New paper (behind paywall) Ancient goat genomes reveal mosaic domestication in the Fertile Crescent, by Daly et al. Science (2018) 361(6397):85-88.
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
Thus, our data favor a process of Near Eastern animal domestication that is dispersed in space and time, rather than radiating from a central core (3, 11). This resonates with archaeozoological evidence for disparate early management strategies from early Anatolian, Iranian, and Levantine Neolithic sites (12, 13). Interestingly, our finding of divergent goat genomes within the Neolithic echoes genetic investigation of early farmers. Northwestern Anatolian and Iranian human Neolithic genomes are also divergent (14–16),
… Read the rest “Expansion of domesticated goat echoes expansion of early farmers”
Open access FADS1 and the timing of human adaptation to agriculture, by Sara Mathieson & Iain Mathieson, bioRxiv (2018).
Variation at the FADS1/FADS2 gene cluster is functionally associated with differences in lipid metabolism and is often hypothesized to reflect adaptation to an agricultural diet. Here, we test the evidence for this relationship using both modern and ancient DNA data. We document pre-out-of-Africa selection for both the derived and ancestral FADS1 alleles and show that almost all the inhabitants of Europe carried the ancestral allele until the derived allele was introduced approximately 8,500 years ago by Early Neolithic farming
… Read the rest “FADS1 and the timing of human adaptation to agriculture”
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”
New open access paper Four millennia of Iberian biomolecular prehistory illustrate the impact of prehistoric migrations at the far end of Eurasia, by Valdiosera, Günther, Vera-Rodríguez, et al. PNAS (2018) published ahead of print.
Abstract (emphasis mine)
Population genomic studies of ancient human remains have shown how modern-day European population structure has been shaped by a number of prehistoric migrations. The Neolithization of Europe has been associated with large-scale migrations from Anatolia, which was followed by migrations of herders from the Pontic steppe at the onset of the Bronze Age. Southwestern Europe was one of the last parts of
… Read the rest “Iberian prehistoric migrations in Genomics from Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Bronze Age”
Looking for differences among steppe cultures in Genomics is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
It means, after all, looking for differences among closely related cultures, such as between South-Western and North-Western Anatolian Neolithic cultures, or among Old European cultures (such as Vinča or Cucuteni–Trypillia), or between Iberian cultures after the arrival of steppe-related populations.
These differences between closely related regions, in all these cases and especially among steppe cultures, even when they are supported by Archaeology and anthropological models of migration (and compatible with linguistic models), are expected to be minimal.
Fortunately, we have … Read the rest “Differences in ADMIXTURE between Khvalynsk/Yamna and Sredni Stog/Corded Ware”
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”
A new paper has appeared at BioRxiv, The Genomic Health Of Ancient Hominins (2017) by Berence, Cooper and Lachance.
Important results are available at: http://popgen.gatech.edu/ancient-health/.
While the study’s many limitations are obvious to the authors, they still suggest certain interesting possibilities as the most important conclusions:
- In general, Genetic risk scores (GRS) are similar to present-day individuals
- Genomic health seems to be improving over time
- Pastoralists could have been healthier than older and modern populations
Some details and shortcomings of the study (most stated by them, bold is from me) include:
- Allele selection: only some of the known
… Read the rest “Indo-European pastoralists healthier than modern populations? Genomic health improving over time”