DNA Consultants’ blog

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

Etruscans Again

When DNA Second-Guesses History… and Is Wrong

In a new article in the European Journal of Human Genetics (17/5:693), the enigmatic Etruscans of antiquity are again the subject of a DNA investigation.

Halloween Story: Shades of Peking Man

Scary Findings in Guangxi Region
In a report published in the October 30 number of Science, Chinese paleoanthropologists claimed that the jawbone and teeth unearthed by them recently in the southern province of Guangxi represent a form of man 100,000 years old. Their interpretation of the fossil challenges the Western theory that claims our ancestors peopled the world in a migration out of Africa late in the last Ice Age, about 50,000 years ago. But there is more. American and European scientists stand to lose even more face if China’s insistence is true that this early human is a hybrid with H. erectus, a more primitive species also known as Peking Man.

Anomalous Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in the Cherokee

Donald N. Yates

submitted August 31, 2009

ABSTRACT. A sample of 52 individuals who purchased mitochondrial DNA testing to determine their female lineage was assembled after the fact from the customer files of DNA Consultants. All claim matrilineal descent from a Native American woman, usually named as Cherokee.

Putting the Test to a Test

In the last blog post, we responded to the call of Nature (the journal, that is) in “Genetics without Borders.” In this, we examine the second of three editorials in this week’s issue concerning regulation of DNA testing companies:  “Putting DNA to the Test.”

Science Is Only for Us Scientists, Don’t You Know

That’s the import of a trio of opinions in this week’s Nature magazine. One of them, “Genetics without Borders,” criticizes a “UK government scheme to establish nationality through DNA testing [as] scientifically flawed, ethically dubious and potentially damaging to science.”

Continuing Discontinuity

Local Hunter-Gatherers Obstruct Incoming Farmers, Again

In the last post, we saw that there was discontinuity in the genetic record between medieval and contemporary Tuscans. Contradictions keep popping up whenever geneticists seek to show continuity in human populations.

A Classic Case Study in Genetic Genealogy

Newberry Family DNA Project 
A Guest Posting by Sue Simonich
For nearly four centuries, the Newberry legacy has been studied by historians and genealogists. American descendants have pondered ancient progenitors from Normandy and England, to America and back.

Genetic Gaps in History and Prehistory

In a recent research article published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, a team headed by Silvia Guimaraes of the University of Florence documents how the Tuscans of the Middle Ages preserved Etruscan bloodlines while the contemporary inhabitants of the Italian state of Tuscany seem to have little or no connection with those mysterious antecedents from the Bronze Age.