Saturday, 11 March 2017

DNA provides window into early Aboriginal history

A resident of the Aboriginal tent embassy warms his hands on a fire in Redfern, Sydney, in 2015
Scientists have used hair to locate where distinct Aboriginal groups lived in Australia up to 50,000 years ago.
The genetic study could help reconnect indigenous families with ancestral communities, according to the University of Adelaide-led study.
It shows the first Australians spread rapidly before largely spending continuous time in distinct areas.
The research is an important step in learning more about ancestry prior to European settlement, the authors said.
It again confirmed that Aboriginal Australians descended from a single population that arrived 50,000 years ago from New Guinea, when it was joined to Australia.

Genetic map

The research, published in the journal Nature, analysed 111 hair samples taken by anthropologists from across Australia in the early 20th Century.
The DNA allowed researchers to trace maternal ancestry through unique genetic material.
"What we've found is that we can see right the way back to the first colonisation of Australia by Aboriginal people," said lead author Prof Alan Cooper.-read more

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