Mitochondrial DNA and the Peopling of the New World
The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and American Scientist subscribers.
If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.
If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:
Anthropologists have long speculated on the origins of the native populations in the Americas. One of the more recent theories holds that three distinct waves of immigrants--corresponding to three proposed linguistic groups among Native Americans (Amerind, Na-Dene and Eskaleut)--crossed the Bering strait from Asia no earlier than 13,000 years ago. Molecular anthropologist Theodore Schurr’s research on genetic variation in the mitochondrial DNA of native populations in Asia and the Americas casts some doubt on this view. His research suggests that the first Americans may have come to the New World more than 30,000 years ago. Although there is concordance between the linguistic and genetic affinities of Na-Dene Indians and Eskimo-Aleuts, this type of linkage is less robust for the so-called Amerinds. According to Schurr the genetic evidence is, instead, more consistent with a complex migration pattern involving at least two ancient expansions of ancestral populations who may have come from widely separated parts of the Asian continent, as well as the re-expansion of Beringian populations into the New World following the last period of glaciation.
Connect With Us:
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.
JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.