Planet Earth

Some sneak previews of The Genographic Project

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanNov 8, 2011 3:59 AM

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The Genographic Project has been going on for 6 years now, and it seems like some interesting results are going to come out soon. CeCe Moore was at the FTDNA conference, and relayed the following interesting (to me) reports from Spencer Wells: - Using a sample of more than 2,000 Hungarians they found 2-3% Asian mtDNA haplogroups. I would be curious about this number set against the basal Central European rate. - "DNA evidence is showing that the Indian caste system is older than Indo-European influence." This is intriguing. Using ADMIXTURE genome bloggers have adduced that high caste non-Brahmins in South India, who are unlikely to have any Indo-European ancestry, can be distinguished from low caste groups. There does seem to be a separate "European-like" element which is found among South Indian Brahmins and Indo-Aryan speaking groups. And yet David Reich's group seems to be poised to come out with a paper arguing for the large demographic role of Indo-Europeans in the ethnogenesis of modern India. - '...farmers replacing hunter gatherers in Central Germany and mtDNA Haplogroup U5, which Spencer called "the hunter-gatherer haplogroup". They found different frequencies of haplogroups from samples at different layers. He says that the debate about the age of R1b has not yet been resolved.' - "1 in 17 men now living in the Mediterranean descend from Phoenician traders." I have a hard time believing this on the face of it, but not totally implausible in light of "super-Y" lineages you see now and then. - "East Indians have the most Eurasian diversity." There's a lot of circumstantial evidence pointing in this direction. The major question is whether this is an artifact of the relatively recent admixture between two very distinctive populations which gave rise to South Asians. I think not. The "Ancestral South Indians" probably have deep roots in the subcontinent, and have been reservoirs for genetic variation for a long time due to the region's relative shelter from the Ice Ages.

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