In Nature this week, a multi-institute team report the genome sequence of a 12,600 year old male infant from a Native American burial site in Montana. The site was in Clovis, a widely studied archaeological site known for its distinctive stone tools. The origins of the people who made the tools is unknown, but the new genomic data suggest that the child belonged to a population from which many modern-day Native Americans descended and which is closely related to all indigenous American populations. The findings also point to a deep divergence in Native American populations that predates the Clovis period.
Meanwhile, in Nature Methods, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco publish a new method to isolate rare human pluripotent stem cells with specifically engineered genetic mutations. The genome-editing approach allows for the efficient induction or reversion of mutations associated with human disease in these cells, allowing for the experimental study of the biological effects of the mutations.