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Fri, Feb 28

First Americans lived on land bridge for thousands of years, genetics study suggests

Genetic evidence indicates a population isolated from the Siberian mainland for thousands of years, who are the direct ancestors of nearly all of the Native American tribes in both North and South America – the original “first peoples”. The theory that the Americas were populated by humans crossing from Siberia to Alaska across a land bridge was first proposed as far back as 1590, and has been generally accepted since the 1930s. But genetic evidence shows there is no direct ancestral link between the people of ancient East Asia and modern Native Americans. A comparison of DNA from 600 modern Native Americans with ancient DNA recovered from a late Stone Age human skeleton from Mal’ta near Lake Baikal in southern Siberia shows that Native Americans diverged genetically from their Asian ancestors around 25,000 years ago, just as the last ice age was reaching its peak. Read more.