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New DNA research on Native American mummies


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Interesting.  Thanks for the for link.  I'll have to read that more fully when I have more time.

One question that immediately sprang to mind was who were these 92 individuals mentioned.  This is from the paper:

"Most of the archaeological samples were collected in the Central Andes from sites in Peru (n = 70), western Bolivia (n = 9), and northern Chile (n = 6), whereas the remaining samples came from northern Mexico (n = 5) and the Argentinian Pampas (n = 2)"

And in keeping with board tradition, here's a couple of cherry-picked quotes, complete with ellipses:

"Genetic studies of Native American populations are complicated by the demographic collapse and presumed major loss of genetic diversity following European colonization at the end of the 15th century (7). However, geographically widespread signals of low diversity and shared ancestry (813)—particularly striking in maternally inherited mitochondrial and paternally inherited Y-chromosome sequence data—suggest that small founding groups possibly initially entered the Americas in a single migration event that gave rise to most of the ancestry of Native Americans today (9, 12, 14).  ... compatible with two founding migrations (16) ... ."

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3 minutes ago, oremites said:

One question that immediately sprang to mind was who were these 92 individuals mentioned. 

A few other articles I read mentioned that the researchers do accept that the sampling was not broad enough, and they will do more testing as more ancient DNA is found. They were limited to the Andes because the DNA is better preserved in the dry climate.

I remember a few months back there was a publication about traces of Australasian DNA in two Brazilian tribes. But no ancient DNA could be found for testing because the high humidity in the Amazon. 

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

The head archaeologist for the Smithsonian actually believes there are reasons to believe Austronesians/Polynesians landed in the Americas far before Columbus. Not only are there genetic traces, but there are archaeological reasons to believe such.

There is also genetic data suggesting Australasian gene flow after the original peopling of the Americas. Given our understanding that Austronesians/Polynesians are Lamanites, I find this fascinating.

I had another observation from the report that I don't understand. Can anyone familiar with Ugo Perego's research on X2a explain the following?

Quote

However, geographically widespread signals of low diversity and shared ancestry (813)—particularly striking in maternally inherited mitochondrial and paternally inherited Y-chromosome sequence data—suggest that small founding groups possibly initially entered the Americas in a single migration event that gave rise to most of the ancestry of Native Americans today (91214). In contrast, the distribution of some of the rare founding mitochondrial haplogroups (D4h3a along the Pacific coast of North and South America, and X2a in northwestern North America) suggests that distinct migrations along the coastal route and the ice-free corridor occurred within less than 2000 years (15).

Citation 15 links to Ugo Perego's research. Are they suggesting that X2a appears in northwestern North America within the last 2000 years?

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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13 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

A new study just came out confirming that the arrival of Europeans in the New World wiped out a lot of the genetic diversity. 

"An international team of scientists has sequenced mitochondrial DNA from skeletons and mummies of indigenous Americans ranging from 8,600 to 500 years ago. They compared this new data to the DNA of modern Native American populations and found that the old sequences were mysteriously missing. This doesn't mean that all indigenous Americans died off, study lead author Bastien Llamas points out. There still are Native Americans alive today across both continents. But of the 92 archaic individuals that the team looked at, none of their mitochondrial sequences survived to the present day."

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0402/DNA-research-suggests-large-scale-collapse-of-Native-American-ancestors

I would have thought this to be a given.

I've read the book 1491, which discusses evidence for the fact that European diseases destroyed entire civilizations long before the Europeans ever reached them or even knew about them.  Some people don't like this as a theory because it tends to absolve the Europeans from direct guilt for the deaths of millions. 

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8 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Citation 15 links to Ugo Perego's research. Are they suggesting that X2a appears in northwestern North America within the last 2000 years?

Not as I read it. They are saying the distribution pattern of DNA in the Americas suggests that the peopling of the Americas occurred within a short time span of 2000 years or possibly one migration. But then they also say:  "As a result, current mitochondrial molecular clock estimates of the initial entry into the Americas, which assume that the event corresponds to the initial diversification of Native American genetic lineages, range from 26.3 to 9.7 ka," which is a range of almost 20,000 years. In other words depending on how you look at the data any ability to predict an accurate time for the peopling of the Americas is severely hampered. It seems to me they end up saying we don't know enough to be accurate. They say: " Given the narrow temporal span of the actual diversification and migration into the Americas, much greater precision is needed to distinguish between different migration routes and hypotheses." 

I am of the personal opinion that attempts to use current population DNA profiles to determine the peopling of Americas has resulted in a lot of inaccurate guessing, and that ancient Native DNA and archaeology will eventually disprove the one migration Bering Strait model. I currently see 5-6 ancient migrations to the Americas before Columbus over a wide dispersal of time based mostly on archaeological data, but some genetic data which must be mined out of existing reports. The thing is our understanding of ancient Native American DNA is quite limited, and I believe some assumptions based on modern population data will be proven wrong. In short I believe the ancient Americas will prove to be much more of a "melting pot" than the current prevailing view allows for. The apparent massive loss of DNA from the gene pool post-Columbus only seems to corroborate my opinion on the problems with relying on modern population DNA studies to try to make the extrapolations many of these geneticists rely on.

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  • 5 months later...
2 hours ago, Belshazzar said:

Is it plausible that Lehi and his descendants DNA signature would have been lost overtime based on these findings?

Three things from the article linked in the original post suggest that this is a possibility:

  1. Something significant happened to reduce the genetic diversity of this population in the past 500 or so years.
  2. Of the 92 archaic individuals that the team looked at, none of their mitochondrial sequences survived to the present day.
  3. European arrival coincided with a significant reduction of the populations already living in South, Central, and North America. Estimates have ranged from around 50 to 90 percent of the population died off at the time.

If 50%-90% of the American population was killed off 500 years ago, we shouldn't expect to find traces of all groups living in the Americas before that time. If the Lehites and Mulekites did arrive in the Americas in 600 BC we might not find their DNA in existing Native American populations. We'd have to look at DNA from remains dating back to the Book of Mormon time period.

Unfortunately, I don't believe Semitic DNA dating between 600 BC and 420 AD has been found anywhere beyond the Indian Ocean. The only solid genetic evidence of Jewish migrations dating back to that period is in the Cochin Jews of India.

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep19166

But one interesting thing, the Cochin Jews have traditions of Jewish migrations dating back to 600 BC and also traditions of Jewish colonies extending further east into China and the islands (see the supplementary text of the article linked to above).

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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A new DNA study publish in Nature undermines LDS beliefs on the ancestry of Pacific Islanders...Isn't it time the church restores these peoples true ancestry and heritage?  It is wrong to teach them that they are descendants of Lehi and keeps them from a true knowledge of their Asian ancestry.

http://phys.org/news/2016-10-reveals-asian-ancestry-pacific-islanders.html

Edited by Johnnie Cake
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37 minutes ago, Johnnie Cake said:

A new DNA study publish in Nature undermines LDS beliefs on the ancestry of Pacific Islanders...Isn't it time the church restores these peoples true ancestry and heritage?  It is wrong to teach them that they are descendants of Lehi and keeps them from a true knowledge of their Asian ancestry.

http://phys.org/news/2016-10-reveals-asian-ancestry-pacific-islanders.html

While they may not be descendants of Lehi, they may very well be related to Manasseh. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence from which one might see benai Manasseh living among the Australnesians at the same time the Australnesians began spreading out into Polynesia.

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13 hours ago, Johnnie Cake said:

A new DNA study publish in Nature undermines LDS beliefs on the ancestry of Pacific Islanders...Isn't it time the church restores these peoples true ancestry and heritage?  It is wrong to teach them that they are descendants of Lehi and keeps them from a true knowledge of their Asian ancestry.

http://phys.org/news/2016-10-reveals-asian-ancestry-pacific-islanders.html

Seeing that this paper was published only three days ago, I'm pretty sure the Tongans have not yet started organizing their Asian Pride Parades.

But this is a fascinating study, and one that (IMO) Mormons should take a very close look at. 

Jaredites: Venturing into the Pacific from East Asia starting around 5000 BP
Asians: Venturing into the Pacific from East Asia starting around 5000 BP

"But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea; wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, and they are inhabited also by our brethren. For behold, the Lord God has led away from time to time from the house of Israel, according to his will and pleasure. And now behold, the Lord remembereth all them who have been broken off, wherefore he remembereth us also." - 2 Nephi 10:21-22


r_continent_map.gif

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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32 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

..."But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea; wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, and they are inhabited also by our brethren. For behold, the Lord God has led away from time to time from the house of Israel, according to his will and pleasure. And now behold, the Lord remembereth all them who have been broken off, wherefore he remembereth us also." - 2 Nephi 10:21-22


r_continent_map.gif

I find the migration paths depicted here almost as interesting as the ones excluded.

Edited by notHagoth7
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11 minutes ago, notHagoth7 said:

I find the migration paths depicted here almost as interesting as the ones excluded.

The Seima-Turbino migrations followed a path similar to Nibley's path for the Jaredites right around the time the Austronesian expansion from East Asia reached Tonga and Vanuatu. 3500-4000 BP.

BronzeMAP.png

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On 4/4/2016 at 8:58 AM, RevTestament said:

Not as I read it. They are saying the distribution pattern of DNA in the Americas suggests that the peopling of the Americas occurred within a short time span of 2000 years or possibly one migration. But then they also say:  "As a result, current mitochondrial molecular clock estimates of the initial entry into the Americas, which assume that the event corresponds to the initial diversification of Native American genetic lineages, range from 26.3 to 9.7 ka," which is a range of almost 20,000 years.

That clock is conjectural, not like tree rings.  

I had a conversation with Dr. Michael Brown of Emory on the "clock" of haplogroup X.  He basically said that, to know the chronology, we need to discover the founding group.

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22 hours ago, Johnnie Cake said:

A new DNA study publish in Nature undermines LDS beliefs on the ancestry of Pacific Islanders...Isn't it time the church restores these peoples true ancestry and heritage?  It is wrong to teach them that they are descendants of Lehi and keeps them from a true knowledge of their Asian ancestry.

http://phys.org/news/2016-10-reveals-asian-ancestry-pacific-islanders.html

 

Quote

But analysis of three skeletons from Vanuatu's oldest cemetery found they came from Asia, with no trace of DNA from their Pacific neighbours.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-reveals-asian-ancestry-pacific-islanders.html#jCp

I admit I dont' get this DNA testing and drawing conclusions.  They analyze 3 skeletons and some how conclude where the people came from? 

Quote

Their original base population is Asian. They were straight out of Taiwan and perhaps the northern Philippines," said Matthew Spriggs, a professor at the Australian National University and one of the researchers involved in the study.

"They travelled past places where people were already living, but when they got to Vanuatu there was nobody there. These are the first people."



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-reveals-asian-ancestry-pacific-islanders.html#jCp

It all feels conjectural to me. 

It feels like they draw conclusions based on little pieces of data to get a story out there.  then some years later it all starts coming out that they didn't have enough data to support their conclusions.  Isn't that what has happened with the Bearing Strait immigration model?  Everyone in the Americas anciently came from a single migration across the Bearing Strait? 

I think we do think we are smarter on this stuff than we are. 

Quote

The unexpected results about Oceanian history highlight the power of ancient DNA to overthrow established models of the human past," he said.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-reveals-asian-ancestry-pacific-islanders.html#jCp

This based off of 3 skeletal remains.  Who knows when new remains are found and tested and what changes to overthrow the new established models?  Why does it feel like the genetic makeup of all people is far more diverse than we ever really know? 

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On ‎4‎/‎3‎/‎2016 at 0:27 PM, Rajah Manchou said:

A new study just came out confirming that the arrival of Europeans in the New World wiped out a lot of the genetic diversity. 

"An international team of scientists has sequenced mitochondrial DNA from skeletons and mummies of indigenous Americans ranging from 8,600 to 500 years ago. They compared this new data to the DNA of modern Native American populations and found that the old sequences were mysteriously missing. This doesn't mean that all indigenous Americans died off, study lead author Bastien Llamas points out. There still are Native Americans alive today across both continents. But of the 92 archaic individuals that the team looked at, none of their mitochondrial sequences survived to the present day."

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0402/DNA-research-suggests-large-scale-collapse-of-Native-American-ancestors

I'm confused I've been assured many times that DNA remnants of all people in the Americas had to have survived in some way.  I thought that was the whole argument against the BoM.  There was apparently no way we lost any possible detection of a people in the Americas.  Now it seems like we've lost nearly all (100%) of the genetic makeup of people.  of course as one of the scientists said in the study "The conclusions that we have drawn from this dataset may change in the future when we gather more data," he says. "It's an ongoing story."

I've kind of enjoyed the story telling based on genetic studies--"well people came along this way some thousands of years ago..." only to learn we don't really know how it all worked.  It seems like, as in our personal lives, there's always more complexity than we know. 

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2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I'm confused I've been assured many times that DNA remnants of all people in the Americas had to have survived in some way. 

This assumption fits the antiMormon narrative that DNA research disproves the BOM.  My answer was precisely this, that there was an issue with the sampling, using samples ONLY from modern AmierIndians and Jews.  Also we don't have the DNA characteristics fom Lehi.

Edited by cdowis
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3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I'm confused I've been assured many times that DNA remnants of all people in the Americas had to have survived in some way.  I thought that was the whole argument against the BoM.  There was apparently no way we lost any possible detection of a people in the Americas.  Now it seems like we've lost nearly all (100%) of the genetic makeup of people.  of course as one of the scientists said in the study "The conclusions that we have drawn from this dataset may change in the future when we gather more data," he says. "It's an ongoing story."

The 50%-90% that went extinct still falls within the 5 haplogroups (A,B,C,D,X) that make up the founding populations of the Americas. Its the diversity within those 5 haplogroups that was lost before 500 years ago during the bottleneck event. The 'ongoing story' remains within the known 5 groups.

I suppose it is possible that other haplogroups did cross over to the New World at some point and went extinct, and haven't yet been found. But if there was Jewish/Semitic DNA, would it have been more resistant to European diseases and more likely to have survived?

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10 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

The 50%-90% that went extinct still falls within the 5 haplogroups (A,B,C,D,X) that make up the founding populations of the Americas. Its the diversity within those 5 haplogroups that was lost before 500 years ago during the bottleneck event. The 'ongoing story' remains within the known 5 groups.

Ok.  I forgot about that. 

10 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:


I suppose it is possible that other haplogroups did cross over to the New World at some point and went extinct, and haven't yet been found. But if there was Jewish/Semitic DNA, would it have been more resistant to European diseases and more likely to have survived?

beats me.  Would a people a 2000 years removed from their origin population have the same resistance to disease if they come back into contact with them? 

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6 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Ok.  I forgot about that. 

beats me.  Would a people a 2000 years removed from their origin population have the same resistance to disease if they come back into contact with them? 

I would guess no, as the diseases in the old world would have continued to evolve. 

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7 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

The 50%-90% that went extinct still falls within the 5 haplogroups (A,B,C,D,X) that make up the founding populations of the Americas. Its the diversity within those 5 haplogroups that was lost before 500 years ago during the bottleneck event. The 'ongoing story' remains within the known 5 groups.

I suppose it is possible that other haplogroups did cross over to the New World at some point and went extinct, and haven't yet been found. But if there was Jewish/Semitic DNA, would it have been more resistant to European diseases and more likely to have survived?

How would we know though that the 50-90% would only be those particular haplotypes if they all died? We would have to sample all of them right? 

Wouldnt the DNA signal also be destroyed because of genetic drift? 

Now im even more confused. Hopefully you can explain this more to me :)

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3 hours ago, Belshazzar said:

How would we know though that the 50-90% would only be those particular haplotypes if they all died?...

We wouldn't.

Unless a representative sampling of every human remain somehow survived under the surface of the earth. 

(Last I checked, most bones crumble to dust, and even in the relatively rare cases when bones are preserved, their DNA often isn't.)

Edited by notHagoth7
clarify
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