1,000 prehistoric individuals to be genetically mapped

October 7, 2016 by Linda Koffmar, Uppsala University

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

Related Stories

Shared genes with Neanderthal relatives not unusual

October 31, 2011

During human evolution our ancestors mated with Neanderthals, but also with other related hominids. In this week's online edition of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), researchers from Uppsala University ...

How did prehistoric humans occupy the Tibetan Plateau?

September 1, 2016

The Tibetan Plateau, as the Earth's third pole, has long been of interest to science, especially in relation to its human history. Over the last few decades, our understanding of the history of human occupation of the Tibetan ...

New insights into human genetic variation revealed

August 17, 2016

Published in today's edition of Nature, the research led by Dr Monkol Lek of the University of Sydney and Dr Daniel MacArthur of The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Universities reveals patterns of genetic variation worldwide ...

Genetic analysis of Ice Age Europeans

May 2, 2016

Analyses of ancient DNA from prehistoric humans paint a picture of dramatic population change in Europe from 45,000 to 7,000 years ago, according to a new study led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator David Reich ...

Recommended for you

University choice and achievement partly down to DNA

October 18, 2018

Research from King's College London has shown for the first time that genetics plays a significant role in whether young adults choose to go to university, which university they choose to attend and how well they do.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.