Some New World ancestors came from western Eurasia, not East Asia
Niobe Thompson; inset: Thomas W. Stafford Jr.
An Ice Age skeleton has revealed a genetic link between western Eurasians and Native Americans.
Researchers extracted DNA from a 24,000-year-old arm bone of a young boy found in Mal’ta, near central Siberia’s Lake Baikal. The child may be the oldest modern human to have his genetic portrait painted, and it is entirely different from the picture researchers expected to see.
Part of the boy’s genetic makeup, known as mitochondrial DNA, bears a stamp similar to that of Ice Age and later pre-agriculture European hunter-gatherers. And the boy’s Y chromosome looks more like those of today’s western Eurasians and Native Americans than like East Asians’, Eske Willerslev, a geneticist at the Natural History Museum of Denmark and colleagues report November 20 in Nature.