Research finds potential relative of Native Americans in Siberia

Researchers say they have found the potential relative of many Native Americans in a village in Siberia.

DNA analysis of the remains of a 24,000-year-old boy showed links to both European and Native American populations. Present-day Native people share between 14 percent and 38 percent of their genes with the boy, researchers said.

“Genetically, this individual had no east Asian resemblance but looked like Europeans and people from west Asia,” palaeogeneticist Eske Willerslev said in Nature, which published the results of the study. “But the thing that was really mind-blowing was that there were signatures you only see in today’s Native Americans.”

The researchers say the presence of DNA that is typically found in European populations could explain why the remains of some Native ancestors -- such as those of the Kennewick Man -- look more European than Asian.

Get the Story:
Americas’ natives have European roots (Nature 11/20)
DNA indicates Eurasian roots for Native Americans, new study says (The Washington Post 11/21)
24,000-Year-Old Body Shows Kinship to Europeans and American Indians (The New York Times 11/21)

Get the Study:
Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans (Nature November 2013)

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