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Thu, Feb 13

Ancient genome stirs ethics debate

The remains of a young boy, ceremonially buried some 12,600 years ago in Montana, have revealed the ancestry of one of the earliest populations in the Americas, known as the Clovis culture. Published in this issue of Nature, the boy’s genome sequence shows that today’s indi­genous groups spanning North and South America are all descended from a single population that trekked across the Bering land bridge from Asia (M. Rasmussen et al. Nature 506, 225–229; 2014)…But the research underscores the ethical minefield of studying ancient Native American remains, and rekindles memories of a bruising legal fight over a different human skeleton in the 1990s. Read more.