Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Genetic History of Ice Age Europe


"Modern humans arrived in Europe ~45,000 years ago, but little is known about their genetic composition before the start of farming ~8,500 years ago. Here we analyse genome-wide data from 51 Eurasians from ~45,000–7,000 years ago. Over this time, the proportion of Neanderthal DNA decreased from 3–6% to around 2%, consistent with natural selection against Neanderthal variants in modern humans. Whereas there is no evidence of the earliest modern humans in Europe contributing to the genetic composition of present-day Europeans, all individuals between ~37,000 and ~14,000 years ago descended from a single founder population which forms part of the ancestry of present-day Europeans. An ~35,000-year-old individual from northwest Europe represents an early branch of this founder population which was then displaced across a broad region, before reappearing in southwest Europe at the height of the last Ice Age ~19,000 years ago. During the major warming period after ~14,000 years ago, a genetic component related to present-day Near Easterners became widespread in Europe. These results document how population turnover and migration have been recurring themes of European prehistory."

I never dug into this study soon after it came out as I usually do with studies of its sort but part of that is that it honestly felt as though there was too much to talk about and all I should've done was guided people interested in this field toward giving it a good read if they, by any means, managed to get their hands on the full paper or the supplemental, the latter of which is freely available.

So, consider this me strongly recommending that it be read as it's very important in keeping with the ancient DNA game. I am, in the future, going to reference concepts and terms owed to the study and I just might make some future posts focused on certain aspects of this study.

Link to study

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