DNA points to millennia of stability in East Asian hunter-fisher population | Science News

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DNA points to millennia of stability in East Asian hunter-fisher population

7,700-year-old remains show lack of influx from other groups

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3:44pm, February 3, 2017
East Asian hunter-gatherer skull

OLD BONES This 7,700-year-old skull of a hunter-gatherer from East Asia belonged to a group of people who are genetically similar to groups living in the area today.

In a remote corner of eastern Russia, where long winters bring temperatures that rarely flicker above freezing, the genetic legacy of ancient hunter-gatherers endures.

DNA from the 7,700-year-old remains of two women is surprisingly similar to that of people living in that area today, researchers report February 1 in Science Advances. That finding suggests that at least some people in East Asia haven’t changed much over the last 8,000 years or so — a time when other parts of the world saw waves of migrants settle in.

“The continuity is remarkable,” says paleogeneticist Carles Lalueza-Fox of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, who was not involved with the work. “It’s a big contrast to what has been found in Europe.”

In Western Europe especially, scientists studying ancient DNA have put together a picture of flux, says study coauthor Andrea

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