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


Impact of obesity on fertility can be reversed
In a breakthrough discovery, researchers at the University of Adelaide have revealed how damage from obesity is passed from a mother to her children, and also how that damage can be reversed.

Connection between childhood adversity and psychiatric disorders seen at cellular level
In a new study published online in Biological Psychiatry on January 16, 2015, researchers from Butler Hospital identify an association between biological changes on the cellular level and both childhood adversity and psychiatric disorders.

Study of ancient dogs in the Americas yields insights into human, dog migration
A new study suggests that dogs may have first successfully migrated to the Americas only about 10,000 years ago, thousands of years after the first human migrants crossed a land bridge from Siberia to North America.

Study on world's biggest animal finds more than 1 population in the southeastern Pacific
Scientists from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), the Universidad Austral de Chile, the Blue Whale Center, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), NOAA, and other organizations are examining molecular clues to answer a big question: how many types of blue whales exist in the waters of the southeastern Pacific?

Amount of mitochondrial DNA predicts frailty and mortality
New research from The Johns Hopkins University suggests that the amount of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) found in peoples' blood directly relates to how frail they are medically.

DNA sheds light on why largest lemurs disappeared
Ancient DNA extracted from the bones and teeth of giant lemurs that lived thousands of years ago in Madagascar may help explain why the giant lemurs went extinct.

Arabian Sea humpback whales isolated for 70,000 years
Scientists from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), the Environment Society of Oman, and other organizations have made a fascinating discovery in the northern Indian Ocean: humpback whales inhabiting the Arabian Sea are the most genetically distinct humpback whales in the world and may be the most isolated whale population on earth.

Pluripotent cells created by nuclear transfer can prompt immune reaction, researchers find
Mouse cells and tissues created through nuclear transfer can be rejected by the body because of a previously unknown immune response to the cell's mitochondria, according to a study in mice by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and colleagues in Germany, England and at MIT.

Steadily rising increases in mitochondrial DNA mutations cause abrupt shifts in disease
New work by a pioneering scientist details how subtle changes in mitochondrial function may cause a broad range of common metabolic and degenerative diseases.

Greater Rates of Mitochondrial Mutations Discovered in Children Born to Older Mothers
The discovery of a "maternal age effect" by a team of Penn State scientists that could be used to predict the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations in maternal egg cells -- and the transmission of these mutations to children -- could provide valuable insights for genetic counseling.
More Mitochondrial DNA Current Events and Mitochondrial DNA News Articles

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry
by Bryan Sykes (Author)


The national bestseller that reveals how we are descended from seven prehistoric women. In 1994 Bryan Sykes was called in as an expert to examine the frozen remains of a man trapped in glacial ice in northern Italy for over 5000 years—the Ice Man. Sykes succeeded in extracting DNA from the Ice Man, but even more important, writes Science News?, was his "ability to directly link that DNA to Europeans living today." In this groundbreaking book, Sykes reveals how the identification of a particular strand of DNA that passes unbroken through the maternal line allows scientists to trace our genetic makeup all the way back to prehistoric times—to seven primeval women, the "seven daughters of Eve." illustrated and includes a map

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 volume investigates how the mitochondrial genome is transmitted, segregated, and inherited. It starts by describing mtDNA mutations and deletions and how these impact on the offspring’s well-being. It progresses to discuss how mutations to the mtDNA-nuclear-encoded transcription, replication and translational factors lead to mtDNA-depletion syndromes and how these affect cellular function and lead to the pathology of human mitochondrial disease. It also highlights the importance of the mitochondrial assembly factors and how mutations to these can lead to mitochondrial disease. The reader is then introduced to how mtDNA is transmitted through the oocyte and how stem cells can be used to study mitochondrial biogenesis and mtDNA replication and transcription in undifferentiated...

Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland

Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland
by Bryan Sykes (Author)


From the best-selling author of The Seven Daughters of Eve, a perfect book for anyone interested in the genetic history of Britain, Ireland, and America. One of the world's leading geneticists, Bryan Sykes has helped thousands find their ancestry in the British Isles. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts, which resulted from a systematic ten-year DNA survey of more than 10,000 volunteers, traces the true genetic makeup of the British Isles and its descendants, taking readers from the Pontnewydd cave in North Wales to the resting place of the Red Lady of Paviland and the tomb of King Arthur. This illuminating guide provides a much-needed introduction to the genetic history of the people of the British Isles and their descendants throughout the world.

The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey

The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey
by Spencer Wells (Author)


Around 60,000 years ago, a man—genetically identical to us—lived in Africa. Every person alive today is descended from him. How did this real-life Adam wind up as the father of us all? What happened to the descendants of other men who lived at the same time? And why, if modern humans share a single prehistoric ancestor, do we come in so many sizes, shapes, and races?

Examining the hidden secrets of human evolution in our genetic code, Spencer Wells reveals how developments in the revolutionary science of population genetics have made it possible to create a family tree for the whole of humanity. Replete with marvelous anecdotes and remarkable information, from the truth about the real Adam and Eve to the way differing racial types emerged, The Journey of Man is an enthralling,...

Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com: How to Find Your Family History on the No. 1 Genealogy Website

Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com: How to Find Your Family History on the No. 1 Genealogy Website
by Nancy Hendrickson (Author)


Master the world's #1 genealogy website!Discover the secrets to Ancestry.com success! This book will help you get the most out of your Ancestry.com subscription by showing you how to take advantage of all the world's biggest genealogy website has to offer--and how to find answers to your family tree questions within its 14 billion records, 60 million family tree and 32,000 databases.What you'll learn:Step-by-step strategies for structuring your searches to find what you're looking for fasterHow to drill down to specific records, time periods and topics using the card catalogDetails on each of Ancestry.com's historical record collections, including what you can expect to find in them--and when you need to look elsewhereTips for creating and managing your family tree on Ancestry.com, as...

First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2015 (First Aid USMLE)

First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2015 (First Aid USMLE)
by Tao Le (Author), Vikas Bhushan (Author)


THE 25th EDITION OF THE WORLD'S MOST POPULAR MEDICAL REVIEW BOOK! Trust 25 years of experience for the most effective USMLE Step 1 preparation possible 1,250+ must-know topics provide a complete framework for your USMLE preparation Test-taking advice with focus on high-efficiency studying Major revisions in all subject areas based on feedback from thousands of students Free real-time updates and corrections at www.firstaidteam.com Extensive faculty review process with nationally known USMLE instructors 1,000+ color photos and diagrams help you visualize high-yield concepts Expanded guide to high-yield study resources, including mobile apps INSIDER ADVICE FOR STUDENTS FROM STUDENTS

Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree

Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree
by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (Author), Ann Turner (Author)


Written by two of the country's top genealogists, Trace Your Roots with DNA is the first book to explain how new and groundbreaking genetic testing can help you research your ancestry

According to American Demographics, 113 million Americans have begun to trace their roots, making genealogy the second most popular hobby in the country (after gardening). Enthusiasts clamor for new information from dozens of subscription-based websites, email newsletters, and magazines devoted to the subject. For these eager roots-seekers looking to take their searches to the next level, DNA testing is the answer.

After a brief introduction to genealogy and genetics fundamentals, the authors explain the types of available testing, what kind of information the tests can provide, how to...

Private India: City on Fire

Private India: City on Fire
by James Patterson (Author), Ashwin Sanghi (Author)


When Jack Morgan opens the Mumbai branch of Private, the world's most elite detective agency, he hands the reins to top agent Santosh Wagh. Now, in this teeming metropolis of over thirteen million people where the guilty have everywhere to hide, Santosh goes on the hunt for one elusive killer. A killer who is targeting seemingly unconnected women and placing strange objects at their death scenes in a series of chilling rituals.

As the Private team races to find a link that will lead them to the next victim, an unseen menace threatens to destroy the agency from within-and plunge the city into chaos. With countless lives hanging in the balance, Santosh must confront the demons of his past . . . before Private India meets an explosive end.


NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection

NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection
by David R. Dowell (Author)


Now that DNA testing for genealogical purposes has existed for nearly a decade and a half—and been refined and improved during that time—it has established its value among family history researchers. It is now becoming accepted as another tool in the kit of well-rounded genealogists. This book covers this fast-growing application of genetics, empowering genealogists to apply this information to further their research. It will also enable general readers to understand how genetic information can be applied to verify or refute documentary research—and to break down frustrating walls that block the discovery of ancestors.The book describes the three major categories of DNA testing for family history research: Y-chromosome tests for investigating paternal (surname) lines, mitochondrial...

The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA

The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA
by Mark Schultz (Author), Zander Cannon (Illustrator), Kevin Cannon (Illustrator)


The Stuff of Life gives readers a complete introduction to the history of genetics that's as easy to understand as it is entertaining to read.

© 2015 BrightSurf.com