DNA Tribes® Digest Articles
To provide a fuller context for your personal DNA match results, the digest articles discuss topics related to world genetic structure and relationships. These articles can be cited freely (with due reference to DNA Tribes); no permission is needed to be sought.
DNA Tribes Digest: Each issue of DNA Tribes Digest explores an aspect of world genetic relationships.
The first of our quarterly Digests presents the results of our analyses of newly published STR marker data for native Greenlandic Inuit populations and explores the relationships of these populations with DNA Tribes® World Regions and approximately 1,300 populations in our STR population reference database.
This month’s article explores the Early European Farmer (EEF) ancestry that links the Middle East and Europe, by examining non-local components shared by populations in both Southeastern Europe and West Asia. This might provide clues about the origin of the First Farmers: whether they originated from Europe, the Middle East, or instead emerged from a more complex Neolithic mixture of European, African, and Asian populations.
This month’s article examines local differences within Europe, focusing on the Central European and Balto-Slavic SNP clusters. Notably, these ancestral components are expressed not only in East-Central Europe, but also in the Balkan Peninsula, Scandinavia, and the British Isles. Results for these two closely interrelated genomic components (clusters) might reflect Europe’s long history of maritime links via the Mediterranean Sea (the Central European cluster) and trans-continental links via the Eurasian Steppe (the Balto-Slavic cluster).
DNA Tribes Digest for July 2, 2014: Five Continent Core Components in 44 World Regions(PDF, 2,509KB)
This month’s article features an in depth exploration of how ancestral relationships between world populations are expressed by admixture percentages of five continental cores identified by the new DNA Tribes® SNP Update.
Background: Deep Ancestry Expressed in Five Isolated Clusters
Five Core Components in African Regions
Five Core Components in European Regions
Five Core Components in West Asian Regions
Five Core Components in Indian Subcontinent Regions
Five Core Components in North Eurasian Regions
Five Core Components in Asian-Pacific Regions
Five Core Components in Native American Regions
Conclusion: Five Core Components in 44 World Regions
This month’s Digest article features a finer analysis of local variation within Northwest Europe,
providing new insights in the varied migrations and geographical contacts that have shaped the
genetic structure of the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Western Continental Europe.
Announcements: DNA Tribes® SNP Update for Summer 2014 (PDF, 2,509KB)
DNA Tribes Digest for May 1, 2014: Beyond the River: The Search for Genetic Evidence of Jewish “Lost Tribes”(PDF, 2,509KB)
This month’s Digest highlights Jewish related ancestral components in Europe, West Asia, the
Indian Subcontinent, and Africa. These results are presented so that future DNA studies using
segment sharing (IBD) analysis can establish the chronology of ancient “deep ancestry” links
between Jewish and non-Jewish populations around the world.
Table of Contents:
Section One: Mideastern Jewish Components in Western Asia
Section Two: Sephardic-Sicilian Components in Balkan and Atlantic Europe
Section Three: Ashkenazi Jewish Components in the Caucasus and Indian Subcontinent
Section Four: Mideastern Jewish and Sephardic-Sicilian Components in Ethiopia
DNA Tribes Digest for April 2, 2014: Ancient Eurasian and African Ancestry in Europe(PDF, 2,509KB)
This month’s article continues the exploration of ancestral populations described in the recent
Lazaridis paper, “Ancient Human Genomes Suggest Three Ancestral Populations for Present-
Day Europeans,” with a focus on the ancient Middle Eastern and Eurasian migrations that
shaped the genetic structure of Europe.
In particular, this Digest article features iterative analyses of non-local genetic components in Europe, including ancestral links with Middle Eastern, South Asian (Indian Subcontinent), and Native American populations.
DNA Tribes Digest for March 1, 2014: The First Human Diaspora: Basal Eurasians and the Horn of Africa(PDF, 2,509KB)
This month’s article explores the Horn of Africa’s links with Africa and Eurasia, in search of
genetic traces of the first human migrations out of Africa.
According to the tree model of human expansions described in a recent paper, these early migrations involved a Basal Eurasian population that later became ancestral to EEF (“First Farmers”) in both Europe and the Middle East. This Digest article features iterative analyses of non-local genetic components in the Horn of Africa, where the Basal Eurasians might have first split off from ancestral African and Eurasian populations, only later to re-join with Eurasian hunter-gatherer populations in the founding of the first agricultural societies.
DNA Tribes Digest for February 1, 2014: Paleolithic Migrations Out of Africa and the First Native Americans(PDF, 2,509KB)
This month’s article explores new evidence for shared ancestry between Native Americans, Europeans, and Middle Eastern populations based on ancient genome evidence from Siberia. Past Digest articles have examined the Siberian related ancestry in Native Americans, as well as European and Native American related components in Northeast Asia. This month’s article will delve deeper, with a sequential analysis of genetic components that link Paleo-Indians with early migrations out of Africa and into Eurasia and the Americas.
DNA Tribes Digest for January 3, 2014: The Mal’ta Genome and the Siberian Heartland of Eurasia(PDF, 2,509KB)
This month’s article explores early genetic relationships in Siberia, to provide a fuller context for DNA results published for a 24,000 year old genome recovered from the Paleolithic Mal’ta culture near Lake Baikal. In particular, both ancient and modern Siberians express genetic links with the Indian Subcontinent, Northeast Europe, Native Americans, and Oceanians. Notably, this ancient Mal’ta genome might be related to Ancestral North Eurasian (ANE) populations that influenced the genetic structure of the Middle East, Americas, and Europe.
This month’s article explores inter-regional links in Central Europe, including genetic components related to Northeast Europe, the Aegean and Balkan Peninsula, and the British Isles. In particular, the historical background includes a discussion of how newly available ancient DNA and segment sharing analysis provide information about the timing of early population expansions. This chronological data will then be compared to an admixture analysis that makes use of the uniquely thorough geographical coverage of autosomal STR data available for Europe. Results express how these multiple waves of expansion and long term inter-population contacts have shaped the genetic landscape of Central Europe.
New studies of ancient DNA have identified at least two groups of populations active in prehistoric Europe: Neolithic Farmers (related to modern Southeast Europeans) and “Kurganized” Pastoralists (in part related to Mesolithic hunting-fishing populations and modern Northeast Europeans). This month’s article explores the complex interplay of these cultures in Southeastern Europe using autosomal STR data. Results include geographical analysis of Farmer and Pastoralist admixture throughout Europe. Results also examine Mediterranean and West Asian genetic components in present day populations of Greece, Italy, and the Eastern Danube that might reflect traces of ancestral Neolithic Farmer populations.
This month’s article explores non-local genetic links in Southern India using autosomal STR and SNP data. The historical background section highlights the role of maritime trade between Africa and India during the Late Harappan transition to more localized, rural forms of society in South Asia. In addition, the origins of Austroasiatic and Dravidian languages will be explored in the context of recent genetic evidence for the Ancestral South Indian (ASI) component shared throughout the Indian Subcontinent.
This month’s article explores how present day communities that have migrated and mixed in recent history (the last 500 years) fit within the more ancient genetic structure of Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas. Results feature an MDS analysis of African-American, Caribbean, Latin American, and mixed Native American communities in relation to crossroad regions of Africa, the Middle East, and Central Eurasia, where trade routes and migration paths have linked continents since early periods. This highlights the recurring patterns of inter-regional contact, in which migrating communities have linked the many dispersed branches of the human family tree in both ancient periods and modern times.
This month’s article examines the non-local genetic components of Middle Eastern populations based on autosomal SNP and STR data, including an Aegean-like genetic component found throughout the Middle East. Located at the crossroads of three continents, the Middle East has been an important source and recipient of population expansions since early periods. In particular, the historical background section emphasizes the demographic processes that began with the Ubaid period of Mesopotamia, in which the world’s first urban civilization emerged and potentially reshaped the genetic structure of West Eurasia.
This month’s Digest article features an analysis of Native American genetic relationships in the Desert Southwest region that includes tribal populations living in the Southwestern United States and Western Mexico. This Digest article also include new STR populations added for July 2013, as well as updates for DNA Tribes world region analysis and the Global Survey of world genetic structure.
This month’s article features an analysis of the non-local genetic components in Island Southeast Asia, including ancestral links with both Eurasian and Oceanian populations. In particular, the Historical Background discusses archaeological evidence of possible links between Thailand and Siberia during the Bronze Age. This might reflect contacts (direct or indirect) with early migratory populations that transmitted metallurgical technology throughout Eurasia during this period, stimulating the development of new local cultures in Southeast Asia.
This month’s article continues a two-part “big picture” exploration of world genetic relationships using SNP based Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS), including a detailed analysis of genetic continuity between regions of Asia and the indigenous populations of the Americas. For instance, to understand relationships in a part of the world as complex as South Asia, it is necessary to examine the broader inter-regional relationships with West Asia, Siberia, and East Asia. Also emphasized in this article are South Asian genetic relationships with Oceania that might reflect early coastal and maritime migrations via the Indian Ocean.
This month’s article begins a two-part “big picture” exploration of world genetic relationships using Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS). This big picture view includes the genetic similarity between West Asian and European populations and the global genetic continuum linking populations of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The last section of this month’s article will also in particular examine whether present day Basques and Sardinians might provide clues about the spread of early Indo-European languages in the Mediterranean.
This month’s article explores the emergence of new African cultures during the Iron Age, when
the Bantu Migrations reshaped the cultural landscape of Sub-Saharan Africa. Genetic results
include: first, autosomal STR analysis of regional genetic links in Tropical West Africa; and
second, autosomal SNP analysis of the genetic components expressed in present day Bantu
speaking populations throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
Announcements: SNP Update for February 2013.
This month’s article features a geographical analysis of autosomal DNA from two ancient individuals: the pharaoh Ramesses III and another individual (possibly Ramesses III's son Pentawer), who lived more than 3,000 years ago during the 20th Dynasty of Egypt (during the Bronze-Iron Age transition). A previous issue of DNA Tribes® Digest identified African related ancestry for King Tut and other royal mummies from the Amarna Period. In this issue, results indicate that the later pharaoh Ramesses III also inherited alleles that are most frequent in present day populations of Sub- Saharan Africa. This provides additional, independent evidence of Sub-Saharan African ancestry (possibly among several ancestral components) for pharaonic families of ancient Egypt.
This month’s feature article will explore genetic evidence for the origins of European populations, based on a detailed comparison to neighboring world regions using autosomal STR data. In particular, this analysis will explore evidence for early migrations to Europe from West Asia (including Anatolia and the East Mediterranean) and Siberia (including early relatives of Native Americans). The background section highlights the possible role of mixed populations that emerged near the Balkan Peninsula during the Neolithic period, which might have included early speakers of the Indo-European languages that later spread throughout Europe.
This month’s article explores the origins of Native American populations based on autosomal STR and SNP data. This analysis will include genetic evidence for multiple waves of migration from Siberia, as well as the role of copper using Mound Builder societies in integrating Paleo- Indian and Arctic related populations in Eastern North America.
This month’s article explores genetic evidence for two routes of West Eurasian expansions into Asia: (1) Southern expansions through West Asia reaching the Indian Subcontinent (possibly related to the larger satem group of Indo-European languages in Asia); and (2) Northern expansions through the Eurasian Steppe into Siberia and the Tarim Basin (possibly related to the extinct Tocharian languages).
This month feature article explores genetic links in Eastern Europe based on both autosomal STR and SNP data. The historical background emphasizes the possible role of Copper Age and Bronze Age agricultural expansions in shaping Eastern European genetic structure. In particular, the analysis highlights periods of early population growth based on farming and pastoralism, as well as migrations and dispersals during periods of climate change.
This month’s article includes genetic analysis of the East Mediterranean (Levant) based on autosomal STR and SNP data. The historical background highlights two early periods: the Copper Age and the Bronze Age, when semi-migratory traders and pastoralists carried new ideas along trade networks linking the Southern Levant and North Euphrates. Migrations during these periods shaped the Bronze Age populations of Canaan, which became the common ancestors of later cultures of the East Mediterranean.
This month’s article includes a two part genetic analysis of Northwest Europe based on
autosomal SNP and STR data. First, SNP analysis will focus on possible genetic traces of Proto-
Celtic migrations to Western Europe. Second, STR analysis will explore inter-regional links
related to contacts between Celtic speaking populations during the Iron Age.
Announcements:SNP Update for August 2012.
This month’s article explores deeper genetic links in the Iberian Peninsula, including long distance (and possibly more ancient) links with populations outside of the West Mediterranean. Results include a discussion of genetic links with North Africa and Southeastern Europe, possibly related to early Neolithic and Copper Age cultures of the Balkan Peninsula.
This month’s issue features two articles. The first article examines genetic relationships of the indigenous Gran Chaco region of South America based on autosomal STR data. The second article includes a multi-layered analysis of European regions based on autosomal SNP data, to identify long distance genetic relationships underlying the local regional structure of Europe, the Near East, and South Asia.
This month’s feature article explores the complex genetic landscape near the Caucasus Mountains. In the ancient world, this region was associated with the early development of metallurgy. To illuminate this little studied region, our article discusses early contacts linking the Caucasus Mountains with Europe and the Near East, based on the archaeologist Evgeny Chernykh’s analysis of early Eurasian metallurgy during the Copper Age and Bronze Age.
This month’s feature article explores genetic links in the Indus Valley, the location of the Bronze
Age Harappan Civilization. The historical background section includes a discussion of emerging
new models of South Asian prehistory. This new research challenges the traditional academic
theory of a "Vedic invasion" from outside of India, and suggests instead local continuity in South
Asia dating to the expansion of Neolithic cultures from West Asia.
Announcements: SNP Update for Spring 2012.
A comprehensive analysis of world populations based on the continental and regional admixture components used in DNA Tribes® SNP analysis (separate from 15, 21, and 27 Marker STR based tests; for STR based analysis, see our Global Survey).
This month’s feature article explores genetic links in two parts of Eastern Africa: the Horn of Africa and African Great Lakes. These regions near the Rift Valley and Red Sea are home to several ethnic groups and have been shaped by several language expansions.
This month’s article explores genetic relationships of North African populations. This includes two separate analyses (autosomal STR and autosomal SNP), each providing an independent source of information about genetic links in this part of the world.
This month’s article features an analysis of several mummies, including the famous King Tut and his relatives. These individuals lived in a unique time more than three thousand years ago: the “Amarna period,” which has left a vivid archaeological record of life in pharaonic Egypt.
This month’s feature article explores genetic relationships of Armenian populations of the
Transcaucasus. This will include two separate analyses (autosomal STR and autosomal SNP),
each providing an independent source of information about genetic links in this part of the world.
Announcements: New STR Populations for December 2011
This month’s feature article explores genetic relationships of the Norse sub-region of Europe, which includes Scandinavian populations of present day Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Also included with this Digest issue is updated continental and regional admixture analysis based
on new SNP populations incorporated in DNA Tribes® SNP analysis.
Announcements: DNA Tribes® SNP Update for August 2011
This month’s issue features two articles based on two different types of analysis. The first article, “STR Analysis of the Salishan Region,” explores genetic relationships of the North American Pacific Northwest based on autosomal STR data. The second article, “SNP Analysis of Siberia and Central Asia,” explores possible traces of the Central Asian Oxus and Tarim Civilizations based on autosomal SNP data.
This month’s issue features two articles based on two different types of analysis. The first article, “STR Analysis of the Ojibwa World Region,” explores genetic relationships of the Ojibwa world region based on autosomal STR data. The second article, “Gradual Transitions between Europe, the Middle East and North Asia,” highlights the genetic continuity between these continental zones based on our current SNP database.
This month’s article features a mixture analysis of European populations based on genetic
regions identified by DNA Tribes® SNP as of August 2011. This will highlight the relationships
between three major European genetic groupings (Atlantic European, Baltic-Urals, and
Caucasus-Anatolian) and neighboring parts of the world (such as the North African, Arabian,
and Siberian regions).
Announcements: DNA Tribes® SNP Update for August 2011
This month’s article explores geographical relationships of the North Amerindian genetic region.
This genetic region characterizes indigenous populations living near the Great Plains and
Mississippi River, including tribal nations of the Eastern United States and First Nations living in
neighboring parts of Canada.
Announcements: New Populations for June 2011
This month’s article explores geographical relationships of the Athabaskan genetic region. This
region characterizes indigenous Navajo and Apache peoples of the Southwestern United States,
as well as linguistically related First Nations of Western Canada and Alaska.
Announcements: DNA Tribes® SNP update for April 2011
This month's feature article will update our analysis of the Greek sub-region based on more detailed sub-regional divisions in Europe.
This month’s feature article will update our analysis of the Germanic sub-region based on more detailed sub-regional divisions in Europe.
This month’s feature article explores the genetic relationships of populations in the Horn of
Africa. This region includes modern day Sudan and Somalia, located along the early trade
routes linking the civilizations of Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indus Valley, and
Announcements: Introducing DNA Tribes® SNP Analysis.
This month’s feature article updates our analysis of the Balkan sub-region based on more
detailed genetic divisions presently identified by DNA Tribes® Europa analysis.
Announcements: New Populations for January 2011.
This month's article updates our analysis of the Portuguese sub-region based on more detailed genetic divisions within Europe.
This month’s feature article will update our analysis of the Italian sub-region based on more detailed genetic divisions within Europe.
This month’s issue will explore genetic relationships in the Caucasus Mountains, in particular looking at the nation of Georgia. In ancient times, these mountains divided the urban civilizations of Southwest Asia from the wilder Eurasian steppes.
This month’s feature article will examine the Belgic sub-region, which includes populations of the modern “Benelux” nations (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) and northern parts of France, lands sometimes described as the Low Countries.
This month’s feature article will re-examine Celtic genetic relationships based on more detailed
sub-regional definitions in Northwest Europe. This will also include a speculative discussion of
the legendary Danann and Milesian dynasties in relation to Bronze Age archaeology.
Announcements: New Populations for August 2010; New Add-On Options.
This issue’s feature will explore genetic relationships between Romani (also known as European Gypsies) and other populations of Europe and Asia.
This month’s feature article focuses on two Magyar (Hungarian) populations: the general population of Hungary and the Székely (Szekler), thought to be descended from Hunnish warriors that joined with the Magyar military confederation in Europe.
This month’s feature article focuses on the Thracian sub-region of Europe, which shares genetic
characteristics not only with neighboring European regions, but also with more geographically
distant South Asian populations.
Announcements: New 27-Marker Test; New Populations added April 30, 2010.
This month's feature article focuses on large scale (macro) relationships between European, Near Eastern, and South Asian populations. These lands once included the range of the extinct Neanderthal hominids. Today, West Eurasia is home to a group of related regional populations that share genetic characteristics, perhaps dating to the earliest human expansions from Africa.
This month’s feature article focuses on the Sahelian genetic region along the borderlands between the Sahara Desert and tropical forest zone. It was here that many diverse and influential African cultures have emerged, such as the Mali Empire of Mansa Musa, who awed Egypt and Arabia with the wealth of his caravan and established of the famous University of Timbuktu
Individual populations studied include: Turkey (general); Greek (Cyprus); Syria; Eastern Anatolia, Turkey; Georgia; Kurdish (Iraq); Arab (Iraq); Iran; and Baloch (Pakistan).
Individual populations studied include: Hazara; Uzbek; Kazakh; Uyghur; Altaian-Kizhi; Tuva; Xiongnu (early Mongolian burial site); Mongolia; Buryat; Khamnigan Mongol; East Mongolian (Inner Mongolia); and Evenk (Harbin, China).
Forward: The Northern Frontier Lands of Eurasia
Europe and the Urals: Finns, Mari, and Bashkir
Near the Great Yenisei River: Khakas, Tofalar, and Soyot
Newcomers to Far Eastern Siberia: Yakut and Evenki
Summary and Conclusion
Individual populations near the Hindu Kush mountain range, including: Afghanistan; Gujarat, India; Kashmiri Muslims; Northern Pakistan; Pakistan; and Punjab, India.
Atlantic Megalith Builders: Basque and North African Substrates
Near Eastern Farmers: Mesopotamian and Levantine Substrates
Northern Hunters, Fishers and Herders: Urals, Finnic, and American Indian Substrates
Links to Asia: Indian and Tibetan Substrates
Summary of Contributions
Native Language Families of Europe
Identification of the Central Indo-European (CIE) Genetic Zone
Central Indo-European (CIE) Genetic Contributions in Europe
Seeds of Mesoamerican Civilization: the Mayan Region
Empire of the Aztecs: the Mexican Region
Bridge to the South: the Central American Region
At the Ends of the Earth: the Patagonian Region
Eden of the Americas: the Amazonian Region
Mountain Backbone of South America: the Andean Region
The Japanese Region
The Ami of Taiwan
The Atayal of Taiwan
The Chamoru of Guam
Sea of the Hellenes: the Greek Europa Sub-Region
Lands of the Renaissance: the Italian Europa Sub-Region
Refuge of the Iberians: the Spanish Europa Sub-Region
Euskal Herria: the Basque Europa Sub-Region
Beyond the Pillars of Hercules: the Portuguese Europa Sub-Region
Kingdom of the Nile: Egypt
Church of Alexandria: Egyptian Copts
Heirs of Kush and Nubia: Sudan
Horn of Africa: Somalia
Lands of the Bantu: the Southern African Genetic Region
Facing the Atlantic: the West African Genetic Region
Place of Sunset: the North African Genetic Region
Oracle of the Pharaohs: Siwa Oasis
Middle Kingdom: the South Chinese Genetic Region
A Union of Mountain and Sea: the Southeast Asian Genetic Region
The Great Navigators: the Malay Archipelago Genetic Region
At the Edge of East Asia: the Eastern India Genetic Region
Home of the Dravidians: the South India Genetic Region
Desert of the Bedouin: the Arabian Genetic Region
Cradle of Humanity: the East African Genetic Region
Birthplace of the West: the Aegean Genetic Region
Eastern Shores of the Mediterranean: the Levantine Genetic Region
Between the Rivers: the Mesopotamian Genetic Region
Land of the Nobles: the North India Genetic Region
Heirs of the Tocharians: the Uyghur of the Tarim Basin
At the Roof of the World: the Tibetan Genetic Region
All Roads Lead to Cathay: the North Chinese Genetic Region
Where Earth Meets Sky: The Altaian Genetic Region
Legacy of the Scythians: The Russian Europa Sub-Region
Western Peoples of the Taiga: The Finno-Ugrian Europa Sub-Region
Birthplace of the Slavs: The Polish Europa Sub-Region
Old Europe: The Balkan Europa Sub-Region
At the Heart of Central Europe: The Germanic Europa Sub-Region
Peoples of the North Sea: The Norse Europa Sub-Region
Isles of the Setting Sun: The Celtic Europa Sub-Region
Genetic Regions and Language Families of Siberia
Estimated Genetic Contributions to the Arctic Genetic Region
Estimated Arctic Contributions to American Indians
Estimated Genetic Contributions to North American Indians
This month's feature article is "Exploring Ancestry in the South Seas," where genetic relationships in Madagascar, Australia, East Timor, and Polynesia are investigated.
The first issue's feature article "Who are the Americans?" examines the genetic composition of
Caucasian and African-American populations in the United States and how it relates to global
genetic patterns and the history of North America.
Fifty Canadians from Four Ethnic/Racial Groups: Individuals within every population exhibit a
variety of genetic affiliations. To view world region analysis for fifty individuals drawn from each
of four North American populations, select a link below. Each study is a large PDF approximately
10 MB in size. If a file does not open, right-click the link and select "Save Link As" to save the file
and open on your desktop. (Published May 10, 2007):
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