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Most of us have a bit of caveman in us - and now an interactive tool can reveal exactly how much.
The tool, which only works on people of European descent, reveals ancestry based your family's country of origin.
The data comes from an ongoing study that has found most European are a mix of three ancient populations; hunter-gatherers, Neolithic farmers and pastoralists.
The exact mix is based on region. People whose families came from Italy and Spain, for instance, have very low amounts of hunter-gatherer DNA.
Other groups, such as those in Norway or Lithuania, get about half of their DNA from the steppe pastoralists, who swept across Europe on horseback and in wagons 4,500 years ago.
The results of the interactive tool, created by New Scientist, come from a study that is attempting to discover who exactly lived in prehistoric Europe.
Geneticists from the University of Adelaide have begun extracting DNA out of bones from historical sites across the Europe to understand whether they belonged to, for instance, hunter-gathers or farmers.
Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk...
Alongside this, scientists have been sequencing DNA from volunteers living around Europe today.
'We discovered that in addition to the original European hunter-gatherers and a heavy dose of Near Eastern farmers, there was a third major population - steppe pastoralists,' said lead authors Dr Wolfgang Haak and Dr Alan Cooper writing in The Conversation.
These nomads appear to have ‘invaded’ central Europe in a previously unknown wave during the early Bronze Age, about 4,500 years ago.
This event saw the introduction of two significant new technologies to Western Europe: domestic horses and the wheel.
It also reveals the mysterious source for the Indo-European languages.
'The genetic results have answered a number of contentious and long-standing questions in European history,' the researchers claim.
'The first big issue was whether the first farmers in Europe were hunter-gatherers who had learnt farming techniques from neighbours in southeast Europe, or whether they instead come from the Near East, where farming was invented.
'The genetic results are clear: farming was introduced widely across Europe in one or two rapid waves around 8,000 years ago by populations from the Near East - effectively the very first skilled migrants.'
According to the study, at first the original hunter-gatherer populations appear to have retreated to the fringes of Europe: to Britain, Scandinavia and Finland.
But the genetics show that within a few thousand years they had returned, and significant amounts of hunter-gatherer genomic DNA was mixed in with the farmers 7,000 to 5,000 years ago across many parts of Europe.
For Dr Haak, there was still a major outstanding mystery.
Apart from these two groups, the genomic signals clearly showed that a third, previously unsuspected, large contribution had been made sometime before the Iron Age, around 2,000 years ago.
'We have finally been able to identify the mystery culprit, using a clever new system invented at Harvard University,' the researchers write.
'Instead of sequencing the entire genome from a very small number of well-preserved skeletons, we analysed 400,000 small genetic markers right across the genome.
'Our survey showed that skeletons of the Yamnaya culture from the Russian/Ukrainian grasslands north of the Black Sea, buried in large mounds known as kurgans, turned out to be the genetic source we were missing.
The researchers claim that this group of pastoralists appear to be responsible for up to 75 per cent of the genomic DNA seen in central European cultures 4,500 years ago, known as the Corded Ware Culture.
'Our new genomic data finally reveals the missing evidence of a major cultural contribution from the steppe in the early Bronze Age,' Dr Haak says.
Analysis of ancient DNA can reveal historical events that are difficult to discern through study of present-day individuals. To investigate European population history around the time of the agricultural transition, we sequenced complete genomes from a ~7,500 year old early farmer from the Linearbandkeramik (LBK) culture from Stuttgart in Germany and an ~8,000 year old hunter-gatherer from the Loschbour rock shelter in Luxembourg. We also generated data from seven ~8,000 year old hunter-gatherers from Motala in Sweden. We compared these genomes and published ancient DNA to new data from 2,196 samples from 185 diverse populations to show that at least three ancestral groups contributed to present-day Europeans. The first are Ancient North Eurasians (ANE), who are more closely related to Upper Paleolithic Siberians than to any present-day population. The second are West European Hunter-Gatherers (WHG), related to the Loschbour individual, who contributed to all Europeans but not to Near Easterners. The third are Early European Farmers (EEF), related to the Stuttgart individual, who were mainly of Near Eastern origin but also harbored WHG-related ancestry. We model the deep relationships of these populations and show that about ~44% of the ancestry of EEF derived from a basal Eurasian lineage that split prior to the separation of other non-Africans.
This map compares the genes of modern people to the DNA of a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer from the Loschbour cave in Luxembourg, who lived 8000 years ago and belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup I2a1b and mtDNA haplogroup U5. It is supposed to reflect the percentage of similarity with the Late Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic inhabitants of Western Europe. Nowadays this admixture peaks among the Estonians (49.5%), Finns (47%), Lithuanians (46.5%), Icelanders (45.5%) and Orcadians (45.5%).
EEF-WHG-ANE test for Europeans
This is a test that attempts to fit you to the three inferred prehistoric European populations as described in this recent preprint. The relevant Excel file can be downloaded here, and all you have to do is stick your Eurogenes K13 results into the fields provided to get the EEF-WHG-ANE ancestry proportions. A modified version for Near Eastern and Southeast European users can be accessed here.
The test is based on correlations between the average levels of the Eurogenes K13 and the ancient components among selected European populations (see here). Below is a brief description of each of the ancient components.
Early European Farmer (EEF): apparently this is a hybrid component, the result of mixture between "Basal Eurasians" and a WHG-like population possibly from the Balkans. It's based on a 7500 year old Linearbandkeramik (LBK) sample from Stuttgart, Germany, but today peaks at just over 80% among Sardinians.
West European Hunter-Gatherer (WHG): this ancestral component is based on an 8,000 year old forager from the Loschbour rock shelter in Luxembourg, who belonged to Y-chromosome haplogroup I2a1b. However, today the WHG component peaks among Estonians and Lithuanians, in the East Baltic region, at almost 50%.
Ancient North Eurasian (ANE): this is the twist in the tale, a component based on a 24,000 year old Upper Paleolithic forager from South Central Siberia, belonging to Y-DNA R*, and known as Mal'ta boy or MA-1. This component was very likely present in Southern Scandinavia since at least the Mesolithic, but only seems to have reached Western Europe after the Neolithic. At some point it also spread into the Americas. In Europe today it peaks among Estonians at just over 18%, and, intriguingly, reaches a similar level among Scots. However, numbers weren't given in the paper for Finns, Russians and Mordovians, who, according to one of the maps, also carry very high ANE, but their results are confounded by more recent Siberian (ENA) admixture.
It's important to note that this test is only likely to be accurate for people of European ancestry, and indeed only those who aren't outliers from the main European clines of genetic diversity. For details of what that means, please consult the aforementioned paper. However, roughly speaking, if you're of European origin and don't score more than 3% East Asian, Siberian, Amerindian, South Asian, Oceanian, Northeast African and/or Sub-Saharan admixture, then you should get a coherent result. Users from the Near East and Caucasus should run the version specifically designed for them, while those from Southeastern Europe might find it useful to run both calculators and then compare the results.
One of the two major Caucasoid depigmentation mutations, in the gene SLC24A5, is now found at or near fixation in all Caucasoid populations, and the results below explain why this is the case. Two copies of this mutation were present in almost all of the samples, including the hunter-gatherers, whose ancestors inhabited Europe during the Upper Paleolithic, and the first farmers, whose ancestors inhabited the Middle East during the Upper Paleolithic. The presence of the mutation in both these groups implies that it must have spread throughout the Caucasoid race and risen in frequency to near fixation before the Mesolithic, during the Upper Paleolithic. This is consistent with the findings of this paper from 2013, which dated the coalescence of the SLC24A5 mutation at 28,000–22,000 years ago, and also with the findings of this paper from 2012, which estimated that the selective sweep for the SLC24A5 mutation started 19,000–11,000 years ago. It’s also consistent with my finding in this post that Afontova Gora 2, an Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherer who lived 17,000 years ago in Siberia, had the SLC24A5 mutation. The estimates from the two papers may even be underestimates. The 2012 paper estimated that the selective sweep for the Veddoid depigmentation mutation in the gene KITLG started 30,000 years ago, but we know from my results for the 45,000-year-old Ust’-Ishim genome that selection for the Veddoid depigmentation mutations began far earlier.
originally posted by: TonyS
I'm a mess!