DNA Tool Allows You To Trace Your Ancient Ancestry

DNA Tool Allows You To Trace Your Ancient Ancestry


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University of Sheffield

Scientists at the University of Sheffield studying ancient DNA have created a tool allowing them to more accurately identify ancient Eurasian populations, which can be used to test an individual's similarity to ancient people who once roamed the earth.

Currently the study of ancient DNA requires a lot of information to classify a skeleton to a population or find its biogeographical origins.

Now scientists have defined a new concept called Ancient Ancestry Informative Markers (aAIMs) - a group of mutations that are sufficiently informative to identify and classify ancient populations.

The research, led by Dr Eran Elhaik, from the University of Sheffield's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, saw the identification of a small group of aAIMs that can be used to classify skeletons to ancient populations.

Dr Elhaik said:

"We developed a new method that finds aAIMs efficiently and have proved that it is accurate."

AIMs (Ancestry Informative Markers) have a long history in science and have been employed for the past decade by health and forensic experts.

But Dr Elhaik said that when his team applied traditional AIMs-finding tools to ancient DNA data, they were disappointed with their low accuracy.

"Ancient populations are much more diverse than modern ones," he said. "Their diversity was reduced over the years following events such as the Neolithic revolution and the Black Death .

"Although we have many more people today they are all far more similar to each other than ancient people. In addition, the ancient data themselves are problematic due to the large amount of degraded DNA."

To overcome these challenges, Dr Elhaik developed a specialised tool that identifies aAIMs by combining traditional methodology with a novel one that takes into account a mixture.

Genomes consist of hundreds of thousands of markers. (Image: Eisenhans / Adobe Stock)

"Ancient genomes typically consist of hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of markers. We demonstrated that only 13,000 markers are needed to make accurate population classifications for ancient genomes and while the field of ancient forensics does not exist yet, these aAIMs can help us get much closer to ancient people."

He added: "Until now you couldn't test people for ancient DNA ancestry because commercial microarrays, such as the ones used for genetic genealogy, don't have a lot of markers relevant for paleogenomics -- people could not study their primeval origins.”

"This finding of aAIMs is like finding the fingerprints of ancient people. It allows testing of a small number of markers -- that can be found in a commonly available array -- and you can ask what part of your genome is from Roman Britons or Viking, or Chumash Indians, or ancient Israelites, etc.

We can ask any question we want about these ancient people as long as someone sequenced these ancient markers. So this paper brings the field of paleogenomics to the public."

Researchers said to make the study's findings more accurate for identifying and classifying ancient people throughout the world, the framework and methods of the study should be applied again when more comprehensive ancient DNA databases are available.


Firstly, you can trace several generations into the past by talking to your elder family members and extended relations. Then you can use archival information to fill in the gaps and search for the members that go further back.

Alternatively, you might be interested in investigating your ancient ancestors and geographic ancestry composition to see where your family came from very early in the existence of mankind (tens of thousands of years ago). The only way to do this is with a DNA ancestry test like the one by AtlasBioMed. Often, people are interested in both methods because they contain different data:

  • Recent relatives
  • DNA ancestry
  • Recent migrations and locations
  • Ancestry composition by geography
  • Names, professional activities and community
  • Migrations of your ancient ancestors
  • Narrative of your recent family history
  • Haplogroup you belong to
  • Making family trees for couples

If you and your partner want to know how to make family trees, then you need to account for twice the number of relatives. If you’re doing it on paper, it might be easier to create a separate tree for each spouse. Should you opt for the combined one, you will need an online service or software that can coherently construct the data from both sides of the marriage.


How Many Generations can a DNA Test Trace My Ancestry?

You may hear about DNA in the news or in conversations. But what is DNA, really?

How Far Can a DNA Test Trace my Ancestry?

How many generations can you trace YOUR family back?

For most of us, that answer is, not very far…

Most of us knew our grandparents, and may even have records of our great-grandparents. Farther than that, the records get increasingly murky. You may have some paper records, but these seldom go back more than 5 generations. Records frequently destroyed or lost, and each migration opens up a new gap in the paper trail…

With autosomal DNA testing, you can trace your family much further back—which allows you to make discoveries that you never expected.

Standard Autosomal DNA Testing (5-7 Generations)

Most ancestry companies offer a solid view of your most recent 5-7 generations, with varying levels of detail. This is the report you’re used to seeing, with the pie chart and map of your recent ancestry. All of the major ancestry companies offer this, through a method known as “autosomal DNA testing”—which means that it focuses on the genetic markers that appear on your 23 pairs of chromosomes.

Discover your recent ancestry with an autosomal DNA test.

Advanced Autosomal DNA Testing (50+ Generations)

Recently, more advanced DNA companies have been able to trace ancestry even farther with the use of cutting-edge technology like AI and DNA algorithms. Using these advanced techniques, the best companies can get you even more of your family history. CRI Genetics, for example, has a DNA timeline that reaches back 50+ generations, or up to 1,000 years, showing you each ancestry you have along the way. (For reference, 23andMe’s DNA timeline only goes back 8 generations at best).

Unlock your ancient ancestry with an advanced DNA test.

Mt-DNA Haplogroup Testing (Up to 100,000 Years)

Finally, mitochondrial DNA (Mt-DNA) enables ancestry companies to trace your family history even farther with the use of haplogroup analysis. You see, mitochondrial DNA is passed down directly from mothers to their children, without any interaction from the father’s DNA. This means that it mutates 10X slower—meaning it can be traced much farther back than the traditional DNA we inherit from both our parents. You can use mt-DNA testing to trace your family history up to 100,000 years, and see each major step your ancient ancestors took along the way.

A sneak peek of what your Mt-DNA test could look like.

CRI offers all of these reports in our advanced 100X Ancestry Test, which you can view here .

If you’re still looking to trace your ancestry by hand, there are numerous free resources with which you can do so. Our research team just put together a list of the Top 50 Best Free Genealogy Sources. These include all major American ancestries, such as Irish & English, German, American Indian, Jewish, African-American, Asian-American, and many more. Enter your name and email to receive our Free Guide.


King Tut’s DNA is Western European

Posted by EU Times on Jun 7th, 2010 // 115 Comments

Despite the refusal of the Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, to release any DNA results which might indicate the racial ancestry of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, the leaked results reveal that King Tut’s DNA is a 99.6 percent match with Western European Y chromosomes.

The DNA test results were inadvertently revealed on a Discovery Channel TV documentary filmed with Hawass’s permission — but it seems as if the Egyptian failed to spot the giveaway part of the documentary which revealed the test results.

Hawass previously announced that he would not release the racial DNA results of Egyptian mummies — obviously because he feared the consequences of such a revelation.

On the Discovery Channel broadcast, which can be seen on the Discovery Channel website here, or if they pull it, on YouTube here, at approximately 1:53 into the video, the camera pans over a printout of DNA test results from King Tut.

Firstly, here is a brief explanation of the results visible in the video. It is a list of what is called Short Tandem Repeats (STRs).

STRs are repeated DNA sequences which are “short repeat units” whose characteristics make them especially suitable for human identification.

These STR values for 17 markers visible in the video are as follows:
DYS 19 – 14 (? not clear)
DYS 385a – 11
DYS 385b – 14
DYS 389i – 13
DYS 389ii – 30
DYS 390 – 24
DYS 391 – 11
DYS 392 – 13
DYS 393 – 13
DYS 437 – 14 (? not clear)
DYS 438 – 12
DYS 439 – 10
DYS 448 – 19
DYS 456 – 15
DYS 458 – 16
DYS 635 – 23
YGATAH4 – 11

What does this mean? Fortunately, a genius by the name of Whit Athey provides the key to this list. Mr Athey is a retired physicist whose working career was primarily at the Food and Drug Administration where he was chief of one of the medical device labs.

Mr Athey received his doctorate in physics and biochemistry at Tufts University, and undergraduate (engineering) and masters (math) degrees at Auburn University. For several years during the 1980s, he also taught one course each semester in the electrical engineering department of the University of Maryland. Besides his interest in genetic genealogy, he is an amateur astronomer and has his own small observatory near his home in Brookeville, MD.

He also runs a very valuable website called the “Haplogroup Predictor” which allows users to input STR data and generate the haplogroup which marks those STR data.

For those who want to know what a haplogroup is, here is a “simple” definition: a haplogroup is a group of similar haplotypes that share a common ancestor with a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutation.

Still none the wiser? Damn these scientists.

Ok, let’s try it this way: a haplotype is a combination of multiple specific locations of a gene or DNA sequence on a chromosome.

Haplogroups are assigned letters of the alphabet, and refinements consist of additional number and letter combinations, for example R1b or R1b1. Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA haplogroups have different haplogroup designations. In essence, haplogroups give an inisight into ancestral origins dating back thousands of years.

By entering all the STR data inadvertently shown on the Discovery video, a 99.6 percent fit with the R1b haplogroup is revealed.

The significance is, of course, that R1b is the most common Y-chromosome haplogroup in Europe reaching its highest concentrations in Ireland, Scotland, western England and the European Atlantic seaboard — in other words, European through and through.

So much for the Afro-centrists and others who have derided the very obvious northwestern European appearance of a large number of the pharonic mummies. It seems like March of the Titans was right after all…


How to use the Gedmatch Archaic DNA matches tool

To access the kit numbers for the &ldquoarchaic&rdquo DNA matches, the first thing that you should do is run the Archaic DNA Matches tool using your Gedmatch kit number. This tool is located on your main Gedmatch dashboard under the &ldquoAnalyze Your Data&rdquo section:

The second step is to enter your kit number and select the &ldquoUpper Segment Threshold Limit&rdquo. This simply lets you choose the minimum segment size that you want the tool to display on the results.

If you pick the default (.5 cM), then you will see that you share lots of very, very small segments with almost every ancient DNA sample. This isn&rsquot very helpful, though, since at a .5 cM size, odds are exceedingly great that any match reported is completely coincidental.

Plus, at the .5 cM threshold, only 50 SNPs are analyzed, which also allows for tons of false segments to be reported.

Just so you can see what it would look like at this low threshold, in the image below you can see my own results. The yellow segments are matching regions, and the grey is where I don&rsquot match.

I recommend choosing a segment size that is 2 cM-4 cM. This is increases the likelihood that a segment match was actually passed down throughout the generations instead of being an &ldquoidentical by state&rdquo match, or a coincidentally identical segment.

When I run the tool against my own DNA using a 4 cM threshold (and 400 SNPs &ndash a much more reliable level), I can see that I still have a few matching segments. There is a good possibility that some of these segments still might be false (identical-by-state), but at least I have a few to work with.

In the next section, I&rsquoll explain how you might be able to tell whether or not these segments are real and imply a legitimate shared ancestry with these individuals.


4. Cost

If you want to give MyTrueAncestry a shot, go for it! The basic plan is free to everyone and compares your DNA sample to 10 different ancient people. More likely than not, you will be related to many of these people and can see how the entire history of human civilization has contributed to where you are in the world now.

This free tier - called the “Commoner” level - can test 1 DNA file, includes basic maps, and gives you a general timeline of when these different civilizations were active in history. MyTrueAncestry has 6 paid levels, ranging from $37 - $397, that include many different features and analysis of up to 150+ different ancient groups. These levels, starting at Footman and working up to Olympus, provide the following options and extras:


Another popular DNA analysis platform, GEDMatch, allows you to upload raw data from three DNA testing services AncestryDNA, FTDNA, and 23andme. This platform is free!

Using GEDMatch.com, you can:

  • Check for DNA matches with other people who have used different DNA testing services.
  • Perform triangulation. This is a process of comparing your DNA with that of known family members to determine how you are related.
  • Determine exactly how much DNA you share with your matches.
  • Learn about your ancestry composition (image). You can check whether you have Native American or European ancestry.
  • Check whether two people are related, for example, your parents.
  • Determine family connections as far back as possible by carrying out X-chromosome comparisons.

For instructions on how to upload your data to GEDMatch.com watch this excellent tutorial.


Source: abcw


DNA Diversity Studies Trace Ancient Human Migrations

The human tendency to wander, mingle and mate has left its marks on our DNA. Geneticist David Reich is uncovering those clues in order to determine how our ancestors moved across continents.

David Reich is fascinated with the stories of our past. By analyzing DNA from a vast swath of human populations, he and his colleagues have discovered surprising twists in human history, including evidence suggesting that more than one group of early humans settled the Americas many thousands of years ago. A geneticist at Harvard Medical School, Reich received funding from the Simons Foundation to explore genetic diversity in humans. He recently spoke to us from his office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The following is an edited version of the conversation.

What drives your research in human genetic diversity?

The human world is extremely diverse, with different cultures, different languages, different regions of the world, different ways of life. Yet we’re all linked by common ancestry. It’s very interesting to understand how all this diversity arose.

How do scientists study human diversity?

Scientists have traditionally studied diversity based on the languages people speak, seeing which are most closely related to each other. That’s called historical linguistics. Researchers have also relied on the very important field of archaeology, which digs into old layers where people left their marks and tries to identify material that might be indicative of past cultures.

Genetics is a third plank. It’s a new science of the human past that’s enabled by DNA. Every time we collect data from a population that nobody’s collected from before, we find a surprise because it’s such uncharted territory.

What have studies of genetic variation revealed about human history?

Svante Pääbo’s laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology miraculously and successfully obtained genome-scale data from an approximately 40,000-year-old set of Neandertal remains. His team was able to compare DNA from Neandertals with the DNA of present-day people. The comparison revealed that during the migration of modern humans out of Africa, which happened 50,000 years ago, those people encountered Neandertals and interbred with them. All non-Africans today descend from that interbreeding. That was a big surprise.

Another huge surprise came from a bone found in Siberia that was around 50,000 years old. It turned out to belong to yet another population, not Neandertal or modern human, but from the same time period. It was a sister group to Neandertals now called Denisovans. Their discovery was not even previously suggested by skeletal remains or analysis of archaeological specimens.

From what kind of populations did you analyze DNA?

This is the Simons Genome Diversity Project, which offers access to complete genome sequences from 300 people representing 142 diverse populations around the world. It includes hunter-gatherers in central and southern Africa, as well as from New Guinea and islands in Southeast Asia. It also includes some Native American populations, quite a number of Siberian indigenous populations, and hunter-gatherers of northern Scandinavia and other parts of Europe. Analyzing these populations is important for understanding human history and the true nature of the present-day structure of populations.

Using genetic data, you and other researchers recently reported that some South Americans had traces of Australo-Melanesian ancestry. What does the finding say about the peopling of the Americas 20,000 years ago?

This is an amazing finding. We looked at Native Americans from today, people from Amazonian populations, and found that some of them share a small amount of DNA with native Australians and Melanesians. This implies that Native American populations do not descend from just one source instead there were at least two populations that migrated to the Americas very early on. One of those populations was a previously unknown lineage of present-day Amazonians.

Where do you see this field of genetics and human diversity heading in the next five to 10 years?

The field is moving toward ancient DNA. In the data we have from past people, we can already see that the structure of human populations even 10,000 years ago was very different from what it is today. It was just as diverse, but very different. Creating catalogs of past people will be a very powerful way to understand how present people got to where they are today.

If you can piece together the stories of our deep past from modern DNA, what does looking at ancient DNA add to that story?

Ancient DNA is a powerful tool. It allows you to cheat and go back in time to look at the genetics of populations from the distant past. You can compare past populations in different regions and look at the genetic variation to see how it may have influenced modern populations. It gives us an opportunity to see how populations transformed over time.

There have been reports of epigenetics studies that have been done on ancient DNA. How valuable could this data be for understanding human history?

This is an exciting idea. You could look at chemical changes to the microstructure of DNA, not the code itself. These changes probably modified the activation of certain genes in the past. You could learn a lot about the modifications and how they compare with changes seen in the microstructure of today’s DNA. These changes are influenced by such factors as diet and stress — essentially your environment. At this point, however, we are very far away from gaining strong insights into how past epigenetic changes may have been linked to people’s environments and lifestyles.

The stories of human history revealed by genetic data are largely about migrations of populations. There’s a lot of migration going on today. How will that shape humans’ genomes going forward?

We’re in a period, not just now, but in the last 100 years or so of mass movements and mixing of peoples. This happened in the distant past, and it is now happening again. There’s mixing of Scottish and Irish and Italian and Jewish and African-American. Distinctions are breaking down. This is greatly affecting our genetics. New populations are forming, even in this country. In the future, our populations and our genetics will look completely different.


DNA tool allows you to trace your ancient ancestry

The tool allows people to discover how similar they are to the Roman Britons, Vikings or ancient Israelites.

UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD—Scientists at the University of Sheffield studying ancient DNA have created a tool allowing them to more accurately identify ancient Eurasian populations, which can be used to test an individual’s similarity to ancient people who once roamed the earth.

Currently the study of ancient DNA requires a lot of information to classify a skeleton to a population or find its biogeographical origins.

Now scientists have defined a new concept called Ancient Ancestry Informative Markers (aAIMs) – a group of mutations that are sufficiently informative to identify and classify ancient populations.

The research, led by Dr Eran Elhaik, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, saw the identification of a small group of aAIMs that can be used to classify skeletons to ancient populations.

Dr Elhaik said: “We developed a new method that finds aAIMs efficiently and have proved that it is accurate.”

AIMs (Ancestry Informative Markers) have a long history in science and have been employed for the past decade by health and forensic experts.

But Dr Elhaik said that when his team applied traditional AIMs-finding tools to ancient DNA data, they were disappointed with their low accuracy.

“Ancient populations are much more diverse than modern ones,” he said. “Their diversity was reduced over the years following events such as the Neolithic revolution and the Black Death.

“Although we have many more people today they are all far more similar to each other than ancient people. In addition, the ancient data themselves are problematic due to the large amount of degraded DNA.”

To overcome these challenges, Dr Elhaik developed a specialized tool that identifies aAIMs by combining traditional methodology with a novel one that takes into account a mixture.

“Ancient genomes typically consist of hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of markers. We demonstrated that only 13,000 markers are needed to make accurate population classifications for ancient genomes and while the field of ancient forensics does not exist yet, these aAIMs can help us get much closer to ancient people.”

He added: “Until now you couldn’t test people for ancient DNA ancestry because commercial microarrays, such as the ones used for genetic genealogy, don’t have a lot of markers relevant for paleogenomics – people could not study their primeval origins.

“This finding of aAIMs is like finding the fingerprints of ancient people. It allows testing of a small number of markers – that can be found in a commonly available array – and you can ask what part of your genome is from Roman Britons or Viking, or Chumash Indians, or ancient Israelites, etc.

“We can ask any question we want about these ancient people as long as someone sequenced these ancient markers. So this paper brings the field of paleogenomics to the public.”

Researchers said to make the study’s findings more accurate for identifying and classifying ancient people throughout the world, the framework and methods of the study should be applied again when more comprehensive ancient DNA databases are available.

The full study Ancient Ancestry Informative Markers for Identifying Fine-Scale Ancient Population Structure in Eurasians is published in the journal Genes.

The Eurasian landmass, home to many ancient populations.

Article Source: UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD news release

See, first-hand, the original fossils. See original artifacts. See the actual sites. Talk with the famous scientists. Join us on this unique specialized study tour .


Why We Recommend Family Tree DNA

If a DNA test is part of your ancestry journey, you may be wondering which testing company is best for your needs. Whether you’re starting out with an autosomal DNA test or expanding your search via a mtDNA and/or Y-DNA test, Family Tree DNA (reviewed here) makes it easy to purchase what you need their site even offers the option to bundle all three tests, which will give you access to your maternal and paternal haplogroups and migratory paths as well as your recent genetic ethnicity and a database of living relatives.

23andMe (reviewed here) also tests and provides data on haplogroups, but it only gives a broad overview and isn’t as granular as you likely will be needing.

Access to your haplogroups allows you to participate in genome projects, where you can learn more about your potential ancient links to Native American bloodlines.

Family Tree DNA’s cheek swab test is neat and easy to administer, and your results are user-friendly and easy to interpret. It’s a great starting point for those seeking admission into a federally recognized tribe, and may offer enough information to satisfy the curiosity of those simply wondering if they’re of Native American ancestry.

While AncestryDNA (reviewed here) does have a larger database of matches, you can only be connected with a person if they have opted to share their results.



Comments:

  1. Nam

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  2. Naldo

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  3. Elidor

    At all personal messages send today?



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