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Nonmetric cranial variation in human skeletal remains associated with Okhotsk culture

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      Mitochondrial genome variation in eastern Asia and the peopling of Japan.

      To construct an East Asia mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogeny, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of 672 Japanese individuals (http://www.giib.or.jp/mtsnp/index_e.html). This allowed us to perform a phylogenetic analysis with a pool of 942 Asiatic sequences. New clades and subclades emerged from the Japanese data. On the basis of this unequivocal phylogeny, we classified 4713 Asian partial mitochondrial sequences, with <10% ambiguity. Applying population and phylogeographic methods, we used these sequences to shed light on the controversial issue of the peopling of Japan. Population-based comparisons confirmed that present-day Japanese have their closest genetic affinity to northern Asian populations, especially to Koreans, which finding is congruent with the proposed Continental gene flow to Japan after the Yayoi period. This phylogeographic approach unraveled a high degree of differentiation in Paleolithic Japanese. Ancient southern and northern migrations were detected based on the existence of basic M and N lineages in Ryukyuans and Ainu. Direct connections with Tibet, parallel to those found for the Y-chromosome, were also apparent. Furthermore, the highest diversity found in Japan for some derived clades suggests that Japan could be included in an area of migratory expansion to Continental Asia. All the theories that have been proposed up to now to explain the peopling of Japan seem insufficient to accommodate fully this complex picture.
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        Craniometric variation among modern human populations.

        Previous studies of genetic markers and mitochondrial DNA have found that the amount of variation among major geographic groupings of Homo sapiens is relatively low, accounting for roughly 10% of total variation. This conclusion has had implications for the study of human variation and consideration of alternative models for the origin of modern humans. By contrast, it has often been assumed that the level of among-group variation for morphological traits is much higher. This study examines the level of among-group variation based on craniometric data from a large sample of modern humans originally collected by W. W. Howells. A multivariate method based on quantitative genetics theory was used to provide an estimate of FST--a measure of among-group variation that can be compared with results from studies of genetic markers. Data for 57 craniometric variables on 1,734 crania were analyzed. These data represent six core areas: Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Australasia, Polynesia, the Americas, and the Far East. An additional set of analyses was performed using a three-region subset (Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Far East) to provide comparability with several genetic studies. The minimum FST (assuming complete heritability) for the three-region analysis is 0.065, and the minimum FST for the six-region analysis is 0.085. Both of these are less than the average FST from genetic studies (average estimates of 0.10-0.11). The smaller value of the minimum FST estimates is expected since it provides an estimate of FST expected under complete heritability. Using an estimate of average craniometric heritability from the literature provides an estimate of FST of 0.112 for the three-region analysis and 0.144 for the six-region analysis. These results show that genetic and craniometric data are in agreement, qualitatively and quantitatively, and that there is limited variation in modern humans among major geographic regions.
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          Reconstruction of human evolution: bringing together genetic, archaeological, and linguistic data.

          The genetic information for this work came from a very large collection of gene frequencies for "classical" (non-DNA) polymorphisms of the world aborigines. The data were grouped in 42 populations studied for 120 alleles. The reconstruction of human evolutionary history thus generated was checked with statistical techniques such as "boot-strapping". It changes some earlier conclusions and is in agreement with more recent ones, including published and unpublished DNA-marker results. The first split in the phylogenetic tree separates Africans from non-Africans, and the second separates two major clusters, one corresponding to Caucasoids, East Asians, Arctic populations, and American natives, and the other to Southeast Asians (mainland and insular), Pacific islanders, and New Guineans and Australians. Average genetic distances between the most important clusters are proportional to archaeological separation times. Linguistic families correspond to groups of populations with very few, easily understood overlaps, and their origin can be given a time frame. Linguistic superfamilies show remarkable correspondence with the two major clusters, indicating considerable parallelism between genetic and linguistic evolution. The latest step in language development may have been an important factor determining the rapid expansion that followed the appearance of modern humans and the demise of Neanderthals.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Anthropological Science
            AS
            Anthropological Society of Nippon
            1348-8570
            0918-7960
            2008
            2008
            : 116
            : 1
            : 33-47
            10.1537/ase.070323
            © 2008

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