Feeds

Native Americans were actually European - BEFORE the Europeans arrived!

Columbus et al invaded relatives who went via Siberia

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?