A genomic analysis of ancient DNA reveals the unexpected presence of Mediterranean migrants at Roopkund Lake in the Himalayan Mountains in India, where the presence of skeletal remains of hundreds of individuals has long been a mystery. In the study, researchers analyzed DNA from 38 skeletons found on the lake's shores and find that the individuals cluster into three distinct groups: 23 of South Asian ancestry, 14 of eastern Mediterranean ancestry, and one with Southeast Asian-related ancestry. Radiocarbon dating indicates that the remains were deposited at different times, with the South Asian group dating around 800 CE in multiple events and the others dating to around 1800 CE. The findings provide new insights into this "enigmatic ancient site," the study's authors write in Nature Communications, but additional research will be required how and why the Mediterreanian individuals were there. GenomeWeb has more on this, here.
An analysis of data from thousands of genome-wide association studies provides new insights into pleiotropy and genetic architecture in complex traits. In the study, which appears in Nature Genetics, a team led by scientists from VU University Amsterdam analyze 4,155 publicly available GWASs, providing an overview of pleiotropy and genetic architecture for 558 traits. They show that trait-associated loci cover more than half of the genome, and that 90 percent of these overlap with loci from multiple traits. Additionally, potential causal variants are found to be enriched in coding and flanking regions, as well as in regulatory elements, and show variation in polygenicity and discoverability of traits. GenomeWeb also covers this, here.