Friday, February 22, 2013

Anthropological Genetics, A Link to the Ice Age

Sci Daily . By using DNA analysis, Geneticists have found new information on how Europe was repopulated after the devastating Ice Age. In Dr.Pala's article in the American Journal of Human Genetics she claims that relief came from the Near East when Europe became more settlement friendly approximately 19,000 years ago. It was once thought that the two areas of human occupation in Europe during the ice age was near northern Spain and on the Ukrainian plains. By analyzing mitochondrial DNA from Europeans from the two major lineages they concluded that they migrated to Europe much earlier than previously assumed. This early expansion allowed the population to flourish at an exponential rate. This is a growing dicipline known as archeogenetics, coined by Colin Renfrew, which uses the applications of molecular population genetics to study the human past. This can involved DNA recovered from archaeological remains, DNA from modern populations , and statistical methods. This topic can trace its roots to the study of human blood groups from the realization that the class genetic marker provides data on the relationships between linguistic and ethnic groupings.  Some trace genetic ancestry using a method called rolloff. This platform compares the size and composition of stretches of DNA between two human populations as a means of estimating when they mixed. The smaller and more broken up the DNA segments, the older the date of mixture. With this, ancient DNA is needed.

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