Feeds

Native Americans were actually European - BEFORE the Europeans arrived!

Columbus et al invaded relatives who went via Siberia

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

DNA from a prehistoric Siberian boy could reveal exactly where Native Americans - the people who occupied the American continents before Europeans crossed the Atlantic - actually came from.

Everybody's pretty clear that the Native Americans arrived across the ancient land bridge from Asia, the location of the present-day Bering Strait. But where the generations before that had lived on their way from the birthplace of humanity in Africa is far from certain, and is a hotly debated topic among scientists.

DNA samples taken from modern day Native Americans include genetic signatures known to originate from Western Eurasia - broadly speaking, European ancestry. But many scientists say that these must have been added to the mixture since Columbus arrived. They would say that the original Native Americans, moving through Siberia on their way to America, were not at all closely related to the groups who would one day become Europeans and then - many of them in the last few centuries - Conquistadores and colonists and huddled masses and so on, and thus the various flavours of European-American.

But now some new information has appeared. DNA analysis has sequenced the genome of a Siberian lad who died some 24,000 years ago when the land bridge was still there and the migration into what would become Alaska was in full flow. A full test has also been carried out on another Siberian of 17,000 years back. In both cases, it appears that the Siberians of the time had a much heftier dose of genetic signatures similar to proto-Europeans, and that in all likelihood they took those with them to America.

The investigating scientists write in hefty boffinry mag Nature:

Our findings reveal that western Eurasian genetic signatures in modern-day Native Americans derive not only from post-Columbian admixture, as commonly thought, but also from a mixed ancestry of the First Americans.

So it appears that the Native Americans were in part merely an earlier wave of European colonisation, later to find most of their conquests taken away by Johnny-come-latelies from across the water. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?