27 November 2013

Two articles in Investigative Genetics

Investigative Genetics is "a peer-reviewed, open access, online journal, which publishes articles on the development and application of molecular genetics in a wide range of science disciplines with societal relevance. These include forensic issues and legal medicine, evolutionary, anthropological and historical studies, as well as epidemiology and biosafety."

That's outside my normal range of reading as a genealogist.

However, a recent article DNA fingerprinting in anthropological genetics: past, present, future provides a fairly comprehensible review of the field focusing on the contributions of Sir Alec Jeffreys since 1985.

The article Modeling the contrasting Neolithic male lineage expansions in Europe and Africa (pdf) also caught my attention as it refers to my R1b Y-DNA lineage which predominates in much of Europe.

The study concludes that the expansion of R1b following the end of the Ice Age (last glacial period) was rapid occurring as soon as the major R1b lineage entered Europe. It started from just one to three men, whose numbers expanded more than a thousandfold in just up to 600 years. This could only happen if those ancestors found themselves in a remarkably favourable environment.

By contrast expansion of E1b1a in sub-Saharan Africa began from a larger population size, took thousands of years and ended only recently.

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