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What DNA Says About Aryan Invasion Theory-1

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What DNA Says About Aryan Invasion Theory-1
#41
The genetic answer is clear: 80 per cent of modern Europeans descend from the old hunter-gatherer gene types, and only 20 per cent from Near Eastern farmers.
----------

This is the key
Languages evolve very fast and it is hard to keep track of them after 10k years
Hence Proto-Indo European is less than 10k years old
All linguists agree on this

This means genetic Europeans are speaking a non-European language
Since 80% of European genes are old genes

This kind of implies an Aryan Invasion / Migration into Europe

--

To put matters in perspective
The immediate ancestor of Homo Sapiens - Homo Sapiens Idaltu was excavated in Ethiopia circa 160k years ago
The first Homo Sapiens skeletons were excavated in Ethiopia circa 130k years ago
So if a species jump can happen in 30k years or less, a racial jump could be much faster

--

This also raises the intriguing idea that EVE dated to 160k-190k years by DNA could actually be the pre-human homo-sapiens idaltu

---

Also consider the pygmy homo-erectus skeletons found in Flores 2 days ago
Pygmification happens in about 10k years
#42
<!--QuoteBegin-G.Subramaniam+Oct 29 2004, 08:16 PM-->QUOTE(G.Subramaniam @ Oct 29 2004, 08:16 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> Rajesh
-----

I saw the DVD version of the Oppenheimer book
They said it takes 20000 years for an African to morph into a European
by evolution <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Thanks GS. Somehow 800 generations seem more palatable. How did you get to watch DVD ? Library ?

Dhu, Just finished reading the kivislid paper. Dont claim to understand the whole thing but got the gist of it -> theories that purport to show that even genetically speaking there was aryan invasion is without base - basically there is reasonable doubt.
#43
Actually some more basic genetics questions..

- What prevents homo sapiens from mating with monkeys for example ?
- If 20K is the mutation cycle say to xform a desi into european race then how long does it take for a european to be unable to mate with a desi ? or atleast produce congenital defects ?

I dont want to make this a genetics FAQ thread but helps me put things in proper perspective. If one mutation cycle which has been approximated, dated and mapped from africa to all over the world there must be some other cycle that tells us that if kept in isolation for so many years we can consider european and indians different species which i guess means that they will become unmatable ?

Once again if you guys think this is all some dumb stuff then please ignore.

Regards..
#44
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->- What prevents homo sapiens from mating with monkeys for example ?
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The classical defenition of a species is...

a group of organisms that have a unique set of characteristics (like body shape and behavior) that distinguishes them from other organisms. If they reproduce, individuals within the same species can produce fertile offspring.

They can mate...but there is no use...they cannot produce offsprings that can reproduce. so, they die out. Geographical isolation is a key factor in origin of new species.

bengurion.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Somehow 800 generations seem more palatable.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I doubt that. Our ancestors will be a different species by then. May be some primitive form of hominid.

Can some one give a reference?

bengurion
#45
Amazon has the DVD

All humans can mate with Africans and produce viable offspring
and the DNA split with Africans goes back 160k years

Humans have 23 chromosomes
Chimps have 24 chromosomes
So they cant produce viable offspring

The Chimp Split dates back 7 mil years

The split with Neanderthals is 0.5 mil
It is barely possible that mating with Neanderthals was possible
but DNA so far shows no trace of it

Keep in mind, there are 30000 genes and only the Y gene and the Mitochondrial DNA gene have been analysed
#46
http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/002641.html

August 29, 2004

Genetics of caste in India

The two biggest & best studies of the genetics of caste in India are Majumder 2003 and Bamshad 2001 (both links to PDFs, see also Majumder commentary on Bamshad 2001). Here are two layman's summaries, and then my comments:

Majumder:

The Dravidian tribals were widespread throughout India before the arrival of the Indo-European (IE) nomads. This conclusion is consistent with historical and linguistic inferences (Thapar, Renfrew). The latter suggest that when the ranked caste system was formed after the arrival of the IE speakers about 3500 ybp, many indigenous DR people embraced (freely or forced) the caste system. As the IE speakers advanced into the Gangetic plain, many of the DR tribes retreated to the Southern parts of India to avoid dominance.

The Central Asian populations have contributed to the genetic profiles of upper castes, more so in the North of India than in the South. They are also genetically closer to the upper-caste than to the middle or lower-caste populations.

This finding is in agreement with an earlier DNA analysis by some Andhra University scientists (B.B. Rao, M. Naidu, B.V.R Prasad, and others). It also suggests, in keeping with the point above, that even after the DR speakers retreated to the South to avoid elite dominance, there has been admixture between Central and West Asians and Northern Indian populations in peninsular India.

As a final point, the Majumder group concludes that all this historical gene flow has pretty much obliterated genetic histories of the contemporary populations of India today. As a result, there is now no clear congruence of genetic and geographical or sociocultural affinities.

Layman's summary of Majumder 2003:

An international study led by Michael J. Bamshad of the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics of the University of Utah of caste origins has found (the findings have been reported in a recent issue of the journal Genome Research) that members of the upper castes are genetically more similar to Europeans, Western Eurasians to be specific, whereas the lower castes are more similar to Asians. This finding is in tune with the expectations based on historical reasoning and the prevalent views of many social historians. In exercising their superiority over native proto-Asian populations, the Aryans would have appointed themselves to higher rank castes. The 18-member research team includes scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Estonia. The collaborating Indian scientists were anthropologists Bhaskar Rao, J. Mastan Naidu and B. V. Ravi Prasad from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, and P. Govinda Reddy from the University of Madras.

There have been genetic studies in the past that tried to answer this question but their results have been equivocal, in the sense that some have found European origins and some Asian origins. According to Partha P. Majumder, a population geneticist with the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, who has written a commentary on the work in the same issue of the journal, the primary reason for this was the lack of data on a large uniform set of genetic markers from populations of India and central/west Asia. This study, where the researchers have used a battery of genomic markers and DNA sequences spanning three genomic regions, is a landmark, says Majumder. "The study provides an incisive genomic view of castes and their origins," he has written.

Upshot:

1. Both studies confirm that caste is a strong predictor of genome content.
2. The "Asian" referred to in both studies is a proto-Asian Dravidian native to the subcontinent, not a modern East Asian.
3. The similarities between upper castes and Eastern Europeans should not be overplayed; it really depends what locus you look at. Some loci (especially on the Y) appear to be very similar to Eastern European populations among upper castes, while some autosomal loci do not.
4. One of the most interesting findings is that the combination of caste stratification and geographic mixing has made it difficult to predict genome content from one's location in the subcontinent.

More studies are on the way, but these are the best two as they employ several autosomal loci rather than focusing entirely on Y-chromosomal data. It is being found that frequently the male and female ancestors of a population have different evolutionary histories, which is why Y-chromosomal analyses alone are insufficient. This occurs when invading or settling males have settled down with local women.
Posted by godless at 04:25 PM
#47
The genetics of caste

New genetic evidence for the origins of castes indicates that the upper castes are more European than Asian.

R. RAMACHANDRAN

THE caste-based social hierarchy is deeply entrenched in Indian society even today, but the origins of the system as sociologists and historians now understand, remain an enigma. It certainly goes as far back as the second millennium B.C. when the Aryans, the migrating Indo-Iranian or Indo-European people, entered the country from the northwest and drove southward the proto-Asian and Dravidic speaking populations inhabiting the north. Literary evidence for the stratification of the society, at least in terms of references to the duties of the highest caste, namely the Brahmin, exists in the oldest text of the land, namely the Rig Veda (1500-1200 B.C.). The emergence of the caste system is thus associated with the arrival of the Aryans.

However, many sociologists believe that some kind of a hierarchical social order, in terms of an individual's occupation and duties, was in place perhaps ahead of the arrival of the Aryans. Its evolution into the caste or the varna system as we know today - with the four distinct castes of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra in the order of social standing - probably occurred with the settling of the Aryans who sanctified and legitimised the social order in their own terms which had a distinct religious underpinning. Some sociologists hold that the societal stratification in terms of rights and duties of the individual was a creation of the Aryans in their bid to exercise power over the indigenous proto-Asian populations of North India.

An anthropologically pertinent question, therefore, is what really are the origins of the caste Hindu populations of today who make up nearly 80 per cent of India's one billion population. In recent times, with the rise of strident nationalism in the form of "Hindutva" ideology, which rejects the premise that Aryans were outsiders and views them as part of the continuum from the Indus valley civilisation, an unequivocal answer to this may have political implications. While material evidence of ancient history has not been able to resolve this issue, modern population genetics, based on analyses of the variations in the DNA in population sets, has tools to provide a more authoritative answer. Certain inherited genes carry the imprint of this information through the ages.

An international study led by Michale J. Bamshad of the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics of the University of Utah of caste origins has found (the findings have been reported in a recent issue of the journal Genome Research) that members of the upper castes are genetically more similar to Europeans, Western Eurasians to be specific, whereas the lower castes are more similar to Asians. This finding is in tune with the expectations based on historical reasoning and the prevalent views of many social historians. In exercising their superiority over native proto-Asian populations, the Aryans would have appointed themselves to higher rank castes. The 18-member research team includes scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Estonia. The collaborating Indian scientists were anthropologists Bhaskar Rao, J. Mastan Naidu and B. V. Ravi Prasad from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, and P. Govinda Reddy from the University of Madras.

There have been genetic studies in the past that tried to answer this question but their results have been equivocal, in the sense that some have found European origins and some Asian origins. According to Partha P. Majumder, a population geneticist with the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, who has written a commentary on the work in the same issue of the journal, the primary reason for this was the lack of data on a large uniform set of genetic markers from populations of India and central/west Asia. This study, where the researchers have used a battery of genomic markers and DNA sequences spanning three genomic regions, is a landmark, says Majumder. "The study provides an incisive genomic view of castes and their origins," he has written.

"It is conceivable that the Aryan contact should have been progressively lower as one descended the varna ladder. The genetic expectation, therefore, is that the proportions of those genes (or genomic features) that 'characterised' the Aryan speakers should progressively decline from the highest varna to the lowest and a reverse trend should be observed with respect to those genes that 'characterised' the indigenous Indians," Majumder says.

The three different genomic regions the study has looked at include two gender-specific genes and one biparentally inherited gene. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the DNA contained in mitochondria which are tiny organelles in each cell that generates the energy required by the cell, is exclusively derived from the mother. Similarly, the Y-chromosome, which defines the male gender in mammals, is passed on exclusively by the father.

Interestingly, an analysis of the genetic variations in the markers associated with the maternally inherited mtDNA and paternally inherited Y-chromosome show strikingly different trends. Maternally inherited DNA was overall found to be more similar to Asians than to Europeans, though the similarity to Europeans increases as we go up the caste ladder. Paternally inherited DNA, on the other hand, was overall more similar to Europeans than to Asians but, unlike in the case of maternal inheritance, with no significant variation in affinity across the castes. This is intriguing, but there is a plausible explanation. Migrating Eurasian populations are likely to have been mostly males who integrated into the upper castes and took native women. Inter-caste marriage practices, while generally taboo, are occasionally allowed, in which women can marry into an upper caste and move up in the social hierarchy. However, such upward mobility is not permissible for men. The caste labels of men are thus permanent, while women, by means of their limited mobility, cause a gene flow across caste barriers. This is the reason, according to the researchers, for the differing affinities of gender-specific genes among castes to continental populations.

In fact, in a study carried out in 1997, the results of which were published in 1998 in Nature, the same research group had mapped this female gene flow among caste groups in Andhra Pradesh. Analogously, in 1999 Majumder and colleagues examined the genetic impact of this social custom preventing upward mobility of males in the caste hierarchy. They looked at six genetic markers for the male inherited Y-chromosome and found that there was little sharing between castes of the features pertaining to the markers. This phenomenon has been described by Bamshad and company as "modulation of evolutionary forces by social processes" instead of through the normal, purely natural, processes of genetic drift and mutation.

Bamshad and associates examined 40 additional bi-parentally inherited genes as well, which also confirmed the results obtained from mtDNA and Y-chromosome markers that Hindu upper castes are genetically closer to Europeans. They thus conclude that Indian caste Hindus "are more likely to be of proto-Asian origin with West Eurasian admixture resulting in rank related and sex-specific differences in their genetic affinities to Asians and Europeans."

Basically the study carried out three sets of comparisons of genetic variations respectively in the mtDNA, the Y-chromosome and the 40 specific autosomal (of chromosomes other than the sex chromosomes X and Y) gene sequences in a sample of 265 males, belonging to eight Telugu speaking castes, from Visakhapatnam district. Comparisons were made within this sample and to 400 individuals from tribal and Hindi-speaking populations within the country and 350 Africans, Asians and Europeans.

The eight castes chosen were Niyogi and Vydiki Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vysya, Telega and Turpu Kapu, Yadava, Relli, Madiga and Mala. Significantly, the castes were ranked as 'upper', 'middle' and 'lower' instead of the four-level hierarchy of the traditional varna classification. Such a classification has in recent times apparently become more popular among anthropologists. Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vysyas were grouped as 'upper' caste, Kapu and Yadavas as 'middle' caste and the remaining three as 'lower'. "In studies pertaining to origins of castes, one is liable to draw incorrect inferences by including castes belonging to different varnas in the same ranked cluster," points out Majumder.

For the extraction of DNA from the sampled population, after obtaining informed consent, about 8 ml of whole blood or five plucked scalp hairs were collected from each participant. The DNA extraction and its amplification by the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique was carried out at Andhra University by Indian scientists. To conform to the ethical guidelines of research with the human genome, approvals and clearances were obtained from Andhra University and the Government of India, according to the authors of the paper. (These DNA samples are being maintained by Andhra University where a laboratory has been set up to carry out such analyses.)

Analysis of "genetic distances" - a measure of genetic similarity and affinity - of markers of mtDNA, the maternally inherited DNA, between caste populations and continental populations shows that, irrespective of caste rank, each caste group is most closely related to Asians and is most dissimilar from Africans. And as one moves from the lower castes to the upper castes, the genetic distances to Asians increases, suggesting that Indian populations are predominantly proto-Asian but with affinities to West Eurasian genes. The West Eurasian admixture is, however, proportional to the ranking among castes. Analysis of a special set of mtDNA markers (called haplotypes), whose loci in the genome are closely linked and which tend to get inherited together, also showed that the West Eurasian admixture amounted to 20-30 per cent of mtDNA haplotypes.

Similar "genetic distance" analysis using the paternally inherited Y-chromosome presented, as indicated earlier, a distinctly different pattern of population relationships among castes and among castes and continental populations. In contrast to the mtDNA distances, Y-chromosome data do not suggest a closer affinity to Asians. The upper castes are more similar to Europeans than to Asians, the middle castes are equidistant from the two groups and the lower castes are most similar to Asians. The genetic distances between caste populations and Africans increase as one moves from lower to upper caste groups.

Looking at the variations in a particular special set of Y-chromosome markers, the study disaggregates the European population into Northern, Southern and Eastern Europeans. The analysis of genetic distances shows that each caste is most closely related to Eastern Europeans. Moreover, the genetic distance between Eastern Europeans and upper castes is half the distance between the middle or lower castes and the Eastern Europeans. The authors interpret this as the Indian Y chromosomes, particularly upper caste Y-chromosomes, being more similar to European than to Asian Y-chromosomes.

One limitation of the study is the restricted geographical region, namely a single district of Andhra Pradesh, from which the sample of caste Hindu populations have been obtained. The likely reason is that of the logistics of achieving rapport with local populations and getting their consent for genetic analysis.

But according to the researchers this also helped in "minimising the confounding effect of geographical differences between populations." Moreover, the sample size of 265 is too small for drawing conclusions about a Hindu caste population of about 800 million. For example, the number of Kshatriyas in one comparison set is as small as 10. The authors do recognise this limitation in their paper and emphasise the need for carrying out similar analysis in other regions of the country. They, however, remark that because of the ubiquity of the caste system, it is reasonable to predict similar patterns in caste populations in other areas. But according to Majumder, replicating the study in other areas is, in fact, imperative before general conclusions about origins of Indian caste populations can be drawn.

"It is not generally realised that the caste society in a sense was a very elastic society and a caste bearing the same name may have very different origins in different geographical regions," he points out. According to him there are examples when a tribe dispersed over a large geographical region took up different occupations in different sub-regions and fitted itself into the caste hierarchy on different rungs. Different Brahmin castes of Maharashtra, for example, probably had different origins, he says. "Thus, the origin of caste populations may not be uniform over the entire country," adds Majumder. It is also reasonable to assume that northern societies are more likely to reflect more truly the real origins of caste than societies down south where Dravidic features are likely to be reflected in the genetics of the populations. Also, several social forces may have interfered to result in the stratification as is evident today.

http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1812/18120840.htm
#48
Let me debunk this
The genetic roots of Europeans lies in North west India, Punjab and Kashmir
So yes there is a genetic link between North Indians and Europeans
Europe was colonised by 5 or 6 waves of emigrants from Punjab from 50k to 15k years ago

Data from Oppenheimer book
--

A sample size of 265 is laughably small
#49
GS,
Are you refereing to book referred in this article
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->GENEALOGY-DNA-L Archives
I've just read much of Stephen Oppenheimer's book on the real Eve that I ordered from amazon.com. It's really right on target about the origin. His mtDNA analysis of "N" places "N" as the mother of all Europeans and West Eurasians. <b>He notes that about 74,000 years ago N lived near India and gave rise to R mtDNA, and from N and R mtDNA, the two daughters living right near the border of India/Pakistan turned West and lived for thousands of years,</b> from about 74,000-60,000 years on the Arabian Gulf and around the Zagros mts. as well as in the area the Kurds occupy today. This correlates exactly to the"Garden of Eden" where the Marsh Arabs live today at the point where the Tigris flows into the Arabian Gulf. Back then, the sea level was different so that the Gulf was an Oasis, what you might call a garden of Eden. From 60,000 years ago to 45,000 years ago mtDNA N and R lived there. Interestingly, when it began to dry up, those two daughters were cast out of their little garden of Eden....right in the spot where the Bible says they lived on the Gulf of Arabia and mouth of the Tigris...and traveled up a specific path through Turkey and into Europe...it's as if they were cast right into the Ice Age of that time. In any case, they populated the Levant 45,000 years ago at the same time as they populated Europe, two branches of N and R....and only those two branches with their corresponding Y-chromo male mates.

The other branch who lived alongside them, M, went East from India into Eastern Asia or remained in India. So today, U7, X, and U2 is all over India living next to the Asian M mtDNA types. Oppenheimer also notes that H is all over India, but at a low level. The origin of H mtDNA is in or near India, having moved westward as it mutated. N from India mutated to R in India, moved west to Pakistan, mutated to pre HV, then HV, then H, inhabited the Arabian Gulf area when it was an oasis, populated Arabia, entered the Levant, mutated to H. Then H left the Arabian peninsula and populated the fertile crescent (Iraq), went to Turkey, then Greece and the rest of Europe, and took refuge in Spain and France, then expanded to Britain and the rest of Europe from Spain to the Urals.

So it's ironic, that with all the hullabaloo about culture clashes. We Europeans are all Arabs and Kurds so to speak, having mutated from L3 to N and then to R in the Arabian Gulf area/Kurdistan to Bahrain...where we all lived from 60,000 years ago to 21,000-45,000 years ago before moving on to the Levant and Europe. Europeans migrated from the Zagros mountains to Europe 45,000 years ago.
<b>So where was Europe populated from? From "near India" according to Oppenheimer. He discusses the genetic and archaeological evidence for an Indian origin of European peoples.</b>

<b>Today R and N is found all over India/Pakistan</b>. And H is descended from R. N is descended from L3 and W, I, and X is descended from N. So you have H coming from R, R coming from N, and N coming from L3 out of Ethiopia/East Africa. From L3 came both N and M, and from N and M and only these two daughters came everyone else who is non-African. Everyone else in Africa is L1, L2, or L3.

U6 in N. Africa migrated from the Levant to N. Africa. Ancient Egyptians who were U6 came to Egypt from the Levant after the Levant was populated 43,000 years ago. The 120,000 year old fossils in the Levant got stuck there and disappeared 90,000 years ago, trapped by an ice age desert. So the moral of the story is....yes, there was a type of garden of Eden in the Arabian gulf exactly where the Bible says it was...and mtDNA N and R lived there after leaving India/Pakistan while M stayed in India and branched off to move to E. Asia 74,000 years ago.

<b>India got covered in ash from the Sumatran volcano eruption 74,000 years ago, which helped move people west and east.</b>...Today, you find L3 still in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, trapped by the volcano, and surviving there for 74,000 years around Kampala Tampon. I really like Oppenheimer's book. It seems to give the reader the exact location and maps where all Europeans and others come from...just as I thought, mother India for all non-Africans, with mtDNA N and R at the root of everyone in the West, and M at the root of everyone in East Asia, L for all Africans and those who live elsewhere and didn't mutate....The oldest? New Guinea people, M....there in Papua/New Guinea for the longest time, 74,000 years....even older than the Australians, there 68,000 years. Who traveled the farthest in the shortest time? L3 and M (New Guinea)...separated by 74,000 years. By the way, folks, my book on pharmacogenetics and nutrigenomics is finally available. See Web site: http://dnanovels.tripod.com/nutrigenomics.html.

What I thought of Oppenheimer's book is that I ordered Peopling the World from amazon.com and instead what came in the mail was the book on the real Eve. I heard they are two books. Are they similar? The Eve book is thorough. I compared it with Sykes books on the Seven Daughters of Eve. In Sykes' book, he talks about his own laboratory work, whereas Oppenheimer's book doesn't mention a word about what he does in his work at all. Instead, it tells of what all the other archaeologists and geneticists are doing or have done to back up the genetic evidence of how the earth was populated. The book doesn't mention the rivalry or scientists or anything like that between the scientists who expound that Europe was populated by neolithic farmers from Syria and Turkey versus the scientists who say that Europe was populated by Paleolithic hunters from the steppes of West Asia and Zagros mountains. Nothing like that is in Oppenheimer's book, just the facts and evidence of genetics focusing on the Southern route out of Africa of the descendants of one woman and one man who survived. All the rest didn't. One African L3 mtDNA woman and one M168 man who gave rise to mtDNA N, M, and R, from which everyone else is descended and mutated.

So we are all Africans and Indians. Interestingly, he mentions, the reason why L3 didn't leave Ethiopia more frequently or earlier or make more than one excursion and survive it was because genetic and tool evidence shows when L3 left Africa and crossed the Red Sea headed for Yemen, it was populated by non-Homo Sapien archaic people on the other side of the Red Sea in the Middle East. Perhaps they weren't that friendly to see more people competing for the food available from across the narrow sea. What would you have done if you sent a scout across the waters and found Homo Homilei, similar to Homo Erectus, looking back at you? Same must have faced those who later went to Europe and the Levant and found Neanderthal there 45,000 years ago. When two species meet, the outcome has always been the same....Only one species remains. Will this happen when we pioneer outer space?
http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/GENEA...3-08/1061061400<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
#50
Yes

G.S
#51
The Sykes book, 7 daughters of eve, shows that 20% of European DNA is new
circa 10k years ago, after the end of the last ice age

Languages cant be tracked more than 10k years
Indo-european languages entered Europe 10k years ago, as an Aryan invasion into Europe
a sort of elite replacement

The oldest Europeans, the basques speak a non-Indo European language

The main problem with AIT is that it assumes that Central Asia is a vast pool of humanity spilling over into an empty India
whereas the reverse is true
Central Asia is an empty zone getting spillover population from India

G.S
#52
Slightly unrelated to topic but some others are. Could probably fit on a different thread but here goes.. Source sulekha newshopper.

http://www.sulekha.com/news/ThreadCommen...cid=535082

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> RICHARD VILLEMS PROFILE:
Cutting a Path in Genetics and International Diplomacy
John Bohannon*

The newly elected president of the Estonian Academy of Sciences has long been a scientist-diplomat, first in dealings with the Soviet Union, now with the European Union

TARTU, ESTONIA--Rather than take the long route to the entrance of his building, Richard Villems leads a visitor through the trees at the back door. "The student way," he says, hopping over a ripped section of the metal fence. At 60, the silver-haired geneticist seems to have lost none of his agility. Known for his research on early human migrations, which is currently challenging some long-held views of the peopling of the world, Villems has played another, public role as well--helping build a research infrastructure in his native Estonia and lending vigor to an academic world that was until recently beholden to bureaucrats in Moscow.
Villems, who was elected president of the Estonian Academy of Sciences last month, nods at a squat concrete building: "That's where I lived for 4 years when I was a medical student," he says with a smile. Back then, "you had to be careful what you said," because people could be expelled from the university or even arrested for politically incorrect behavior.

Things have changed here. This could be the campus of an Ivy League university in New England. Graduate students amble along the wet stone paths carpeted by autumn leaves, carrying on discussions in half a dozen languages. Villems chats among them casually and puffs on his ever-present pipe. And like a well- established Ivy League professor, Villems excuses himself to deal with the paperwork for several multimillion-dollar research grants.

Russian soldiers pulled out of Estonia only 10 years ago; the nation quickly reoriented itself toward the West and was granted membership in the European Union (E.U.) just this May. While most other former communist central and eastern European nations are struggling with poverty and a drain of expertise to richer neighbors, Estonia has emerged from the former Soviet Union's dominion as an economic and academic success story.

Unusual among the new democracies, Estonia's transformation has been spearheaded in large part by its scientists, says Ene Ergma, an astrophysicist who is now the leading politician in the Estonian parliament. She credits Villems as a "science diplomat," helping turn Estonia into a budding scientific powerhouse. Villems's influence is bound to grow.

Follow the DNA
The Estonians enjoyed a "special status" that allowed a somewhat more relaxed intellectual life than that of others within the Soviet empire, says Villems. One reason, he says, is that the Estonians have always been a breed apart. Their language, like Finnish and Hungarian, comes from a root unrelated to the languages spoken in the rest of Europe. Along with their linguistic oddity comes the riddle of their genetic origins. The prevailing theory once held that the Estonians arrived in a single migration from the Ural mountains in Siberia, but it has been supplanted in the last decade by a more complex theory that the population is a mix of tribes that migrated from several directions.

Villems began to puzzle over this question in the late 1980s. His new passion was opportune. Techniques were just emerging that allow researchers to reconstruct the human family tree using DNA sequences, tracing the split and migration of different populations right back to the appearance of Homo sapiens in Africa more than 100,000 years ago. And Villems had by then gained the prestige and independence to choose and pursue his own project.

Villems had been a rising star among Soviet molecular biologists. In the 1970s he was one of the chosen few allowed to do research in the West, first as a postdoc at Uppsala University in Sweden and then at the University of Edinburgh, U.K. After these experiences, Villems resolved to help bring Estonian science up to speed. The laboratory resources available at the time were "quite minimal," he says. So in 1984, armed with nothing more than a 13-page argument for increasing funding for modern molecular biology, he sidestepped the bureaucratic hierarchy and went straight to the U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers in Moscow, the body with final say over the distribution of research funding within the Soviet Union.

"That was a brilliant act of diplomacy," recalls Jaak Järv, a chemist at the University of Tartu. "Almost no one knew how to deal with such a huge bureaucracy," but Villems pulled it off. The committee rewarded the upstart Estonian with the equivalent of a $9 million grant to create a molecular biology institute on the campus in Tartu, now called the Estonian Biocenter. This was "more than the total that all Estonian scientists had ever received in grants," says Villems. That sum has since been multiplied many times over by private donors and research charities wooed by Villems and others, particularly after the E.U. designated the Biocenter as one of its 34 "Centers of Excellence" in 1999.
Armed with the modern tools of biology, Villems attempted to trace Estonians' origins through the DNA of the mitochondria, which is passed down from mother to child, and the Y chromosome, which passes from father to son. In principle, by comparing the mutations that accumulate in these gender-linked indexes, the age and origin of modern populations can be worked out. It's well established, for example, that all modern humans trace their parentage to a female line that emerged from Africa more than 100,000 years ago. But sorting out individual European populations is a big challenge. There has been so much mixing among the original tribes over history, says Villems, that "to get the real answers you have to go deeper in time, farther out in the context" than the peopling of just Europe.

Sleuthing the Y-chromosomal DNA of Estonians, for example, seems to lead back to ancient populations from Borneo and the Sunda Islands that spread up to eastern Siberia before the last Ice Age. But if this turns out to be true, says Villems, "it will be beyond any present-day 'standard scenario' of gene flow over the past 20,000 years." Getting the answers is only possible by placing Estonians within "the big picture." And to piece together that picture, Villems has amassed an "amazing" collection of European and Asian DNA samples, says Thomas Gilbert, a British molecular anthropologist now at the University of Arizona in Tucson who has collaborated with Villems.

<b>According to what Villems calls the "Tartu school," the emerging picture differs from the mainstream view. Villems, along with his research group, particularly Toomas Kivisild, has been publishing research indicating that Homo sapiens migrated from Africa to India and "incubated" there about 60,000 years ago before spreading out to people the rest of the world. The theory "is completely their own," says Peter Forster, a molecular anthropologist at the University of Cambridge, U.K., and "it has been gaining a surprising amount of acceptance." Forster says it would force a major revision of the field if it bears out.</b>

Championing science
Soon after the Soviet Union crumbled, Villems became a scientist-diplomat for his country, first by negotiating Estonia's early entry into the E.U.'s research funding scheme. Ergma believes that this "gave us a head start" over the other former Soviet states. Now Estonia boasts one of the best Internet networks in Europe as well as a small but fast-growing high-tech industry.

At the top of Villems's to-do list at the Estonian Academy of Sciences, which holds sway over the government's science policies, is "to secure our place in the European Research Area." His experiences in Moscow were excellent preparation. In a flashback to the days when Estonian scientists had to fight for a piece of the pie within the Soviet Union, their focus is now on Brussels, where the E.U.'s $22 billion scientific budget is divvied up among its 25 member states. Ergma agrees that winning this external funding is crucial. "Although Estonian salaries are low, so is the cost of living," she says. "But a centrifuge or a computer is just as expensive as elsewhere. So we desperately need structural grants."

A necessary step for Estonia to remain competitive, as Villems sees it, is to reduce what he calls the "mediocracy" in his country's science. Sounding like a draconian thesis adviser, he says that after years of Soviet exploitation, "some Estonian researchers have a sense of entitlement, that they should be funded without having to do excellent work." He plans to make sure that Estonian research institutions and projects are assessed by peer-review from outside the country.

Villems says another major problem to be tackled is Estonia's "missing generation" of scientists. The academy estimates that about 1000 students stampeded away from science into more lucrative fields such as business shortly after Estonia's independence. To achieve what Villems calls "critical mass" among the ranks, science education will be getting a boost to attract the first generation of Estonians who never knew communism. And an equally important strategy, says Villems, is to offer start-up grants to lure successful Estonian researchers back home after doing postdocs abroad.

Villems has his work cut out for him. Entering his office is like plunging into a cave made of paper: Books line every wall, and piles of articles cover every surface. Squeezing into the chair at his computer like a pilot climbing into a cockpit, Villems chuckles at the chaos around him: "I don't mind it."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
#53
What about the book by Gidwani" Return of the Aryans" based on cultural ideas?he also postualted that there was an earlier emigration.
#54
Interestingly DNA also shows when evolution happened

For evolution to happen, the child species has to bud off from a part of the parent species
Only a small fraction of the parent species is involved in this budding off process
When this budding happens, there is a genetic bottleneck
and by checking DNA it is possible to calculate when exactly this budding happened
and how big the initial budding child species was

It is estimated that there were 10k humans involved in the final evolution to homo sapiens circa 150k years ago

The journey out of Africa was done by just 250 humans

After the Mt. Tauba eruption, there was large scale human extinction and the surivors were in small pockets of about 250 people

In the case of cheetahs for example it is calculated that all cheetahs alive today are descended from a single breeding pair that escaped the desertification of the last ice age 15k years ago
#55
NS.Rajaram review of Oppenheimer book

HISTORY IN OUR GENES -- Aryan Invasion/Migration WRONG
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HISTORY IN OUR GENES

Recent findings in population genetics overturn long-held theories
N.S. Rajaram

Out of Eden: The peopling of the world by Stephen Oppenheimer (2003).
Constable, London. 440 + xxi pages. £18.99.

Our ancestors used to live in Africa 150,000 years ago. A small group of homo sapiens left Africa some 80,000 years ago and settled along the South Asian coast from where they spread out to colonize different parts of the world. All non-Africans in the world today are descendants of a small group of South Asians living south of a line from Yemen to the Himalayas, especially along the Indian coast. This 'founder group,' from which all non-Africans are descended, barely survived the fallout from a volcanic eruption in Sumatra known as the 'Toba Explosion' 74,000 years ago. Climate changes have been the drivers of both evolution and migration.

This is the story of our past growing out of more than fifty years of intensive mapping of human genes and climate changes by different scientists. The Oxford geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer tells all this in absorbing detail while adding much new insight in his important new book Out of Eden. By relating these movements to ecological upheavals, what he gives us is the genetic history of modern humans correlated with the natural history of our planet.

It is important to interpret this properly. It does not mean that there were no non-African humans before the Toba Explosion, but only that no descendants of those earlier populations have survived outside Africa. A group out of Africa 120,000 years ago made its way to Egypt but disappeared 90,000 years ago without a genetic trace. All Europeans living today are descended from South Asians, possibly as recently as 40,000 years ago. South Asia, India in particular, was the jumping off point for the colonization East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and ultimately the Americas.

This raises some questions for theories about Indian history and anthropology created during the colonial era. Leaving aside pseudo-scientific theories about race and language, which have been discredited by science but continue in various guises in some academic circles, it shows that both the so-called adivasis (tribals or aborginals) and the caste Hindus share a common African origin. The same is true of Dravidians and Dalits.

Equally interesting is the message of the M17 genetic marker, which some have sought to identify with the 'Aryan' gene. It appears in India, Iran, Eurasia and Europe, but has the greatest intensity and diversity in India showing that the Indian population is the oldest. This means that proponents of the Aryan invasion (or migration) have got both the origin and the direction of movement wrong.

Questions arise about linguistic theories also though this is complicated by the fact that most languages have not survived, and theoretical reconstructions based on surviving languages (like Sanskrit) have failed quantitative tests. The problem is that written records go back only about 5000 years, while spoken languages have existed for at least ten times as long. Linguists have borrowed time scales based on written records and used them to reconstruct ancient extinct languages, creating confusion and controversy.

All this opens up a major new area of research for Indian scholars- of exploring ancient records like the Vedas and Puranas for hints that may shed light on prehistoric events. For example, maritime myths like the Matsya and Kurma (fish and tortoise incarnations) may refer to the period when our ancestors were leaving their coastal refuge and expanding landward. This, however, calls for a proper understanding of the natural history behind it. Out of Eden can be a valuable source in following that course.
__________
N.S. Rajaram is a mathematician who has worked in population genetics and written on ancient history.
#56
Fossil Reanalysis Pushes Back Origin of Homo sapiens

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Fossil Reanalysis Pushes Back Origin of Homo sapiens 


  
Image: MICHAEL DAY 
   
A new analysis of human remains first discovered in 1967 suggests that they are in fact much older than previously believed. The results, published today in the journal Nature, push back the emergence of our species by nearly 35,000 years.
Ian McDougall of the Australian National University in Canberra and his colleagues worked with two well-known fossil finds known as Omo I and Omo II, which were recovered from Ethiopia's Kibish Formation by Richard Leakey. The remains include two partial skulls as well as arm, leg, foot and pelvis bones for Omo I. "Anthropologists said they looked very different in their evolutionary status," remarks study co-author Frank Brown of the University of Utah. "Omo I appeared to be essentially modern Homo sapiens and Omo II appeared to be more primitive." At the time, the bones were dated to 130,000 years ago, based on radioactive decay of uranium and thorium from oyster shells found nearby. This time the scientists returned to the southern Ethiopian site and identified the resting places of both individuals. They also unearthed another part of a femur bone for Omo I that fits with the original remains.

The researchers then analyzed the volcanic ash layers above and below the river sediment that contained the fossils using argon dating. They determined that the rock just below the fossils dated to 196,000 years ago. Because the layers of the Kibish Formation formed quickly during wet seasons that inundated the area with organic matter, the team posits that the bones are only slightly younger than this underlying layer. In addition, a layer of ash more than 150 feet above the burial sites dates to 104,000 years old, putting a lower limit on their age. Using other evidence, which drained from the Nile and the Omo rivers onto the Mediterranean seafloor, the researchers attest that the Omo fossils are <b>most likely no younger than 190,000 years old. </b>

Previously the oldest known traces of our species were fossils from Herto, Ethiopia, that date to about 160,000 years ago. The older age of the Omo remains is concordant with dates suggested by genetic studies for the origin of our species, says study co-author John Fleagle of Stony Brook University. He adds that "as modern human anatomy is documented at earlier and earlier sites, it becomes evident that there was a great time gap between the appearance of the modern skeleton and 'modern' behavior." 
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#57
I found this interesting article that gives a lot of evidecne that shows that the Aryan/Dravidian thing never existed and that it was created by whtie supremicists to split up the greatest nation on Earth:

http://www.atributetohinduism.com/aryan_...theory.htm

The vedas say nothing about Aryans or Dravidians and they do not mention anything about foreign invaders. Why should we believe what some white supremecists say over what the vedas say.

This is a bit irrelevant to the rest of the thread: I saw something that subramaniam posted earlier which called Mohammed a terrorist. We live with over 200 million Muslims in India right now and it is our patriotic duty to respect all the good citizens of India. I think we should show respect to our Muslim brothers and sisters and we should not blame terrorism on all Muslims. We should always forgive and forget.
#58
Singing Iswar Allah Tere Naam like Gandhi does not solve the problem
Indian muslims must be treated like misguided commies who need re-education
( while being demographically contained )

The first muslim who ordered an invasion of India was the prophet himself
The so called pious caliphs Ali and Umar invaded India and were defeated
#59
Kivislid, Villems, et al
An Indian Ancestry: a Key for Understanding Human Diversity in Europe and Beyond

A recent African origin of modern humans, although still disputed, is supported now by a majority of genetic studies. To address the question when and where very early diversification(s) of modern humans outside of Africa occurred, we concentrated on the investigation of maternal and paternal lineages of the extant populations of India, southern China, Caucasus, Anatolia and Europe. Through the analyses of about 1000 mtDNA genomes and 400 Y chromosomesfrom various locations in India we reached the following conclusions, relevant to the peopling of Europe in particular and of the Old World in general. First, we found that the node of the phylogenetic tree of mtDNA, ancestral to more than 90 per cent of the present-day typically European maternal lineages, is present in India at a relatively high frequency. Inferred coalescence time of this ancestral node is slightly above 50,000 BP. Second, we found that haplogroup U is the second most abundant mtDNA variety in India as it is in Europe. <b>Summing up, we believe that there are now enough reasons not only to question a 'recent Indo-Aryan invasion' into India some 4000 BP, but alternatively to consider India as a part of the common gene pool ancestral to the diversity of human maternal lineages in Europe.</b> Our results on Y-chromosomal diversity of various Indian populations support an early split between Indian and east of Indian paternal lineages, while on a surface, Indian (Sanskrit as well as Dravidic speakers) and European Y-chromosomal lineages are much closer than the corresponding mtDNA variants.
#60
A very specific and clear-cut example of the overarching East- to -West gradient in ancient times. If even the distant SE Asians were colonizing Europe thru the sea routes (or via Iranian-Hrvat proxies), what to say of the more proximate Indians and Mideasterners?

The evidence of mtDNA haplogroup F in a European population and its ethnohistoric implications

Mitochondrial DNA polymorphism was analysed in a sample of <b>108 Croatians from the Adriatic Island isolate of Hvar.</b> Besides typically European varieties of human maternal lineages, <b>haplogroup F</b> was found in a considerable frequency (8.3%). <b>This haplogroup is most frequent in southeast Asia but has not been reported before in Europe.</b> The genealogical analysis of haplogroup F cases from Hvar suggested founder effect. Subsequent field work was undertaken to sample and analyse 336 persons from three neighbouring islands (Brac, Korcula and Krk) and 379 more persons from all Croatian mainland counties and to determine if haplogroup F is present in the general population. Only one more case was found in one of the mainland cities, with no known ancestors from Hvar Island. The first published phylogenetic analysis of haplogroup F worldwide is presented, applying the median network method, suggesting several scenarios how this maternal lineage may have been added to the Croatian mtDNA pool.


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