MOTHER TONGUE
Newsletter of the Association for the Study of Language In Prehistory

Issue 26 · Spring 1996


South Amerinds and Oceanians

Alvah Hicks reports on Marco Zago et al, 1995. "a-Globin Gene Haplotypes in South American Indians." HUMAN BIOLOGY 67:535. The principal findings are: "The similarities of a- and b-globin haplotypes between South American Indians and Southeast Asian and Oceanic populations suggest substantial genetic affinity between these populations and support the notion of a predominantly Asian origin of native Americans." [As we go to press, the editor has only just found out which genetic system is being discussed here. Many labs in Boston had never heard of it! Anyway a-globin pertains to nuclear DNA. Look it up on MEDLINE EXPRESS if you have that or see journals Nucleic-Acids-Res. 1995 May 25; 23(10):1790-4 or Gene. 1995 Apr 24; 156(2): 277-81. Cutting edge stuff!]

Alvah wonders if Zago et al (who include J.B.Clegg) have not got things backwards. He asks: "What about an Amerindian origin for Asians and an Asian dispersal for modern humans?" He knows his is a minority opinion!


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(c) 1996 Association for the Study of Language In Prehistory