Siberia DNA Links to Native American Ancestry

Siberia Mul'ta

New genetic evidence was found in south-central Siberia that links about a third of Native Americans to European origin.  The DNA came from a four-year old Mal’ta boy who died and was buried with a variety of artifacts that included the Goddess Venus figurine.  The remains and artifacts of this little boy were found in the 1920’s by Russian archaeologists by the village of Mal’ta which is near the Belaya river.  Just by finding the Siberian DNA helps us uncover further links to Native American Ancestry and other human migrations that have been continuously rewritten over the years when new discovers are found.

The little boy’s arm-bone was were the DNA sample was taken from and then compared to current human populations.  Scientists did notice something strange occur when they took the genome from the bone.  They noticed that parts of the genome are only found today in western Eurasians and other unique parts are found only in Native American blood lines.

An estimate of 14 to 38 % of the DNA found in Native Americans traces back to the four-year old Mal’ta boy 24,000 years ago.  Researchers are confused though, as to why they did not find any affinity traces of east Asian populations, such as the Japanese, Koreans, or the Chinese.  Most Native Americans in today’s world are more related to east Asians, so the researchers had to figure out how the little boy was related to Native Americans, but not the east Asian population.

A theory researchers think may have happened, would be that the two populations came together at some point, but they have no clue as to when the populations actually mixed.  It may have happened in the Old World within Siberia, or even in the New World.  This new finding could help explain so many long-standing differences in current Native American populations.  One example from another find is from the man who was found in Washington State.  A 9,000 year old Native Kennewick man holds features that seem typical to Europeans, but were very different from modern-day Natives or East Asians.

Another puzzling problem is that modern Europeans are a new population that came through a mixture of processes that only occurred 10.000 years ago, and one of those mixed contributions comes from the Siberian boy!

So our quest in trying to find how the Native American lineages came from, as well helping to map the European genetic web of 24,000 years may be a tricky one at best.  The boy’s remains may be a huge link into finding more clues to how people came to populate the New World of America when scientists excavated the Upper Paleolithic dig site in Siberia.  So in reality, Siberia is not as barren and cold as so many may think it is!  We may much more to find out there than we perceived that’s for sure.  One may also wonder how the modern-day Native American populace will take in these new findings.  Will they accept the research or challenge it if there is any questionable data when considering the Siberia DNA linkage to any Native American Ancestry?

 

By Tina Elliott

 

BBC News

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Science2.0

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