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Researchers Sequencing Ancient Human Remains for Clues About Origins of Southeast Asians, Australians

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Griffith University in Australia announced on Tuesday a collaboration to sequence DNA from ancient human remains to determine the origins of populations from Southeast Asian and Australia.

The research, which is being conducted on remains dating back 45,000 years, is supported by a three-year, A$550,000 (US$569,617) Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, and will be conducted in partnership with the University of Auckland in New Zealand; University of New South Wales in Sydney; and University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Using next-generation sequencing technologies and DNA target capture technologies, the researchers will analyze human remains from continental and oceanic Asia and Australia and aim to identify individuals from two lineages that gave rise to Australian Aborigines —Aboriginal Australians descended from early human dispersal into eastern Asia possibly 62,000 to 75,000 years ago; and a lineage that gave rise to modern Asians 25,000 to 38,000 years ago.

The researchers also hope to detect historic patterns of interbreeding between these early people.

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