Short review (behind paywall) The importance of fine-scale studies for integrating paleogenomics and archaeology, by Krishna R. Veeramah, Current Opinion in Genetics & Development (2018) 53:83-89.
Abstract (emphasis mine):
There has been an undercurrent of intellectual tension between geneticists studying human population history and archaeologists for almost 40 years. The rapid development of paleogenomics, with geneticists working on the very material discovered by archaeologists, appears to have recently heightened this tension. The relationship between these two fields thus far has largely been of a multidisciplinary nature, with archaeologists providing the raw materials for sequencing, as well as a scaffold
… Read the rest “The importance of fine-scale studies for integrating palaeogenomics and archaeology”
Open access 4000 years of human dietary evolution in central Germany, from the first farmers to the first elites, by Münster et al. PLOS One (2018).
Excerpts (emphasis mine):
This study of human diet between the early stages of the farming lifestyle and the Early Bronze Age in the MES, based on carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses, is amongst the most comprehensive of its kind. Or results show that human dietary behaviour has changed significantly throughout the study period. A distinct increase in the proportion of animal protein in the human diet can be identified over time, a trend
… Read the rest “Human dietary evolution in central Germany, and relationship of Únětice to Corded Ware and Bell Beaker cultures”
Open access preprint (which I announced already) at bioRxiv Patterns of genetic differentiation and the footprints of historical migrations in the Iberian Peninsula, by Bycroft et al. (2018).
Abstract (emphasis mine):
Genetic differences within or between human populations (population structure) has been studied using a variety of approaches over many years. Recently there has been an increasing focus on studying genetic differentiation at fine geographic scales, such as within countries. Identifying such structure allows the study of recent population history, and identifies the potential for confounding in association studies, particularly when testing rare, often recently arisen variants. The Iberian
… Read the rest “Patterns of genetic differentiation and the footprints of historical migrations in the Iberian Peninsula”
Adam Rutherford writes You’re Descended from Royalty and So Is Everybody Else – Anybody you can name from ancient history is in your family tree, which I discovered via John Hawks’ new post The surprising connectedness of human genealogies over centuries.
One way to think of it is to accept that everyone of European descent should have billions of ancestors at a time in the 10th century, but there weren’t billions of people around then, so try to cram them into the number of people that actually were. The math that falls out of that apparent impasse
… Read the rest “We are all special, which also means that none of us is”
New preprint at BioRxiv, Genetic landscapes reveal how human genetic diversity aligns with geography, by Peter, Petkova, and Novembre (2017).
Summarizing spatial patterns in human genetic diversity to understand population history has been a persistent goal for human geneticists. Here, we use a recently developed spatially explicit method to estimate “effective migration” surfaces to visualize how human genetic diversity is geographically structured (the EEMS method). The resulting surfaces are “rugged”, which indicates the relationship between genetic and geographic distance is heterogenous and distorted as a rule. Most prominently, topographic and marine features regularly align with increased genetic
… Read the rest “Genetic landscapes showing human genetic diversity aligning with geography”
An open access article Complex patterns of admixture across the Indonesian archipelago, by Hudjashov et al. (2017), has appeared in Molecular Biology and Evolution, and clarifies further the Austronesian (AN) expansion.
Indonesia, an island nation as large as continental Europe, hosts a sizeable proportion of global human diversity, yet remains surprisingly under-characterized genetically. Here, we substantially expand on existing studies by reporting genome-scale data for nearly 500 individuals from 25 populations in Island Southeast Asia, New Guinea and Oceania, notably including previously unsampled islands across the Indonesian archipelago. We use high-resolution analyses of haplotype diversity to reveal fine
… Read the rest “Islands across the Indonesian archipelago show complex patterns of admixture”
Interesting poster from SMBE 2017, Maps of effective migration as a summary of global human genetic diversity, by Benjamin Peter, Desislava Petkova, Matthew Stephens & John Novembre, of the JNPopGen group of the University of Chicago.
You can read the full poster in the original PDF, or in compressed image. The following are important excerpts:
Aim: To answer the following questions:
- Which regions have high/low effective migration?
- How well is human genetic diversity explained by this pure isolation-by-distance model?
- How does the explanatory performance of EEMS compare to PCA?
Method: It uses the
… Read the rest “Effective migration in Western Eurasia reveals fine-scale migration surface features”