Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Native Americans descended from a single ancestral group in Asia

Excerpts of Native Americans Descended From A Single Ancestral Group, DNA Study Confirms from Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Apr. 29, 2009) — For two decades, researchers have been using a growing volume of genetic data to debate whether ancestors of Native Americans emigrated to the New World in one wave or successive waves, or from one ancestral Asian population or a number of different populations.

Now, after painstakingly comparing DNA samples from people in dozens of modern-day Native American and Eurasian groups, an international team of scientists thinks it can put the matter to rest: virtually without exception, the new evidence supports the single ancestral population theory.

"Our work provides strong evidence that, in general, Native Americans are more closely related to each other than to any other existing Asian populations, except those that live at the very edge of the Bering Strait," said Kari Britt Schroeder, a lecturer at the University of California, Davis, and the first author on the paper describing the study.

"While earlier studies have already supported this conclusion, what's different about our work is that it provides the first solid data that simply cannot be reconciled with multiple ancestral populations," said Schroeder, who was a Ph.D. student in anthropology at the university when she did the research.

The study is published in the May issue of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.

The team's work follows up on earlier studies by several of its members who found a unique variant (an allele) of a genetic marker in the DNA of modern-day Native American people.

"There are a number of really strong papers based on mitochondrial DNA — which is passed from mother to daughter — and Y-chromosome DNA — which is passed from father to son — that have also supported a single ancestral population," Schroeder said. "But this is the first definitive evidence we have that comes from DNA that is carried by both sexes."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When early DNA studies came out, Mormon apologists argued that the complete absence of Hebrew DNA among Native Americans did not disprove the BOM because Lehi's group could have easily been AMONG the groups contributing DNA to Native Americans. Of course, this requires multiple original ancestral populations, with Lehi's group being "among" them. That is why the Church officially changed the Introduction to the BOM from reading "Lamanites...are the PRINCIPAL ancestors" to "Lamanites...are AMONG the ancestors..."

But this most recent study refutes that completely. Only ONE ancestral population completely excludes Lehi's family.

Do you think the Church will modify the BOM Introduction again? Perhaps it could read "the Lamanites... are not nor ever have been among the ancestors of the American Indians."