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Thread: Postmortem damage in Human DNA

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    Yes, there are many pitfalls with genetic tests of the dead. But we are seeing some credible attempts already, and it should be possible to get many good results as techniques improve.

    Genetic analysis and ethnic affinities from two Scytho-Siberian skeletons

    François-Xavier Ricaut et al.

    We extracted DNA from two skeletons belonging to the Sytho-Siberian population, which were excavated from the Sebÿstei site (dating back 2,500 years) in the Altai Republic (Central Asia). Ancient DNA was analyzed by autosomal short tandem repeats (STRs) and by the sequencing of the hypervariable region 1 (HV1) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region. The results showed that these two skeletons were not close relatives. Moreover, their haplogroups were characteristic of Asian populations. Comparison with the haplogroup of 3,523 Asian and American individuals linked one skeleton with a putative ancestral paleo-Asiatic population and the other with Chinese populations. It appears that the genetic study of ancient populations of Central Asia brings important elements to the understanding of human population movements in Asia.

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