Saturday, February 23, 2008

Everybody Comes From Africa

Out of Africa is not just a film, but a reality based Truth about sub-Saharan region from where we all started, eons ago, before the genetic mutations took place to grace us with the racial diversity seen today. Nomadic humans migrated for many reasons, leaving a trail of genetic clues for scientists to map, putting together a complex puzzle as a detailed travelogue of human diversity. Three separate major studies of DNA reached the same conclusion. Genghis Khan's army left a genetic imprint, as did those who traveled the Silk Road connecting East to West, before Marco Polo 'discovered' it for the western world. Some frozen tundra Siberian Russians share ancestry with Mayans among other people from the sweltering tropics in the jungles of South America.

"This is the definitive study to show variation within populations," said Marcus Feldman, professor of biological sciences and a member of the team.

"This tells us that the Middle East has long been a center of migration - that people have been passing through there and leaving genes as they go, either from east or from the west," Feldman said.

The marauding Mongols left not just a huge cultural and historical impression in central Asia, but also a genetic one. For instance, the Hazara people of central Afghanistan share genetic ties with East Asia.

Genome Center magnifying tools made it possible to study these very tiny genetic mutations, called polymorphisms. Mathematical analysis of the mutations - looking at differences and similarities between populations - creates a historical map of human migration.

America's nutbar KKKlansmania, Germany's embarrassing Hitler poodle offspring - the Neo-Nazis, India's tragic caste system enforcers to the Untouchables, Middle East Islamic purity mavens, and hardliner separatists in Latin America are all genetically tied and historically entwined with Mother Africa too. Pass them the smelling salts in massive quantities. Science is a thing of ironic wonder and chaotic beauty as it discovers, amasses then ruthlessly publishes new DNA evidence eviscerating and undercutting twisted rationales for belief systems on race. Amino acids in cells provide the proof.
Joshua Akey, a genome scientist at the University of Washington, Seattle, considers the study very important, as it reveals that the purifying selection, known as natural selection, has not worked too well for Europeans. Akey also thinks that this discovery could have implications on human health.
This is not new knowledge, but adds pesky persistent facts to a body of work begun almost since the study of where did humans originate. Africa. Europeans possess more possible harmful genetic mutations than African Americans according to the latest study from a team of international researchers.

There is rich and detailed group of works that look deeply into ethnicity and genetic histories reaching in scope from Jewish scholars in pursuit of health information to the scientists mapping DNA. Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project, gives an excellent rendition of the 170,000 year old woman who shares a genetic marker with ALL mankind, the African Eve, then outlines where we are today and how DNA blazed a global trail for scientists and anthropologists to follow. Spencer Wells is the author.

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