were and how they were able to settle in the last major habitat open to humans," said Jeff Long, guest editor of the special section. "These six papers use genetics to answer these questions, not only confirming the genetic signatures of historic relationships between Native Americans and Eastern Asia, but also providing evidence for prehistoric migration and adaptation of settlers to the new world."


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Contact: Ben Norman
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Source:Eurekalert

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