Tracking human migration through bacteria

While we’re on the topic of the Austronesian migration, the same issue of Science also carried another article about the tracing of human migration through the pacific. This time, the tracing of human bacteria indicate two splits of pacific populations from Asian ones, the first occurring around 30,000 years ago, while the second through one of the Austronesian subgroups 5,000 years ago.

Role of Bacteria 15
photo credit: INeedCoffee

The Peopling of the Pacific from a Bacterial Perspective
Science, 23 January 2009
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The Chinese origin of Pacific Islanders

Archaeologist Jiao Tianlong is exploring the origins of the Austronesian people, who spread their language and technology from Southeast China and Taiwan to the rest of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands some 6,000 years ago.

Archaeologists Find Evidence of Origin of Pacific Islanders
Voice of America, 31 March 2008
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Ph.D scholarship in geochronological studies on faunal evolution and hominin dispersal in South and Southeast Asia during the Late Quaternary

From the Quaternary Dating Laboratory, Roskilde University, Denmark. The deadine is in two weeks!

Applications are invited for the above Ph.D scholarship, which will be based at the Quaternary Dating Laboratory, Roskilde University, Denmark and affiliated to GESS (the Graduate Programme in Environmental Stress Studies). The scholarship is for a period of 3 years and must be filled as soon as possible (applications required by 15 February 2008). Salary will be around 268,000 Danish kroner per year, before tax and deductions.
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Pacific Islanders’ Ancestry Emerges in Genetic Study

New light is shed of how the pacific islands were populated in a study published in the journal of the Public Library of Science – Genetics. The new study shows that the pacific islanders share very little genetic traits with those from Melanesia (the region encompassing Maluku to the east and Fiji to the west) and have much more in common with the aboriginies in Taiwan and East Asia. This in turn infers that a human migration from Taiwan eastwards had little interaction with Melanesia, and that the colonization of the pacific islands were not a result of Melanesians moving east.

Pacific Islanders’ Ancestry Emerges in Genetic Study
New York Times, 18 January 2008
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