An international team of scientists determined that the modern East Asian DNA holds little differences when compared to that of its 7700 years old ancestors.
Studies show that human DNA started a fast diversification process some 12,000 years ago. At the time, our Homo sapiens ancestors started relying on agriculture. Humanity started mixing and diversifying even earlier still. It began once the Neanderthal and Homo sapiens started spreading throughout the planet.
However, some groups remained more isolated. And this may just be the case with the East Asian DNA. A recent research reported the similarity between various modern populations and their ancient ancestors.
Studies on the matter were carried out by an international team of scientists. Research results were released earlier this week. They were published in the Science Advances journal. Available online since February 01, the paper was titled as follows. “Genome-wide data from two early Neolithic East Asian individuals dating to 7700 years ago”.
The study was led by Veronika Sika, She is part of the University of Cambridge, England. Also from Cambridge University is Andrea Manica. She is the study’s senior author. Both professors offered details.
According to Manica, the East Asian DNA saw little changes. Modern day people have very similar traits with their ancestors. More exactly, they almost seemed to be the “same population”. But that is from “a genetic point of view”.
The studies are based on a Russian discovery. Some decades ago, research found human bodies in far east Russia. These were found in a cave in a mountainous coastal area. Called Chertovy Vorota or the Devil’s Gate, it held 5 bodies. They were determined to be almost 8,000 years old.
The research team collected DNA samples from two of them, both women. Then, they compared the ancient East Asian DNA. It was placed beside samples from modern ethnic groups. And the “genetic continuity” levels were surprising.
Tests showed that the East Asian DNA changed little over the past 7 millennia. One indigenous group is reportedly also very similar in appearance as well. This latter is the Ulchi population. They live in the Amur Basin, in far east Asia. But the East Asia DNA similarities expand to other populations as well.
Tungusic-speaking communities were also found to be closely related. Presently, these live in northeast China. A relation was also traced back to the Japanese and Korean population. But the link and similarities were far reduced.
The aforementioned Siska points out the following. This study points out the strong genetic lineage between populations. It traces it back to their early Neolithic ancestors. Both populations inhabited the same region. And have similar features and characteristics.
Ancient East Asian DNA samples show the following. The women most likely had straight, thick hair and brown eyes. And they may have very possibly been lactose intolerant.
Research on the East Asian DNA also revealed the following. The population was known to have been formed from hunter-gatherers. But agriculture may have developed on its own. Previous studies advanced a different theory. This considered that the practice may have been introduced by migrating farmers.
The close connection between the modern and ancient East Asian DNA was quite a surprise. Especially when taking into consideration other modern genetic makeups. For example, Western European populations bear little resemblance to their ancestors.
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