Aboriginal Genome Shows Two-Wave Settlement of Asia

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Science  23 Sep 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6050, pp. 1689-1691
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6050.1689

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Almost a century ago, British anthropologist Alfred Cort Haddon traveled the world seeking samples of human hair, among other curios, for his ethnographic studies of native people. The samples, which lay in a museum drawer for 90 years, included hair from a young Australian Aboriginal man. Now in a paper published online this week in Science, geneticists report that they have extracted enough DNA from that hair to sequence the first complete genome of an Aboriginal. The genome offers the first good look at the origins of Aboriginals, showing that they are one of the oldest continuous populations outside of Africa, the authors say.