New analysis of DNA sequences showed that the population of native Americans migrated from Siberia, numbered about 250 people. Despite the numerous genetic studies that helped to contribute to the understanding of how the ancient people inhabited the Americas, scientists have not reached consensus as to how many native Americans were the original inhabitants.
The new study appeared in the journal Genetics and Molecular Biology confirms the results of previous studies based on smaller data sets.
“The transition from a few hundred founders to 40 million people in North and South America, who eventually settled in different environmental conditions, have adapted, it’s pretty interesting,” says Michael Crawford, Professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas. “It is about understanding how evolution works, in terms of genetic diversity”.
Scientists have studied nine non-coding regions of DNA samples collected from the population, which took place on the way of migration. It samples people from China, ten Siberian groups, and ten native American populations scattered throughout Central and South America and representing several different tribes. Siberian samples were collected immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In the study 2015 Crawford found that the ancestors of all modern Indians came to America from Siberia, but rather to Alaska, no earlier than 23 000 years ago. This main group was divided into the Athabasca and Amerindians, spending no more than 8000 years in isolation in Beringia — a land bridge that once connected Siberia with Alaska.
In the new study, researchers sequenced the DNA samples and determined that the original population of indigenous people amounted to about 250 people. The definition of this narrow genetic place in a population of Americans is very important to characterize the populations of native Americans and assessing the adaptive capacity of genetic variants in these populations.
Crawford says that these genetic data help to paint a fascinating picture of how the unfolding of an ancient migration.