Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



ICE WORLD
The genetic history of Ice Age Europe
by Staff Writers
Chevy Chase MD (SPX) May 08, 2016


Three ~31,000-year-old skulls from Dolni V?stonice in the Czech Republic. For the next five thousand years, all samples analyzed in this study - whether from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Austria, or Italy - are closely related, reflecting a population expansion associated with the Gravettian archaeological culture. Image courtesy Martin Frouz and Jii Svoboda. For a larger version of this image please go here.

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 at Harvard Medical School.

The new genetic data, published in Nature, reveal two big changes in prehistoric human populations that are closely linked to the end of the last Ice Age around 19,000 years ago. As the ice sheet retreated, Europe was repopulated by prehistoric humans from southwest Europe (e.g., Spain). Then, in a second event about 14,000 years ago, populations from the southeast (e.g., Turkey, Greece) spread into Europe, displacing the first group of humans.

Archeological studies have shown that modern humans swept into Europe about 45,000 years ago and caused the demise of the Neanderthals, indicated by the disappearance of Neanderthal tools in the archaeological record, explained Reich.

The researchers also knew that during the Ice Age - a long period of time that ended about 12,000 years ago, with its peak intensity between 25,000 and 19,000 years ago - glaciers covered Scandinavia and northern Europe all the way to northern France. As the ice sheets retreated beginning 19,000 years ago, prehistoric humans spread back into northern Europe.

But prior to this study, there were only four samples of prehistoric European modern humans 45,000 to 7,000 years old for which genomic data were available, which made it all but impossible to understand how human populations migrated or evolved during this period.

"Trying to represent this vast period of European history with just four samples is like trying to summarize a movie with four still images. With 51 samples, everything changes; we can follow the narrative arc; we get a vivid sense of the dynamic changes over time," said Reich.

"And what we see is a population history that is no less complicated than that in the last 7,000 years, with multiple episodes of population replacement and immigration on a vast and dramatic scale, at a time when the climate was changing dramatically."

The genetic data show that, beginning 37,000 years ago, all Europeans come from a single founding population that persisted through the Ice Age, said Reich. The founding population has some deep branches in different parts of Europe, one of which is represented by a specimen from Belgium.

This branch seems to have been displaced in most parts of Europe 33,000 years ago, but around 19,000 years ago, a population related to it re-expanded across Europe, Reich explained. Based on the earliest sample in which this ancestry is observed, it is plausible that this population expanded from the southwest, present-day Spain, after the Ice Age peaked.

The second event that the researchers detected happened 14,000 years ago. "We see a new population turnover in Europe, and this time it seems to be from the east, not the west," said Reich. "We see very different genetics spreading across Europe that displaces the people from the southwest who were there before. These people persisted for many thousands of years until the arrival of farming."

The researchers also detected some mixture with Neanderthals, around 45,000 years ago, as modern humans spread across Europe. The prehistoric human populations contained three to six percent of Neanderthal DNA, but today most humans only have about two percent. "Neanderthal DNA is slightly toxic to modern humans," explained Reich, and this study provides evidence that natural selection is removing Neanderthal ancestry.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
ICE WORLD
Ice loss accelerating in Greenland's coastal glaciers
Hanover (SPX) May 05, 2016
Surface meltwater draining through and underneath Greenland's tidewater glaciers is accelerating their loss of ice mass, according to a Dartmouth study that sheds light on the relationship between meltwater and subglacial discharge. Greenland has the potential to contribute six to seven meters of global sea level rise predominantly through ice mass lost out of large tidewater glaciers. The ... read more


ICE WORLD
First rocket made ready for launch at Vostochny spaceport

Supernova iron found on the moon

Russia to shift all Lunar launches to Vostochny Cosmodrome

Lunar lava tubes could help pave way for human colony

ICE WORLD
Boiling water may be cause of Martian streaks: study

Airbus DS to build STEM centre at its UK Exomars facility

Opportunity robotic arm camera passes diagnostic test

Phase two of ExoMars mission delayed to 2020

ICE WORLD
US to move more assets into deep space over next 4 years

Simulators give astronauts glimpse of future flights

When technology bites back

Menstruation in spaceflight: Options for astronauts

ICE WORLD
China can meet Chile's satellite needs: ambassador

China launches Kunpeng-1B sounding rocket

South China city gears up for satellite tourism

China's long march into space

ICE WORLD
Tim Peake goes roving

Russia delays space crew's return to Earth

15 years of Europe on the International Space Station

US-Russia Space Projects Set Example of Good Cooperation

ICE WORLD
SpaceX to launch Japanese satellite early Friday

New small launch vehicles

Vector Space Systems aims to redefine space commerce

Spaceport Camden Partners with NASA Innovation Competition

ICE WORLD
Light Echoes Give Clues to Protoplanetary Disk

On the Road to Finding Other Earths

Kepler spacecraft recovered and returned to the K2 Mission

Lone planetary-mass object found in family of stars

ICE WORLD
Cavitation intensity enhanced using pressure at bubble collapse region

Hybrid nanoantennas offer new platform for ultradense data recording

Squished cells could shape design of synthetic materials

Engineers create a better way to boil water




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement