Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

May 31, 2012

A crisis of democratic capitalism?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Razib Khan @ 6:30 am

India Feels Pressure as Growth Rate Is Worse Than Predicted:

Many analysts have been arguing that the best way for policy makers to respond to slowing growth is further liberalization of India’s economy, large parts of which are still heavily regulated. The government could, for instance, make it easier for foreigners to invest in industries like retail, aviation and insurance that need more capital.

But the government, led by the Indian National Congress Party, has struggled to pass unpopular measures in recent months because of opposition from its coalition partners and political rivals. Last year, it indefinitely deferred a plan to allow foreign supermarkets into the country after a coalition partner threatened to pull out if the change went through.

To be frank I think the strategy of export-driven nations like China shows that state-directed capitalism is not always a failure (one could argue that the earlier East Asian “miracles” used the model). But this sort of internal state-protected capitalism doesn’t do much good over the long term. India, Europe, and the USA are all suffering dysfunctions right now because of the lack of alignment between the needs of a market economy and the demands of the populace.

May 30, 2012

Cain, Where is Abel thy brother?

Filed under: Agriculture — Razib Khan @ 3:06 am

Community differentiation and kinship among Europe’s first farmers (via Dienekes):

Community differentiation is a fundamental topic of the social sciences, and its prehistoric origins in Europe are typically assumed to lie among the complex, densely populated societies that developed millennia after their Neolithic predecessors. Here we present the earliest, statistically significant evidence for such differentiation among the first farmers of Neolithic Europe. By using strontium isotopic data from more than 300 early Neolithic human skeletons, we find significantly less variance in geographic signatures among males than we find among females, and less variance among burials with ground stone adzes than burials without such adzes. From this, in context with other available evidence, we infer differential land use in early Neolithic central Europe within a patrilocal kinship system.

I have already stated on this weblog that we will probably begin to discern a rather strong pattern soon of an interleaved genetic pattern across Eurasia and Africa where we can infer that populations in an expansionary demographic phase absorbed a host of other groups (more, or less). The exact details are to be worked out, but I’m moderately confident in ...

May 29, 2012

H. Allen Orr, most influential evolutionary biologist of all time?

Filed under: Evolutionary Psychology — Razib Khan @ 7:51 pm

A reader reminded me of an amusing paper, Who Likes Evolution? Dissociation Of Human Evolution Versus Evolutionary Psychology. The gist of the results are below (I added some clarification):


The propositions to gauge acceptance of evolutionary psychology revolve around sex differences. One can argue whether this is an appropriate measure, but to a first approximation I think it gets to the heart of the matter. There are deep evolutionary genetic (number and size of gametes) and anatomical reasons to assume that sex differences in behavior are not exclusively a function of cultural variation. One can argue about the details of the inferences that evolutionary psychology makes (I think it is subject to the problems rife in psychology as a whole), but I don’t think its ultimate underpinning in sociobiology is crazy.

Nevertheless, I do think there are some empirical results which are robust enough across a range of studies and observations that we move from theoretical likelihood to concrete assessment of the probability of a particular sex difference. For example, the idea that males on average all things equal tend to exhibit more aggression than females. To ...

The current bias in genealogical databases

Filed under: Genomics,Personal genomics — Razib Khan @ 6:13 pm

As a follow up to my post below on the thick coverage of European information in genealogical and genomic databases, here are the “Ancestry Finder” matches from 23andMe for my daughter using the default settings:

If I increase sensitivity India does come up, at 0.1%, second to last in a very long list of European nations. I’m pointing this peculiarity out because my daughter is 50 percent South Asian, but this element of her ancestry doesn’t find many matches because there aren’t many people out there in the database to match. In contrast, because she is 1/8th Norwegian (her great-great grandparents were immigrants from the Olso area; thanks Ancestry.com!) this “block” jumps out, and aligns up with many people in their database.

This isn’t just an exceptional case. Here’s the result for a friend who is 50 percent East Asian (Chinese) and 50 percent American white:

The old warning rears its ugly head: the tool is just a tool, and must be used with and understanding of what it can and can’t do. If you decrease sensitivity many South Asians actually ...

Reason: the God that fails, but we keep socially promoting….

Filed under: Anthroplogy,Cognitive Science,Psychology — Razib Khan @ 12:03 pm

One point which I’ve made on this weblog several times is that on a whole range of issues and behaviors people simply follow the consensus of their self-identified group. This group conformity probably has deep evolutionary origins. It is often much cognitively “cheaper” to simply utilize a heuristic “do what my peers do” than reason from first principles. The “wisdom of the crowds” and “irrational herds” both arise from this dynamic, positive and negative manifestations. The interesting point is that from a proximate (game-theoretic rational actor) and ultimate (evolutionary fitness) perspective ditching reason is often quite reasonable (in fact, it may be the only feasible option if you want to “understand,” for example, celestial mechanics).


If you’re faced with a complex environment or set of issues “re-inventing the wheel” is often both laborious and impossible. Laborious because our individual general intelligence is simply not that sharp. Impossible because most of us are too stupid to do something like invent calculus. Many people can learn the rules for obtaining derivatives and integrals, but far fewer can come up with the fundamental theorem of calculus. Similarly, in the 18th century engineers who utilized Newtonian mechanics for practical purposes were not capable ...

Reason: the God that fails, but we keep socially promoting….

Filed under: Anthroplogy,Cognitive Science,Psychology — Razib Khan @ 12:03 pm

One point which I’ve made on this weblog several times is that on a whole range of issues and behaviors people simply follow the consensus of their self-identified group. This group conformity probably has deep evolutionary origins. It is often much cognitively “cheaper” to simply utilize a heuristic “do what my peers do” than reason from first principles. The “wisdom of the crowds” and “irrational herds” both arise from this dynamic, positive and negative manifestations. The interesting point is that from a proximate (game-theoretic rational actor) and ultimate (evolutionary fitness) perspective ditching reason is often quite reasonable (in fact, it may be the only feasible option if you want to “understand,” for example, celestial mechanics).


If you’re faced with a complex environment or set of issues “re-inventing the wheel” is often both laborious and impossible. Laborious because our individual general intelligence is simply not that sharp. Impossible because most of us are too stupid to do something like invent calculus. Many people can learn the rules for obtaining derivatives and integrals, but far fewer can come up with the fundamental theorem of calculus. Similarly, in the 18th century engineers who utilized Newtonian mechanics for practical purposes were not capable ...

Science, the genealogical leveler?

Filed under: Personal genomics — Razib Khan @ 1:15 am

I follow CeCe Moore’s blog posts on scientific genealogy pretty closely. But it’s more because of my interest in personal genomics broadly, rather than scientific genealogy as such. My own knowledge of my family’s past beyond the level of grandparents is very sketchy. This despite the fact that I know I have two very well documented lines of ancestry which I could follow up on, my paternal lineage, and the paternal lineage of my mother’s maternal grandfather. I don’t have a great interest in this beyond the barest generalities, and my parents tend to have a rather disinterested stance as well. Why? I can’t help but wonder if part of the issue is that unlike many South Asians my family has a relatively diverse background, so it isn’t as if we are sustained by a coherent self-identity as members of a sub-ethnicity (Bengalis are not tribal, so lineage groups are more ad hoc and informal). Additionally, there is probably some self-selection in the type of personalities who would transplant themselves across continents and are willing to spend the majority of their lives in a nation not of their birth.


But CeCe’s post did get me to reflect on an ...

May 28, 2012

A day late, but still….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Razib Khan @ 12:49 am

Brings back some memories.

And the original….


May 27, 2012

The end of genealogical illusions: arise the truth!

Filed under: Genetics — Razib Khan @ 8:54 pm

One thing that Zack Ajmal’s readers have done enough over at Harappa is closely examine the treasure-trove of data he’s assembled. I decided to “go public” with two obvious inferences which seem to jump out from the data to me at this point:

- Syrian Christians from Kerala are not by and large descended from Nambudiri Brahmins. This never made sense demographically, since there seem to be an order of magnitude more Christians than Brahmins in Kerala.

- I believe that South Indian Brahmins derive from a particular homogeneous ancestral population, with a dominant element from one North Indian Brahmin community, and admixture from an indigenous elite Dravidian-speaking population. But the strong homogeneity across various regions indicates relatively robust endogamy since that initial period.

I assume in the next few years all the elaborate fantasies of various Indian caste groups will be disabused. On the other hand, after looking at the Jatt results I am more likely to credit the idea that they are in part derived from relatively recent migrants from the Northwest of India.

Islam as the abomination

Filed under: Multiculturalism — Razib Khan @ 5:10 pm

Someone who goes by the handle “peave” seem to have left a rather interesting comment:

Mr u need a bit metal treatment okay,,we dont purposefully go and disrepair or disuse their “holy”sites…when a lady does,which she does with the Quran ,then she has done the act in order to hurt muslims…. and obviously u cannot control every one so that lady who posted that pic will have to bear the consequences as well okay.sick people like u, are trying equivocate two different acts as similar.shame on u .

There are two issues, one simple, and one complex. The simple one is that adherents to every major religion is part of a tradition which has engaged in acts of blasphemy and destruction against objects sacred to another religion. The practice is probably an ancient human norm, the statues of Marduk were torn down and dragged away by the Assyrians after their conquest of Babylon. In a more banal manner, the temples of pagans were torn down by Christians, and churches were put up their place, while the churches and temples of Christians and Hindus gave way to the mosques of Muslims. Again, the very simple point lost on the stupid is this: one person’s act of piety is another person’s act of blasphemy. This is why speaking about blasphemy or the sacred without properly admitting in a multicultural context the radical inter-subjectivity of the terms is bound to be confusing.

This gets to the second point. When Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs (and to a lesser extent Christians) complain that acts of blasphemy are meant to “hurt” individuals (.e., Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, etc.), they often don’t understand that the relationship of a religion and an individual varies. For example, people who have been subjected to physical and emotional abuse by clerics, and religious institutions, have a great deal of anger at those individuals and the institution as a whole. So, for example many feminists who attack religion approach the institution from a position of deep rage and anger, often justified rage and anger. Asserting that these individuals are out to hurt Muslims/Hindus/Sikhs/Catholics, etc., misses the point that they don’t view Islam/Hinduism/Sikhism/Catholicism in the say way that believers do. What is up for believers may be down for them, what is sacred, uplifting, the very stuff of life, might very well be a warped and abominable system of beliefs which have wrought only suffering upon the protester.

My own personal attitude is that it’s best to avoid too reductive a take on religion. We shouldn’t generalize from individual to everyone. But, we need to understand that individuals will have their own perspective. A Muslim should naturally be free to testify to the singular beauty of their religion. That is their liberty. But that Muslims should understand that that testifying does hurt some people, those who have been abused by Islam or Muslims in the past. Similarly, others should be free to post a picture of the Koran which they have taken a shit upon to show the world what they think of the Muslim religion. That viewpoint is just as real, and just as authentic.

Of course I don’t expect commenters like the one above to understand. Barbarians such as those that live in Pakistan, where non-Muslims live with the same liberty as Jews in 1930s Germany, aren’t going to understand the details of liberty as it has now come to be understood in the West. But what has been won over the past few centuries is a precious thing, and we should at least make a show of preserving it against the savages swarming at the gates. Note that the savage’s implicit warning that the blasphemer will have to bear the consequences if harm comes to her would not have been unheard of in 17th century Britain.

Why blasphemy matters

Filed under: blasphemy,Religion — Razib Khan @ 12:39 pm

Via Facebook I stumbled upon a page where an ex-Muslim Pakistani female expat has a picture posted of a Koran placed in front of her vagina (she’s naked). Whether you think this sort of behavior is juvenile or courageous or boring depends upon your perspective. But it does illustrate the power of blasphemy and symbols. Blasphemy as a concept and cognitive reflex is deeply rooted in our mental super-structure. The reflex may be the same, but the stimuli can vary a great deal. For example, Hindu statuary which elicits reverence from those who follow the Sanātana Dharma may be repulsive and blasphemous to believers in the Abrahamic religions or Arya Samaj. Actions which may seem meritorious for one perspective may be blasphemous and disrespectful from another. Blasphemy is not objective, but subjective. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have real consequences and concrete & valid results.

The destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan was a shocking act of offense and destruction from the perspective world at large, and in particular Buddhists, but from a narrow iconoclastic Muslim viewpoint it was only a recapitulation of thousands of years of idol-smashing on the part of the heirs of Abraham. The destructive actions which Abraham and Muhammad are reputed to undertaken against the idols revered by their peers seem to be acts of righteous piety in hindsight, but in the context of their times they were profoundly shocking and transgressive. But you now comprehend where Abraham and Muhammad stood in relation to their motives; by their very belief and practice the pagans of their age violated norms which these two men held sacred.

The actions of radical atheists may seem shocking and blasphemous, and they’re meant to be seen in such a manner, but they’re also done with purpose. That purpose is the same as that of Abraham and Muhammad, to testify to the falsity of delusion which they perceive in others by a symbolic act. The truths which you hold dear may be the lies of another, and vice versa. But in a multicultural society the problem is that individuals with contradictory positions live cheek-by-jowl. Many Muslims, and South Asians more generally, don’t understand that in the West the norms are such that this contradiction is resolved by acceptance that communal beliefs are not sacred, because beliefs vary across communities. Rather, they attempt to import into the West Islamic and South Asian norms where communal harmony, where it is maintained, is obtained by an equilibrium of mutual distance and adherence to a wide set of taboos.

And that is why “blasphemy” is critical. Until people understand this radical norm, they need to be reminded by the act of subjective transgression.

Addendum: Muslims make great noises about the blasphemies to which they are subject, but they naturally don’t acknowledge that they are among the most thorough blasphemers the world over, disrespecting & neglecting the patrimony of generations past. Hindus, Zoroastrians, and Oriental Christians who see their ancient holy sites and relics fall into disrepair and disuse in Muslim lands must accept that as the way of the world, but this does not negate the offense and hurt which they feel. Though many Muslims can at least empathize on one level: Salafi ideology has been transforming historic Mecca into a giant mall. By profaning what other Muslims hold to be holy the Salafis believe that they are discouraging shirk.

Space & the beginning of summer

Filed under: Space — Razib Khan @ 10:51 am

It’s been a big few weeks for space, with the success of Dragon. I don’t have anything to add in a descriptive or analytic sense, I know as much (or likely less) as you on this issue (this is why should read Bad Astronomy). Needless to say I’ve been rooting for Elon Musk’s enterprise, so to speak. I’m not old enough to remember the “space race,” which put a man on the moon. Rather, for my generation space and NASA had become rather pedestrian, with the shuttle being a sky ferry par excellence. Space is important not because of what it will do for us in concrete terms (e.g., Tang), but what will do for us on a deeper level. Otherwise we may fall prey to the sort of ennui one reads about in science fiction universes such as the city of Diaspar. Remember, we’re the species which made it to the New World and Oceania. This sort of crazy and irrational endeavor is part of who we are.

On a different note, hope people are enjoying the de facto start of the summer (Memorial Day weekend ...

Genetics’ random truths

Filed under: Anthroplogy,India,Indian — Razib Khan @ 12:05 am

Update: Please do not take the labels below (e.g., “Baloch”) as literal ancestral elements. The most informative way to read them is that they indicate populations where this element is common, and, the relationship of proportions can tell us something. The literal proportion does not usually tell us much.

End Update

I was browsing the Harappa results, and two new things jumped out at me. Zack now has enough St. Thomas Christian samples from Kerala that I think we need to accept as the likely model that this community does not derive from the Brahmins of Kerala, as some of them claim. Their genetic profile is rather like many non-Brahmin South Indians, except the Nair, who have a peculiar attested  history with the Brahmins of their region.

But that’s not the really interesting finding. Below is a table I constructed from Zack’s data.

Ethnicity Language S.Indian Baloch Caucasian NE.Euro Karnataka Brahmin Dravidian 47% 38% 4% 6% Karnataka Hebbar Iyengar Brahmin Dravidian 49% 36% 5% 5% Karnataka Iyengar Dravidian 48% 39% 3% 5% Karnataka Iyengar Brahmin Dravidian 48% 37% 3% 7% Karnataka Kannada Brahmin Dravidian 51% 35% 3% 5% Karnataka Konkani Brahmin Dravidian 47% 37% 2% 6% Kerala Brahmin Dravidian 43% 39% 4% 6% Tamil Brahmin Dravidian 46% 40% 3% 6% Tamil Brahmin Dravidian 47% 40% 3% 5% Tamil Brahmin Dravidian 48% 39% 9% 4% Tamil Brahmin Dravidian 47% 38% 6% 4% Tamil Brahmin Dravidian 48% 37% 6% 5% Tamil Brahmin Dravidian 48% 37% 3% 5% Tamil Brahmin Dravidian 48% 35% 5% 6% Tamil Brahmin Iyengar Dravidian 47% 38% 6% 4% Tamil Brahmin Iyengar Dravidian 47% 35% 6% 6% Tamil Brahmin Iyengar Dravidian 50% 35% 2% 8% Tamil Brahmin iyer/iyengar Dravidian 48% 38% 2% 5% Tamil Brahmin iyer/iyengar Dravidian 48% 38% 4% 5% Tamil Brahmin iyer/iyengar Dravidian 47% 37% 2% 5% Tamil Brahmin iyer/iyengar Dravidian 47% 37% 6% 8% Bengali Brahmin IE 43% 35% 4% 10% Bengali Brahmin IE 45% 35% 2% 11% Bengali Brahmin IE 44% 35% 5% 11% Bihari Brahmin IE 39% 38% 5% 11% Maharashtra/Madhya Pradesh Saraswat Brahmin IE 47% 39% 1% 6% Mahrashtrian Desastha Brahmin IE 46% 38% 8% 5% Oriya Brahmin IE 47% 36% 0% 9% Punjabi Brahmin IE 33% 41% 13% 10% Punjabi Brahmin IE 35% 40% 8% 11% Rajasthani Brahmin IE 32% 38% 9% 15% Sindhi Pushtikar/Pushkarna Brahmin IE 31% 36% 12% 10% UP Brahmin IE 37% 38% 2% 14% UP Brahmin IE 41% 37% 7% 11%

I was curious about the distribution of the ...

May 25, 2012

The Dao of Learning

Filed under: Bees,Culture — Razib Khan @ 11:17 pm

Accidental Blogger points me to a rather funny event, the yearly victory of some brown kid in the National Spelling Bee. ‘I was nervous’: Texas whiz kid beats teens in 2012 National Geographic Bee. This Texas whiz kid, Rahul Nagvekar, beat a prodigy from Wisconsin, Vansh Jain. Here were the 10 finalists for the GeoBee:

- Raghav Ranga, Arizona
- Varun Mahadevan, California
- Anthony Stoner, Louisiana
- Adam Rusak, Maryland
- Karthik Karnik, Massachusetts
- Gopi Ramanathan, Minnesota
- Neelam Sandhu, New Hampshire
- Rahul Nagvekar, Texas
- Anthony Cheng, Utah
- Vansh Jain, Wisconsin

Speaking of bees, the National Spelling Bee is coming up. Here are the contestants (page down). And here’s a list of the 2012 Intel Science Contest finalists. And winners of the American Mathematics Competition.

I think it’s great that kids from certain demographics do so well at these academic competitions. But I have to be honest and wonder if sometimes we aren’t seeing individuals who are so focused on the measure, that they forget what we’re trying to measure. God knows I think metrics are very important, but the pursuit of knowledge ultimately has nothing to do with a panel ...

Genes in space

Filed under: Human Genetics,Human Genomics — Razib Khan @ 10:38 pm

From some of the same people who brought you the genetic map of Europe, a very important paper, A model-based approach for analysis of spatial structure in genetic data. Here’s the abstract:

Characterizing genetic diversity within and between populations has broad applications in studies of human disease and evolution. We propose a new approach, spatial ancestry analysis, for the modeling of genotypes in two- or three-dimensional space. In spatial ancestry analysis (SPA), we explicitly model the spatial distribution of each SNP by assigning an allele frequency as a continuous function in geographic space. We show that the explicit modeling of the allele frequency allows individuals to be localized on the map on the basis of their genetic information alone. We apply our SPA method to a European and a worldwide population genetic variation data set and identify SNPs showing large gradients in allele frequency, and we suggest these as candidate regions under selection. These regions include SNPs in the well-characterized LCT region, as well as at loci including FOXP2, OCA2 and LRP1B.

Within the guts of this paper they make an important observation: constructing a set of populations and then ...

Fear of a black past

Filed under: Melungeon,race — Razib Khan @ 9:35 pm

I notice that the media has started reporting that scientific genealogy has now established to a great extent the likely origin of the Melungeons. You can find the original paper online. The gist is that the Melungeons seem to exhibit a large proportion of Sub-Saharan African origin Y chromosomal lineages, and European mtDNA lineages. The lack of Amerindian ancestry in the generality is also notable. But, this does not entail that the origins of the Melungeons is from the union of free black males and white women necessarily, at least on purely genetic grounds (the paper itself has a wealth of genealogical evidence pointing to this likelihood). The Melungeons are an endogamous community, and so have a low effective population. African or Amerindian mtDNA lineages may simply have been lost by chance over the past few hundred years.

But I point to the story of the Melungeons because it is a nice counter-point to that of the Hispanos of the Southwest. This is a case where historians and anthropologists who made the case for the false construction of a mythical Middle Eastern ancestry for the Melungeons as a way in which to escape the bounds of the ...

A quick note on comments policy

Filed under: Administration,Comments,Comments Policy — Razib Khan @ 4:43 pm

Happy Memorial Day weekend to Americans. In light of my various time pressures which are going to be operationally indefinite in their temporal scope for me I need to consider various options about optimizing the comments. I generally do rather well on reading comprehension tests, so I’ve decided that if your comment strikes me as incoherent or irrelevant on first inspection I’m likely to simply remove it without warning. This means that there will be false positives, and those of you who have unfortunately been caught in the spam filter may worry, but I think in the interests of useful comments which address the substance of the posts and time management this is probably for the best. Those of you who are caught in the spam filter can email me as is the usual case; this seems to be a sporadic issue. There are of course a whole host of comments/comment styles which will result in banning, but these transgressions are usually one-off affairs by “newbies.” But again in the interests of optimal use of time I’m probably going to not bother warning people anymore, aside from directly engaging with individuals as I usually do to clarify any points made.

May 24, 2012

An Orientalist fantasy

Filed under: Culture,Fantasy — Razib Khan @ 11:31 pm

A few months ago I had a post up about Game of Thrones, where I argued that to a great extent the book and the world that George R. R. Martin created was racist because that’s true to how pre-modern worlds generally are constructed structurally. When fantasists create a ‘secondary world’ they are almost always using our own universe as a prototype, often shading or refashioning some aspect here and there to taste. A true fantasy which is totally counter-intuitive and lacks familiar coherency is without any anchor for a reader, and so lacks narrative power. Fantasy stripped away of injustice or oppression would be without dramatic tension. Utopia does not sell. Additionally, the speculative element in this literature is sharply bounded by precedent. Modern fantasy in its origins is simply an elaboration of the epic literature which is often at the root of contemporary civilizations. J. R. R. Tolkien attempted to create in his own works a simulacrum of a rich epic folk past for the Anglo-Saxon peoples analogous to what the Scandinavians had thanks to Snorri Sturluson’s efforts.

My post on Martin’s work was prompted by the ...

Vaccination as heterodoxy

Filed under: Vaccination — Razib Khan @ 10:00 pm

Apparently Mayim Bialik, Ph.D. neuroscience, is skeptical of vaccination. This just goes to show you that “science education” itself is no guarantee of immunity against acceptance of false propositions. Rather than reason from one proposition to another independently humans operate in an ecology of ideas. Bialik’s general suite of beliefs about mothering and her social milieu make her stance on vaccination rather unsurprising, notwithstanding that she has a doctorate in neuroscience.


I’m mildly familiar with social pressures in regards to vaccination. In some communities on the West coast of the USA which emphasize “consciousness” it is now the dissenting position to accept vaccination as necessary. I myself regularly get flu shots and DPT, and I had no qualms about vaccinating my daughter. On the contrary, I wanted her to be vaccinated. But this is not the default position for many, and over the past six months I’ve seen just how communities of self-reinforcing opinions emerge which deny established science. For someone with a weaker science background I can totally understand why being skeptical of vaccination might be a reasonable decision. Not only is your community validating and encouraging this decision, but there are persons with authority and stature, ...

Hispanos and Sephardic ancestry

Filed under: Anthroplogy,Hispanos,History — Razib Khan @ 11:06 am

A correspondent emailed me to tell me that Linda Chavez, whose father was a New Mexican Hispano, was found to have Sephardic Jewish ancestry in Henry Louise Gates Jr’s Finding your Roots series. This brings me to point to a recent paper, The impact of Converso Jews on the genomes of modern Latin Americans:

Modern day Latin America resulted from the encounter of Europeans with the indigenous peoples of the Americas in 1492, followed by waves of migration from Europe and Africa. As a result, the genomic structure of present day Latin Americans was determined both by the genetic structure of the founding populations and the numbers of migrants from these different populations. Here, we analyzed DNA collected from two well-established communities in Colorado (33 unrelated individuals) and Ecuador (20 unrelated individuals) with a measurable prevalence of the BRCA1 c.185delAG and the GHR c.E180 mutations, respectively, using Affymetrix Genome-wide Human SNP 6.0 arrays to identify their ancestry. These mutations are thought to have been brought to these communities by Sephardic Jewish progenitors. Principal component analysis and clustering methods were employed to determine the genome-wide patterns of continental ancestry within both populations using single nucleotide polymorphisms, complemented by determination of ...

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