Denisova DNA

17 Mar 2018

At https://phys.org/print440339145.html ... the discovery of fossils belonging to a new group of people, the Denisovans (in central Asia) a few years back has led to some DNA linkages to modern people - but only in a small way. The first link was to Austronesian people - such as the inhabitants of New Guinea. DNA links have also been found in southern Asia in general - but now we are told the biggest genetic signature is among the East Asians (China, Korea, Japan etc). It is now said that Denisovans mated with modern humans on two occasions - in order to explain similarities to the genes of Austronesians as well as Chinese. One might also suggest a bottleneck for the odd existence of a small percentage of DNA in these modern populations (somewhat like the 4 per cent of Neanderthals in modern Europeans and the people of western Asia).

Another genetic study is at https://phys.org/print440322214.html ... this one concerning the population of Morocco in particular, 15,000 years ago. Researchers have sequenced skeletons that old from a burial site in the Late Pleistocene (prior to the Younger Dryas) and DNA similarities with the people of the Levant (65 per cent) with the rest having genes more common in sub Sahara Africa. Presumably this is as a result of the greening of the Sahara as at this point in time the Sahara was not a desert (unless they know otherwise). This is remarkable as we already know of genetic links with the Levant in the Bronze and Iron ages - but here it is supposed such genetic links go back much further. Having said that this is not strictly a new story as the Berbers have been bracketed with the Near East before - by reason they have so called long headed skulls. Perhaps genetic research is catching up with earlier racial research (back in the day) when it was not a politically correct subject (which became a taboo item of research). People with long headed skulls were said to inhabit the whole of the Mediterranean basin (shorelines) and we know that in Pre Dynastic Egypt both Berber and Africans existed - side by side. Perhaps this was a fact of life for thousands of years prior to 4000BC.