Category Archives: Human Population Genetics

Ancient genomes from the last three millennia support multiple human dispersals into Wallacea: Previous research indicates that the human genetic diversity found in Wallacea – islands in present-day Eastern Indonesia […]

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In my Substack post Under pressure: the paradox of the diamond I said this: The implication of these DNA results is that Yemeni Jews are by and large descended from […]

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I have been staring and this figure and rereading Ancient West African foragers in the context of African population history. The Shum Laka sample from this paper, dating to four […]

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The story of lactase persistence (“lactose tolerance”) evolving is one of the best gene-culture coevolution stories we had. Arguably it was the canonical example. The story was simple, multiple times […]

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Several people have asked me about the new study on ancient DNA in the Caribbean, A genetic history of the pre-contact Caribbean. There is a lot to this paper, some […]

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The New Yorker has a long feature that explores the strange results from the paper last year, Ancient DNA from the skeletons of Roopkund Lake reveals Mediterranean migrants in India. […]

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A new preprint uses about a dozen ancient genomes to create a model of the origins of Europeans and European farmers more precisely. The big deal here is that they […]

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The new preprint, Genomic Insights into the Demographic History of Southern Chinese, is somewhat inaccurately titled. It’s really more about the progenitors of the various Southeast Asian language families, whose […]

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A new massive preprint on the Middle East is out. I’ve edited the first figure to give people a general sense of the broad results and populations sampled. First, you […]

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A new whole-genome analysis out of Brazil has some interesting ancestry information. The preprint, Whole-genome sequencing of 1,171 elderly admixed individuals from the largest Latin American metropolis (São Paulo, Brazil): As whole-genome sequencing (WGS) becomes the gold standard tool for studying population genomics and medical applications, data on diverse non-European and admixed individuals are still […]

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A new whole-genome analysis out of Brazil has some interesting ancestry information. The preprint, Whole-genome sequencing of 1,171 elderly admixed individuals from the largest Latin American metropolis (São Paulo, Brazil): As whole-genome sequencing (WGS) becomes the gold standard tool for studying population genomics and medical applications, data on diverse non-European and admixed individuals are still […]

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Over the last ten years David Reich and other researchers have been constructing what is basically an atlas of human demographic history. Taking the genealogies written in our DNA, mapping them onto population bifurcations and admixtures, and synthesizing that back together with what we know from history and archaeology. To a great extent, this is […]

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Adaptation is clearly one of the most important processes in understanding how evolution occurs. In a classical sense, it’s easy to understand. Parallel adaptations in body plans make dolphins and swordfish shaped the same. It’s physics. But with the emergence of DNA, a lot of the focus on adaptation has been displaced to the signatures […]

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Over the past few months I have been getting together some samples from people from Kerala, with a focus on Knanaya Christians. A subset of the brother St. Thomas Christian community, two things have jumped out in my analyses: – they are quite endogamous – they are shifted off the ‘India-cline’ More precisely, like Cochin […]

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The above is the map from the Online Ancient Genome Repository. You can see the variation by region. There’s a lot of ancient DNA in Europe. Very little in Asia. And only moderate amounts elsewhere. The map is from a new preprint, Ancient human genomes reveal a hidden history of strong selection in Eurasia: The […]

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To a great extent much of the population genetics of humans in the 20th-century that doesn’t involve external traits is the population genetics of blood groups. A, B, and O, along with Rhesus factor. Read L. L. Cavalli-Sforza and William Bodmer’s The Genetics of Human Populations, the first edition of which was written in the […]

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The figure to the right illustrates a model that is put forward in a new paper, Recovering signals of ghost archaic introgression in African populations. This was originally a preprint, Recovering signals of ghost archaic introgression in African populations. So we’ve discussed the implications extensively. Carl Zimmer has covered the story in The New York […]

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In the comments, people keep asking about Indonesia, and Java in particular. The reason is pretty simple: before wholesale conversion to Islam maritime Southeast Asia was dominated at the elite level by Indic social and religious forms. I say “Indic” because unlike mainland Southeast Asia Theravada Buddhism did not supplant other Indian religions, and in […]

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In the comments to the post below about Indian ancestry in Thailand, some observed that this should not be surprising due to reciprocal gene flow and proximity. Implicitly, I think what is being suggested here is that there is isolation by distance and continuous gene flow. Obviously some of this is true, but there details […]

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There were some questions about the Indian ancestry of the Thai. The dataset released by the Reich lab has some Thai. I pulled that data, and some other Southeast Asian groups, and Tamils and Tajiks. The merging only left 62,000 SNPs, but that’s probably enough to answer this question. The PCA above shows the West […]

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Razib Khan