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Friday, September 23, 2011

DNA studies of aboriginal hair point to 2 waves of migration

"In comparison with DNA from other humans, the DNA in the Aboriginal genome revealed the paths taken by the Aborigines' ancestors when they first migrated out of Africa as the first group to split away from the main group before Europeans and East Asians split from each other, according to the findings.
The rate of mutation in DNA indicates that the Aborigines moved out of Africa possibly 62,000 to 75,000 years ago toward Australia, and that the ancestors of Europeans and East Asians split from each other around 25,000 to 38,000 years ago.
'Aboriginal Australians descend from the first human explorers,' said Willerslev, whose work was published in the journal Science Express on Thursday."
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thomas Jefferson, the man

Anyone who attended the University of Virginia was taught to revere President Jefferson. 
So, when questions arose about the parentage of Sallie Hemings' children, a heated debate ensued. 
A DNA test, pointing to a Jeffersonian genetic connection, proved to the satisfaction of some but not all, that the President was the father. 
As I pointed out in an earlier posting to this blog, "Did he or didn't he... Thomas Jefferson and DNA", 10 May 2010, DNA testing points to the family, not to the man.
This debate will apparently continue for some time. 
What does it mean to be descended from a President? Does it inspire someone to become President himself? Does it create the motivation to be a leader? What difference does it make in someone's life to know that he or she is descended from a particular someone? Genealogy, the study of our ancestors, is more than a passion. It has become a national obsession. And, in the end, we are all one family...


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