UC Merced Researchers Conducts The First Ever Ancient DNA Investigation Of The Himalayan Arc!By Vinay Patel, UniversityHerald Reporter
Researchers from the University of California in Merced teamed up with Uppsala University in Sweden, the University of Chicago and the University of Oklahoma to conduct an aboriginal DNA investigation of the Himalayan arc, spawning genomic data for eight people ranging in time from the primal human habitations to the creation of the Tibetan Empire.
The data indicate that the genetic makeup of high-altitude Himalayan society has remarkably remained unchanged despite coming in contact with outside population via trade and cultural transitions.
The findings, which were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on June 20, was conceived by Mark Aldenderfer, who serves as a professor at UC Merced and directed the surveys and site of digging from which analyzed elements were retrieved.
On the project, Aldenderfer was accompanied by Chicago Professor Anna Di Rienzo and Oklahoma Professor Christina Warinner.
The study that centers on the colonization of the Himalayan mountain region, demonstrated that East Indians hailing from high altitude migrated here, but remarkably maintained genetic stability despite changes in mortuary behavior and material culture, Warinner noted.
The prodigious Himalayan mountain range has been a daunting hurdle to population migration since prehistoric times however, its transverse valleys has offered a passage for exchange and trade.
Surprisingly, despite its cultural and economical significance, only negligible information about the area's peopling and ancient population history was available, according to a post by UC Merced's James Leonard on the University Of California official website.
Researchers employed formidable supercomputers in order to conduct the first ancient DNA investigation of the Himalayan people.
In the wake of hypoxia, cold stress and challenges of resource scarcity, the gigantic transverse valleys of the Himalayan arc were among the last livable places that were permanently colonized by prehistoric people.
Ancient DNA has the ability to divulge facets of population history that are otherwise hard to conclude from archaeological material culture or modern communities alone, Aldenderfer explained.