Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Forensic science used to determine who's who in pre-Columbian Peru

April 23, 2012

Analysis of ancient mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been used to establish migration and population patterns for American indigenous cultures during the time before Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Genetics has used more detailed DNA analysis of individuals from Arequipa region to identify the family relationships and burial traditions of ancient Peru.

The social unit (ayllu) of Native South Americans is thought to be based on kin relationships. The establishment of ayllu-based communities is also associated with funereal monuments (chullpas) which are thought to be important social sites not only because of their religious importance but because they housed the venerated ayllu's ancestors. Ancestor worship and a belief in a common ancestor, central to the ayllu, still exists in the traditions of the Q'ero community.

Researchers from University of Warsaw, in collaboration with Universidad Catolica de Santa Maria, used DNA analysis to reconstruct the family trees of individuals buried in six chullpas near the Coropuna volcano is southern Peru. Despite prior looting, the unique nature of this site, 4000m up the Cora Cora mountain, allowed an extraordinary preservation of human remains and of DNA within both teeth and bone.

mtDNA analysis showed that the groups were of Andean origin and indicated a 500 year continuity, up to modern Andeans, without any major impact by European colonisation.

The social structure of an aylla was established using Y (male) chromosome and autosomal microsatellites analysis, in conjunction with the mtDNA. Family connections were clearly strongest within each chullpa, since individuals buried in the same chullpa were more closely related than those buried in different chullpas, and all males buried together shared identical Y chromosome profiles. In two of the chullpas several generations of related males were found. This matches current thought that the ancient Andians would swap women between families - so called 'sister exchange' while the men retained the ancestral land.

The combinations of DNA analysis used allowed for an unprecedented level of detail in social behaviour to be discerned. In one chullpa three different Y chromosome lineages were found. Comparison of mtDNA within this chullpa suggests that two of the males had the same mother but different fathers, and the third male was related to one of the females, probably a half brother.

Mateusz Baca explained, "Our results show that this community of llama and alpaca herders was (genetically) an extended patriarchal society. The use of chullpas as family graves is consistent with the idea of ayllu-based communities based around strong kinship relationships. However, the chullpa with mixed male heritage shows that this social structure could also be flexible and the strict rules governing marriage and family could be intentionally, or unintentionally, relaxed."

BioMed Central


Related Mitochondrial DNA Current Events and Mitochondrial DNA News Articles


Avoiding mixtures of different mitochondria leads to effective mitochondrial replacement
Scientists at The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute discovered an important biological phenomenon in human cells that will help scientists and clinicians design safer treatments to prevent mitochondrial diseases.

OU anthropologists reconstruct mitogenomes from prehistoric dental calculus
Using advanced sequencing technologies, University of Oklahoma anthropologists demonstrate that human DNA can be significantly enriched from dental calculus (calcified dental plaque) enabling the reconstruction of whole mitochondrial genomes for maternal ancestry analysis--an alternative to skeletal remains in ancient DNA investigations of human ancestry.

In Russia, discovery of preserved Siberian moose with the DNA of ancient animal
Scientists of the Tomsk State University have found preserved moose in Western Siberia that have unique features of DNA structure.

What will emerging genetic tools for mitochondrial DNA replacement mean for patients?
Sophisticated prenatal techniques, not yet in clinical practice, offer the potential to prevent a cruel multi-system genetic disease passing from mother to child long before birth.

Why do we still have mitochondrial DNA?
The mitochondrion isn't the bacterium it was in its prime, say two billion years ago.

Clinical investigations of MRT are 'ethically permissible' if conditions met
Conducting clinical investigations of mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRT) in humans is ethically permissible as long as significant conditions and principles are met, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Mitochondrial troublemakers unmasked in lupus
New findings expose how mitochondria might instigate lupus-like inflammation.

Why some cuckoos have blue eggs
For roughly a century, researchers have been trying to figure out how different female cuckoos manage to lay such a variety of different egg colors to match different host birds.

Genetic changes in birds could throw light on human mitochondrial diseases
Deakin University and UNSW Australia researchers have made a rare observation of rapid evolution in action in the wild, documenting the spread of a newly arisen genetic mutation in invasive starlings, which could shed light on mitochondrial disease in humans.

Scientists say face mites evolved alongside humans since the dawn of human origins
Scientists have discovered a universal human truth about our bodies: they all, without exception, have mites.
More Mitochondrial DNA Current Events and Mitochondrial DNA News Articles

Mitochondrial DNA, Mitochondria, Disease and Stem Cells (Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine)

Mitochondrial DNA, Mitochondria, Disease and Stem Cells (Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine)
by Justin C. St. John (Editor)


This book shows how the mitochondrial genome is transmitted, segregated and inherited. Opens by describing mtDNA mutations and deletions and showing how these impact the offspring’s well-being, covers mtDNA transmission and discusses transmittal and adaptation.

Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology)

Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology)
by Matthew McKenzie (Editor)


This third edition is comprised of well-established protocols that are considered the gold standard in the field as well as new methodologies for mitochondrial DNA analysis. of Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols describes protocols for detecting mutations in mitochondrial DNA, techniques to assess mitochondrial DNA damage, visualization of mitochondrial DNA in situ, detection of mitochondrial DNA nucleoids within the mitochondria, methods for analyzing mitochondrial DNA replication, mitochondrial DNA-encoded protein translation and  mitochondrial DNA copy number,  the latest technologies for modifying the mitochondrial genome and methods for the purification of proteins involved in the replication and transcription of mitochondrial DNA. Written for the Methods in Molecular Biology...

The Genetic Strand: Exploring a Family History Through DNA

The Genetic Strand: Exploring a Family History Through DNA
by Edward Ball (Author)


The Genetic Strand is the story of a writer's investigation, using DNA science, into the tale of his family's origins. National Book Award winner Edward Ball has turned his probing gaze on the microcosm of the human genome, and not just any human genome -- that of his slave-holding ancestors. What is the legacy of such a family history, and can DNA say something about it?

In 2000, after a decade in New York City, Ball bought a house in Charleston, South Carolina, home to his father's family for generations, and furnished it with heirloom pieces from his relatives. In one old desk he was startled to discover a secret drawer, sealed perhaps since the Civil War, in which someone had hidden a trove of family hair, with each lock of hair labeled and dated. The strange find propelled...

Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques: Ethical, Social, and Policy Considerations

Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques: Ethical, Social, and Policy Considerations
by Engineering, and Medicine National Academies of Sciences (Author), Institute of Medicine (Author), Board on Health Sciences Policy (Author), Committee on the Ethical and Social Policy Considerations of Novel Techniques for Prevention of Maternal Transmission of Mitochondrial DNA Diseases (Author), Jeffrey Kahn (Editor), Rebecca English (Editor), Anne Claiborne (Editor)


Mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs) are designed to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases from mother to child. While MRTs, if effective, could satisfy a desire of women seeking to have a genetically related child without the risk of passing on mtDNA disease, the technique raises significant ethical and social issues. It would create offspring who have genetic material from two women, something never sanctioned in humans, and would create mitochondrial changes that could be heritable (in female offspring), and therefore passed on in perpetuity. The manipulation would be performed on eggs or embryos, would affect every cell of the resulting individual, and once carried out this genetic manipulation is not reversible. Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques...

Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols

Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols
by Matthew McKenzie (Editor)




Mitochondrial DNA Mutations in Aging, Disease and Cancer

Mitochondrial DNA Mutations in Aging, Disease and Cancer
by Keshav K. Singh (Editor)


Many human genetic diseases associated with blood, brain, colon, ear, eye, heart, kidney, liver, muscle, and pancreas are caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA. Mutations in DNA can result in defects of the electron transport complexes, intermediates of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and substrate transport. The clinical manifestation of these diseases often involves muscle and the nervous system. Mitochondrial DNA mutations have now been associated with aging as well as age-related degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases. Changes in structure, function, and a number of mitochondria play an important role in carcinogenesis. Furthermore, the role of mitochondria in the execution of programmed cell death or apoptosis has been recognized recently.

Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology)

Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology)
by William C. Copeland (Editor)


Internationally recognized authorities describe in great detail the methods they have perfected to analyze mtDNA and the proteins involved in its maintenance. The analytical techniques cover the purification of mtDNA from a variety of sources and the analysis of DNA for both deletions, point mutations, and damage, for replication intermediates, and for following the fate of mtDNA outside of the mitochondria. Additional analytical methods are presented for analyzing the proteins and enzymes that maintain mtDNA. Comprehensive and timely, Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols offers both basic and clinical researchers proven cutting-edge methods for analyzing mtDNA and illuminating the role it plays in the aging process, apoptosis, and possibly some cancers.

Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology)

Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology)
by Jeffrey A Stuart (Editor)


Since the publication of the first edition, the number of unique heritable mtDNA mutations recognized as being associated with bioenergetic dysfunction, cell death and disease has grown. Likewise, our understanding of the basic biology of somatic mtDNA mutations continues to improve. In Mitochondrial DNA: Methods and Protocols, Second Edition, specialists from eight countries share their expertise, providing detailed protocols for studying many aspects of mtDNA. The volume is divided into three sections, which cover the transduction of information from mtDNA to functionally active respiratory complexes, mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production as well as mtDNA damage and its repair, and the identification and quantification of heteroplasmic mtDNA mutations. Written in the...

Mitochondrial Medicine: Volume II, Manipulating Mitochondrial Function (Methods in Molecular Biology)

Mitochondrial Medicine: Volume II, Manipulating Mitochondrial Function (Methods in Molecular Biology)
by Volkmar Weissig (Editor), Marvin Edeas (Editor)


This expert volume covers an interdisciplinary and rapidly growing area of biomedical research comprising genetic, biochemical, pathological, and clinical studies aimed at the diagnosis and therapy of human diseases which are either caused by or associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. It dedicates itself to showcasing the tremendous efforts and the progress that has been made over the last decades in developing techniques and protocols for probing, imaging, and manipulating mitochondrial functions. Mitochondrial Medicine: Volume II, Manipulating Mitochondrial Function describes techniques developed for manipulating and assessing mitochondrial function under general pathological conditions and specific disease states. Written in the highly successful Methods in Molecular Biology series...

Actual Fact No.22 The Mitochondrial DNA

Actual Fact No.22 The Mitochondrial DNA
by Nuwaupians, Dr york Malachi Z york (Author)


New

© 2017 BrightSurf.com