Asians and Native Americans share common ancestry in China

Genetic study with possible implications for the origins of populations in Southeast Asia.

DNA shows ancestry of present-day Asians, Native Americans
Channel NewsAsia, via AFP, 23 January 2013

DNA analysis of an early modern human from Tianyuan Cave, China
PNAS January 22, 2013
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221359110

Present-day Asians and Native Americans are descended from a group of people who were already in China 40,000 years ago, according to an analysis of fossil DNA published this week.

The genetic analysis showed that the early modern humans in Beijing had already diverged genetically from the ancestors of modern-day Europeans.

The researchers took nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from a leg bone found in the Tianyuan Cave in China in 2003.

Using this, they reconstructed the genetic profile of the leg’s owner, a person who lived at a very interesting time in the history of modern humans, the researchers said in a statement Monday.

“This individual lived during an important evolutionary transition when early modern humans, who shared certain features with earlier forms such as Neanderthals, were replacing Neanderthals and Denisovans, who later became extinct,” said lead author Svante Paabo, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Full story here.
The original paper is entitled DNA analysis of an early modern human from Tianyuan Cave, China and can be accessed in PNAS.

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