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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

DNA Ties between Indigenous People of Australasia and Amazon: Free Shipping Included?

     
     YesterdayHarvard University researchers published research in the journal Nature which shows close DNA connection between indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin of South America and aboriginal people of Australasia (including Australia, New Zealand, Papua, New Guinea and surrounding islands).


       The researchers looked at the data several times because it differed from their previous models of the spread of the human population. Skoglund et al found the genomic evidence to be even stronger as they looked harder to show there was not a tie between the two population groups.




        This summary article from Science Daily includes these paragraphs:

        "Skoglund and colleagues from HMS, the Broad and several universities in Brazil analyzed publicly available genetic information from 21 Native American populations from Central and South America. They also collected and analyzed DNA from nine additional populations in Brazil to make sure the link they saw hadn't been an artifact of how the first set of genomes had been collected. The team then compared those genomes to the genomes of people from about 200 non-American populations."




      "The link persisted. The Tupí-speaking Suruí and Karitiana and the Ge-speaking Xavante of the Amazon had a genetic ancestor more closely related to indigenous Australasians than to any other present-day population. This ancestor doesn't appear to have left measurable traces in other Native American groups in South, Central or North America."





      "The genetic markers from this ancestor don't match any population known to have contributed ancestry to Native Americans, and the geographic pattern can't be explained by post-Columbian European, African or Polynesian mixture with Native Americans, the authors said. They believe the ancestry is much older--perhaps as old as the First Americans."




        "The team named the mysterious ancestor Population Y, after the Tupí word for ancestor, 'Ypykuéra.' "

          The researchers propose that Population Y and First Americans came down from the ice sheets to become the two founding populations of the Americas.

       "About 2 percent of the ancestry of Amazonians today comes from this Australasian lineage that's not present in the same way elsewhere in the Americas," said David Reich, one of the contributing authors.

        An Australasian heritage for Amazonian people is one of the last connections that would come to my mind, given the geographical isolation of Australasia for such a long time period. What's your thinking about this migration pattern?

Two additional links on this topic from The New York Times and The Smithsonian.

Scratching my head over this one,
Steph

This world map projection is helpful:



     You can just about see Gilligan in the middle of the Pacific. . .

      And with the wind patterns:


56 comments:

  1. Until this is sorted out, the debate over Polynesian ancestry for Amazonians may be between those who are Pro- and Con-Tiki.

    Which begs the question: why assume that Population Y came south from the ice sheets, rather than east, across the Pacific?

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    Replies
    1. It's a valid question. I do wonder Y also. But, I'll not hold a torch for it ;-).

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    2. Odd that there seems to be no etymological connection between Tiki, the first man in Maori mythology (and the subject of the carvings), and Kon-Tiki, the old name for the Inca sun god, Viracocha, for whom Heyerdahl's expedition was named,

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    3. Yes, I would have thought so too. 101 days on a small raft seems like a really long time. I enjoyed learning more about the Kon-Tiki voyage of 1947. I'd like to watch the 1948 Heyerdahl documentary of their expedition.

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    4. Questions:
      1) I know nothing about ocean currents or prevailing winds and whatnaut; would a W-E crossing be more or less difficult than an E-W crossing?
      2) What does one subsist on for 101 days? Surely not TANG!

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    5. Never mind question #2. I just read the "Supplies" portion of the Wikipedia page.

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    6. 1) Wind research indicates one could go either way although there is the pesky continent of Africa in the way from east to west. An overland stint seems possible but not so likely to me. But, many generations? Sure.

      2) Paul, just saw your update on #2. I would guess lots of fresh fish and I'd think catching rain or dew water would be critical. Now to go look at the list.

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    7. "The expedition also carried a pet parrot named Lorita."

      Sorry, couldn't help it. Well, I could've, but I'm weak.

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    8. Here's the list from Wikipedia. Never would have thought of putting water in bamboo rods.

      "Kon-Tiki carried 275 US gallons (1,040 l) of drinking water in 56 water cans, as well as a number of sealed bamboo rods. The purpose stated by Heyerdahl for carrying modern and ancient containers was to test the effectiveness of ancient water storage. For food Kon-Tiki carried 200 coconuts, sweet potatoes, bottle gourds and other assorted fruit and roots. The U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps provided field rations, tinned food and survival equipment. In return, the Kon-Tiki explorers reported on the quality and utility of the provisions. They also caught plentiful numbers of fish, particularly flying fish, "dolphin fish", yellowfin tuna, bonito and shark."

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    9. Paul, re: Lorita/Loretta: Get Back, Thor-Thor?

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    10. jan, I had not heard of the Tang fish before.

      My first encounter with the term Dorado (or Dolphinfish) was in Stephen Callahan's Adrift. Another name for the Dorado is Mahi-mahi, meaning very strong. . .But no mention of Tang!

      Callahan's adventure about 76 days at sea alone on a small raft is great reading.

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    11. I only know about the tang through its namesake.

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    12. I'll bet the U.S.S. Tang was never painted yellow, though.

      I searched for a connection between the Yellow Tang fish [Its species name is the Latin adjective flavescens or "yellow"] and the orange-yellow-colored Tang drink but NADA!

      I did learn the inventor of Tang, the drink, also invented Cool-Whip and Pop Rocks so it was not all for naught. {not?}

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    13. I'm sure the drink is named for its citric acid tanginess.

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    14. There's a tangible connection. . .

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    15. Huh! "Tang" is also the part of a knife, fork, file, or other small instrument, which is inserted into the handle.

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    16. ... and I think that etymology is shared with the sharp taste sense of the word. It's from Old Norse tangi, a point of land.

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  2. If you happen to be in Menlo Park July 30:

    Public lecture July 30: The Giant Cascadia Earthquake—Detective Stories from North America and Japan.

    Join USGS scientist Brian Atwater to hear more about a tsunami from western North America that entered Japanese written history in the year 1700, and how decades of basic research on both sides of the Pacific led to the realization that the tsunami was the result of a giant Cascadia earthquake. The research and its findings underpin public-safety measures in the United States and Canada.

    USGS Evening Public Lecture with Brian Atwater
    Thursday, July 30th, 2015, 7:00 p.m. (PST)
    USGS, Rambo Auditorium, Bldg. 3
    Menlo Park, California, 94025

    If you are outside the Bay Area, you can watch the lecture via the internet. It will be live streamed twice, at noon (for a preview) and 7:00 p.m. http://online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar/live.html.

    The USGS Evening Public Lecture Series events are free and are intended for a general public audience.

    The lecture should shed light on the current northwestern U.S. earthquake issues as well (and there's a live stream, too).

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  3. My conjectures as to how the Aussie-area genes got transplanted to Amazonia:
    1. Kangaroos equipped with super leaping power and saddles hopped them over the water, mate.
    2. The UFO/DNA conjecture: Spaceships zipped them over.

    The Harvard researches failed to note that Y-Population's Generation-Xers were the first to really embrace the computer and its social media implications.

    LegenomeRootstTupi

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    Replies
    1. Lego, your comment will not allow me to Mar Soup et al. Oy, I had to go further on that one than from Australasia to the Amazon or the Amazon to Australasia.

      Fascinating topic though, isn't it?

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    2. I think it went east to west: a tiny ship set out from South America on a three hour tour, but then the weather got rough, the ship was tossed and they ended up on Australia, which now will have to be renamed as Gilligan's Island.

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    3. David, see above for the location of Gilligan's tiny ship in the middle of the Pacific.

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    4. My two favorite bits of Gilligan's Island trivia, via Wikipedia:

      The Minnow was named in reference to Newton Minow, chairman of the U.S. FCC, who was most famous for describing television as "a vast wasteland".

      The final day of filming of the scenes of the pilot episode was Friday, November 22, 1963, the day of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A reminder of the tragedy appears in the opening sequence of the show's first season, when the theme song is played. As the Minnow is leaving the harbor and heading out to sea, an American flag flying at half staff can be seen briefly in the background.

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    5. For a show that ran < 100 episodes, Gilligan's Island sure has a lot of interesting trivia.

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  4. Replies
    1. Great name.

      Seamounts are fascinating.

      The earth is always putting on a show somewhere.

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  5. I'm thinking about migrating to Kepler 452-b (since I've given up on Malta).
    How many bamboo rods of water do you think I should pack?

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    Replies
    1. How long are your bamboo rods?

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    2. And how long are you planning to stay?

      I don't know, Malta sounds really wonderful right now!

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    3. They say Malta has "the best climate in the world".
      The numbers don't add up for me. I'm terribly fussy about this sort of thing.
      I suppose my bamboo rods are about as long as Heyerdahl's, give or take, more or less.
      When (if) I get there, I'm there.

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    4. Given the dimensions of bamboo and other woods used in construction here, the bamboo rods had to be shorter than the longest dimension of the ship.

      So, we still need to know how long your ship is, more or less, and we can tell how long the bamboo water rods are (which are different that the 9' + long bamboo poles used for fishing rods.) So many calculations, so little time.

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    5. Little time?
      What's that?

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    6. I suggest you inquire about their immigration policies. Shouldn't take more than 2800 years to get a reply.

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    7. Ok, that really would get confusing.

      Great chart. XKCD is mighty clever.

      I like Eternia Prime or Skydot for Kepler 452-b. Or Maizie. What about Planet Maizie?

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    8. I don't know. I mistakenly believe that Pluto was named after a Disney dog. But I see Maizie as a dogguess who is more of a dogstar.
      And Kepler 452-b ought to ne named in honor of its bamboozling charter transplanted-from-Earth resident... Call it Pauluto.

      LegoMaizieJustLicked,NeverNippedOrBitTheHandThatFeedsHer

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    9. Splendid video, Lego. On and on. . .

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  6. Replies
    1. Poignant. Will take some time to absorb.

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    2. Me, too, Paul. Always enjoyed his writings.

      Been thinking about my kids' ages, Iron and Scandium, for some reason.

      And Maizie, the Oxygen girl.

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    3. And I wondered why I'm galvanized by my son's upcoming birthday.

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    4. 30--wow!

      And 30 zinc is followed by 40 zirconium. . .

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    5. We can only hope that, when our time has come, there will be someone there to wheel us out to witness the entire sky powdered with stars.

      LegoHopeful

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    6. Yes. Or, even better, when the time has come, to walk to a mountaintop with four- and two-legged friends to witness that entire sky powdered with stars.

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    7. Amen.

      LegoMaybeMakeItToAge119(Ultraelemental)

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  7. I don't suppose that POTUS is meeting with PCVs while he's in Ethiopia, is he?

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    1. We've heard that he may have a short meeting with Peace Corps Volunteers. Not verified though and may be dependent on how other plans go while he's there.

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    2. Why not arrange a POTUS/PEOTS Summit?

      LegoPresidentialElucidationOfTrueScience

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    3. Well, other than the fact that he is in Ethiopia and I am in the U.S., it should work! ;-)

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    4. PCVs lined the streets of Addis Ababa to say "EnKwan Dehina Metu, Ato President!" or "Welcome, Mr. President" in Amharic. There are 370 volunteers and 80 staff now in Ethiopia.

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    5. Yes and right now 1 Ethiopian Birr equals
      0.048 US Dollar, er Buck.

      Clever.

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  8. New post on "Geologic Tools of the Trade: No Monkey Wrenches Here" is up. Thanks for the topic suggestion, Lego!

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