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Showing posts with the label mitochondrial dna

Mapping the DNA of American Natives

University of Illinois anthropology professor Ripan Malhi has analyzed DNA samples to try and determine how humans made their way to the Americas 15,000 years ago. They looked closely at mitochondrial genome that comes from mothers and found a stronger connection to the ancient past. The natives of Prince Rupert Island have the same genetic background as their ancestors. The natives of Northern California were complex hunter-gatherers while those of Mexico transitioned to agriculture.  Two general theories appear to dominate the American migration theories. One is that people moved across an ice shelf from Europe and another is that Asianic people used boats to move down the California coast. No one really knows what happened. Both theories have been challenged at one time or another based upon artifact finding, carbon dating, and anthropology studies.  The genetic studies are interesting in that they can help connect peoples from the Americas to those in other areas. Most