1,000 prehistoric individuals to be genetically mapped

October 7, 2016 by Linda Koffmar

A new research project, '1,000 Ancient Genomes', seeks to map the genetic variation among 1,000 prehistoric individuals who lived in Europe and Asia between 1,000 and 50,000 years ago. This data will help researchers give a complete picture of genetic variation among humans from different times and geographic areas.

Fifty years ago, geneticists discovered that our DNA contains large amounts of information about an individual's evolutionary history. In a new research project, led by Professor of Genetics Mattias Jakobsson, researchers will use and further develop the latest methods to extract DNA from archaeological skeletal remains and sequence the complete genomes from 1,000 prehistoric individuals. These data will then be analysed using advanced statistical and population genetics methods.

The new information is expected to provide entirely new insights about how mobility, migration and connections affected our . Bioarchaeological analyses will be an important part of the project and stable isotopes will help the researchers understand the different individuals' life history, mobility and diet. Archaeological data and interpretations of cultural patterns, ways of life and artefacts as well as paleoclimate data combined with genetic data will provide a new and unique opportunity to cast light on human prehistory in Eurasia.

One aim of the project is to create a unique and freely available database of genetic variants in Eurasia.

Explore further: Researchers find Highland East Asian origin for prehistoric Himalayan populations

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Jeffhans1
not rated yet Oct 07, 2016
As the cost decreases and the sophistication and capability increases, DNA mapping and sampling will become a routine part of paleontology. We have samples around the world already in museums and collections, but processing them with minimal handling and excavating with techniques that minimize potential contamination will allow better results going forward.

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