DNA – Retrieving our Past and Informing the Future
QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAILBloodline of Self-Knowledge & Self-Realization
Our DNA is like a history encyclopedia. It tells us the stories of our forebearers from the first human who walked on the earth to YOU. Different DNA regions can tell us whether our ancestors interbred with Neanderthals, while other regions tell us about the path our ancestors took out of Africa. It all depends on what you want to know and your ability to interpret the genetic code.
No scientific definitions for genetic ethnicity are universally accepted.
Differences in DNA sequences from person to person reflect the cumulative effects of human history. The patterns of genetic variation in the world today therefore carry a record of that history. They record the existence, sometime between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago, of a small group of people who are the ancestors of every person alive today. They chronicle the origins of “races” and “ethnic groups” and describe how those groups have both blended and separated over time.
Who Are We?
The best way to determine the genetic relationships among people is to compare the sequences of the nucleotides in their DNA. We perform a service just following the DNA trail and accepting new findings in our family trees when they come in, instead of clinging to an a priori theory/belief/wish or prejudice. Even with both a pedigree and genetic genealogy tests, the results require interpretation, and even different members of the same family can embody and display different features.
So far, there is no exclusive nor conclusive DNA signature for the Grail lineage, and there are gaps in the legends, the histories, and the pedigrees which require interpretation, if not leaps of imagination. This is as true for those of unbroken dynastic Houses as it is for those of mixed blood. Grail houses can have different Y haplogroups as well as different mtDNA signatures. While the “red gene” is significant, it may or may not distinguish noble ancestors. Typical medical problems of a line will not all present in one individual.
For example, Rh negative blood, being recessive, will only reveal itself when 2 recessive genes from the parents come together. Conceivably, only one sibling in a dozen might be Rh negative, descended from Rh positive parents. Even siblings get varied genetic packages and may not have genes from all the ethnicities or ancestors of their genealogical lines. There are different ethnic signatures.
Genetic Archaeology of ancient groups and individuals is a new research area. Genetic Archaeology is the study of genetic ancestry using modern forensic techniques to collect and blueprint ancient human remains, and rarely identify living descendants.
DNA can be used to understand the evolution of modern humans, trace migrations of people, identify individuals, and determine the origins of domestic plants and animals. DNA analysis, as one scholar put it, is “the greatest archaeological excavation of all time.” Because ancient DNA molecules are normally so few and fragmented, and preserved soft tissues so rare, scientists had little hope of finding and analyzing it. But two breakthroughs have made this possible: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a method for copying any fragment of DNA, and the successful recovery of DNA from preserved hard tissues, bones and teeth, that are durable and relatively abundant. http://www.archaeology.org/9609/abstracts/dna.html
Your individual DNA fingerprint depends on how the chromosomes line up at conception. Some traits from both parents’ potentials will be there, while others get excluded. So, some siblings can be redheads, others not; some can have family medical problems, others not, some may be Rh neg., others not. Extensive historical knowledge of cultural practices and human migratory patterns helps us piece each story together. We may find things we never imagined and find no evidence for traits known within our lineage.
Genetic reconstructions of historical events can always be interpreted in somewhat different ways, observes Peter Underhill, the geneticist in Cavalli-Sforza’s lab who first detected variations in Y chromosomes. DNA is such a long and complex molecule that every act of human procreation produces at least some unique mutations. These mutations spill across the generations like an unusually shaped jaw or distinctively colored eyes. The result is an elaborate human genealogy, an intricately branching tree of genetic alterations.
Where Do We Come From?
By analyzing the genetic variation of modern Europeans, Cavalli-Sforza and Ammerman decided that Europeans are descended largely from populations of farmers who started migrating out of the Middle East 9,000 years ago. As the sons and daughters of farming families left their parents’ farms and moved into new territory, they interbred with the existing hunter-gatherer populations, which produced gradients of genetic change radiating from the Middle East. Only in mountainous areas unattractive to farmers—the Pyrenees homelands of the Basques, for example—were the genes of the indigenous peoples comparatively intact. Other historical events, too, appeared to have influenced the European gene pool. For example, a genetic trail leads from the area north of the Black and Caspian Seas into the rest of Europe. Cavalli-Sforza linked this trail to the spread of the descendants of nomadic warriors and herders who first domesticated the horse, about 4,000 B.C.
Evidence clearly indicates that sometime in the period 100,000 to 200,000 years ago our ancestors went through a severe genetic bottleneck. Perhaps an environmental change drove ancient people to the brink of extinction. A more likely scenario, however, is that a relatively small group, numbering fewer than 20,000 at times and probably living in eastern Africa, was isolated for many thousands of years from the many groups of archaic human beings scattered throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia.
The people who emerged from this genetic bottleneck had traits never before seen in human beings. They had lighter builds, new ways of interacting among themselves, and perhaps a greater facility with language. Eventually the descendants of these people spread throughout Africa and beyond. They reached Australia at least 60,000 years ago, probably traveling from the Horn of Africa and then along the South Asia shoreline. They arrived in the Middle East a bit more than 40,000 years ago. By 35,000 years ago anatomically modern people had spread into Europe from the Middle East and into East Asia from Southeast Asia. Sometime more than 12,000 years ago they entered the Americas.
Fewer than 10,000 generations separate everyone alive today from the small group of Africans who are our common ancestors. That’s much more than the twenty or so generations mentioned in Genesis, but it’s the blink of an eye in evolutionary terms. Even over thousands of generations human groups have not differentiated in any substantial way. Rather, the genetic evidence indicates that modern human beings have expanded as a single, relatively well mixed population without subsequent genetic bottlenecks (bottlenecks tend to erase the evidence of previous bottlenecks, which is how geneticists know that the bottleneck in Africa was the most recent one). Our comparative youth as a species accounts for our extreme genetic homogeneity. The chimpanzees living on a single hillside in Africa have twice as much variety in their DNA as do the six billion people scattered across the globe.
There’s another reason for our biological homogeneity. Modern human beings have never been able to resist for long what Noël Coward called “the urge to merge.” A person traveling due east from Madrid to Beijing (both at about 40°N latitude) would pass Italians, Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Uighurs, Mongolians, and Han Chinese, among others. All these groups resemble their immediate neighbors more than they do groups farther away because of the continual exchange of mates across group boundaries.
There’s a simple way of describing our genetic relatedness. Not only do all people have the same set of genes, but all groups of people also share the major variants of those genes. Geneticists have never found a genetic marker that is of one type in all the members of one large group and of a different type in all the members of another large group. That’s why ethnically targeted biological weapons would never work. Every group overlaps genetically with every other. We have cultural differences masquerading as race problems.
Where Are We Going?
There is no singular gene, mutation, allele, STR or SNP that tells the whole story. There are clusters of mutations that show deep relationship patterns of regional origin in some individuals. There is no DNA report that is 100% conclusive. They use the statistical mathematics of the educated guess. Statistical and sampling flaws can lead to misinterpretations, based on too small of samplings and comparison studies. So, our own conclusions about our own DNA tests are, in part, interpretations of an interpretation. We can only draw inferences about the past based on the patterns observed in human DNA. And this is what keeps our quest alive.
allele /al·lele/ (ah-lēl´) one of two or more alternative forms of a gene at corresponding sites (loci) on homologous chromosomes, which determine alternative characters in inheritance.allel´ic
A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, pronounced snip) is a DNA sequence variation occurring when a single nucleotide — A, T, C or G — in the genome (or other shared sequence) differs between members of a biological species or paired chromosomes in an individual.
A surname DNA project is a genetic genealogy project which uses genealogical DNA tests to trace male lineage. Because (patrilineal) surnames are passed down from father to son in many cultures, and Y-chromosomes (Y-DNA) are passed from father to son with a predictable rate of mutation, people with the same surname can use genealogical DNA testing to determine if they share a common ancestor within recent history. A genealogical DNA test looks at a person’s genetic code at specific locations. Results give information about genealogy or personal ancestry. Generally, these tests compare the results of an individual to others from the same lineage or to current and historic ethnic groups. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealogical_DNA_test
The Origin of the Europeans; Combining Genetics and Archaeology, Scientists Rough Out Continent’s 50,000-Year-Old Story By NICHOLAS WADE
Published: November 14, 2000
Genetic anthropology is a branch of scientific study which deals with combining DNA data with available physical evidence and past histories of civilizations.
- How did we migrate and populate the world?
- What impact has culture had on human genetic variation?
- How have cultural practices affected our patterns of genetic diversity?
- If humans share a recent common ancestry, why do we look different from each other?
- Did extinct human species, such as Neanderthals, contribute to the current human genome?
- How does the DNA evidence relate to the fossil evidence for human migration patterns?
From what had seemed like irreversible oblivion, archaeologists and population geneticists believe they are on the verge of retrieving a record of human history stretching back almost 50,000 years.
The record, built on a synthesis of archaeological and genetic data, would be a bare bones kind of history without individual names or deeds. But it could create a chronicle of events, however sketchy, between the dawn of the human species at least 50,000 years ago and the beginning of recorded history in 3,500 B.C. The events would be the dated migrations of people from one region to another, linked with the archaeological cultures and perhaps with development of the world’s major language groups.
Genealogy adds the specific names, dates, deeds, and dwellings to the historical story of you.
The new element in this synthesis is the increasing power of geneticists to look back in time and trace the history of past populations from analysis of the DNA of people alive today.
”It is astonishing how much archaeology is beginning to learn from genetics,” Dr. Colin Renfrew, a leading archaeologist at the University of Cambridge in England, said at a conference on human origins held last month at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island.
In one of the most detailed genetic reconstructions of population history so far, Dr. Martin Richards of the University of Huddersfield in England and many colleagues have traced the remarkably ancient ancestry of the present-day population of Europe.
Some 6 percent of Europeans are descended from the continent’s first founders, who entered Europe from the Near East in the Upper Paleolithic era 45,000 years ago, Dr. Richards calculates. The descendants of these earliest arrivals are still more numerous in certain regions of Europe that may have provided them with refuge from subsequent waves of immigration. One is the mountainous Basque country, where people still speak a language completely different from all other European languages. Another is in the European extreme of Scandinavia. Another 80 percent arrived 30,000 to 20,000 years ago, before the peak of the last glaciation, and 10 percent came in the Neolithic 10,000 years ago, when the ice age ended and agriculture was first introduced to Europe from the Near East.
It used to be thought that the most important human dispersals occurred in the Neolithic, prompted by the population increases made possible by the invention of agriculture. But it now seems that the world filled up early and the first inhabitants were quite resistant to displacement by later arrivals.
Dr. Richards’s estimates, reported in the current issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics, are based on analysis of mitochondrial DNA, a genetic element that occurs in both men and women but that is transmitted only through the mother; thus, they reflect only the movement of women.
The movement of men can be followed through analysis of the Y chromosome, but the Y chromosome is harder to work with and data are only just now becoming available. In an article in the current issue of Science, Dr. Peter A. Underhill of Stanford University and colleagues reported the first analysis of the European population in terms of the Y chromosome. Although this agrees with the mitochondrial DNA findings in major outline, suggesting that Europe was populated mostly in the Paleolithic period with additions in the Neolithic, there are some points of difference.
The earliest migration into Europe according to mitochondrial DNA took place from the Near East 45,000 years ago, but Dr. Underhill and his colleagues said they could see no corresponding migration in the Y chromosome data.
They have found a very ancient Y chromosome mutation that occurs in Siberia as well as Europe. They boldly link this mutation with the bearers of the Aurignacian culture who entered Europe 40,000 years ago. The culture appears in Siberia at about the same time, as if these early people had spread both east and west.
Dr. Underhill and his colleagues associate another mutation, which is common in India, Pakistan and Central Asia as well as Europe, with the people of the Kurgan culture who, according to one theory, expanded from southern Ukraine and spread the Indo-European languages.
Dr. Underhill’s report tries to make the grand synthesis between archaeological and genetic data, but it will probably be some time before the specialists in each area agree on how the two types of data should be associated.
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Published on November 29, 2012: DNADJ Volume 2 Issue 3 “Evolution as Manifestation of Cosmic Order” which is a Focus Issue featuring Robert Campbell’s work.
For those interested: “New Nonlocal Biological Effect” is published in NeuroQuantology 10(3) pp. 462-467 on September 19, 2012.
JCER News: Complete Special Issue JCER 4(1) “Groundbreaking Results in Consciousness, Quantum Brain & Nonlocality Research by Michael Persinger’s Group” is published on Feb. 18, 2013. This is a Special Issue of JCER featuring the latest research of Michael Persinger’s Group accompanied by a Perspective and News piece.