Thursday, September 18, 2014
Scientists have found a genetic connection between modern Europeans and Native Americans
It has long been believed that modern Europeans descended from indigenous hunters and Middle Eastern farmers. But a new study suggests all Europeans today have DNA from a third mystery group: Ancient North Eurasians. This group appears to have contributed DNA to present-day Europeans, as well as to the people who travelled across the Bering Strait into the Americas more than 15,000 years ago. The study is based on analysis of ancient DNA which has shifted scientists' ideas of how groups of people migrated across the globe thousands of years ago. It also revealed that ancient Middle Eastern farmers and their European descendants can trace much of their ancestry to a previously unknown, even older lineage called the Basal Eurasians. By comparing nine ancient genomes to those of modern humans, researchers have shown that previously unrecognised groups contributed to the genetic mix in Europe. Northern Europeans have more indigenous hunter DNA, while southern Europeans have more DNA from the Middle East. All Europeans also have DNA from Northern Eurasians. The new group arrived in Europe sometime after the introduction of agriculture, which means the major movements of people into Europe was later than previously thought. Every modern day European has DNA from early European farmers who brought agriculture to Europe, the indigenous hunter-gatherers who were in Europe prior to 8,000 years ago, and these ancient north Eurasians.