11,000 year old genomes uncover population history of the Americas

Ancient DNA - skeleton Americas - News

This individual from the site of Los Rieles in Chile is the oldest in the study at ~11,000 years ago.
Photo credit: Bernardita Ladrón de Guevara, 2008

An international team of researchers including an ancient DNA expert from the University of Adelaide have uncovered remarkable details about the population history of Central and South America.

Director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) Professor Alan Cooper contributed to the research which was recently published in the journal 'Cell'. The research details how two previously unknown genetic exchanges between North and South America have been revealed.

The genomes of 49 individuals from Central and South Americas were analysed, some as old as 11,000 years,  and compared to modern genomes from the Americas and across the globe.

Buried ancient human remains were analysed after consultation with indigenous communities and government agencies.

Previous to this study, the oldest genomes analysed from this region were 1,000 years old.

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Tagged in Research, School of Biological Sciences, Evolutionary Biology, Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, Genetics