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Five Amazing Things We Learned About Ancient DNA History in 2018




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The DNA molecule is in front of a black background Abstract collage 3D photo credit: Getty Getty

Every year, the old DNA Research deepened Our understanding of history was a bit more, and 201

8 was truly a remarkable year for DNA research in antiquity, with more than 1,300 genomes characterized by ancient individuals by February, highlighting five of the most interesting discoveries Year, though I had to cheat a little bit by putting together several papers under each topic.

  1. A First Generation Descendant of Neanderthal / Denisovan

In 2018, researchers sequenced five new genomes of Neanderthals that occurred 39,000 to 47,000 years ago (Hajdinjak et al., "Reconstructing the Genetic History of the Late Neanderthals"), which gives us insights into the structure of their genetic diversity e. We also learned that, as a result of crossbreeding, humans and Neanderthal mediated genes involved in resistance to other virus viruses (Enard et al. "Evidence that RNA viruses drove adaptive introgression between Neanderthals and modern humans, see my abstract here). But perhaps one of the year's most exciting discoveries was the release of the genome of a 90,000-year-old girl from Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. Her genome revealed that she was a progeny of the first generation of a Neanderthal woman with a Denisovan (Slon et al., "The genome of the descendants of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father"). Her mother's ancestry was most closely related to a European population of Neanderthals and not to any other Neanderthals from the same cave, suggesting a long migration of Neanderthals. Finding them suggests that such encounters were more prevalent than previously thought and were not confined to Neanderthal man pairings alone. We also learned this year that there were probably at least two crossover events between Denisovans and modern humans (Browning et al., "Analysis of human sequence data shows two impulses of archaic denisovan admixture"). These findings contributed to contributing to a major theme in the evolutionary theory of man this year: one focus was on understanding the biological consequences of genetic variants inherited from our ancestors Neanderthals and Denisovan. In a special issue of the Current Opinion in Genetics and Development, which focused on genetics of human origin, Dannemann and Racimo examined recent research on the adaptive advantages (and disadvantages) of archaic hominin DNA in our genomes ("Somewhat old, something borrowed: admixture) and adaptation in human evolution "). In another article ("Outstanding Questions in the Investigation of Archaic Hominin Addition"), Wolf and Akey have more generally considered the state of our knowledge of modern human-archaic hominin addition and have focused on the questions that we have. I still have none Answers to that.

  1. New Insights into the Genetic History of the Indigenous Peoples of America

I can not remember another year when we learned so much about the history of the indigenous American population from ancient DNA: in early January, a genome showed from one of the three children who were buried 11,000 years ago at the Upward Sun River site in Alaska, the presence of a population of p excitingly just hypothesized: the old Beringians. They had the same ancestry as the Native Americans from North and South America, but parted from them about 20,000 years ago. (Moreno-Mayar et al., "Pleistocene Almenic Endom Shows Initial Population of Native American Indians," see my abstract here.) Another member of this group was later genetically identified later this year (Moreno-Mayar et al.) "Americas," from the Trail Creek Cave site in Alaska. This individual was about 9,000 years old. The large geographical separation of these two individuals suggests that this population was widespread. Additional complexity (including two other hypothetical ancestral populations) was added to our models of the original colonization of North and South America by this paper, another by Scheib et al. ("Ancient Parallels in North America Contributed to Coastal Expansion") and a third by Posth et al , ("Reconstruction of the deep population history in Central and South America"). You can read my summaries of the Moreno-Mayar paper and the Posth-paper here.

In connection with this, I began working on my book on the Genetic History of America, this year all of the current studies (many of which are not mentioned here) are brought together in one place for interested readers in the not-too-distant future.

  1. The Complex Genetic History of the Humans in Vanuatu

Two This year important old DNA studies were published which, together with genomic analyzes of contemporary peoples, provided insights into the history of the populations of Vanuatu (Posth et al.) "Language Continuity Despite Population Replacement in Remote Oceania "and Lipson et al.) Population turnover in remote Oceania shortly after the first colonization"). Together, they show that the first inhabitants of Vanuatu came from the Lapita culture of East Asian genetic origin. But about 2,500 years ago, Papuans from the Bismark archipelago began to move into the region; Their genetic contributions continue to this day and have almost completely supplanted the East Asian ancestral sign. Many of the languages ​​of the contemporary Vanuatan peoples, however, date from the Lapita. This finding shows that genetic heritage can not necessarily be derived from cultural / linguistic identity and vice versa: a lesson that the ancient DNA has often taught us in recent years.

  1. New Insights into the Genetic History of Europe

This year two research groups of the Reich Laboratory published the largest ancient DNA study to date in two articles containing genome data from more than 600 individuals living in Europe between the Neolithic and the Bronze Ages. (Mathieson et al., "The Genomic History of Southeastern Europe" and Olalde et al., "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genomic Transformation of Northwestern Europe"). These genomes provided a better understanding of the incredibly complex population events that shape Europe's history. The researchers discovered that the spread of Beaker culture in some regions of Europe was due to the spread of culture. In other regions, eg. In Great Britain, for example, where about 90% of the gene pool was replaced by steppe ancestors about 4,400 years ago, the spread of the Beaker culture was due to this. Southeast European genomes between 12000 and 500 BC Show that the region was genetically dynamic, with early contacts between the people living there and the steppe populations that would later spread to northern Europe. Here is a summary of their results.

  1. Ancient Southeast Asian DNA has shown at least three major waves of human migration in the last 50,000 years.

The first major studies on ancient genetic diversity from Southeast Asia were published this year by Lipson et al. ("Ancient genomes document several migratory waves in the history of Southeast Asia") and McColl et al. ("The Prehistoric Population of Southeast Asia"). Taken together, these studies show that the agricultural populations emigrated to China from around 5,000 to 4,000 years ago from all over Southeast Asia and mingled with (but did not completely replace) the Hòabìnhians on the mainland. Genetic variations related to various East Asian populations in genomes that date back to later periods indicate that more gene flow events occurred. This complex history of migration helps to settle a long-term debate between archaeologists, linguists and biological anthropologists.

These are just a few of the fascinating things that ancient DNA research has revealed this year about history. In the interest of space, I can not include many others, such as finding the hepatitis B virus in 7,000-year-old human remains, reconstructing the appearance of Cheddar Man from its genome, or the evolutionary history of dogs the Americans. please tweet anything that you think I should have added to the list.

But while we celebrate the achievements of these researchers, I think it is also important to recognize the areas of paleogenomics and archeology a long way in front of us to be fully cooperative. This article by Ewen Callaway provides a good summary of the problems underlying the "troubled relationship" between archeology and paleogenomics. I would add that indigenous communities around the world must be explicitly involved in this research effort, as in the past they have experienced and still suffer from persistent damage from researchers who fail to see how their work affects them , DNA research in antiquity is not regulated in the same way as genetics research with contemporary peoples. This year, there has been a constant talk about how the increasing pace and "industrialization" of DNA research in antiquity can compound the existing neglect of the ethical concerns of descendent communities and other stakeholders – something that is commonplace in this discipline. For example, a team of researchers and ethicists (including Forbes researcher Kristina Killgrove) criticized the skeletal and genomic analysis of the remains of a partially mummified human fetus from Chile as imprecise, unnecessary, and unethical (Halcrow et al.) Anthropology: A Critical Evaluation of Skeletal and developmental abnormalities in the Atacama preterm infant, as well as questions of forensic and bioarchaeological research ethics.)

Collaboration with subordinate communities prior to starting a project is one way to ensure ethical paleogenomics research. But what does committed research look like? The SING consortium, a group of indigenous and non-indigenous geneticists and bioethicists, addressed this issue in an article published in Science (Bardill et al., "Promoting the Ethics of Paleo-genomics"; Co-author of this paper) The article not only highlighted the problems that can arise when subordinate communities are not consulted in the research process, but also suggested a number of specific key questions to help geneticists in the community process. I hope for 2019 that the partnership between researchers from all disciplines and future communities will increase, which will strengthen our scientific conclusions and make our research more ethical.

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DNA molecule is set against a black background." Abstract collage. "Photo credit for rendering 3D photos: Getty Getty

Each year, the ancient DNA Researching our understanding of the story a little bit, and 2018 was a remarkable year for DNA research: in February, the total number of genomes characterized by ancient individuals exceeded 1,300 and I would like to highlight five of the most interesting discoveries in my opinion I made this year, though I had to cheat a little bit by putting together several papers under each topic.

  1. A Neanderthal / Denisovan Descent of the First Generation

in 2018 The researchers sequenced five new genomes of Neanderthals, who lived from 39,000 to 47,000 years ago (Hajdinjak et al., "Reconstructing the Genetic History of the Late Neanderthals"), giving us insights into the structure of it genetic diversity. We have also learned that modern humans and Neanderthals cross-engrossed with each other genes involved in resistance to each other's viruses (Enard et al.) "Evidence that RNA viruses are the adaptive introgression between Neanderthals and Neanderthals." modern people ", see my summary here). But perhaps one of the year's most exciting discoveries was the release of the genome of a 90,000-year-old girl from Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. Her genome revealed that she was a progeny of the first generation of a Neanderthal woman with a Denisovan (Slon et al., "The genome of the descendants of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father"). Her mother's ancestry was most closely related to a European population of Neanderthals and not to any other Neanderthals from the same cave, suggesting a long migration of Neanderthals. Finding them suggests that such encounters were more prevalent than previously thought and were not confined to Neanderthal man pairings alone. We also learned this year that there were probably at least two crossover events between Denisovans and modern humans (Browning et al., "Analysis of human sequence data shows two impulses of archaic denisovan admixture"). These findings contributed to contributing to a major theme in the evolutionary theory of man this year: one focus was on understanding the biological consequences of genetic variants inherited from our ancestors Neanderthals and Denisovan. In a special issue of the Current Opinion in Genetics and Development, which focused on genetics of human origin, Dannemann and Racimo examined recent research on the adaptive advantages (and disadvantages) of archaic hominin DNA in our genomes ("Somewhat old, something borrowed: admixture) and adaptation in human evolution "). In another article ("Outstanding Questions in the Investigation of Archaic Hominin Addition"), Wolf and Akey have more generally considered the state of our knowledge of modern human-archaic hominin addition and have focused on the questions that we have. I still have none Answers to that.

  1. New Insights into the Genetic History of the Indigenous Peoples of America

I can not remember another year when we learned so much about the history of the indigenous American population from ancient DNA: in early January, a genome showed from one of the three children who were buried 11,000 years ago at the Upward Sun River site in Alaska, the presence of a population of p excitingly just hypothesized: the old Beringians. They had the same ancestry as the Native Americans from North and South America, but parted from them about 20,000 years ago. (Moreno-Mayar et al., "Pleistocene Almenic Endom Shows Initial Population of Native American Indians," see my abstract here.) Another member of this group was later genetically identified later this year (Moreno-Mayar et al.) "Americas," from the Trail Creek Cave site in Alaska. This individual was about 9,000 years old. The large geographical separation of these two individuals suggests that this population was widespread. Additional complexity (including two other hypothetical ancestral populations) was added to our models of the original colonization of North and South America by this paper, another by Scheib et al. ("Ancient Parallels in North America Contributed to Coastal Expansion") and a third by Posth et al , ("Reconstruction of the deep population history in Central and South America"). Here you can read my summaries of Moreno Mayan paper and Posth paper.

In connection with this, I started working on my book on the genetic history of America this year, all the current studies (many of which are not mentioned here) in a single place for interested readers in the not too distant future summarized.

  1. The Complex Genetic History of the Humans in Vanuatu

Two This year important old DNA studies were published which, together with genomic analyzes of contemporary peoples, provided insights into the history of the populations of Vanuatu (Posth et al.) "Language Continuity Despite Population Replacement in Remote Oceania "and Lipson et al.) Population turnover in remote Oceania shortly after the first colonization"). Together, they show that the first inhabitants of Vanuatu came from the Lapita culture of East Asian genetic origin. But about 2,500 years ago, Papuans from the Bismark archipelago began to move into the region; Their genetic contributions continue to this day and have almost completely supplanted the East Asian ancestral sign. Many of the languages ​​of the contemporary Vanuatan peoples, however, date from the Lapita. This finding shows that genetic heritage can not necessarily be derived from cultural / linguistic identity and vice versa: a lesson that the ancient DNA has often taught us in recent years.

  1. New Insights into the Genetic History of Europe

This year two research groups of the Reich Laboratory published the largest ancient DNA study to date in two articles containing genome data from more than 600 individuals living in Europe between the Neolithic and the Bronze Ages. (Mathieson et al., "The Genomic History of Southeastern Europe" and Olalde et al., "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genomic Transformation of Northwestern Europe"). These genomes provided a better understanding of the incredibly complex population events that shape Europe's history. The researchers discovered that the spread of Beaker culture in some regions of Europe was due to the spread of culture. In other regions, eg. In Great Britain, for example, where about 90% of the gene pool was replaced by steppe ancestors about 4,400 years ago, the spread of the Beaker culture was due to this. Southeast European genomes between 12000 and 500 BC Show that the region was genetically dynamic, with early contacts between the people living there and the steppe populations that would later spread to northern Europe. Here is a summary of their results.

  1. Ancient Southeast Asian DNA has shown at least three major waves of human migration in the last 50,000 years.

The first major studies on ancient genetic diversity from Southeast Asia were published this year by Lipson et al. ("Ancient genomes document several migratory waves in the history of Southeast Asia") and McColl et al. ("The Prehistoric Population of Southeast Asia"). Taken together, these studies show that the agricultural populations emigrated to China from around 5,000 to 4,000 years ago from all over Southeast Asia and mingled with (but did not completely replace) the Hòabìnhians on the mainland. Genetic variations related to various East Asian populations in genomes that date back to later periods indicate that more gene flow events occurred. This complex history of migration helps to settle a long-term debate between archaeologists, linguists and biological anthropologists.

These are just a few of the fascinating things that ancient DNA research has revealed this year about history. In the interest of space, I can not include many others, such as finding the hepatitis B virus in 7,000-year-old human remains, reconstructing the appearance of Cheddar Man from its genome, or the evolutionary history of dogs the Americans. please tweet anything that you think I should have added to the list.

But while we celebrate the achievements of these researchers, I think it is also important to recognize the areas of paleogenomics and archeology a long way in front of us to be fully cooperative. This article by Ewen Callaway provides a good summary of the problems underlying the "troubled relationship" between archeology and paleogenomics. I would add that indigenous communities around the world must be explicitly involved in this research effort, as in the past they have experienced and still suffer from persistent damage from researchers who fail to see how their work affects them , DNA research in antiquity is not regulated in the same way as genetics research with contemporary peoples. This year, there has been a constant talk about how the increasing pace and "industrialization" of DNA research in antiquity can compound the existing neglect of the ethical concerns of descendent communities and other stakeholders – something that is commonplace in this discipline. For example, a team of researchers and ethicists (including Forbes researcher Kristina Killgrove) criticized the skeletal and genomic analysis of the remains of a partially mummified human fetus from Chile as imprecise, unnecessary, and unethical (Halcrow et al.) Anthropology: A Critical Evaluation of Skeletal and developmental abnormalities in the Atacama preterm infant, as well as questions of forensic and bioarchaeological research ethics.)

Collaboration with subordinate communities prior to starting a project is one way to ensure ethical paleogenomics research. But what does committed research look like? The SING consortium, a group of indigenous and non-indigenous geneticists and bioethicists, addressed this issue in an article published in Science (Bardill et al., "Promoting the Ethics of Paleo-genomics"; Co-author of this paper) The article not only highlighted the problems that can arise when subordinate communities are not consulted in the research process, but also suggested a number of specific key questions to help geneticists in the community process. I hope for 2019 that the partnership between researchers from all disciplines and future communities will increase, which will strengthen our scientific conclusions and make our research more ethical.


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