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European Romani exodus began 1,500 years ago, DNA evidence shows

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Europe's widespread Romani population shares a common, if complex, past, beginning in northwestern India about 1,500 years ago, according to a new study that offers the first genome-wide perspective on Romani origins and demographic history. (Credit: © seewhatmitchsee / Fotolia)

Despite their modern-day diversity of language, lifestyle, and religion, Europe's widespread Romani population shares a common, if complex, past. It all began in northwestern India about 1,500 years ago, according to a study reported on December 6th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, that offers the first genome-wide perspective on Romani origins and demographic history.

The Romani represent the largest minority group in Europe, consisting...

Reading history through genetics

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1000pa (Dec. 5, 2012) — Computer scientists at Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science have published a study in the November 2012 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG) that demonstrates a new approach used to analyze genetic data to learn more about the history of populations. The authors are the first to develop a method that can describe in detail events in recent history, over the past 2,000 years. They demonstrate this method in two populations, the...

Africa's Homo sapiens were the first techies

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These are engraved ochres from the Still Bay M1 phase at Blombos Cave (modified after Henshilwood et al. 2009). This shows; a) Two groups of incisions, one on the center and one close to the edge. In the center two joining lines form a ‘Y’ that is crossed by a few perpendicular parallel lines. Three incisions cross these lines; b) Two lines that cross perpendicularly on the top right margin. Converging lines produced with a single lithic point; c) this piece retains only a...

National Geographic unveils new phase of genographic project

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1000pa (Dec. 5, 2012) — The National Geographic Society has announced the next phase of its Genographic Project -- the multiyear global research initiative that uses DNA to map the history of human migration. Building on seven years of global data collection, Genographic shines new light on humanity's collective past, yielding tantalizing clues about humankind's journey across the planet over the past 60,000 years.

"Our first phase drew participation from more than 500,000...

Native Americans and Northern Europeans more closely related than previously thought

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According to Nick Patterson, "There is a genetic link between the paleolithic population of Europe and modern Native Americans. The evidence is that the population that crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia into the Americas more than 15,000 years ago was likely related to the ancient population of Europe." (Credit: © Robert Cocquyt / Fotolia)

1000pa (Nov. 30, 2012) — Using genetic analyses, scientists have discovered that Northern European populations --...

Research in Southern India provides a sweet look at preservation of ecological knowledge

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1000pa (Nov. 30, 2012) — A well-known proverb states that, "It takes a village to raise a child." According to Kathryn Demps, it also takes a village to preserve ecological knowledge in upcoming generations.

Demps, A Boise State University visiting assistant professor in anthropology, studies behavioral and evolutionary ecology in small-scale societies. Her latest project looks at the honey-gathering Jenu Kuruba tribe in South India and how its cultural knowledge is being...

Most of the harmful mutations in people arose in the past 5,000 to 10,000 years

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1000pa (Nov. 28, 2012) — A study dating the age of more than 1 million single-letter variations in the human DNA code reveals that most of these mutations are of recent origin, evolutionarily speaking. These kinds of mutations change one nucleotide -- an A, C, T or G -- in the DNA sequence. Over 86 percent of the harmful protein-coding mutations of this type arose in humans just during the past 5,000 to 10,000 years.

Some of the remaining mutations of this nature may have no...

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Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...