DNA follows ancient Mediterranean farmers to Scandinavia

DNA follows ancient Mediterranean farmers to Scandinavia

The genetic profile of modern Europeans could have been partially cultivated by the first Mediterranean farmers who they moved to what is now Scandinavia, where they mixed with resident hunters and gatherers.

DNA taken from 5000 year old skeletons previously unearthed in Sweden, reveal a scenario in which newly arrived farmers from the south they crossed the hunters and gatherers of the northsays genetic evolution graduate student Pontus Skoglund from Uppsala University in Sweden and his colleagues. Their findings could be included in the plan of first migrations of farmers in Europe, which often included interactions with local hunters and gatherers.

DNA samples taken from the buried remains of an ancient farmer in southern Sweden show genetic variations closer to those found in people living today in Greece and Cyprus, according to the scientific report Science April 27. DNA obtained from the bones of three hunter-gatherers buried on an island off the coast of Sweden contains distinctive genetic variants that they resemble those of the native Finns.

Most Europeans today have genetic dispositions between the long-dead farmer and his hunter-gatherer neighbors, Skoglund's team has found. Breeding between growers and gatherers has contributed to the current genetic map, the researchers propose.

Our data suggest that northern European farmers originated from Mediterranean Europe and were genetically distinct from hunters and gatherers of 5,000 years ago.”Says study co-author and evolutionary geneticist Mattias Jakobsoon of Uppsala University.

The old DNA in the new tests comes from cell nuclei, a form of genetic material inherited from both parents. Researchers have isolated and studied 1 to 3 percent of the nuclear genome of each individual studied.

Jakobsson says the new nuclear DNA evidence challenges 2010 research that extracted genes from the remains of members of Central European culture from 7,000 years ago to as early as current residents of Turkey and eastern areas. This study, led by paleobiologist Wolfgang Haak of the University of Adelaide in Australia, examined the maternal inheritance of DNA from cellular structures called mitochondria and the Y chromosome inherited from the father.

Archaeological finds indicate numerous farmers' routes to Europe from the Middle East, says Haak. A Mediterranean-based farming group may have reached Scandinavia between 1000 and 2000 years later of the initial expansion of farmers from further east to central Europe, he suggests. The rise of agriculture "it was certainly not a uniform process throughout Europe”Says Haak.

Researchers generally agree that agriculture originated 11,000 years ago in the Middle East and it arrived in Europe about 7000 years ago. The debate revolves around the advancement of farmers and their mixing with European hunters and gatherers or commercial and cultural practices with native groups that dealt with agriculture.

DNA links between ancient Swedish farmers and nearby hunters and gatherers show that agriculture spread throughout Europe with the help of genetics and cultural exchangessays Jakobsson.

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Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.

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