Nav: Home

Skull dimensions of Dominicans and Haitians differ despite close physical proximity

October 31, 2019

(Boston)--Forensic anthropologists analyze skeletal remains to establish the biological profile (sex, age, ancestry and stature). While ancestry is an important component, most research has focused on identifying individuals of African-American and European-American descent.

Now for the first time, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have conducted a craniometric study (measuring the main part of the skull) on understudied and marginalized groups and found that skull dimensions of Dominicans and Haitians, who occupy a relatively small island of Hispaniola, are different from each other.

According to the researchers, while skeletal and genetic studies show that Caribbean groups are incredibly diverse, they are often lumped together under the broad ancestral category of "Hispanic," along with many other Latin American groups.

Using standard anthropometric craniometric measurements (28 measurements) of both Dominicans and Haitians from computerized tomography (CT) scans from a major hospital in Santo Domingo, the researchers analyzed the measurements to determine similarities and differences.

"Our study demonstrates that, despite sharing a small island, Dominican and Haitian individuals can be differentiated with a fair amount of statistical certainty, which is possible due to complex population histories that have kept them separate despite their geographically close proximity," explained corresponding author Michelle Herrera, a graduate student in the MS Program in Forensic Anthropology at BUSM.

The authors believe it is important to conduct research on groups that are not represented in the typically researched skeletal collections. "Ultimately, this research can aid forensic specialists in identifying missing persons on the island of Hispaniola," added Herrera.
-end-
These findings appear online in the journal Forensic Science International.

This work was supported by Boston University School of Medicine's Forensic Anthropology Program.

Boston University School of Medicine

Related Ancestry Articles:

Syndrome linked to COVID-19 seems more common among children of African ancestry
An inflammatory syndrome in children and adolescents, believed to be linked to covid-19, seems to be more common among children of African ancestry, finds a small study from a hospital in Paris, published by The BMJ today.
Study shows connection between the ancestry & the molecular makeup of cancer
A new paper by researchers from the NCI Cancer Genome Analysis Network, a collaborative group with investigators in the US, Canada and Europe, provides the most comprehensive look to date at the effect of ancestry on the molecular makeup of normal and cancerous tissues.
Neolithic genomes from modern-day Switzerland indicate parallel ancient societies
Genetic research throughout Europe shows evidence of drastic population changes near the end of the Neolithic period, as shown by the arrival of ancestry related to pastoralists from the Pontic-Caspian steppe.
Indigenous American ancestry may be associated with HER2-positive breast cancer
An increased proportion of Indigenous American (IA) ancestry was associated with a greater incidence of HER2-positive breast cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Each Mediterranean island has its own genetic pattern
A Team around Anthropologist Ron Pinhasi from the University of Vienna -- together with researchers from the University of Florence and Harvard University -- found out that prehistoric migration from Africa, Asia and Europe to the Mediterranean islands took place long before the era of the Mediterranean seafaring civilizations.
Modern Africans and Europeans may have more Neanderthal ancestry than previously thought
Neanderthal DNA sequences may be more common in modern Africans than previously thought, and different non-African populations have levels of Neanderthal ancestry surprisingly similar to each other, finds a study publishing Jan.
New study identifies Neanderthal ancestry in African populations and describes its origin
After sequencing the Neanderthal genome, scientists discovered all present day non-African individuals carry some Neanderthal ancestry in their DNA.
Asia-wide genome mapping project reveals insights into Asian ancestry and genetic diversity
After a global genetic comparison, a team of international scientists has discovered that Asia has at least 10 ancestral lineages, whereas northern Europe has a single ancestral lineage.
Percentage of African ancestry affects gene expression
The percentage of African ancestry in a person's genome determines the level that certain genes are expressed, called mRNA, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.
Ancient pigs endured a complete genomic turnover after they arrived in Europe
New research led by Oxford University and Queen Mary University of London has resolved a pig paradox.
More Ancestry News and Ancestry Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.