A preprint paper has been published in BioRxiv, Relationships between clans and genetic kin explain cultural similarities over vast distances: the case of Yakutia, by Zvenigorosky et al (2017).
Archaeological studies sample ancient human populations one site at a time, often limited to a fraction of the regions and periods occupied by a given group. While this bias is known and discussed in the literature, few model populations span areas as large and unforgiving as the Yakuts of Eastern Siberia. We systematically surveyed 31,000 square kilometres in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and completed the archaeological study of 174
… Read the rest “How to do modern phylogeography: Relationships between clans and genetic kin explain cultural similarities over vast distances”
Two pre-print papers reposted or published recently, interesting for the genetic analysis of ancient and modern populations (emphasis mine):
Assessing the relationship of ancient and modern populations, by Joshua G Schraiber (2017) Abstract:
Genetic material sequenced from ancient samples is revolutionizing our understanding of the recent evolutionary past. However, ancient DNA is often degraded, resulting in low coverage, error-prone sequencing. Several solutions exist to this problem, ranging from simple approach such as selecting a read at random for each site to more complicated approaches involving genotype likelihoods. In this work, we present a novel method for assessing the relationship
… Read the rest “New pre-print papers on ancient and modern population genetics”
Preprint paper at BioRxiv, Dissecting Population Substructure in India via Correlation Optimization of Genetics and Geodemographics, by Bose et al. (2017), a mixed group from Purdue University and IBM TJ Watson Research Center. A rather simple paper, which is nevertheless interesting in its approach to the known multiple Indian demographic divisions, and in its short reported methods and results.
India represents an intricate tapestry of population substructure shaped by geography, language, culture and social stratification operating in concert. To date, no study has attempted to model and evaluate how these evolutionary forces have interacted to shape the patterns
… Read the rest “Indo-European and Central Asian admixture in Indian population, dependent on ethnolinguistic and geodemographic divisions”
I have recently read the book My European Family: The First 54,000 years (2015), by Karin Bojs, a known Swedish scientific journalist, former science editor of the Dagens Nyheter.
It is written in a fresh, dynamic style, and contains general introductory knowledge to Genetics, Archaeology, and their relation to language, and is written in a time of great change (2015) for the disciplines involved.
The book is informed, it shows a balanced exercise between responsible science journalism and entertaining content, and it is at times nuanced, going beyond the limits of popular science books. It is not written for … Read the rest “My European Family: The First 54,000 years, by Karin Bojs”
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”
There seems to be a growing trend to over-simplistic assumptions in archaeology and linguistics, led by amateur and professional geneticists alike, due to the recent (only partially deserved) popularity of Human Evolutionary Biology.
These studies are offering ancient DNA samples, whose Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups and admixture analyses are showing some new valuable information on ancient cultures and peoples. However, their authors are constantly giving uninformed conclusions.
I have read a good, simple description of the Kossinnian model in the book Balkan Dialogues (Routledge, 2017), which has been shared to be fully read online by co-editor Maria Ivanova.… Read the rest “The over-simplistic “Kossinnian Model”: homogeneous peoples speaking a common language within clearly delimited cultures”
A new preprint paper appeared some days ago in BioRxiv, Estimating genetic kin relationships in prehistoric populations, by researchers of the Uppsala University Jose Manuel Monroy Kuhn, Mattias Jakobsson, and Torsten Günther. Jakobsson and Günther. You might remember the last two from their work Ancient X chromosomes reveal contrasting sex bias in Neolithic and Bronze Age Eurasian migrations, whose results were said not to be replicable by Lazaridis and Reich (PNAS), something they denied pointing to the limitations of the current aDNA data (PNAS).
They propose a new, more conservative method to infer close … Read the rest “Preprint paper: Estimating genetic kin relationships in prehistoric populations, by Monroy Kuhn, Jakobsson, and Günther”
I recently wrote about how Wiik’s model was wrong in supporting a Mesolithic European Vasconic-Uralic harmony – genetically based on the modern distribution of R1b vs. N1c haplogroups -, and thus also the disruption of this harmony by Indo-Europeans (supposedly a population of R1a-lineages invading central Europe from a Balkan homeland).
Romanticism does this quite frequently: it makes us believe in some esoteric fantasy, like the ethnic continuity of our ancestors in the region we live (and a far, far greater original territory that has been unfairly diminished by invaders), providing us with strong links to support our artificial … Read the rest “Wiik’s theory about the spread of Uralic into east and central Europe, and the Uralic substrate in Germanic and Balto-Slavic”