DNA Consultants’ blog

Read reviews of science articles, new research and news reports on ancestry testing, ancient DNA and popular genetics

Aboriginal Australian History Finally Resolved


Everyone probably has wondered at some time what makes Aboriginal Australians different from other people, where they came from and how old their ethnic type is. Well, wonder no more. Following up on the previous post, “Australian Aboriginal DNA Gets Attention,” this post will summarize the groundbreaking article in Science magazine, M. Rasmussen et al., “An Aboriginal Australian Genome Reveals Separate Human Dispersals into Asia” (Science 334, 7 Oct. 2011, 94-98).

Why Italians Live So Long


We just returned from a long trip through Italy and were struck by Italians’ apparent immunity to all the forces of aging that besiege Americans and other members of the First World. “Italian men,” said Paolo, our driver, “smoke, drink, womanize and curse all day and live to a hundred.” Maybe the answers why are in this new report on Italian longevity.

Tatar/Khazar Marker Renamed Jewish IV


DNA Consultants’ fourth Jewish marker, Tatar/Khazar, has been renamed Jewish IV, bringing it into line with European, Asian and Sub-Saharan African marker groups. All these populations have four markers in acknowledgment of their complexity, age and diversity.

J. Cooper – Two Days Too Late


By Donald N. Yates
Capt. John Cooper
Nancy J. Cooper et al. v. The Choctaw Nation is one of the classic botched cases in the annals of the Dawes Commission, the Federal government’s attempt to deal a death blow to tribal sovereignty at the close of the nineteenth century. I had heard rumors about my Cooper relatives and how they were kicked out of the Choctaw Nation. But I never knew the whole story until recently.

Emerging Prehistory of Ethnic Groups


As Revealed by Autosomal Markers.

No scientific work, to our knowledge, has ever hazarded a guess on what the mutation rate for autosomal CODIS-type markers might be. Is it like mitochondrial DNA, which has a molecular clock measured in the thousands or tens of thousands of years, or is it like STRs on the Y chromosome, with its much shorter timeframe? The question is important if you are trying to extrapolate the history of the human race from today’s autosomal population statistics.

King Tut’s Ethnic Markers


In 2009-2010, an analysis of 11 royal mummies from around 1300 BCE was carried out by an Egyptian team under the country’s chief archeologist Zahi Hawass. A television special was produced, titled “Unwrapping King Tut.” Hawass and his colleagues published “Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun’s Family,” in JAMA, vol. 303, no. 7. (Feb. 17, 2010).

Surprises in English and Irish DNA


Over a year ago, there appeared one of the few studies of autosomal DNA in Ireland and Britain. If you have English/Welsh, Irish, northern Irish, Highlands Scottish, Lowlands Scottish or Swedish matches, you will want to read this post. Here is the original article and abstract.