University of Sheffield
University of Sheffield researchers studying ancient DNA have developed a tool to more accurately identify ancient Eurasian populations, which helps to establish a similarity between a person and the ancient humans who once lived the Earth roamed, can be tested.
At present, much information is needed to study ancient skeletal DNA in order to assign a skeleton to a population or to find its biogeographic origin.
Now scientists have defined a new concept called Ancient Ancestry Informative Marker (aAIMs) – a group of mutations that are sufficiently informative to identify and classify ancient populations.
The Eran Elhaik of the Institute of Plant and Animal Sciences of Sheffield University directed the identification of a small group of aAIMs that can be used to classify skeletons for ancient populations.
Dr. Elhaik said:
"We have developed a new method that allows aAIMs to be efficiently found and proven to be accurate."
AIMs (Ancestry Informative Markers) have a long history in science and have been used by health and forensic experts over the past decade.
Dr. However, Elhaik said his team was disappointed with their low accuracy when using traditional AIMs find tools on old DNA data.
"Old populations are much more diverse than modern ones," he said. "Their diversity has diminished over the years as a result of events such as the Neolithic Revolution and the Black Death.
" Although we have many more people today, they are much more alike to each other than the elderly. Moreover, the old data itself is problematic due to the large amount of degraded DNA.
To meet these challenges, Dr. Elhaik developed a special tool that identifies aAIMs by combining conventional methods with a novel method that takes a mixture into account
Genomes consist of hundreds of thousands of markers. (Photo: Eisenhans / Adobe Stock)
"Ancient genomes typically consist of hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of markers. We have shown that only 13,000 markers are needed to make accurate classifications for old genomes, and while the field of ancient forensics does not yet exist, these aAIMs can help us come a lot closer to the elderly. "
He added," Until now, you could not test people for ancient DNA ancestry because commercial microarrays used in genetic genealogy do not have many markers relevant to palaeogenomics – humans were able to reproduce their original DNA Do not study origin. "
" This finding of aAIMs is like finding old people's fingerprints: it allows testing a small number of markers – which can be found in a commonly available array – and you can ask which part of your genome is Roman British or Viking comes. or Chumash Indians or ancient Israelites, etc.
We can ask any question we want to ask about these old people as long as someone has sequenced these old markers. So this paper brings the field of paleogenomics to the public.
Researchers said that in order to clarify the study's findings for the identification and classification of old people around the world, the framework and methods of the study should be reapplied when more comprehensive old DNA databases are available.  Top Image: Testing DNA Molecules Source: natali_mis / Adobe Stock
Using the DNA tool " to track your ancestors " was originally published on Science Daily
Source: Sheffield University. "You can use the DNA tool to keep track of your ancestors." ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, January 14, 2019. < www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190114082850.htm>.