Category Archives: Genetics

Ketosis as a way of life

There’s a new article out in ASHG that discusses a regional selective sweep in CPT1A, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A, which plays an essential role in fatty acid metabolism. A mutation has become extremely common, with a gene frequency > 50%, in … Continue reading

Posted in Dietary adaptations, Eskimo, Genetics | Tagged | 67 Comments

Ust’-Ishim & the Old Race

There’s a new report out in Nature, on the DNA results from a 45,000 AMH skeleton found in Western Siberia.  It’s the oldest radiocarbon-dated modern human outside Africa and the Middle East. The Neanderthal admixture is there,  about the same … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, European Prehistory, Genetics, Neanderthals | Tagged | 30 Comments

We Three Kings

A recent article says that 40% of Chinese Y-chromosomes originated from 3 men in the late neolithic.  This pattern,  fantastic success for a particular paternal lineage, has been seen before, with the Golden Family (descendants of Genghis Khan) and the … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics | 54 Comments

Powerful Stuff

I was thinking again about that Denisovan allele of EPAS1 that plays a big role in Tibetan altitude adaptation.  Considering modern humans, it has only been found in Tibetans (high frequency) and in the Chinese (couple of percent).  The preferred … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Denisovans, Genetics | 18 Comments

Rasmus Nielsen

The paper on the Denisovan origin of one of the key altitude-adaptation genes (EPAS1) in Tibetans is now out (lead author Emilia Huerta-Sanchez,  senior author Rasmus Nielsen). It’s on a Denisovan haplotype.   Likely Denisovans occupied a lot of East … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Denisovans, Genetics | 22 Comments

Ashkenazi Ancestry

I’m looking at abstracts on Ashkenazi genetics from ASHG 2013 and SMBE 2014 – by the same group, with Shai Carmi as the lead author.  They did 128 whole genomes, 50x deep. They concluded Ashkenazi Jews were about 50% Middle … Continue reading

Posted in Ashkenazi Jews, Genetics | 94 Comments

Diversity Galor

Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor argue that “the level of genetic diversity within a society is found to have a hump-shaped effect on development outcomes in both the pre-colonial and the modern era, reflecting the trade-off between the beneficial and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Genetics | 66 Comments

Talking to Economists

I gave a talk, back in April, at the University of Chicago.  We were trying to introduce some economists to genetics, which is relevant to some of the questions they work on.  Some already knew quite a bit – we … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Genetics | 90 Comments

Call Him George

  One thing leads to another. I hear that Rasmus Nielsen (speaking at SMBE 2014) has evidence that Tibetans picked up some of their altitude adaptation (EPAS1) from Denisovans. Who could have imagined that?

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Denisovans, Genetics | 14 Comments

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes

Svante Pääbo has a book out, Neanderthal Man, in which he recounts his adventures sequencing ancient DNA.  He has had three big successes: the first successful sequencing of Neanderthal mtDNA in 1997, the first sequencing of the Neanderthal nuclear genome, … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Book Reviews, Denisovans, Genetics, Neanderthals | 118 Comments